Anoosha Syed is a Pakistani-Canadian illustrator and character designer for animation. She studied in Switzerland for three years earning her BFA in Illustration at Ceruleum Ecole d’arts Visuels. She’s worked with Simon & Schuster, Random House, BOOM! Studios, Storytime Magazine, Macmillan Press, DHX, Disney Jr., ABDO Publishing, Cottage Door Press and Walmart. She’s also been feautured on Nerdist, Bustle and Illustration Age.
We met Anoosha at Dallas Fan Days 2017 where we were able to learn more about her eye-catching art and how she got started.
Tell me a little more about yourself and why you wanted to become an artist.
I’ve always had a love for storytelling and originally wanted to be a writer for most of my life. In high school I was re-introduced to animation and fell in love with it. I think the main reason I went into animation was I wanted to be part of it somehow, I wanted to help create something that could give someone out there the emotion I felt whenever I watched an animated movie.
I really like your style! How would you describe your artwork in 3-5 words?
Cute, mid-century, stylized, girly.
How would you describe your creative process when you take on a project?
As a freelancer I have to be in charge of my schedule, but I’m a bit of a mess at it, I’m still learning. When I first get hired for a picture book, I’ll begin with character designs, as each project is usually aimed at a different age group and audience and your designs must reflect that. Once the style is chosen, I am given the manuscript and start doing rough sketches for what each page looks like. Sometimes the client will tell me exactly how the page should look with direct instructions, other times I’m free to interpret the text however I feel. Once those are approved I move on to colors!
Have there been any artists who you looked up to professionally? Anyone who has influenced your work?
I am obsessed with mid-century modern, so a lot of my favourite artists are from that era or inspired by it. Miroslav Sasek, Mary Blair, Walt Peregoy, and Richard Scarry are some of them. I’m also inspired by modern artists like Kevin Dart, Anette Marnat, Genevieve Godbout, Olga Demidova, Tiffany Ford, and James Wood.
What are your favorite fandoms (past or present)?
My biggest fandom is also one that’s been dead for a while. I was the biggest “Lost” junkie and I bet if it had come around 10 years later it would have a bigger fandom and maybe some shipping wars? I was also a huge Whovian in my college years but kind of lost interest when Capaldi took over (no offense to the actor, full offense to Moffat). My current ones are “Steven Universe,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Overwatch.”
Any projects you’re working on right now?
I’m just about to start doing some design work for a new show, but I’m also working on three new children’s books. Two are chapter books for tweens and one is a picture book.
Will be you attending any other conventions in the near future? If so, which ones?
I actually just came back from CTN (the animation expo) which is one of my biggest in the year. I am planning on doing Vancaf or TCAF next year, as well as try for Fan Expo Toronto!