'My Happy Place' - Apanona

From the soul with love, that is exactly where the beautiful work from Apanona comes from. With original style, bold colours and a unique quirk that is oh-so-lovable, we are completely smitten with these soulful drawings. We are so flattered to have the super duper talented Apanona create an original artwork specially for our 'My Happy Place' Art Exhibition in support of the Dandelion Support Network...

Apanona writes of the piece...

When I began to think about what a “happy place” means for children, I started by making a list of things that children usually do and places where they usually go: reading a book, drawing, playing with their toys, playing with friends and relatives, going to school, swimming, running, swinging, sliding…

But then I realised that most of these things I’ve listed, need objects and physical things and places to take place… and not all kids in the world have the same resources and opportunities, especially those who are in need.

So I thought about it again. I must find a thing common in every child. But, what can be a "happy place” for all kids in the world?

One evening, I saw my daughter Martina (8) playing with some objects she found in our aunt's house. She had no toys there, so she “converted" some usual and regular objects (glasses, bottles and other) into fantastical toys. Then she spent more than an hour happily playing with these objects, absolutely immersed in her imagination!

Imagination. I finally found it! This is a special place where all kids can go and play. At any time. Any place.

And I tried to represent it like a simple bright circle in the white, full of stars. And two kids floating there, playing and imagining games, toys, stories. Just being kids. Just being happy.

We caught up her to find out more about her work and what inspires her gorgeous creations...
What inspires you?
I get inspired by everyday life with my daughters, my family and friends, but also by the work of numerous painters, photographers, artists… but mostly illustrators. The works of: Quentin Blake, Miroslav Sasek, Sempé, Cesc, Tomi Ungerer, Tove Jansson, Monica Ramos, Laura Berger, Olimpia Zagnoli, Naomi Wilkinson, Jordi Labanda, Lisk Feng, Andrea Wang, Pintachan, Jean Julien, Paula Bonet, Toru Fukuda… it's an endless list!

How did you develop your signature style?
I’m in love with the “drawing style" of the 60’s you can see in advertising, kid's books, cartoons, etc.

So I use the visual references of this period, I interiorise them, and I try to approach my illustration style and skills to that style (colors, shapes, space distribution, textures, etc.) but with a modern twist. And of course, from my own vision.

What do you love most about being an artist?
Expressing my feelings, thoughts and emotions through illustration. Working for myself.

What do find most rewarding about using your art for a good cause?
Being able to collaborate to make children’s lives better. Children are our future. And childhood should be a “happy place” for all children in the world. We the adults have the responsibility to preserve it, take care and watch over it.

That means that we have to care for their health, nutrition, education and also environment. So, if I can help with one of my drawings to make a better life.

What was your favourite thing to do as a kid?
Play with my dollhouse and little people dolls, read comics (mostly Tintin and Asterix), eat cookies and spaghetti.

What is your 'happy place’?
Being with my family and to draw while listening to music.

To see more of Apanona's work, head over to her website.

To get your hands on this amazing print created exclusively for the show head along to One Fine Baby Sydney from 14-15 November or head over to The Gathered Store.