You may have read about her in Med City Beat and see her quickly moving up the ladder of artistic fame but did you know she started out working for ZZest Cafe! Here’s a fun little conversation we had with our very own Anna Banana (well her Dad’s Anna Banana)
CD- How long ago did you work at ZZest and what was your favorite part?
A- Zoinks. 2014? It wasn’t that long ago, but I’ve had many life changes since ZZest that it feels forever ago! Don’t get a big head about it, but I have a lot of favorite parts. First, the people were awesome. I felt that we were a band of misfits – in a good way. We were a true team, and everyone was perfectly unique. My views on the people extend beyond the house staff too; I brag to anyone who will listen that I think Jerry and LeeAnn are fantastic to work for. Lastly, I was required to taste all the dishes for my job. Uh… hello, that was amazing – and I learned a lot about food during that time of my life!
CD– Awww Anna, *blush* thanks! I have to say a band of misfits is perfect. Your humor certainly was a perfect fit! Well, food before art then! What are three things in your fridge right now?
A- Elsian Dayglow IPA. Three of them
CD- AH, that’s our girl! So, do you have a most memorable meal?
A- This is maybe not what you had in mind, but the first thing I did when I stepped foot in Italy (Florence) was to buy a slice of pizza. What made it so memorable was that, with my poor translation skills, I simply pointed to the pizza with capers, because of CAPERS! Anyway, I strolled out of this little shop and onto the sunlit cobblestones. Laaa la laaa……Do you know what was hiding in that pizza? Pungent little anchovies. Those rascals. In lieu of the moment, I tried to tell myself that I loved anchovies, too. Four bites later, my will was so weak, I tossed it
CD– That’s exactly what I was hoping for! Have you always loved art? Is it in the family, cuz I know your family.
A- I was compelled to create long before I knew what love was! Once cognizant of those feelings, I have had a love/hate relationship with creating ever since. Do I or don’t I? ‘Normal’ job, or artist? Pen or brush? I remember discovering my parents’ old drawings tucked away in their closet and the laundry room. I tried to imagine seeing them for the first time and trying to comprehend that Dad drew this, and Mom drew that. I don’t think my brother draws much anymore, but I remember being SO jealous of his drawing of Simba [Lion King] in middle school.
CD- What is your favorite medium?
A– After nearly 30 years, I’ve finally chosen a medium. For now, LOL. In 2018, I’ve decided to do watercolor/pen exclusively… with a few exceptions! This year, I’ve been spending a lot more time practicing and reading than producing to improve on this specific skill.
CD– So, the Porch Cow was up your alley then, and the spray paint?
A- The Porch cow was great because I had to dig up some old illustration and cross-hatching skills. The graffiti was SO FUN because you put a paint can in my hand and said: “GO.” There was so much freedom in spray painting walls…someone else’s walls
CD- What artist do you admire?
A- Marcos Beccari! Marcos is an amazing watercolorist in Brazil, he is known for hyperrealistic paintings that will blow your mind. I also love CJ Hendry, in New York, who is know for hyperrealistic colored-pencil drawings. Most of my life I’ve admired renaissance artists, but the two I just mentioned are both younger than I am and hugely successful in today’s art market, which is incredibly inspiring.
CD- Holy Crap!, that’s watercolor? Marcos Beccari! OK- One more food question…well, two. Do you like chocolate? Favorite alcoholic beverage?
A- Sometimes. I mean you can’t control me with a piece of chocolate if that’s what you’re asking. Unless you wrap it in a croissant. And, cloudy IPAs or a pinot noir.
CD- And just throwing this in, What do you miss most from childhood?
A- I miss having the ability to be joyful without having to think twice about it
Well, we don’t have to think twice about feeling joyful admiring your art, which I do daily, haha!
See Anna’s art at Porch & Cellar and Hot Chip or her website.
Photograph by William Foresman