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Art & Life with Anna Lustberg

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Lustberg.

Anna, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I started writing and drawing stories when I was four years old and was known as “the artist” amongst my friends and classmates growing up. In high school, however, I took a Desktop Publishing course and grew interested in the idea of a graphic design career; I wasn’t drawing much at all anymore. I went on to pursue a liberal arts education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I obtained a Bachelors degree in Communication with a minor in Art.

Over the years I worked professionally in a few areas, including doing graphic design at a magazine, but eventually, I felt the need to start drawing again. In 2015, I started an Instagram account to challenge myself to do a drawing a day. I was nervous and excited to put my work ‘out there,’ on the Internet, but I had a lot of support from my friends and family, many of whom knew I always used to draw and considered me an artist. Since 2016 or so, I began to take my artwork more seriously and was invited to exhibit pieces in group shows here in New York. I’m now at the point where I’m devoting much more time to my artistic career: actively selling my artwork online, doing commissions, and making connections through my artwork — continuing to grow.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I believe my artwork is best described as illustration. I do line drawings on white paper, first in pencil and then over once more with an archival ink pen, and then I scan my work into the computer for Photoshop editing. I brighten the white and darken the black to make strong contrasting lines. From there, I either add color with the paintbrush tool in Photoshop, or I leave it as a black-and-white line drawing. The digitally-colored file is presented easily online or in the form of prints; I go to a printer who does giclee (high-quality archival ink) on cotton rag paper.

My work mostly consists of people in real-life situations. Whether it’s a single person on a blank background or in a detailed scene, perhaps with a pet, or a large group of people, they are experiencing something in the day-to-day: talking, thinking, or going somewhere. My drawings are simple in style to communicate a clear message each time. ‘Humorous’ and ‘heartfelt’ are descriptions I’ve heard that I love. I hope that my illustrations make people smile, simply enjoy, and relate to on a personal level. I think that art is a great way to connect with others through our shared experiences, so I hope that my illustrated scenes do just that.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
My best advice is to just keep putting your work out there. Whether it’s online or you set up a table on a street corner, keep doing it. I also found that participating in group exhibitions and connecting with fellow artists makes my network grow each time and leads to further opportunities. I think that once you have the momentum, keep it going. One thing I wish I started doing earlier was submitting my work to competitions or open-call exhibitions; it’s just another way to build your CV and, who knows, you might win something! Keep going. Don’t quit.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I currently sell products of my artwork on Etsy, but I also have a lot of illustrations that aren’t listed in that shop. I encourage anyone to view more of my artwork on my website, which I regularly update with new work I’m proud of, and reach out to me via email to see about purchasing anything. Instagram is a great way to see what I’m up to and creating; I’m quite active on there and respond to inquiries via DM. Most of all, I think support comes in forms beyond just sales – while yes, I want to make sales just as any artist does, I think support is also attending my exhibitions, spreading the word and inviting others to check out my work, re-posting my artwork and giving me credit, or even writing a glowing review. The more people know about it, the better. Shop here: www.etsy.com/shop/AnnaLustberg and visit AnnaLustberg.com for what’s new.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jamiya Wilson, Anna Lustberg

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