After a brief hiatus, the Yorkshire-based artist is back to the drawing board, creating ethereal and realistic representations of fruit, bags and household objects.
When asked what she hopes to achieve from her illustrations, Anna Roberts states that it's a visceral reaction she's after. "Hopefully, the viewer will experience the beauty I feel when creating the work," she explains. And we can't help but say it's true.
Throughout Anna's portfolio, there's a pleasant and indeed beautiful consistency of pastel tones and harmonious realism as she recreates everyday objects. This can be anything from fruits to plastic bags, the things that often go amiss to the untrained eye. "I like to focus on the quiet things that I feel diverse attention," she tells us. "I use soft pastel on cotton paper, emphasising the simple scenes and objects with strong graphic compositions and delicate handling of light and reflections."
Anna initially started her career in graphic arts and design, taking on the occasional illustration job on the side "when something interesting came along". However, these days, she's devoting more time to her personal work. Inspired greatly by her father, who's also an artist and illustrator, creativity was always on the cards for Anna. Particularly as she used to spend copious amounts of time in his studio watching him draw, mostly observing him produce hyperreal advertising work. "I lost my dad last year, which had a huge impact on me," she says. "He was my art buddy – we shared the same thought process when it came to painting. His passing stopped me in my tracks, and I left my work for a while. Thankfully, an exciting opportunity came along and gave me the nudge I needed to get back to it."
This year, for example, Anna was asked to work on a project with The Academy for the Oscars. Along with seven other artists from across the globe, Anna created an artwork inspired by her love of film, with the Oscar statuette thrown in. The result was a cinematic miniature set that incorporated Anna's signature shadow play, reflections and plenty of light. "I wanted my piece to reflect the immersive experience of cinema, illuminating a quiet moment," she shares. In another project, Anna collaborated with Sho Shibuya in producing Plastic Paper. "I chose three bags from Sho's impressive plastic bag collection, which I then painted and issued as limited edition prints." All proceeds from the project are for Parely, an initiative taking action to protect the oceans.
As for the work she hopes to make in the near future, Anna has a few ideas up her sleeve. Rest assured that it will be very much the same – that being dreamy, pastel-tinted depictions of objects – but everything will be more stripped back and simple, "focusing on raw textures, natural light and earthy colours. I'll just keep doing my thing and see where it takes me."