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Anya Szura


Illustration

April, 2017






I found Anya's work through Instagram and immediately fell in love! The dreamy colours and subtle textures promise mythical stories with a narrative nature. Some of the animals she draws reflect those that exist in our own world, and some come with multiple eyes and would fit more in the myths from the books we read as children.

I spoke to Anya about reflecting back on your work, spirit animals and folklore!










Sophie
I feel as though you are as much a story teller as you are an illustrator. Do you feel that there is a story told behind lots of your illustrations, and do they interconnect?

Anya
Oh wow, thankyou! I have always been heavily into folklore - everything from the old Native American tales, to the Slavic Folklore relayed by my family and the Welsh Mabinogion we studied throughout school. There is a heavy mysticism and moral focus to them that I yearn to recreate in my work, and I often reference old pieces with recurring symbolism which allow them to interconnect. I'm glad you feel that way!





“I’ve never had much desire to draw things that are of this earth, it just doesn’t retain my interest for very long!”






Sophie
Lots of your drawings found on Instagram are about humans interacting with varying animals. Lots of them look like they’re based on real animals, while others are more mythical - why is this?

Anya
That’s an interesting question, I’ve never had much desire to draw things that are of this earth, it just doesn’t retain my interest for very long! It’s much more fun to make things up. It’s also the difference between the lion and the griffin - we understand the lion and we all have things that we associate with him, but the griffin still lives in that place where imagination and curiosity reign. I tend to draw creatures that have some identifiable qualities of real species’, but which overall come across as otherworldly.










Sophie
Sometimes symmetry is used in your drawings. Is there a reason for this in your eyes or is it just about composition?

Anya
The way I draw is very loose, organic and flawed - I love it when this is juxtaposed with symmetry, repetition and order. Symmetry also has a sacred, magickal feel to it which fits the mythical themes in my work.

Sophie
What is your favourite animal to draw and is this your ~ spirit animal ~ ?

Anya
When I sit down to draw, the first thing that my hand does is draw a dog-wolf-thing, and it has been this way for years! I’m not sure why it happens. I’ve also had a lot of ‘birds’ come up in my work recently, I love that they can symbolise so much depending on the context... ghosts, spirits, deities, guardians, freedom.

I would love to say my spirit animal is something wild and majestic, but realistically it’s probably something more like a slug.




“I would love to say my spirit animal is something wild and majestic, but realistically it’s probably something more like a slug.”











Sophie
Lots of your work includes stars and darker colours - does this come from drawing at different times of day that influences you in this?

Anya
I actually do all of my drawing in the day, but I’m a horrible sleeper and so do all of my thinking, and research at night. I’ve always been afraid of the night, for some reason once it’s dark my imagination runs wild and a world of possibilities opens up. Things can can’t be true in the day, suddenly become very real, and it’s this feeling I suppose that I’m trying to communicate!





“I’ve always been afraid of the night, for some reason once it’s dark my imagination runs wild and a world of possibilities opens up.”






Sophie
You seem to only use Instagram to show your work - is this intentional for where you are in your career right now, or are you looking to expanding your online reach?

Anya
Right now it’s intentional, I still feel as though I’m experimenting and finding my feet with my work, and I’m in a very ‘inbetween’ place in my life at the moment in general. I’m trying to let everything happen organically and at it’s own pace rather than throwing myself out there. The time will come, though!

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Find Anya on ︎︎.



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