Anita Easterwood is a portrait artist and illustrator from Kansas City, KS with over 13 years of experience. She received her Bachelors in Art from Kansas State University, and Masters in African American Studies from The University of Kansas. Specializing in traditional drawing, digital art and oil painting, her work celebrates Blackness through Black culture, fashion, history, and sisterhood. Her artwork will be on display at the Antioch Library branch until December 21, 2022.
Talk about the work on view. What would you like people to know about it?
The works on display have been completed in the last couple of years. It does a good job of capturing textures I enjoy creating. I really enjoy drawing everyday people, sometimes my pieces have a philosophical reasoning behind them and other times I just want to create art.
What about people and the human form do you find captivating? What do you hope to express through your subjects?
It's the face I enjoy recreating the most. The human face is one of the most complex things to master so it's always a challenge no matter how many portraits I tackle. I want my audience to experience a gravitational pull towards my work. It's for them to decide what they love most.
You have talked about working on a project with your father and fellow artist Lucky Easterwood. What would be your dream project for the two of you?
I'd love to collaborate on a few oil paintings with my dad. I learn so much from his techniques, but we also have different styles which I think would make a beautiful contrast.
Did your years as an educator have an influence on your art making practice?
Being an educator definitely had an influence on my art career, my students gave me consistent validation that what I do is important and they loved to talk about my work. Sometimes you forget that what you do actually matters, and I'm grateful that my students served as a reminder.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
I would say the most important is my pencil sharpener, I never work with a dull pencil. I also need my airpods. It's difficult for me to focus for a long period of time without a podcast or classical music playing in my ears.
What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?
I'm an avid reader and I love all things fantasy. Since I typically work in greyscale, I've contemplated switching it up and taking my love for books and weaving those characters into my work. This would involve vivid colors, fluid lines and less realism.