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Oi Doris

Jessica Holden in a short conversation with Anne Worsnip, illustrator behind
Oi Doris.

Jessica Holden: What are your biggest inspirations?
Anne Worsnip: This has got to be people. I love watching the faces that people pull, and to catch a funny moment that makes for a very interesting piece of work. It gets the viewer of the image intrigued as to what type of a moment they are seeing.

JH: When did your artistic journey start?
AW: I was working as an Art Technician at my local high school. We constantly had to suggest artists that the students could use as inspiration for their GCSE work. I came across Paul Smith who had Cerebral Palsy, what absolutely stunning work! Anyway, Christmas 2014, I decided to use an old typewriter I had to do some Christmas presents for my family, in the style of Paul Smith. I haven’t stopped since. My husband then asked for a bike. My son wanted me to type his 1970’s vintage Mini, and then friends started to ask for commissions. I left work that Christmas with the view to take up my Interior Design roots, but the Typewriter Art has taken over so far. I decided to give it a year to see where it all takes me and then decide at the end of the year which path to take.

JH: Who influences you as an artist?
AW: It’s got to be Paul Smith!

JH: What advice would you give to others just making their start in the creative industry?
AW: First thing I would suggest would be to get their work into the public eye. I did this by craft fairs. You get a good idea of what works, what people like, what sells. It also gives you a big confidence boost. Remember people won’t come to you, you have to go to them. My scariest moment was going in to a shop and asking if they would like to stock my work. Remember not to take it personally if they say no! It just means that your work isn’t suitable for their customers or the area. Go and do your research. Pricing is another scary issue. Don’t be afraid to put a price on your work which you feel covers your time, costs involved and a little profit. My friend gave me a screen print he did, it says “I am an artist, this doesn’t mean I will work for free, I have bills just like you… Thank you for understanding.” And finally, take criticism and learn from it.

JH: What are your favourite materials to use?
AW: Uh, it has to be a typewriter. I have now got about a dozen different machines, but I always go back to using the same one. It’s an old Olympia office Typewriter, with a lovely big carriage, which means I can move my paper around to get different angles. I also love to screen print! By making a screen of my images, it means I can play around with some colour.

JH: What has been your most favourite project and why?
AW: I love typing a portrait. It is so exciting when a face starts to appear. However, my favourite image today so far is the hare. He’s such a handsome chap! Tomorrow it may be something else probably. The turning point for me that made me sit up and think about what I was starting to make, has to be Lytham Hall and Lytham Windmill.

JH: What does your workspace look like?
AW: I would now use LMAO but apparently it isn’t in fashion any more! It’s an absolute mess. I’m a creative person, so I can see the value and use in everything, which sadly means I don’t throw anything away. Every few weeks, I make a point of having a good sort out and reorganisation, but it soon gets messy again. For a long time, I knew I wanted to “do something” but wasn’t quite what. It is therefore full of my experiments. There is also a treadmill squeezed into the corner. I had the good intention of having a break and running a little bit… Never actually happened, so it is now another shelf. I also collect old furniture, so that they can have a makeover. I like to add collage to them. Yet another item that takes up the room. Also, much to the annoyance of my husband, I have taken over the spare room as a sewing room. I use my screen printed images and make cushions, so to have a room that I can just leave set up means I can save a little time.

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