Wacky Women with Annemarie

Wacky Women with Annemarie

Last week we were lucky enough to spend an afternoon with the creative force behind Wacky Women, Annemarie, in her very on brand Norwich Studio.

Amongst wide and varying topics Annemarie talked us through her creative process and how she came to, so instinctively, draw her first Wacky Woman at the kitchen table.

Life Before Wacky Women

Before pen, pencil or paint ever touched paper Annemarie had two full careers; first as a registered nurse, before entering the hospitality scene in 2003. 15 years and two successful cafes later, Annemarie realised she didn't have a stop button.

Outside of family life and a busy career, topped and tailed with early mornings and late nights, Annemarie could often be found on decoupage projects in her now studio. Chasing mindfulness? Inspiring escapism? Or just the sheer joy of cutting, collaging, arranging and sticking to create something greater than the sum of its parts. A creative spark was clearly present, but how did this light the fire that still burns ten years on?

Wackywoman V1.0

Between the cutting and sticking on a cool October day in 2014, Annemarie felt compelled to start doodling at the kitchen table. Little did she know the outcome would be her very first Wacky Woman in oil pastel.

Quickly her solitary Wacky Woman, became Wacky Women then a whole Wacky World of small characters with huge personalities was born; all brought to life by Annemarie’s joyous imagination.

But who are the Wacky Women?

Jeanine? Pam? Cynthia? Ted, Tom & Tim? More than just names, these characters are amalgamations or pastiches of real people Annemarie has met in her previous lives; as a nurse, a baker, a business owner, a mother and now as a grandmother. Annemarie tells us that playfully recollecting segments of real people is made much easier when she can imagine them speaking back to her from the paper.

As Annemarie's exclusive stockist we absolutely adore meeting each of these wonderful faces when they first arrive in the shop. With an extremely dedicated following, often our new friends don't hang around long as they swiftly find their forever homes.

Unlike many artists, Annemarie chooses not to reproduce any originals as prints, it helps each character retain their own precious personality imbibed when first created. The process of developing each person's unique character somehow feels more human this way, knowing they'll never be reproduced.

Exploring Different Mediums

In addition to her larger portraits Annemarie also works on physically smaller projects in the form of accordion fold paper books; each telling a different story.

Combined with her unique wit these little vignettes of life are playful and engaging, with pithy observations and a generous dose of dry wit. On first look these beautifully crafted concertina books are naïve studies of life, but transcend something deeper. With any art you can find palpable atmosphere when you play back real-life moments and Annemarie captures these so joyously.

Wacky Women in Make Holt

Annemarie is unapologetically prolific which means we always have a wonderful collection of pieces to buy in-store. If you would like any help seeking out the perfect portrait or vignette, please just ask and we'll be very happy to help.

We're also very pleased to be stocking her most recent project – a super tea-towel featuring a whole gallery of Wacky Women! Buy in store or online here.

If you don't already, you should follow her social media for insight into her artistic endeavours @originalwackywomenart

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