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Art & Life with Anna Dalton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Dalton.

Anna, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
When I was little, my mom used to be on a bowling team. While she was at practice at the bowling alley, I would be in the supervised kid’s play area with crayons and coloring books. When it was time to leave, I would take my finished coloring book page and write “To you, from Anna” and give it to a random stranger. I ended up an art major in college but had a Photography concentration and a dance minor. My goal was to dance professionally, so that’s what took me from Boston to LA. After about two years of immersing myself in the dance community here, I had the itch to create works on paper again, so on Small Business Saturday in Nov. 2013, I went over to Carter Sexton Art Supplies in North Hollywood and picked up a pack of pastels. When I posted my first pastel piece on Instagram, I didn’t realize that people would actually get angry with me that I wasn’t painting more!! The staff at Carter Sexton referred me to artist Otto Sturcke and his workshops, which ended up blowing the doors off the world of pastels for me. Now, I do commissioned portraiture and am a member of the Pastel Society of Southern California. I still work in the dance world too, as the Studio Director at Movement Lifestyle in Noho!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Mainly I work in pastels, doing portraits of babies, grandparents, pets, and memorials of loved ones who have passed on. I especially love memorial portraits because it allows me to learn the life stories of people I’d otherwise never have the chance to meet, told through the ones who loved them most.

On the other end of the spectrum, I also make intricate mandala designs in ink on paper. It’s a good balance for me since portraits are so specific and have to look a certain way, mandalas require you to let go of expectations and just build something unexpectedly beautiful, line by line.

I hope that when people see my work, they are filled with wonder – wonder how I made it, what it’s made of, who or what it’s of, and walk away learning that it’s possible to make something wonderful from scratch if you just have patience.

I’m always trying to learn new techniques and ways to make my work better, so if you keep tabs on my Instagram account, you’ll see the evolution of where I’ve come from, to where I am now, to where I’m about to take it!

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
I don’t believe success is defined by monetary value or followings, or quantity of pieces made. I think it is defined by the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a piece or the way you make another human feel. If you can evoke an intended emotion from a viewer or a client, that is success.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Most of my work is strictly on Instagram, @annadaltonart, where I post progress photos, finished pieces, do live streams while I’m working on a piece, and other interactive posts in my stories. Otherwise, anyone interested can reach me at!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Artwork by @annadaltonart, personal photo by Theodore Patrick Johnson, @_theodorepatrick

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