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anna betts : artists who blog


Anna Betts is a delightful young British illustrator and designer who studied at the Cambridge School of Art. She works as a freelance illustrator, at a small creative agency, and at a museum, and she teaches pottery to children. Busy, busy girl!

Anna also has a lovely blog and Etsy shop featuring her handmade jewelry designs, so be sure to have a look! Enjoy :)
Anna's website: www.annabetts.com
Anna's shop: www.madebyanna.etsy.com



Why did you decide to become an artist and could you imagine doing anything else? If so, what?
I always liked the ideas part of art lessons at school so I suppose Illustration suits me well in that respect. I think that there's something fascinating in translating an idea in writing into something visual. That's still the most rewarding part of any project for me. As a teenager however, I was a keen air cadet. It seems strange now but I seriously considered going into the air force!



Do you still believe “do what you love and the money will come“? 

Yes I think so. I've always propped up my creative work with part-time work that pays the rent, but I have a lot of respect for people that throw everything into their creative endeavour, it's brave and I think often those people make their own luck. 




How has blogging/the Internet influenced your work as an artist?

While I was studying for my degree I was writing my blog and showing bits of work I was making. The feedback I got from my readers was often interesting in being different to what we talked about in class. I think the internet in general has perhaps encouraged me to pursue a more graphic approach to my work, though I don't know if I could explain why. Selling on Etsy is certainly good for my confidence too.


Please name 3 of your favorite blogs and tell us why these blogs are special. (Please provide links!)

rummey bears - I love Anna's photographs of her beautiful family, and the frank way she talks about motherhood. 

sunken treasure - Sophie's blog is just so gorgeously documented it makes me want to move to Scandinavia (she's from Belgium actually but the heart wants what the heart wants!).

aqua-velvet - I love the mixture of vintage typography and design, architecture and illustration that they blog. It's often stuff I haven't seen anywhere else. 




What is your greatest fear and what do you do to overcome it?
Pretty much everything is terrifying in the months after you graduate, but I recently watched this amazing talk by Steve Jobs, 'Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish' which helped: 


I hope I can look back and see how the dots connected in this part of my life.





Who would you like to trade places with for one day? Why? 

That is a really hard question. I'm going to say an olympic athlete. I'm not very sporty and wonder sometimes what it would be like to be world-class fit and muscular. I'd like to be able to run really fast, but then the next day I'd like to go back to eating biscuits! 


What are your secrets for managing your time wisely?

I wouldn't say I've got this quite right yet, but I'm working on it. I currently have four part-time jobs alongside my own creative work so having a diary and smartphone certainly help me organise myself. I'm a chronic list-writer. I've just started having Fridays off as my illustration day - which is lovely and I hope will help me get a bit more of the good stuff done. 

If you could live anywhere in the world – all expenses paid – for one year, where would that be? Why?
 
Cape Town, South Africa. I was born there and haven't been back since we moved to England when I was two. It's really arty and the landscape is stunning. I'd be excited to see how my visual work would change in such different surroundings.




How do you maintain a healthy balance between your professional and private life?

I don't. I think it's really hard to when you work from home as it's there, staring at you as you cook your supper, when you get up in the morning, when you're supposed to be leaving for work but you just want to get this last piece of vintage paper cut and ready for a new set of collages.... You see what I mean. I also have a very patient boyfriend.



What are your top 5 goals that you’d like to accomplish within the next 5 years?
 
1. I currently work 4 days a week for other people and one for myself. In five years I'd like this to be reversed. I'd like to be able to pick and choose to do bits of work for other companies or educational organisations.
2. I'd like to be able to travel a bit.
3. I'd like to be doing illustration work for nationally and internationally recognised newspapers and magazines.
4. Have my work published in a book, preferably a yummy hardback one!
5. I'd like to study for an MA.


What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his or her creative dreams into reality?
Get on with it already! You won't know until you try. Get a blog and see what is going on around you. Saying that, I don't think anyone can survive on blogging alone as a means to keep you motivated, so go to exhibitions and see real stuff. Meet people and ask questions, do a course! Have fingers in a lot of pies. 


Thank you for joining us Anna! Your responses and your lovely illustrations and jewelry are refreshing and inspiring! xo