The Westword: How would you describe your art style?
Anissa Askew: My art style is definitely undefined. I like so many different styles varying from pop art to realism to animé. I do, however, know that most of my works are portraits and I strive to make them as realistic as possible.
TW: What inspires your art style?
AA: Beautiful people. Whenever I see a really attractive girl or boy, I have the desire to draw them.
TW: What is your art process like? Do you ever experience artist’s block?
AA: Of course [I do], all [of] the time. For my personal work, my process usually consists of taking a picture or finding a picture online and drawing it. For my school work, I have to brainstorm ideas, sketch them, and then carry out my ideas onto good paper.
TW: What challenges, if any, have you faced as an artist and how have you overcome them?
AA: I would say definitely being uninspired and unmotivated. Another big struggle of mine is the flaw of comparing myself to others. I think remembering that everyone has their own style and skill level and just remembering not to compare myself in general is important because it is so mentally draining having to hold myself to someone else’s standards.
TW: Did you ever consider pursuing art as a career? If so, what aspect of it would you focus on?
AA: Yes, I wanted to be a tattoo artist. I was very interested in tattoos at the time and I was also looking for a specific career choice that incorporated art and [that I] would not find boring.
TW: What is your proudest accomplishment as an artist?
AA: I would say [that my] proudest accomplishment has definitely been winning the Teen Visions Art Show, multiple times actually. It is nice to be recognized for your talents and it took time for me to realize my work was worthy of being praised.
TW: Who are your favorite artists?
AA: [My favorite artists are] Kehinde Wiley, Roy Lichentenstein, and Jim Carrey.
TW: What do you wish people would understand about being an artist?
AA: I want people to understand that art is not a natural born talent. All you need to do is practice. I think maintaining consistency is the hardest part. I have been drawing ever since I was a little girl and through experience and being taught at school I am where I am today and I will be even better in the future if I keep practicing.
TW: What is the best advice you have been given?
AA: Oh that is a good ! I think it would be to dream big, work hard, and surround myself with good people.
Photos contributed by Anissa Askew.