For those of you who don’t know her, meet Annie Bee - an artist with a passion for spray paint art.
This mother to two creative boys recently quit her day job to pursue a medical assistant degree.
You can find her spray paint art at various locations around Siouxland as well as on Facebook @anniebeeartistry and on Instagram @anniebee712.
Weekender: How and when did you get into creating art?
Bee: “I was born like this; it has been a lifelong thing. My mother has always been supportive of my creativity. When I was younger, she enrolled me in classes at the Art Center which let me try all kinds of mediums and subjects. These classes even pushed me outside of my normal color selection. There was never a real start to my art, I was just born into it.”
Weekender: Who are some of your major artistic influences?
Bee: “Other than my mother, I grew up reading Juxtapose Magazine. I also got really inspired by Ron English and the more modern works of Banksy, who has kind of pushed the limits. I am really inspired by Scribe, an artist in Kansas City. Even locally, I would say Mike Frizzell, Luke Schroder, Carrie Hubert and Scott Martinson; they have all really pushed my limits as an artist and I’ve had a lot of fun doing collaborations with them.”
Weekender: What in life inspires you to create?
Bee: “I am highly inspired by nature, so sunrises, sunsets, the moon, the stars and the sky; the colors you see in nature and the gradients of the sunrise … that all makes me think of how I can transfer it into paint.”
Weekender: With what mediums do you enjoy creating the most?
Bee: “Spray paint, I would say, is my go-to and what I’m most widely known for, but I definitely like to experiment with mixed mediums. I also use acrylic and oil paints for canvas works; I use that as a creative outlet, as well.”
Weekender: Are there any go-to subject matters you like to include in your works?
Bee: “In a lot of my works you will see an element of the sky, whether it’s a daytime or nighttime sky; something littered with stars.”
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Weekender: What drew you to spray paint art?
Bee: “I lived in Kansas City in my early 20s. I’d say there is a lot of street art that is legal there; in fact, it is encouraged. I watched a lot of people in the Westport area and downtown utilizing spray cans for large-scale murals. Other things that got me into this style of art include hip-hop music, the Wu-Tang Clan and break-dancing.”
Weekender: How do different emotions affect the way you create?
Bee: “I’d say that sometimes emotions drive me to paint harder than ever; other times I know the emotions will block me from creating the product I want. The painting in itself becomes an emotional attachment. Sometimes I have to understand when that emotion is dried up for the day, too. My art becomes my baby.”
Weekender: Describe to us your creative process.
Bee: “My creative process is a (expletive) mess. I start really solid with the concept I’m aiming for and we will see it change and go through a metamorphosis of sorts between beginning and knowing I’m finished. When I’m putting the paint on the wall you can see it change, and my emotions for it change, so therefore the end product changes.”
Weekender: Why has spray paint art been taboo in the art world and why is it gaining more respect over the recent years?
Bee: “I think that spray paint used in an art medium in general has been given a bad rap. Not only is it cheap and toxic, but it has a bad habit for being used in vandalism and ugliness. I, on the other hand, will see layers of graffiti and think it looks beautiful. It depends on the venue of where it is being placed. Graffiti is not welcome on a beautiful residential retaining wall, but in an alley downtown it has a unique aesthetic of its own. I think popular culture has something to do with why it is becoming respected and adored. It is misunderstood…as being gangster, cheap or even wrong. Depending on where it is placed, art is beautiful in its own right.”
Weekender: Why do you create art? What does it do for you?
Bee: “Basically it fulfills a void in me that is unmatched by any other type of escape. There’s no drug or amount of alcohol that brings me the euphoria of creation. It completes me.”
Weekender: What is your ultimate goal in this game?
Bee: “I’d like to say my goal is to make money, but honestly my ultimate goal is to do better than I did the day before. I want to continue to challenge myself and continue to find inspiration around me and in others. That is the real payoff…but I definitely want to make money, too.”