Craft Buddy™ Crystal Art® launched its first licensed range of products in collaboration with Anne Stokes, renowned fantasy artist in 2019. Craft Buddy has collaborated again and the new autumn/winter 2020 Anne Stokes collection is available now. Craft Focus chats exclusively to Anne about her artwork and inspirations.
When did you first start creating your own artwork, and what attracted you to the magical/mythical style that you draw?
I've always loved fantasy literature and art. I first discovered the genre as a young child when my father read me The Hobbit. Right from childhood I have always loved to draw and create, and so the two things went hand in hand.
What do you use as inspiration when creating new collections?
Many things inspire me. Places I have visited or things I have seen. Sometimes an artwork is inspired by a sentiment like friendship for example and I think of how I could convey this feeling in a fantasy scene.
From all your artwork, what's your favourite collection/piece – and what's reason behind this?
My favourite subject to paint is dragons. I've always loved these majestic creatures and do not see them as vicious scary creatures. The theme of people and their dragon companions is one I have painted many times.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
One of the most flattering responses to my art is when people have liked a picture enough to get it tattooed on. It's always nice to see photos of how these turn out.
What superpower would you have and why?
Flying would be a fun one!
How do you know when a painting is done?
That's certainly not an easy thing to know, and perhaps an artist is never completely happy with their own work. It is however possible to over work a picture and loose some of what makes it special by spending too long on it. I guess it is just something one learns from experience.
What do you like about Crystal Art?
It is a fun and relaxing activity and means that the finished Crystal Art picture is not just my work but something the owner has helped to create themselves.
Besides making beautiful art, are there other craft activities that you enjoy doing?
I don't have a lot of time for hobby art, but I do enjoy any kind of crafts and sometimes do sewing and patchwork.
Are you currently working on anything new for 2021 that you can share?
I'm always working on new art. We've got some exciting projects lined up for 2021. Sometimes things do get planned a long way in advance, for example I've just been finalising the art selections for my 2022 calendars.
And finally, how did you spend lockdown? Was it a productive time for you?
I have my studio and offices where I live so my working life hasn't really been disrupted too much by lockdown. Although all of the shows have been cancelled, much of the communicating with people I work with is done over the internet anyway. I have found that my social media has been very busy in lockdown and I've been posting an artwork every day and a video every Tuesday which I hope gives people a little entertainment in these difficult times. Sometimes we all need a little fantasy to help survive the reality.