A little bird told us about tea-lovin’ lady Annie Henderson, whose life post-La Trobe has taken her on many an adventure. Consider for one, her trips to La La Land.
Annie graduated with an honours degree in graphic design in May. In 2013, as part of her course, she began interning for Sydney design house La La Land. Anyone worth their weight in cool-as Aussie art will know the name.
La La Land uses the work of up-and-coming young artists on greeting cards, calendars, posters and homewares, which are sold in trendy boutiques.
“It’s been exciting,” Annie says, on going from intern to official artist.
“They ended up asking me to join their team of artists last year. So I started doing greeting cards, and getting paid for it! I’m working on a Valentine’s Day card at the moment, which is going to be pretty cute. It’s got two sloths on it.”
Annie says her course was terrific, and she credits lecturers Paul Morris and Geoff Hocking in helping with her head start.
“My teachers always described my work as whimsical and fairy-tale like,” she says. “I grew up reading Enid Blyton stories, so I guess that’s had an influence on me.”
She says uni aside, to achieve in the competitive world of illustration and graphic design, graduates must be prepared to put in those volunteer hours.
“It’s paramount really, because all jobs want you to have that three years of experience,” she says. “So the next couple of years for me will be spent trying to get as much experience in the industry as I can. It’s a great service that companies like La La Land offer, to help immerging artists.”
Annie grew up in Streatham, west of Ballarat, population 298.
“Obviously growing up in a small country town there was not much to do,” she says. “I spent most of my free time drawing and creating things. By the time I was 14 I was really into it and I knew I wanted to be an illustrator.”
Next month Annie will launch her first children’s book – a self-published work about bugs written by her step-mum, called There’s a Zoo in my Backyard.
This year she’s also worked with Aussie band Sticky Fingers on a video clip.
“I did a hand-painted animation for the clip,” Annie says. “They invited a bunch of artists to work on the clip for the song Dreamland. I just found an advertisement on Seek.com of all places, and I sent them my portfolio. I’d love to do more work for the music industry.”
Annie is working part-time as a marketing assistant at Sovereign Hill, which allows space to build up her freelance gigs.
“Unfortunately I’m working from my bedroom at the moment,” she laughs. “My fiancée and I are living in a share house, so I don’t have the space for work, but I will have one day.”
She says that can wait. For now, the next step on her dream journey is to find an agent.