Anna Hymas - TfL
To illustrate a Transport for London poster is a dream job for any illustrator, so when Anna Hymas was commissioned to create four illustrations for TfL's #londonisopen campaign she was thrilled.
To add to the honour, Anna's work from the campaign is currently being shown in Poster Girls, an exhibition at the London Transport Museum, which celebrates female illustrators and designers from the 20th and 21st Century.
We spoke to Anna about the inspiration for her TfL posters and her latest collection of work, which celebrates some of the world’s most iconic museums and galleries.
I know you loved working on the TFL project, how did you approach the commission?
It was such a dream project! I received the brief which requested four London night time scenes, celebrating the fun and wonderful places you can visit in London in Winter. I identified four locations and then I spent a bright sunny day walking along the Southbank and Regents Street. I also visited Somerset House with my sketch book, jotting down very rough pencil drawings and thinking about compositions and ideas. I spent quite a lot of time just looking and soaking the atmosphere up, as a lot of my work is drawn from memory.
Once I was back in my studio I worked on my sketches further and shared them with the client. I knew the sketches needed to be approved by the Mayor of London; luckily they were all given the thumbs up so that was great. I then moved on to adding colour and finalising the pieces.
What was the biggest challenge of the project?
I guess the biggest challenge was to keep my illustrations loose and to not overwork them. I also wanted to make them as vibrant as possible, whilst sticking to the brief of them being night time and wintery. I love London and I wanted the posters to be full, bright and busy and to reflect the energy of the city.
Your artworks are featured in the Poster Girls exhibition and one of your images was chosen for a catalogue cover. Which other pieces in the exhibition do you admire?
It's a great honour to be exhibited in this important celebration of female artists. I love Mary Koop's Summer Sales poster from 1925; a sea of umbrellas full of colour and pattern. The Boat Races by Anne Hickmott are very bold and striking and I also love the oil paintings, Days on the Water, by Sandra Fisher.
What inspired your new series of artworks?
When I visited the Poster Girls show I really enjoyed spending time in the museum itself, so I decided to base a new series of work on the architecture of museums and galleries I have visited. I started with the Design Museum as I have always found it inspiring. I then revisited some of my old photos from a trip to New York and Paris and was struck by Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic design of the Guggenheim and in contrast the complex and colourful facade of the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
What else inspires your work?
I tend to find inspiration wherever I am. I'm particularly inspired by the rooftops of the places I visit, especially in Italy, where the buildings and cities are so colourful. I was also inspired by the Yorkshire Dales and the scattering of barns amongst the hills on my holiday this year. My next trip is to Sri Lanka, so maybe it will inspire some landscapes and beaches in contrast to my cityscapes.
To view Anna's full portfolio, click here.