Anila Mistry Hutspot

Anila Mistry: a closer look at her intimate and artistic line drawings

Interviews

Rotterdam based illustrator Anila Mistry is inspired by the female body. Her work is characterized by minimal, intimate and artistic line drawings that are never the same. After offering her originals in Hutspot Rotterdam and Utrecht, you can now also get one of her beautiful drawings in our webshop. To celebrate, we visited Anila Mistry in her characteristic Rotterdam home to talk about her inspirations and creative process.

Hi Anila. How did you start out as an artist?
When I was younger, I owned a blue marker that meant everything to me. I would use it a lot and I remember that all my drawings had to be blue! Years later, I followed composition drawing classes at an art academy in Belgium and got challenged to experiment with charcoal and pen. The continuous flow of positive responses encouraged me to experiment with line drawings. Luckily, I am at my happiest when making art!

What is it that makes you love drawing?
Drawing is me finding my silence. It is that one moment where I can feel quiet and all distractions block out. I am basically tracing a line around what I am feeling inside. The outcome usually reflects my mood.

What in particular makes you feel attracted to line drawings?
I like to draw quick. I am a fast painter and my drawings develop organically. I work purely on instinct and I am not really scared of imperfection. There is growth in flaws and line drawings enable this way of working. Someone once told me that you should always have something ugly in your collections to make the rest stand out. This statement was initially about fashion collections, but I guess it can be applied to art in general.

Anila Mistry Hutspot

I can imagine that you also learn a lot from making art that you don’t like. How do you judge your work?
For me, this happens unconsciously. Composition comes natural to me and sometimes there is just something off balance. I love that the viewer has a mind of its own and I have experienced many people liking certain drawings that are not my favorite. This makes the process of creating even more interesting.

What fascinates you about the female body?
I am attracted to the female body and it has been an undeniable inspiration for me. I see my drawings of the female body as a tribute to what it means to be a woman. A statue, a photo or a memory can all inspire my mood. I then close my eyes and start to draw.

We see a lot of experimentation within the style of line drawings such as in color or composition. Is there any different style that you would like to discover?
My grandfather was an artist and created the green forest oil painting that hangs in my living room (see upper left photo). I don’t have any experience with using oil paint as a coloring technique and would love to learn more about it. My dad is a technical illustrator, which requires a lot of expertise and practise. I’m not really interested in going into technical illustrations, but his calculated approach could be interesting to experiment with. It would be totally different to how I draw now.

Anila Mistry Hutspot

Anila Mistry Hutspot

Are there any responses to your work that have surprised you?
The fact that people want to place something into their homes that comes out of my hands feels humbling. A lady recently bought two of my originals at Hutspot Rotterdam. She told the staff how much she loves my work and that she might even hang them upside down! This way, she hopes to see something different in my drawings. Isn’t that great?

That sounds amazing! Hopefully you will get more of these comments now that you made one of your drawings available in our webshop.
I am super excited to offer one of my drawings as a limited edition. You will notice little differences in every single piece since I consciously decided to draw all 20 by hand. The authenticity and personality of my drawings are what makes them unique and I do not believe in simply printing 20 of the same visuals. Hope you like them!


Shop the line drawings by Anila Mistry online or visit Hutspot Utrecht or Rotterdam to explore more work.

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