Q & A WITH ANNA HOPKINS

CSA co-founder Karen Ann Meyers, recently spoke with spring artist Anna Hopkins.  Anna’s work is fun, lively, and full of unusual color combinations.  Read on to find out how she spends her time as an artist, her process, and her future aspirations.


KAM:
When did you know that you were an artist?

AH: Probably last year, when I sold my first few pieces of art. CSA has also helped jumpstart my art career. Already it has gotten me commissions and gallery recognition.

KAM: How would you describe a typical day in your studio(s)?

AH: I make my sculptures in the College of Charleston’s Sculpture Studio. I get an iced coffee, put my headphones on, and begin carving wood. I paint my sculptures at home. I like to wake up early and have the whole day to spray paint outside. When I need a break, I like to look at my small (but growing) collection of art books. “The Art of Looking Sideways,” “Swissted,” and my new favorite, “Low Tech Print,” always keep me inspired when I am stuck.

KAM: You work between many media (painting, graphic design, sculpture, printmaking). How do you decide between them for each project?

AH: It depends what I am trying to create. I have dabbled in all forms of art but I would call myself a sculptor more than anything else. Generally when I paint, it’s for myself - just to see if I can do it. I am taking a screen-printing class at Redux right now. Its totally opening my eyes to new possibilities with shapes and color. But, sculpture is my favorite because it’s not 2-dimensional. I get to create something that exists off-the-page and in real life.

KAM: Why did you choose to make sculptures for CSA?

AH: Sculpture is where I feel like I can really stand out. There are so many incredible painters and photographers out there, but with sculpture, its harder to define “good.” Sculpture has given me the freedom to create visually stimulating artwork from all kinds of materials. My wood sculptures allow the geometric shapes I like to come to life. Spray painting them has become a central part of the process as well.

KAM: How long have you been working with optical art? How did you become interested in the style?

AH: I only really discovered this 60’s artistic movement a year ago while working on a school project. We had to curate a make-believe art exhibition. I knew I loved geometric shapes and bright colors, so I began searching for artists that used these platforms too. Op-Art has inspired my work a lot since then. Mostly, its taught me about color theory.

KAM: How do you decide on the color combinations in your works? Is there a specific color palette in mind to each piece? What is your favorite color combination at this moment?

AH: I aim to choose colors that work well together, but also colors that people might not expect to work well together. I like mixing dull colors with neon colors. I am really excited by the combination of mauve, bright teal, and dark purple.

KAM: You take care in creating the geometric patterns. What do you love about the patterns you choose?

AH: I love that every sculpture I make is different. I am not sure I could make the same pattern even if I wanted to! There is no “wrong” shape in my mind, so it’s hard to mess up.

KAM: What are you looking forward to as a contemporary artist in the near future?

AH: I am looking forward to adding more color to the world! Hopefully sometime soon I will find a place to have my own studio (instead of just my porch). I am excited to see where my art will take me.

KAM: If you decided to change careers, what would you want to be instead of an artist? Why?

AH: I love interior design. Aesthetics have always been my thing. I believe that the environment you are in can greatly affect your mood and how you feel. There is something so empowering about creating that mood and space for others.
Also, maybe when I am older (and wiser) I would want to be an art therapist. Art is powerful stuff and can really say a lot about your emotions.

KAM: Can you share a secret ambition?

AH: I (not so secretly) want to travel the world painting murals on big buildings. I secretly want to own a skateboard company featuring custom designed skateboards by me!

KAM: What do you hope viewers take away from your art?

AH: Happiness. My art is meant for everyone. Its doesn’t revolve around super complex themes. It is simply meant to be a visually appealing piece of existence that hopefully everyone can understand! I think people are attracted to shapes and bright colors. It’s fun art, but there is definitely a lot of thought behind the colors and skill behind the craftsmanship.

 

 

Anna Hopkins is one of the Spring Season artists.

[+] LEARN MORE

PURCHASE ANNA’S SEASON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE STUDIO: ANNA HOPKINS

You’ll find Spring artist Anna Hopkins making her art in a variety of locations around Charleston. Her creations start in the wood shop located in the sculpture studio at the College of Charleston.

She begins by chopping pine 2x4s to different lengths with a miter saw. Anna can make different thicknesses by gluing pieces together. A belt sander is used to shape the block.

After the basic shapes have been created, the work is moved to her home studio. All of Anna’s roommates are artists and they have adorned just about every surface with their paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, prints and more!

At home, Anna works on all the fine details: sanding, painting and finishing. There are two porches that she goes back and forth between.

Porch #1 overlooks the backyard. She uses painters tape to block off areas when spray painting. Discarded tape scraps are used to decorate this area.

Porch #2 overlooks the street.

Anna Hopkins is one of the Spring Season artists.

[+] LEARN MORE

PURCHASE ANNA’S SEASON

INSPIRATION: ANNA HOPKINS

We asked Spring artist Anna Hopkins about what inspires her. Here is what we learned!

CACTI

Cacti and succulents exhibit such beautiful repetition, pattern, and form; a key element to Anna’s work.

OP ART

Also known as optical art, op art is a style of visual art that makes use of optical illusions. Op art is a method of painting concerning the interaction between illusion and picture plane, between understanding and seeing. When the viewer looks at them, the impression is given of movement, hidden images, flashing and vibration, patterns, or alternatively, of swelling or warping. Richard Auszkiewicz (pictured above left and right) and Victor Vasarely (pictured above center) are her favorites.

MARK ROTHKO

“Rothko’s work is most effective when viewed in person. The vibration received by standing in front of these compelling colors is a feeling I wish to evoke in my own art.”

swissted

swissted is an ongoing project by graphic designer Mike Joyce, owner of stereotype design in New York City. Drawing from his love of punk rock and Swiss modernism, two movements that have (almost) nothing to do with one another, Mike has redesigned vintage punk, hardcore, new wave, and indie rock show flyers into international typographic style posters. Each design is set in lowercase Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk Medium.

STREET ART BY MOLLY ROSE FREEMAN

Molly Rose Freeman has completed more than 25 wall paintings, using her distinctive biomorphic imagery, in such places as Atlanta, San Francisco, Albany, N.Y., and Mexico since she unexpectedly took up that medium just two years ago.

FRIDA KAHLO

“Frida Kahlo is a huge inspiration to me because of her independence and ability to shamelessly rock a uni-brow (with flowers in her hair)! I also admire the strength she endured throughout her many life struggles.”

Anna Hopkins is one of the Spring Season artists.

[+] LEARN MORE

PURCHASE ANNA’S SEASON