Unlike many animators and illustrators, Anna Katalin Lovrity did not spend her youth glued to the screen, watching Cartoon Network and Disney films. In fact, from the age of six, Anna grew up without a television: “One day, our TV stopped working and my mom immediately threw it away,” she tells It’s Nice That. While it made things a little difficult at school – “I felt like an alien in my class since I hadn’t seen any of the films the other kids talking about” – it inspired myriad creative interests in Anna, from reading and writing to painting.
“Originally, I wanted to become a painter,” she explains, “but stories were still very important to me. So I decided to study animation, the perfect combination of visual art and storytelling.” Today, Anna works in Budapest, where she was born, as a freelance animation filmmaker, director and illustrator, filling her portfolio with highly-stylised imagery, full of colour and bold compositional choices.
Anna’s style, which is comprised of block shapes collaged together, either on paper or digitally, was born from an experience similar to that of illustrator Jack Sachs: “Due to a hand injury in the first year at the art school, I could not draw and paint for quite a long time,” Anna recalls. In response, she began making paper collages, and learned to use “brave and rough shapes”. “I loved that it is so easy to experiment with the composition and that I don’t control everything – there are always surprises,” she elaborates. “This technique triggered me to express myself in a more abstract way.”
Today, even when working digitally, this technical and aesthetic shift is felt in Anna’s work. “I use irregular, angular shapes and saturated colours on my digital canvas. My pictures might seem simple and clean, but since I use patches with no outlines, the forms and shapes have to be more thoughtful, especially when it comes to moving images, so I spend a lot of time creating the right shots.”
This is especially clear in Anna’s recently-released animated short, Volcano Island. It tells the story of a “young, naive female tiger” living “on an oceanic island [where] the forces of nature are still at work as in primaeval times”. When she is noticed by an older male tiger, the young tigress becomes scared but finds it impossible to escape on the secluded island. “The feelings of the young animal are reflected by the volcano island, and with the help of nature, she can finally act upon her own will.”
Anna is currently working on a new short film, titled Marble and Lemons which presents a new challenge for her. It tells the story of a woman and her mother, holidaying in Italy. “Since the characters are human, and they have to be able to express complex emotions, I had to develop my visual style and to make it more detailed,” Anna explains.
But whatever the project, whether personal or commissioned (of which she has many), Anna completes everything with a rigidly stylised finesse, ensuring her portfolio is distinguished and recognisable.
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