Shoot The Shit with Annie Walter (Artist)

June 15, 2013 | By

DIWireless_ShootShit_AnnieWalterThere is a very good chance you have seen an Annie Walter design if you have any wavering interest in current punk and hardcore music in this country. Her artwork has grown in popularity amongst various bands, promoters and of course punters in the past few years and she now finds herself attracting bigger bands and exclusive projects while maintaing a great level of support for local Australian acts. Read all about her creativity and much more below.

What is your artistic history and how did you start working with so many punk bands and promoters?

I started out by studying Fine Arts at Tafe followed by Textile design at ISCD in Sydney. After I finished I planned on getting a crappy job to save some cash for traveling. Went to an interview for a retail job and they ended up offering me a graphic design position. I was thrown into the deep end of my first real job but I learnt a lot about design while working there.

In my spare time I started making some posters for my wonderful friend Brock (of Blood, Sweat and Beers) for the local shows he was putting on. Things clicked and I knew it was something that I wanted to put more of my time into. When I first started out it was a bit of a struggle to get my foot in the door. I contacted local promoters and offered to make a poster for an insanely cheap rate to build up my portfolio… and also in the hopes they would hire me (at normal rates) again. Which thankfully they did. Then it slowly progressed from there.

You obviously have an interest in punk music and particularly local Australian acts. Were you a fan first before you started working with all these bands?

Yes! Definitely. I’ve been going to local punk shows since I was 14. I’ve met so many amazing friends at shows. I love the community music creates. It’s one big happy family.

It seems like in the last 2-3 years your output has grown immensely and your work can be seen everywhere. Are you too busy to say ‘yes’ to everyone these days?

I try to do as many of the jobs that come my way as I can. I love working and I especially love the crazy ideas clients often send me. It makes it really hard to say no.

Can you briefly describe your design process? Do you base all your work on your own drawings?

I start out by drawing a really dodgy 30 second sketch (I’m talking stick figures here) which helps me visualise the layout and illustration. Once I’ve got the rough idea I’ll get out the pencil and pens and draw it on paper. Lastly I’ll scan it in and colour in photoshop. If I have a really tight deadline I’ll skip the paper and draw straight into photoshop using a wacom tablet.

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Do bands and promoters usually give you ‘free reign’ from concept through to final art or do you have to find a way to work with some pretty crazy ideas?

It’s probably 50/50. When clients send me ideas, I usually have a fair bit of freedom to play around so it’ll have my own twist. I actually love getting sent ideas because they’re usually completely nuts. Drunk animals are a common (and favourite) request of mine.

Are there any specific visual artists you take inspiration from?

I love old 50s illustration and animation, people like Eyvind Earle and Ervin Kaplan. I’m a bit of a comic nerd so artists like Chris Wahl, Tim Sale and Frank Cho are all big influences. Poster artists Craig Horkey, Neil Williams, and Micheal Hacker. Local artists Webuyyourkids, Stephen Baker, Sam McKenzie, and Ghost Patrol. Tattoos are also a huge influence, there are so many incredibly talented people out there. It’s hard to not feel intimidated most of the time.

You seem to have developed your own style which I think is easy to identify as an ‘Annie Walter’.  Do you agree? If so is it something you are proud of or want to challenge?

I completely agree. It wasn’t intentional, it just developed over time. I’m happy that I’ve created (mostly unintentionally) a style that is recognisable as my own. When clients come to me they know exactly what they’re in for!

I’m currently experimenting a bit more by trying out some new techniques and paying more attention to graphics, type, and layout.

You often incorporate animals into your work. Any particular inspiration behind that?

I moved around a lot as a kid, about once a year. We lived all over the world. The one constant was we always had animals around us. Chooks, budgies, goats, cats, turtles, etc. Till I was about 9 I think I only drew birds. Haha. I have a lot of respect for animals and their welfare, I don’t eat meat, and I look after foster cats.

Do you have a favourite piece of work you are really proud of?

A Defiance Ohio poster I did a few years ago. It was the first poster where I realised I had developed a style… and because they’re a rad band!

Who is a band you would really love to sink your teeth into with some artwork? Why?

Samiam!! Favourite band but they really need better t-shirts (sorry). Locally I’d love to do stuff for Luca Brasi, just because I think they’re fantastic.

Finally, lets talk music. Anyone you are really enjoying listening to at the moment? Any live shows that have stood out? 

Thanks to my job I’m constantly getting introduced to great new music. I’ve seen so many awesome bands so it’s really hard to narrow it down. I saw Conation this past weekend which was pretty great! Two current Sydney bands that have been impressing me live are Oslow and Pinch Hitter.

A few things that are currently playing a lot on my iPod are Tigers Jaw, Snowing, The Nation Blue, Sundials, Days Worth Fighting, Archers of Loaf, Grim Fandango, and Army of Champions.

Check out Annie’s awesome work at www.anniewalter.com.

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Category: SHOOT THE SHIT - INTERVIEWS

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