Brazilian artist and visionary, Ana Strumpf, is a dominating force on the art and illustration scene within the fashion industry. Her drawings have already graced the pages of Vogue, ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR, Marie Clare, among others, and are now a hero piece within the Spring Summer season.
We spoke with Ana to understand her creative process and what inspires her fashion focused illustrations. Read the full interview to discover Ana's take on the relationship between art and fashion, and what self-expression means to her.
To discover some of Ana's iconic work with Vogue, ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR and more, see below.
Tell us about ‘Ana Strumpf’ and how you evolved into the artist you are today.
I always loved drawing. Back when I was a kid I wanted to become a painter. I grew up with design being quite a prominent element in my upbringing. My parents owned a decorative fabric store, my mom is an architect, my grandmother worked on the same business and I’ve always been part of this environment. At the same time, I became interested in fashion and graduated with a degree in the field. Mixing fashion with interior design has always been very natural to me and became one of my main artistic goals.
What work are you best known for?
Definitely for my personal project Re.Cover, the one in which I illustrate on the covers of fashion magazines. By drawing upon images made by the biggest names in fashion, I think I give new meaning to them, but at the same time, I respect a lot all the professionals involved in the original cover. Also, it is a way to give new meaning to these magazines that would be thrown away otherwise. The idea to recreate/revisit, is a principle that has permeated all my work for a long time.
Explain your creative process and source of inspiration. What has inspired you recently?
I can’t track where my creative process comes from. There’s no rules. Sometimes inspiration comes out of nowhere, other times I struggle for days to find a good idea. Really, there’s not an
order to how I do things. My multitasking side is always on. No matter what time of the day it is, I could be doing anything that could suddenly send sparks. I find inspiration everywhere, in books, magazines, museums, fashion shows, trips, people on the streets. My radar is always on.
My favorite painter of all time is Matisse, although I also love Scandinavians like Joseph Frank and Marimekko, and Americans like Alexander Girard, Charles & Ray Eames, Keith Haring, Brian Calvin, and Jonas Wood. I was in NY in June, and there I saw a Jonas Wood exhibition at the Gagosian gallery. He painted things he loved inside giant vases. That was very inspiring.
What’s the inspiration behind the art created for Chadstone’s Spring Summer campaign?
Spring was the main inspiration. I tried to mix flowers with some pop and fun elements that I like to use, like stars, eyes, hearts, lips. Also, the colors of the pieces used in the editorial were very inspirational to me.
Explain the relationship between art and fashion
Fashion x Art is an eternal love affair. Either as an inspiration, on a collaboration, it’s a way to transfer iconic images onto products. But for me, the creative process of a great painter, is the same as of a great fashion designer, they are all artists.
What does self-expression mean for you?
Understanding my own personality and constantly searching for things that keep me growing. Reinventing myself takes a great part in the process of finding my own style. It’s a never-ending process. I think fashion, interior design and lifestyle are keys to self expression. You can tell a lot about one person by the way she dresses, or lives. Styling (myself, my house) is also part of my creative process.
You’re an illustrator and designer. What are your favourite trends for the Spring Summer season?
I love the patchwork trend, it’s a fun way to mix patterns and colour. Besides, it’s an emotional trend for me. I’ve made a lot of patchwork quilts and bags with vintage fabrics back when I had
my shop in early 2000’s.
I’m also enjoying seeing the 90’s come back! I used to wear a lot of what’s is in style right now when I was a teenager. I like bike shorts, turtlenecks, dresses + t-shirts, Dr Martens and Prada
nylon bags. Some trends I can sure wear again, others I’ll pass. It’s almost like revisiting my own style in a more mature way.
How do you define your personal style?
In my work I use lots of colours, but at the same time I love black and white. I love mixing patterns and shapes. And I try not to take my illustrations too seriously. I'm pop, fun, romantic, but super classic at the same time.But when it comes to my personal fashion style, I used to be more fun. I used to wear a lot of vintage, prints, colours.
But now I’m more neutral, I like the classic patterns like stripes, polka dots, flowers, but nothing too crazy. I always say classic with a twist. As I use many colours in my
work, I try to be more basic to dress up, otherwise its too much visual stimuli to handle. Also, I became more practical in NY, and with motherhood I need to be comfortable (I have two twin 6 years old boys!). I like to purchase only everyday pieces and now with the twins I prefer flats to heels.