Anastasia Tasou is a 23 year-old illustrator from the U.K. Her art focuses on everyday struggles that are all too common, but doesn’t stray away from admirable positivity. She has a very strong following on social media, and her work has become increasingly popular. She owns a shop where you can find and buy her art in prints, on pins, on clothing, and much more. Because of this, she has been able to turn her passion into a successful career.
I had the honor of interviewing her via e-mail this week, and was able to talk to her about her art, her inspirations, and her fans.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art?
Hello! I’m Anastasia. I am 23 years old and I live in London. I like to draw and paint as a kind of therapy, as it really helps clear my mind and get all of my thoughts and feelings onto paper. My work is inspired by my own dreams, memories, wishes, and feelings.
When did you realize that you wanted to focus on art?
After I finished three long, horrible years of History of Art at university, I had a lot of free time and a lot of things I wanted to get out of my head and into the world. I think being bored and not having a lot to do in this weird in-between time period really helped to push me towards being creative. I’ve always enjoyed making things, but this is the time where I really started to focus on art.
Who are some of the people that led you to realize this? Who or what inspires you?
I don’t really get inspired by other artists. Maybe it’s bad to say, but I’m so inspired by my own thoughts and feelings (good, bad, and everything in between) that in that sense my work is quite self-centered, I guess. My inspirations as far as people go are my parents. They are both incredible people who inspire me daily, and have always given me a freedom to be myself and a support system to give me the confidence to pursue what I love most. When I was younger, and even now sometimes, they’d always tell me that I could do anything if I worked hard at it and put my mind to it. I am forever grateful for my mum and dad.
What do you like the most about your job?
I love connecting with people all over the world. It helps me feel less lonely in my thoughts and I think it really is the most magical part of the internet (and the most special part of my job).
What medium do you like to work with the most, and why?
At the moment I’m loving watercolours, just because of the range of tones and opaque-ness you can achieve with them. They’re so fun to use. I love that they constantly change before drying as the water mixes with the paint, and find the whole experience of using watercolours super organic and unpredictable.
Is there anything you like to draw in particular? Any particular setting or thing?
I particularly like to draw palm trees at the moment, as they’re so relaxing. I like repeating different symbols and images in my work, because they make me think of or remember certain times in my life. Palm trees are always a winner.
Most of your art was black and white. Now we see an integration of colored prints. Is there any particular reason for the changes in color?
Normally, I make those choices just because I enjoy the colour in that moment. Sometimes those decisions aren’t as deep as maybe people would like them to be – I like to work intuitively, so if I’m feeling a certain colour is appealing to me more than another one day, then I’ll go for that. I always love using black, but it’s nice to have a break too.
A lot of your fans say that your art has helped them go through rough patches in their lives. How do you feel about that?
I’d just like those lovely people to know that THEY did the hard work, THEY got through it, and THEY should give themselves some credit for achieving that and surviving. Maybe my work helped them understand a feeling they had, or to make a thought clearer, but they are all beautiful, strong, individuals that have gone through and will continue to get through everything that life may throw at them. I can’t take credit for that.
People often tell you that they wish their art was as good was yours, and that they with they were better at making art. What advice do you have for these people, and for upcoming artists?
The number one rule is to never ever ever compare what you create to what someone else creates. For me, there is no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ in art. Art is everything, and nothing too, if that makes sense? It’s just a name. If you’re eating, then you’re good at what you do. If you enjoy what you do, then you’re good at it. There are no rules in art, and that is why it’s so enjoyable – so don’t enforce them on yourself as it will add unnecessary pressure. Keep creating, focus on what YOU are doing, find inspiration in your own life and own experience, and stop thinking of things in terms of good or bad, better or worse. Create because you love it, and do what you love as much as possible.
How do you feel when you see people with your art tatted on them? Have you ever met anyone with your work tattooed in real life?
I feel so honoured! It’s an amazing feeling, and I’m so grateful that those people appreciate my work that much. It’s an indescribable feeling really, and it never gets old. I still do a little internal scream every time it happens. One of my friends has my words tattooed on her leg, so it always makes me happy to see my words on someone in real life.