I grew up with a Swedish mother and an English father, creating in me a sense of the inbetween, belonging neither here or there. My bilingual childhood taught me a great respect for cultural diversity and the ability to communicate in pictures instead of words. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I replied at age 8 that I wanted to write stories, paint pictures, and take photos. I doodled my way through school, and was told by my enthusiastic teacher that if I didn't become an artist, she would eat her hat! That is all the encouragement I needed to set my mind on a goal. When I was 16 I studied Fine Art at the Arts Institute Bournemouth (now The Arts University Bournemouth), which gave me the opportunity to explore a diversity of media and techniques such as sculpture, textiles, photography, and painting. After this, I chose to study Illustration, attracted in particular to the Fairytale & Folklore project offered by Southampton Solent University. The Illustration course taught me that speaking in pictures is a lot harder than it looks! You have to understand the psychology behind the image, and learn how to appeal to people's feelings. A single glance at a well-orchastrated illustration can convey a world of information.
In my first year of studying Illustration, I designed a book cover for the author Vikki Bramshaw, which was published by O Books. In my second year I worked with the artists Zoe Blood and Andrea Sinclair (aka The Girls) on The Paper Eaters Do Bargate. This was an art exhibition and performance art in one, as The Girls created a colourful pop extravaganza of childhood nostalgia. I took part in photo shoots, wandering around at times dressed as a giant Care Bear, and at times in 80s teen fashion, including leg warmers and a neon orange tutu. Any excuse to dress up! I created illustrations for the Paper Eaters magazine, edited by The Girls, and continued to work with them on another project called Posted, in which I was happy to wander around in a Post Box costume at Brick Lane Art Car Boot.
In 2011 I volunteered to take part in the Pride in Bournemouth event, raising money for charities Born Free Foundation and Julia's House by designing and decorating a lion sculpture for Bournemouth Pavilion. The lion named "Red Curtain" was sold at auction, and the proceeds donated to the selected charities. That summer I was also hard at work on a mural which I volunteered to paint on Southbourne Grove for the Southbourne Business Association. The next year I decided to take on another voluntary project, and began work on the Tombulance, a transit van decorated with colourful fantasy designs. More info about the Tombulance can be found at www.facebook.com/Tombulance
In 2013 I exhibited at the first ever New Forest Fairy Festival alongside artists such as Josephine Wall and Chris Down. This was a fantastic opportunity to display my original paintings, hand made jewellery, and custom made signs. Fairies young and old enjoyed seeing their requests come to life before their very eyes. In 2014 I began to learn the art of pyrography, burning my original designs into wood. Wandering through the forest in search of fallen branches, I collected wood to saw up and sand down, tranforming them with pyrography into rustic fairytale signs. I exhibited my fairy signs at the New Forest Fairy Festival in 2014, and have been hooked on pyrography ever since!
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All images on this page have been produced by Annika Garratt and are her exclusive property. If you wish to use any of Annika's artwork, you must by law have her express written permission. If you wish to purchase any of Annika's artwork, or comission new works of art, please contact her via email.
Hello and welcome to my fairy realm! Here you will find a gallery of my work, as well as information about projects I have worked on. All this comes to you from the coast of Dorset UK. I'm never quite sure how to describe what I do.... this is just me, indulging my creativity, in visions of the mystical, mythical and folkloric. I love fairytales, legends and sagas because they tell us something about a bygone era, a simpler way of life, a mysterious past, as well as something about our hopes and fears, our fantasies and delusions. It is this world of flight and fancy that I want to evoke for you here.
I hope you enjoy your stay.....