Artist Proof Interview with Artist: Anne Cobai
Global Location: Western Australia
I’m a graphic designer and illustrator living in Perth, Australia. During the day I work full-time at a boutique graphic design agency and in my free time I freelance and brainstorm ideas for new projects. I work mostly in the vector format and I love to create bold and colorful images with a high attention to detail. I’m passionate about music so my work reflects this love as well as my fascination with color and popular culture. Most of my illustrations focus on people because I love drawing the human face and I believe they create memorable images with impact.
AP: How long have you been making art for and what lead you to start?
AC: Since forever! I started scribbling in my coloring books as a kid and just got better and better over time. I always spent my time making things like mini books and creating things like stencils, which isn’t really much different to what I do now, although it’s much more computer-based.
AP: Where do you currently live and work ? And how does this influence your work?
AC: I’ve lived in Western Australia my whole life, and my city has the distinction of being one of the most isolated capital cities in the world. But the great thing about the internet is that it connects you to people around the globe. I have created illustrations for magazines in the UK and had my work exhibited in San Francisco, so I definitely don’t feel isolated at all. The internet is awesome!
AP: Did you have formal training if so what? If your self taught can you tell us what you prefer about being a self taught artist vs having formal training?
AC: I studied graphic design at university, so I am a fully qualified graphic designer. My day job is graphic design, while in my spare time I do a lot of illustration work. I never really did any illustration courses at uni, I just kept at it and over the years I saw a big improvement in my work.
AP: Can you tell us about where you make your work is it in your house, a studio etc.. and how it effects your work?
AC: I create all my illustrations at home. I might sketch out some ideas in my bedroom, and then do all the digital work on my computer in a separate room. Even though I’m at home, having a room dedicated to just work helps me to stay on track.
AP: What are some of you favorite design projects/exhibitions you have worked on to date?
AC: I just finished a fun little project to design a logo for a dub-step musician by the name of J.Nitrous. He wanted something with a skull, and I went to town on creating a badass skull complete with tongue and flames. I love skulls, and it’s not everyday that someone approaches me to design one, so it was an awesome project.
AP: What is your medium of choice ?
AC: Digital! Nearly all my work is vector-based, although I do like to incorporate scanned-in textures from time to time. Other projects I’ve worked on have been without the aid of a computer, but extremely labour-intensive, like the Seeds of Destruction illustration I created solely out of beans and lentils. Recently I was thinking of going back to basics and buying a silk screen to create my illustrations.
AP: What is the relationship between technique and content in your work?
AC: Once I have the idea, then I decide how I will render it. Last year I created an anti-litter poster for Keep Australia Beautiful (an organization devoted to - you guessed it - keeping Australia pollution-free). I had a few messages in my mind and the only way I could visualize it was by using actual bits of rubbish to write the words. So off I went collecting cigarette butts (and strange looks) off the streets.
AP: In what direction would you like to see your work going over the next five years?
AC: Hopefully my work will just get better and more refined. I would love to try out a few different mediums and techniques to keep things interesting. My passion is music, and my dream is to be fully self-employed and work on designs relating to music, such as album covers and concert posters.
AP: What forth coming projects and or exhibitions do you have scheduled for 2011?
AC: Exciting things! I’ve got a few illustrations for magazines to do, and I’m also planning to start my own online zine with a designer friend of mine. The idea behind the zine is to inspire and encourage other designers, as well as showcase amazing work from around the globe.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
AC: Mon - Fri: The wonderful world of graphic design.
Sat - Sun: The fantastic realm of illustration, self-promotion and freelance work.
AP: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.