Meet one of my dearest friends and creative twin, Anna Hileman! Anna is a pet portrait artist from Colorado. She also teaches workshops on Zenso Creative. We met in college and really connected over our shared passion for art and design. Over the years we have supported one another and grown as artists. Our friendship has taught me the value of having a creative network. I thought I would share a little bit from my interview with Anna, as well as some of her work. She is an incredibly talented artist.
When did you know you wanted to be in artist?
I won a best in show ribbon when I was 7 years old and it left a mark on me ever since. Creating has felt like a natural piece of me I have always carried around so it just made sense to follow this path.
Tell us a little about your background?
I was born and raised on the Western Slope of Colorado. I primarily grew up in a little town called Rifle. I met my husband in the 7th grade and we began dating when we were 17. I attended the Kansas City Art Institute and graduated with a BFA from Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. I have worked as a waitress, ornamental iron welder, kindergarten teacher, technology teacher, gardener, faux painter, interior designer, graphic designer, art teacher, and fine artist. I have a goofy labradoodle named Maui, a 3-year-old daughter and having a baby in June. My hobbies include wake-boarding, snowboarding/ skiing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, music and traveling. I also really love animals and learning all about them. I currently live in Arvada, CO and work full time as an artist specializing in animal portraiture and teaching online painting workshops with ZensoCreative.com
Finally, we had 3 dogs. One of which we got when I was 16. Chuck was a Chocolate lab. He was the best dog. I never got to say goodbye to Cookie or Canella but Chuck eventually went to college with me. I had him when I got married, moved into my first house, and two houses after that. He loved apples, rolling in the snow, swimming, and hiking. He went with me everywhere and was the sweetest friend no matter what. He was my “baby” before I had babies and he lived a long wonderful life.
Losing these animals has shown me how important animals are in our lives and I wanted to create meaningful work that paid tribute to the unconditional love we receive from them. A world without animals would be bare and broken. Every animal I paint has a different story and personality and I aim to capture that in my work as a tribute to their importance on this earth.
What is it like to be a creative entrepreneur?
It is the most rewarding yet hardest job I have ever had, and I am constantly learning. There is more to it than creating all the time. You have to constantly be open to change. It’s one thing to be able to paint well. It’s another thing to understand how to sell your work, what to price it at and how to market yourself.
Ellie McIntosh, grew up as a creative thinker. Inspired by her father, a furniture designer an inventor and musician, she took the path to creativity. Her artistic journey has taken her as far as France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Germany, Morocco, and many places throughout the United States and Mexico, where she utilized various