{the interview series} Lila Ruby King

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Hoje trago-vos uma artista multi-facetada. Nascida na Austrália e a morar agora em Atenas, Anna é a mente criativa responsável pela marca Lila Ruby King, que se divide entre a joalharia e a ilustração. Quando vi o trabalho de Anna no etsy foi amor à primeira vista... no fundo ela consegue concretizar o meu sonho de conjugar estas duas paixões na perfeição! Mas não desvendo mais... leiam a entrevista para saber do resto!

Não se esqueçam que podem seguir {the interview series} no facebook e rever todas as entrevistas aqui.
(Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.)

Today I bring you a multi-faceted artist. Born in Australia and now living in Athens, Anna is the creative mind responsible for the brand Lila Ruby King, which is divided between jewelry and illustration. When I saw Anna's work on etsy it was love at first sight... after all she can fulfill my dream of combining these two passions perfectly! But I won't tell more... read the interview to find the rest!

Don't forget to follow {the interview series} on facebook and to read the latest interviews here.

Anna | Lila Ruby King
Athens, Greece
site | blog | jewellery shop | illustration shop

1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Anna or Lila Ruby King. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Anna and I’m originally from Australia, currently I’m living in Athens, Greece. I’ve studied print making and jewellery design, and I work with my own micro label, Lila Ruby King, where I make and sell both paper goods and artworks and jewellery.

2. You have a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts, but after that you studied Jewelry Design and I must say that I don’t know which one I love most: your illustration work or your jewelry! How and when these two passions were born? Is it difficult to manage the two of them: two shops and two different creative processes? Which one gives you more pleasure to do?
I suppose I have always been into art for as long as I can remember, so taking art classes at school, progressed to studying art at uni, which led to trying to make a living out of it. I don’t find it particularly hard to manage both lines of my work, I suppose that the reason I have the two, it just seems perfectly natural. I don’t know that one gives me more pleasure than the other, sometimes if I have a lot to do with one line of work, deadlines and that sort of thing, it’s nice to take refuge in the other.

3. Your jewelry is influenced by nature and you even use some natural materials in your jewels, such as stones or wood. Would you share the phases of your creative process with us?
As much as my finished pieces are inspired by nature, a lot of them are the product of the materials I use, in that my designs have to accommodate the use of such a material that might not be best suited to the purpose, but that I have to make work the way I want.

4. How about your collaboration with Mitsy, from Artmind? I think the pieces are beautiful! They combine the best of both worlds: silver and porcelain. How was it born and how does it work?
Mitsy and I have been friends for a few years now, one day she emailed me and asked what I thought about us creating some work together, her porcelain and my silver work. I had always been interested in working with porcelain, although I’d never taken any steps to learn to work with it or anything like that. So when Mitsy suggested we work together it was natural for me to say yes.
We discuss ideas, sometimes I send sketches and drawings, and Mitsy in her studio in Belgium creates samples that she sends to me in Greece, where I work them into final pieces.

Your illustrations are simple yet expressive and they show us your love for birds and nature in cards, prints, accessories and, more recently, fabrics. Do you research to draw accordingly to reality? What digital means do you use?
Sometimes I draw and sketch straight from my head, sometimes I take photographs and sometimes I will do a lot of research, it is different for different projects. I do work digitally sometimes, all printed items for example have to be finished on a computer. Photoshop is the main graphics program I use.

6. You have your creations for sale in different countries and they travel all around the world! What means do you use to promote your work?
I don’t do a great deal of promotion, it is something I plan on doing more of though. In the past I’ve done some online advertising, and I do have a twitter account and mailing list if people want to follow me that way.

7. I can see that you have a great ecological consciousness. What do you do to daily turn your business more carbon neutral?
There is of course the obvious things, recycling and reusing or everything possible. I try and use materials that are eco friendly, cut down on chemicals. Ordering things in bulk to save on excess packaging. It’s lots of little steps. Then to top it off I purchase carbon credits which goes towards covering all the other things I can’t control or avoid.

8. How would you describe a regular day at work?
I have pretty diverse days, I tend to start late, and go to the gym in the morning, so proper work doesn’t tend to start until 12 or so. I usually like to do my jewellery making first, while I have lots of natural light, and design and illustration work in the evening. Since I start late I often work late, sometimes into the am, but that’s the way of things when you live on the Mediterranean as I am learning.

9. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
This is a picture of my studio (see the first below), when I had just moved it all into this room from another in my house it is a lot messier now. I like having the space in my house, I have lots of great light from the big window. I would still love more space, I’m not sure I could ever have enough.

10. You were born in the other side of the world for us Portuguese people: Australia, but you now live in Athens, Greece, an ancient European city. What do you miss most about Australia? And would you tell us a bit about the lifestyle and your favorite places in Athens?
It’s difficult being away from my family and friends. I miss being able to drop in on them when I might be bored one afternoon. I miss as well the easy access to nature that I had in Australia.
You can’t have it all, and Athens is a big city, and life in such a big city has many different distractions. Athens of course has so much to offer in terms of history, art and culture, there is always something happening and because of the density of the city, it is never far away or hard to get to. I love not needing to have a car in this city. My favourite places in the city would have to be the National Gardens, the cobbled paths around the Acropolis and the Byzantine Museum which I like to imagine being my home.

11. Do you think that the time and place where you live have great influence in your work? Would you like to live anywhere else?
I think how and where we grow up is a huge influence on the work of any artist. There are a few places I have visited and thought how I would love to move there in a second, but I am not especially adventurous and perhaps living in two cities in my one lifetime is enough for me.

12. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
Well this is a difficult question, because going back in time is not always ideal for a woman who would like to keep her freedoms and privileges. The past hasn’t always been the best place for us. If I’m not going to be a stickler for such details, I will say that I find medieval Europe to be a very interesting time.

13. Besides jewelry and art, what else are you passionate about doing?
I love cooking, sweets especially,
Being around horses,
Reading, all sorts of books.

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become an illustrator? And a jewelry designer?
I would say that it is very important to find your own stories, a place from which your ideas come. New ideas and new work do not spring from a vacuum, you must research, observe and day dream, and then perhaps one day time spent day dreaming will be considered billable hours.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
I just plan to keep working, following new stories and ideas. The unrealistic dreams I keep for myself.

Now some quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one:

book: Tender Morsels
music: Radiohead
movie: Murder by Death
personality/artist: Guy Le Tattooer
color: green
object: Ball Pein hammer
animal: horse
drink: water
food: raspberry
season of the year: Spring
travel destination: Stockholm
piece of clothing: jeans
secret: best kept to oneself

Thank you for sharing your thougths with us Anna!


  1. I think Ana is a genius, she works with so many different techniques and her work is so beautiful and special! One of my favorite etsy sellers, thank you for sharing more about her, this was a fun read :)

  2. Anna is one of my favorite jewelers! I love her jewelry and her illustration work is lovely. Great to read more about her!

  3. fantástico. adorei conhecer o trabalho da Anna.
    apesar de trabalhar em duas áreas distintas, consegue atribuir aos trabalhos uma marca própria, que os tornam coerentes e... deliciosos:)

    até logo:)

  4. Oh I love her jewelry... so original, each and every one!
    Love the cat too :) I have one just like it!(only fatter hihi)

  5. I LOVE Anna's work and aesthetics. She's great!

  6. Thank you so much for this interview! I just knew more about my beloved artist!


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