One Minute With…
Hi Anna, thanks for taking the time to chat with One Minute With. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
Of course! Think nothing of it. Let’s see, how about we start at the beginning?
On July 8th, 1985, Mr. and Mrs. Hurley looked down at their third-born child and said to each other, “Huh.” My youth was saturated with grand delusions of joining a Norwegian traveling carnival. I could oftentimes be found wearing a blue and red striped jacket, just in case, and wandering about the countryside with a notepad and pencil, studying such carnie vernacular as “sugar shack” and “donniker,” in order to prepare myself for my soon-to-be-nomad-lifestyle. Then sometime later I decided to forget all that and whittle away what little time I have left in this crazy world to focus on drawing things. Now I work at Hatch in San Francisco.
How did you get into design? Was there a defining point in your career, and if so, how did it shape you as a designer?
As a youth I dabbled in illustration and design, but always figured I’d eventually become something that sounded more grown-up to me, like a writer or a teacher. I do remember the day when I realized I could actually be paid to draw and design all the time. I think it was a Wednesday. I had an ice cream bar during recess. It was a great day.
If you could change one thing about your career to date, what would it be?
I spent a lot of time early on not believing I could actually pursue a career in design and illustration. It always just seemed like a passing fancy. I wish I had motivated myself to practice and study much sooner. It was a slow-going learning process for me.
A lot of the work you do seems to be print-based stuff – What is it about the medium that you like? Do you put any credence in the idea that print is dead?
One of my first jobs out of college gets the credit for this. I worked at the lovely letterpress design studio Hello!Lucky, where I was heavily influenced by all things print. I became used to the limitations of letterpress, mainly designing things that were one to two color, and I loved it. Print is certainly not dead, it just has a very different purpose than it did in the days of yore. People have a hard time getting over that
Your style has a really nice, genuine 60′s feel to it, which fits in pretty nicely with this whole retro “trend” that’s occurring these days. Did you intentionally fit your style around this trend, or was it simply a natural evolution? And how important are trends to the progression of design, do you feel?
My illustration style evolved as a result of obsessing over and studying every bit of mid-century ephemera I could get my hands on. There was no escaping it. To put it simply, it’s just a style that I really enjoy.
Trends are incredibly fascinating to me. What suddenly becomes popular to designers and non-designers alike, is such a strange phenomenon. And naturally there’s value in consistently studying and staying current.
Where do you see yourself in, say, 5 or 10 years?
Getting out of this illustration racket and finally fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming a carnie.
If, in some Freaky Friday-like situation, you could live the life of another designer, illustrator or creative, for a day, who would it be, and why?
Owen Gatley seems to have it all figured out. I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time. I’d live his life for a day, discover all of his secret tricks for his incredible illustrations, take copious notes, maybe pet his dog if he has one or something, see if he has any good snacks, then be back the next day to use those notes for my own nefarious purposes. Maybe I’d leave him a note: “You’re swell!”
This sounds especially creepy because he has no idea who I am. So let’s just hope he’s reading this and doesn’t think I’m a weirdo. Hey, Owen!
How would you define success? Do you think you’ve found it yet?
Not failing. And no, I fail all the time. Almost constantly.
And finally, what tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in design?
Study everything. Practice what you like. Be nice to people. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Go swimming. Call your mom. She misses you.
Many thanks to Anna for taking some time to talk to One Minute With. I really enjoyed interviewing her, and hopefully you enjoyed reading it!
Why not check out Anna’s site, and follow her on Dribbble and Twitter?