Today we’d like to introduce you to Annie Hobbs.
Annie, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in several areas of both Southern and Northern California. My father is a minister and I quickly learned to adapt to wherever we landed. No matter where we were though, my parents made sure we each had our various creative outlets and the space to cultivate and grow them.
I had always doodled and worked out of how-to drawing books as a kid, but I started taking instructed art classes outside of school when I was in 7th grade. From there, I never really stopped. I took as many classes as I could in High School and Junior College which led me straight into the BFA Illustration Program at California State University Long Beach. I graduated from CSULB in 2008 with my BFA degree as well as a Bio-Medical Illustration Certificate.
After Graduation, it was tough trying to make it in the “real world.” As an inexperienced freelancer, I took whatever job I could to pay the bills. Alongside a 9-5 gig, I worked all sorts of various freelance jobs as they came up: self-published book covers, booklet design, logos, and fan art, for example. Social Media really helped me get my work seen by not only friends and family, but to anyone searching for specific styles or subjects.
In 2015, I got a phone call from a close friend who worked for Disney. They were looking for Character Sketch Artists, and I jumped at the chance to apply. Through a pretty rigorous process, I was hired to work inside Disneyland Park in one of the galleries. Getting to work alongside other amazing seasoned artists in a creative atmosphere really fueled my passion to hone my skills and do the very best I could. It was the best thing that could have ever happened!
I have since moved on from the Sketch Artist Program and am now happily working in the prestigious Ink & Paint Department where we produce hand painted Animation Cels similar to those used in early Disney Animated films. I get to share the legacy of Walt Disney and the Ink & Paint Department every day!
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I have the best job in the world. I get to work with beloved characters and stories I grew up with. The characters who taught me to believe in your dreams, to wish on stars, and to never give up! Each day, I relive a bygone era of the women who helped bring Walt Disney Animation’s characters to screen.
Alongside my work with Disney, this year my resolution was to put myself out there for more artistic opportunities. I started putting feelers out last year, and I have successfully partnered up with various events, comic cons, and galleries to showcase more of what I do personally. I am still working on more, and 2019 looks exciting!
As of right now, I’ve been doing quite of bit of small commissioned gouache paintings. I think what sets myself apart from others is my whimsical style and outlook of the subjects. Everything is cute, child-like, and family friendly. Before I was hired by Disney, I had my sights set on the Children’s Publishing world. I feel like I have retained quite a bit of that in the work I do presently.
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
As far as advice goes, the biggest piece I could give you is to network network network! You never know who is going to be that one recommendation that gives you your big break! No one has the same origin story, so you get to write in the characters to support you. I cannot tell you how many people have surrounded me and helped me along the way all because there was an initial contact and then a professional friendship. The road goes both ways, so help those you see struggling or who reach out to you for advice.
The biggest lesson I have had to learn (and is something I still struggle with from time to time) is that you can’t let feelings of self-doubt stop you from moving ahead. It can be crippling and it can start worming its way into everything you do.
Here’s the thing though: You can either let it stop you… or you can acknowledge the feeling and let it spur you into action! To prove your own self WRONG. The greatest improvements I have seen in my work are when I’m angry or determined enough to work harder, better, and smarter than I was before.
Those are the times I surprise myself and get one of those “Milestone” pieces. The kind you look at when you’re finished and think “Man! This is really good!”
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I continually have work up in the Disneyana Gallery inside Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA. If you happen to be vacationing in the resort, come stop by the Ink & Paint department!
I have a few things in the works for 2019 including a current piece up at the Bubble Pop Gallery in Bakersfield as well as a few others that have not been announced yet. If you are interested in other events, please visit my website listed below for dates and info, and you can always follow me on social media as well.
Aside from gallery shows, I do also have an Etsy shop (link below) where I occasionally have prints available.
- Website: www.anniemcbethillustration.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @anniemcbeth
- Facebook: @theanniemcbeth
- Twitter: @anniemcbeth
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnieMcBeth
All photos (c) Annie Hobbs