Photo by Nora Hollstein, @norahollstein
When I very first discovered Anna's art over a year ago, I used to stalk her IG account @AnnaRupprecht_studio SO hard (like every single day, ok maybe even a few times a day) to see if she had posted anything new. I actually have to pinch myself when we exchange emails and she apologizes for not responding right away because she was busy doing something epic like winning the Bumble All Access Art Competition (her mural is now featured on one of Berlins most iconic landmarks!) It's ok girl, I forgive you. And NOW she's joined the Hola Gwapa collective of talented females. Total fangirl moment over here!
However the honest to God truth is, Anna Rupprecht is one of those Artists it's reaalllly hard to write an introduction paragraph for. As a woman and an Artist she truly is the ultimate dynamic masterpiece. Inspired by comic books, Japanese illustrations, and strong independent historical women Anna is beyond bizarre, oozing with talent, and a total creative powerhouse. The Hola Gwapa jackpot! Her work speaks to the women of our generation intimately poking fun at dating apps, beauty norms, and the value of high self-esteem. Her illustrations always say "I see you, I get you and I am here with you." To me, she, like her art is half comedy and half poetry. Keep reading and treat yourself to her story. Full PSA: Her work will sink its claws into you and there will be no turning back.
Who is Anna Rupprecht? Where are you from?
I am a freelance illustrator and graphic designer based in Berlin. I am from a smaller town in East Germany living in the vibrant capital for six years now. I love all kinds of patterns, Japanese illustrations, Swiss design, dogs, noodles, wine, pop art, exhibitions of all kinds and strong independent women in history.
Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with said medium or did it choose you?
I started making my illustrations with black fineliners and eddings because I loved the simple clean lines and the comic style. When I was younger I read a lot of comics from Mickey Mouse to Simpsons and my room was full of posters. Later on, I scanned these drawings and filled them with color in photoshop what also gave them a cartoon character. Two years ago I bought a graphics tablet and since then I draw directly on the tablet which makes my work much more easier and more precise. Also, I have a sketchbook which I try to always have by my side to put notes, patterns, and ideas in it. I still like to have analogue mediums around me and staying interested in analogue processes like screen printing riso printing and paint with acryl but my main medium is digital.
Photo by Nora Hollstein, @norahollstein
Your pieces are so detailed and so intricate. How long does it take you to complete a piece?
It really depends on the details. Sometimes I am nearly going crazy because I want to finish an artwork so bad so I skip sleep and food. Usually, I need 1 or 2 full days to finish but the healthier version is to finish it in 3 days. When I'm done I want to have the feeling that it was worth the time.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Looking for perfect answer memes for hours, reading shitty gossip magazines while having my afternoon coffee and always drinking too much when going to a bar with friends.
What do you want the younger female artists coming up behind you to know about you, your journey, and the art industry in general?
I started working for clients 5 or 6 years ago but it took me a long time to get a regular income out of it. Right now I am happy to say that illustrating is my full-time job. In the first years in my working career, I was often very uncertain about my art and how much its worth. So I had problems to bargain my prices with clients, worked for free a lot and was unsure about sharing stuff online. But I guess that this is a normal process also based on my age. I am in my mid-twenties now and I learned and defined so many things for myself in the last years. Also what it means to be a woman in the art industry and that there are still a lot of differences to the male one. I think it's important you are not scared of a public opinion and putting yourself out there. There are still times I'm afraid about the future or unsure about how to start a project. Or scared to disappoint a client but the more you learn about yourself, what you want, where you see yourself and the more you are fine with yourself the more you will extravert it.
What do you know for sure?
That I will never not create.
How do you stay motivated? What does your daily routine look like?
What motivates me the most is the banal thought that you only live once and should stay focused on what really fulfills you. I do not want to be old having the feeling that I have not done what my passion is. To choose a creative career often requires guts and a high level of motivation because you never know exactly how your future looks like and if you will make a save income but that makes it also exciting.
In my daily routine, I get up at 8, have a porridge and coffee and start my day with drawing and checking my emails until the afternoon. When I have to work a lot on my desk I try to always get up for a little walk later or visiting galleries and museums so there is a kind of balance in my day. It is also super important for me to stay inspired. I take much inspiration out of social platforms like Instagram but also of contemporary art exhibitions and all day life situations. At the moment I have to work a little longer and often I am still awake after 12 pm. But usually, I try to meet friends in the evening, going for a film or doing something relaxing.
Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. Could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.
The book by Laurie Penny - unspeakable things is inspiring me the most at the moment. It deals with eye-opening facts about gender and power and asks questions about dissent and desire, money and masculinity, sexual violence, menial work, mental health, queer politics, and the Internet. Also, my friends are super supportive and my most honest critics, motivators and inspiration when I have to finish a job.
And listening to 70s and 80s disco sounds on the full stereo.
What are your future plans for your work? Where do you see yourself going 1,3,5 years from now and how do you plan to get there?
I want to stay open for interdisciplinary work. I think it's important to unwind old job descriptions. We have to define our own working field and place in the creative industry and not hold on the old ones. Why determining "I am an illustrator" you can also be an illustrator/ artist/ designer/ art director/ founder..etc. I do not want to rest on what I have already reached. I want to progress and spread it.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
That mistakes are healthy and part of the process.
And that you should not chase people. Learn that you are here, and you and your work are important! Do not run after people to prove that you matter.
Also: Be the person you needed when you were younger.
What's item do you never leave home without?
Definitely, my headphones and phone to listen to music, in most cases a good book, a pen and loose cash for a coffee to go and my sketchbook.
What's your biggest tip for up & coming artists?
Always be yourself. Concentrate on creating your own style and imagery and work with topics that really matter to you. Do not work with assholes and people who do not appreciate or respect you for what you are. Believe in yourself as a unique person. It is ok to compete with others but do not let this get you down. Quite the contrary it should inspire and motivate you to start your own creative career.
Show and spread your work to a wider audience! Stay open for criticism by people you trust and never stop creating. Just keep moving.
How often do you create? Is this your full-time career or side hustle?
So I sit on my desk for nearly 6 to 10 hours per day depends on my deadlines. I also like the times when its a bit calmer because I get the most ideas to create in this period and can refresh my brain. So it should always be a good mixture of stress and fun times. Right now I work as a full-time illustrator.
Anything else you want the Hola Gwapa community know?
It is often not so easy to work as a creative, to focus on your own style and staying motivated all the time but especially as a female artist I realized how important it is to empower each other and staying open to learning. Use the things that bother you, find your medium and express your thoughts with us. Usually, its surprising how many people can identify with you when you share what's going on in your head.
To learn more about Anna and shop her work please visit www.annarupprecht.com