To have the skills and talent of taking real life flowers and painting it to perfection on canvas is something that mesmerises us.
Is this what Anna Walsh was born to do? We believe so. Having natural creativity from a young age, Anna has paved her way into the world of becoming a textile designer. We absolutely adored this chat with Anna who so graciously took some time out as a busy new mum to answer these questions for us. Anna is the creator of our customised digital florals at Daughters of India. We adore her work so much and loved getting to know her some more…
What has your journey been to bring you into painting beautiful textile designs?
I have always been creative - right from when I was a little girl, I was lucky my mum saw this and really encouraged it. She signed me up for art classes and spent a lot of time gently pushing me to put myself and my work out there. I continued painting and drawing all through school and university before working in retail for a couple of years, it was during my time at a fashion retailer that I learned about textile design and graphic design. It was the perfect combination of my favourite things - art and fashion! So I went back to university in 2016 and studied a bachelor in textile design and have been forging my career ever since.
You seem to solely focus on painting floral art? Why is this and where do you get your knowledge and inspiration from?
I guess I have always found the natural world to be the ultimate inspiration because of the endless different florals. As soon as I think I'm sick of flowers I'll find a completely new one to try and paint, it's the best! I also grew up on a farm, spending a lot of time outside and really appreciating the land around us and watched my dad do the same so I guess it's always been a bit embedded in me.
Did you learn about flower species from somewhere or has this been self taught?
Self taught for the most part - I am a huge book worm, my favourite way to learn is reading, so I have a very large collection of books on Australian florals, greenery, gardens - I've learnt a lot through these books! Something I learnt through my university degree is the value in painting florals from life as it's how you make sure your motifs are always a little bit different or unique. It can help refresh a design very quickly. Plus it's a great excuse to visit the local florist!
What materials do you use to paint with?
For smaller, detailed designs I use gouache or watercolour. For larger scale canvas works I use high quality acrylics.
This may be a silly question but how do you then transition your artwork so it's in an electronic version?
Not silly at all! Depending on the size of the work I have a high quality scanner that scans directly into PhotoShop for editing. For large scale pieces I use my camera or sometimes even my iPhone depending on the details within the work.
You have recently had a baby (congratulations) and you took some time off, have you gone back into work yet? And if so how are you finding working with a Bub?
Thank you so much! Monty is six months old now - I spent a lot of the early months thinking I'd never be able to work again but now that we're in a little bit of a routine and it's easier for me to predict his needs, I feel so much more freedom to work again! I've started just in the last month really getting back into my creative work and it's wonderful. My biggest challenge has been letting go and accepting that some days won't be as productive as others but so far so good, he has a little play area next to me, where I paint, which is cute - I think he likes watching me paint (for small periods of time at least!).
Things you love to do in your spare time?
Lately, watching a movie with my husband and a glass of wine has been such a nice way to unwind after big days with Monty! I also love perusing markets and vintage stores - shopping in general is always a favourite activity! To be honest, most of the spare time I have will be spent designing with a podcast or music playing in the background. I'm lucky to do a job that doesn't really feel like work.
Favourite thing about painting?
When I am really engrossed in what I am doing, time literally flies by. It's very soothing and a great way to 'turn off' my mind and just relax into the process. I also like the instant gratification I get from painting - I can see the work unfold in front of me.
Do you listen to music when you paint and if so what have you been listening to?
Yes I do! I've been loving reliving Taylor Swift lately. I also love podcasts - it's how I get my world news - so The Daily, Shameless, Just the Gist are all favourites!
Other artists that inspire you?
I love looking at vintage prints for inspiration - often liberty prints, William Morris, 70s bed linen and homewares are very inspiring at the moment. Other artists I love include Tahnee Kelland, Margaret Jeane, Jai Vasicek, Sharnee Thorpe. I am also inspired by a lot of floral artists such as Tanya Shaw of 'Oh Flora Studio', Nikau Flora and a local Geelong florist called Flowerbowl also do some really inspiring work.
Creativity can come in waves, when you have found a lull in your creativity what is it that brings you back to it?
When I find myself in a creative lull or facing a creative block I've learnt to just surrender to it. Sometimes I think it's my mind's way of saying it needs a break. So I will just step back from my creative projects for a little while and really try to focus on going for walks, reading, and finding new, accidental inspiration in the world around me. I find the more I try and force creativity the longer the block will last for me!
Favourite Daughters of India piece and why?
Such a hard choice, everything is so beautiful! That said, it's hard to go past the Kyra Mini dress, it's so versatile and I love that it's available in so many colours and prints, makes me want to collect them all!
By Erin Pyers
You can follow Anna's journey on instagram:
Shop Anna's edit:
Kyra Mini Dress ~ Tangerine
Zuri Wrap Dress ~ Autumn