Thursday, 21 January 2016

Etsy shop find...a chat with Ana Zaja Petrak

I've been chatting to Ana Zaja Petrak aka Anek, for this months etsy interview.
Ana is a graphic designer from Croatia and creates beautiful illustrations and hand lettering with the simple pleasures of food and cooking being the focus; herbs and spices, fruit, vegetables, wine, desserts...
Aside from her etsy shop, she has worked for some amazing clients including Carluccio's, Ikea and Mr. Jamie Oliver! (never a bad thing in my book!)

You can buy Ana's artwork in the form of art prints and tea towels and she is currently offering a 10% discount on purchases using the code 'ANA10'
Perfect for food lovers!

Lets get to know a little about the fabulous illustrator behind the shop...

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background...

My name is Ana, I'm a graphic designer and illustrator, working and living in Zagreb, Croatia.

I worked for many years in graphic design field, than few years ago I returned completely to drawing which has always been my first love. 
Since than I'm working on various illustration projects for clients all over the world, and I run my Etsy shop where I sell my art prints. 
Some of my clients are: Carluccio's, Jamie's Magazine, Whole Foods Market, Fairtrade Foundation UK, IKEA, Conde Nast, Penguin Random House, BBC, Papyrus.

2. Tell us about a typical day for you...

My daily schedule is never the same, it depends of my mood and the inspiration. 
The only constant is that I'm not the morning type and I can't start the day without my morning coffee. 
And I never skip breakfast! 
I work from home so I try to do most of the work while my kids are in school. 
I'm balancing between family life and my work every day.  

3. Who are your design heroes and how do you stay inspired?

There are so many of them, but these are the first on my mind: Sister Korita Kent, Saul Bass, Matisse, Alan Fletcher, Rob Ryan and Bruno Munari. 
People who are life enthusiasts inspire me a lot. 
I'm always amazed by life and all it's wonders, by small, everyday things and situations. 
I often find inspiration in movies, music, nature and dance. 
But my 2 boys and our little chihuahua are definitely greatest source of inspiration for me.

4. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?

It's classic: it always starts with pen and paper. 
I do the sketches first. 
I play with the ideas, approaches, techniques and colours. 
After that I work on the computer using tablet and pen. 

5. Like myself, one of your big loves is obviously food, 
what are your five favourite things to eat?

1. warm bread + butter on top
2. pancetta
3. dark chocolate
4. pasta (one of the biggest inventions of all time!)
5. sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls)

6. Whats the most popular item for sale in your etsy shop, and also, your favourite?

Each work represents some moment in my life and therefore I love all my works, but if I need to choose one, that would probably be "Limoncello".

It says "Summer without limoncello is not summer." in Italian, there is something sweet and naive about it. 
It became one of my most popular artworks in my Etsy shop and it was available in IKEA as a part of their poster collection 2 years ago.

7. What books/ magazines are currently on your coffee table?

I love reading fiction, biographies of artists, children's books, poetry. 
Currently I've been reading  "Strange Pilgrims: Twelve Stories" by Gabriel García Márquez, and "This is Pollock" by Catherine Ingram. "Jamie's magazine"  and few cookbooks are always on my coffee table.

8. Where do you work? Describe your studio/work area...

I work from a home studio. 
My working area is a large desk with my Mac, lots of drawings, papers, my kid's artworks, photographs, pens and many little things on shelves that have a special meaning for me.

9. In three words, describe your work...

Simple, graphic, colourful.

10. What makes you laugh?

Woody Allen's movies, my kid's jokes, life absurdities.

11. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a designer/illustrator?

Being an illustrator gives me the opportunity to look at ordinary and make it extraordinary. 
I have a freedom to choose my working hours and I can do my work literally everywhere. 
I enjoy this play of creating now as much as I enjoyed drawing in my notebook as a little girl.  

12. What are you working on currently? And any big plans for the coming year?

I'm working on a lovely commissioned project for one UK client. 
It's food related, of course. I'd like to experiment more in different techniques, to make paintings, to travel more, to continue to be happy as I am in this moment!

A big thank you to Ana for giving us a little insight into her world!

You can follow Ana here...

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