Part of shonshon8 blog’s mission is to profile artists and designers whose work I admire. That said, I’d like to introduce to you to illustrator/typographer/designer Ana Benaroya!
Recently, I collaborated with Ana on a special project for the New York Press. What drew me to Ana’s work is her hand-drawn typography, charming illustration style and vibrant use of colors. There’s something about her art that gives off a fun, energetic vibe and her type drawings visually describe the word or phrase she’s rendering to a T.
1. How long have you been drawing and creating art? When was the pivotal moment when you decided you wanted to do this professionally?
I’ve been drawing and making artwork since I was a little baby (cliche, I know, but it’s true!). There was never really a pivotal moment when I decided I wanted to pursue this professionally; it just kinda was! I guess I’m lucky I always knew what I wanted to do. So the struggle was (and still is) making that a reality.
2. I noticed that you do a lot of illustrations involving hair, which I love! How did this style evolve?
A long time ago (well, not too long), I was very much into cross-hatching, obsessively so. Eventually I fell out of that and my desire to draw lots of little lines started expressing itself in hair. I enjoy that I can render hair and create movement and excitement in a composition, all with just a bunch of lines. I think hair can define the personality and character of an individual—and I enjoy experimenting with new hair styles. Also, I secretly wish I could grow facial hair… I would have so much fun experimenting with different sorts of beards and mustaches.
The most unusual project I’ve done so far was design a pair of socks. It was an amazing experience because I love socks and own a wide variety. I tried to think of the design in a sculptural way, since it would eventually wrap around someone’s foot. And (not surprisingly), I ended up designing what I call “beard socks.” Each sock has the head of a man with an extraordinarily long beard, which made up most of the body of the sock.
The strange and bizarre inspire me, whether it’s a funny old man I pass on the street or a terrible commercial for a law firm on daytime television. I enjoy seeing the ridiculousness of life, finding humor in everyday things and I try to translate that into my work. Of course, I also look at other artists’ work—some of my favorites include: Michelangelo, Jillian Tamaki, Ray Fenwick, Seripop and Tom of Finland.
Hmmm, well all I can say is you are your own best agent! No one will work harder than you to promote yourself and put your work out there. I am still learning many things, but the one thing I know for sure is this job is not for the lazy!
6. Tell us an interesting, random fact about you!