Hi, I’m Annie.
I have always loved three things: drawing, writing, and singing. When I was around 5 years old, I would tell everyone I wanted to be a Disney animator and the “princess voice”. That didn’t happen, but I do illustrate books, and I did end up working at Disneyland at one point…
I grew up in the Napa valley, where I was lucky to have access to after school art classes, as well as choir electives in 5th and 6th grade. Continuing into Middle School, I took every chance to take any available art class at school, and eventually joined the High School choir. I performed in community plays, painted murals, and wrote stories and thoughts avidly in my private notebook (Harriet the Spy style) until I left for college in 2006.
It was there I took a Children’s Book Illustration class that lit me up. I also really got into writing music.
In 2010, I graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a B.F.A. in Illustration, and became a member of SCBWI. Through that organization, I found many helpful and talented people who have guided me through the obstacle courses of freelance illustration. Conferences and workshops provided insight to much needed skills, but it would take time to build my portfolio. Like, lots of time.
Alongside working at grocery stores, preschools, and painting on weekends, I played gigs around Southern California. I also started taking short trips alone, which freaked my parents out, but opened up my eyes to life outside of California.
I wanted more, so I quite my job and hit the road, playing gigs across the U.S. and visiting family and friends along the way. I didn’t love the singer/songwriter life so much, but I did want more freedom to take my work with me and share my experiences through art. I landed a full time job up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and spent my vacations taking solo trips to New York, France, and Spain, keeping a travel journal and taking notes on what I learned about new cultures and new perspectives. I still longed to take my work with me, but the stability of a full time job was so comforting.
Over the course of a few years, I continued to submit to agents and art directors, but I didn’t get any responses. Admittedly frustrated with the publishing industry, I self published my first book, the Three Things, and shared it with family and friends. I’m glad I took the time to see this story through, but it was a lot of work, and pushed me with greater determination along the traditional publishing route, where one could find more help, better resources, and greater reach.
In 2017, New York became my home, fulfilling my a small dream. It was a blast, and I loved how different it was from Bay Area life. Under the surface, however, I felt displaced, stressed out of my mind from freelancing, and confused as to what was next for me. This is where I birthed, Sometimes it’s Bright, a picture book about finding one’s own creativity, and the sacred, quiet place that it comes from.
I love what I do, even though working for yourself isn’t easy. I feel rewarded when sharing my heart with others, and I adore seeing people create freely and wildly, as if no one is watching! I believe life is brighter, when we allow ourselves to play in that creative place, like children do, like inventors and actors do. So here’s to you and what you will create with your precious life.
BFA in Illustration, Cal State Fullerton
Teacher, Foundational Drawing and Painting skills
Shows: Icons @Space853, @Gallery 212, SCBWI Orange County members show, "Summertime" @1888 Center.
Member of SCBWI since 2009.
Annie is represented by Andrea Morrison at Writer's House. You can reach her here: amorrison (at) writershouse.com for book illustration inquiries, or use the contact form below to chat with Annie.