Are you playing Pokemon Go? It seems like everyone is trying to "catch 'em all" these days. But this recent resurgence of Pokemon is not just inspiring people to get out their smartphones. One local artist has taken this as an opportunity to find a new fan base, and lucky for us, The Milwaukee Art Shore had the opportunity to sit down with Anandah Bohl to find out more about her art, her inspiration, and her Pokemon.
1. What is your experience with Pokemon? Are you a die-hard fan? When were you introduced to Pokemon and how?
I've had an interest in Pokemon since I was a really young kid. I first saw the show on TV here and there. Thing is my parents didn't let we watch it at the time because they considered it "violent". So Pokemon got put on the back burner for me for a long while till I was in high school. There I made friends who liked it. I watch the show, borrowed other people's games and the likes. I wouldn't consider myself a die hard fan though. For me the best thing about Pokemon are the Pokemons’ designs. The art of it I suppose!
2. What is your background in the arts? When did you begin creating, and how have you grown since you started?
Some of my earliest memories are that of me drawing. I used to make “picture stories” for my mom. I think that was the main start for me. Since then the arts have always been an influence in my life. I would compete locally and regionally in art competitions in high school, and attended pre-college at MIAD. When I graduated I was all enrolled at MIAD for the next semester, but had a change of heart right before school started. I decided that the traditional degree seeking thing wasn't for me, and ended up taking audit art classes at MATC for about 2 years instead. I've been completely happy with that decision and have no regrets.
3. What are your preferred mediums? And, can you describe your style and aesthetic?
My preferred mediums would probably be Digital, charcoal, and ink. When it comes to my style/aesthetic, that's a little harder for me to pin down. I suppose I have two separate styles. One would be my cartooning style, and the other my painterly, realistic one. In both, color is very important to me. Personally, color is one of the first things that catches my eye in art. It can convey so much about the piece, and a lot of the time the emotion of the drawing/painting is really effected by its color pallet. I try to take advantage of this as best I can.
4. Why do you think people create art? Why are we compelled to create beautiful things to share?
Why do people create art, and feel compelled to share beautiful things they create… This takes me back to Socratic circles in high school art class. I don’t know if I can speak on why I think humans in general create and share art. I can talk on why I personally create however and perhaps some of my reasons reign true for others as well. One of my reasons is that it's almost an instinct for me too create. I get what I call a “drawing itch” where I feel like I NEED to draw, even if it's just a small sketchbook doodle. Another reason is inspiration. Sometimes I see some scenery, and I just want to capture it the way I see it. Taking a photo isn't enough. When I draw something it's like the image I’m creating goes through the filter of my mind before appearing on the page. The drawing is then in a way a little piece of me. Perhaps it's a bit selfish, but sharing it then becomes a matter of sharing how I see the world. You can tell a lot about an artist by looking at their art.
5. How have people reacted to your Pokemon drawings? Are you gathering fans?
My Pokemon fan art seems to definitely be gaining some traction while Pokemon has become popular. I’ve had many new followers on social media, and people asking me if I’ll be selling at a booth at conventions like Anime Milwaukee, not to mention a lot of commissioned work now too! So I’d say over all, peoples’ reactions have been wonderfully supportive, and they definitely seem interested in my upcoming projects!