Introducing this extraordinary artist Anja Van Herle I had the opportunity to meet her during one of the Beverly Hills art exhibitions. And I was fascinated with her ability to paint intriguingly glamorous looking girls in a way that is delightful, playful, colorful and seductive, all at the same time. She does this with a mysterious classy touch, with certain details that are usually only seen just in high fashion. The images captivate our imagination and keep us guessing as to what’s behind those stunning faces and perhaps what was on Anja’s mind during her magic hands’ creative process. So I had to introduce myself and I talk to her about her paintings. The more I saw and heard about her work, the more I had an interest in her.
So I was excited to invite her to answer a few questions and delighted that she accepted my invitation to know more about her background, inspiration and dreams.
Anja Van Herle a Belgian-born artist currently based in Los Angeles, grew up in a musical, and artistic family. She has been painting portraits since she was a child. She holds an MFA (Master’s of Fine Arts) from Belgium’s Higher Institute for Art Education in Painting and graduated in 1987. Her paintings have been featured in countless magazines and blogs while being exhibited all over the world in galleries and museums. She’s been recognized nationally and internationally for her talents as a fine artist. So enjoy this exclusive interview with the woman behind these remarkably chic paintings that are so beautifully painted with charm, elegance and especially with love for art. To learn more about Anja Van Herle’s paintings, please visit her official website.
RH: Tell me about your workspace and your creative process? Does it matter where you live as an artist?
AVH: I work in a small studio in L.A, I don’t think it does matter where you live.
I start with photographing my models and then I rework the pictures with adding make-up, accessories… sometimes it’s like a collage before I start painting.
RH: The women in your paintings are very glamorous. What are you influenced by?
AVH: My influences are classy glamorous woman such as Audrey Hepburn (remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century)
RH: What would be your dream creative project? And what do you find most rewarding about your paintings?
AVH: I have a few creative dreams, first I would love to paint murals or big pieces for cool, hip hotels and high fashion boutiques. Another creative dream is to merchandise my work, especially in the clothing line.
The most rewarding aspect about my work is that I think I create something totally new in the art world, I hear a lot from fans or people that it’s so unique which I think it’s great.
RH: What skill would you still like to master?
AVH: I would love to learn airbrush, the reason why is because most of the people think my technic is airbrush, I have no idea how to do airbrush, :—)
RH: Who, if you had a chance, would you really like to paint?
AVH: I would love to paint the woman who I admire as artists, like Beyonce, Alicia Keys.
RH: If you could give women a fashion tip to be fabulous what would it be?
AVH: Just be yourself, wear what fits you, don’t try to be somebody else and smile a lot, that makes a person fabulous!
RH: Which look best captures the spirit of your paintings? And how long did it take to do a typical project?
AVH: I see it as a life time, you went to art school, developed your style, it took so many years to be where I am now… so that’s a life time.
RH: What are your goals as an artist? How do you see yourself progressing? Or does this matter?
AVH: First you you want to get your images out there to be seen, this in different ways. Now I want people to enjoy my work… through galleries, museums… in my t-shirts. So sharing my work with the people…
Yes, I like to progress in my work so it matters. I see it as being in galleries all over the world.
RH: What other interests do you have outside of art? And what dream do you still wish to fulfill?
AVH: I like to travel, love to collect shells but have to find them… ( not buying in a store) :—)
My dream is to impact people with my art.
RH: Which five words best describe you?
AVH: Funny, friendly, daring, generous and inpatient.
RH: Who did you admire most when you were a student? And now? Are there any artists whose work you enjoy today?
AVH: I admired Dali, Toulouse-Lautrec, Klimt, Schiele
Now I love Murakami, a great Japanese artist!
RH: Any new or upcoming project(s) you are working on that you’d like to share with us?
AVH: Working on my first collection T-shirts with my art on.
RH: Are there any other thoughts or anything else you would like to say?
AVH: That I’m most of the time so happily surprised with all the different kind of reactions of my fans… people cry for my art… not art lovers become art lovers since they saw my work…
Thank you Rhônya for your interest.
PS: All images here are used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.