EKAH (E.K. Anna Hennequet) is an artist living in Mahomet.
Are you a freelancer?
I used to freelance. It's been only a little more than a year that I became involved in the local art scene. I'm still figuring out what's what. It was Kelly White (executive director of 40 North) who you could say spotted my work. From the first time she saw one of my pieces, she encouraged me to submit my work to the Sky Gallery, MTD Art: Moving Pictures Through Your Neighborhood and shows at 40 Point One.
What were you doing earlier in your career?
I was doing print graphic work for advertising in New York City. I was a graphic designer, art director. Then I met my husband when we were working together and I got into CG (computer graphics) animation. It's called broadcast animation and advertising. It was fairly new and not too many people were doing it. I was fascinated and I wanted to do what they were doing. I've also done work for video games. I've worked with clients such as Jim Henson Productions and Mattel Interactive.
Do you like to draw?
I've always drawn, even though I studied communication design at the Parsons School of Design (in New York). But I never thought of selling my work or doing my own thing. It never occurred to me I could even do it. I would go to life-drawing sessions and the like but it was more for my own enjoyment.
When did you move here?
We first arrived in 2003. At that time, I was still doing freelance work, and my husband was working at Volition. In 2012, we moved to Montreal for three years and I caught the bug. I went to open sketching sessions and was doing a lot of on-site sketching. I really enjoyed it. I felt I could pursue this, though I felt it was a bit late in life. We came back here in 2015. After that, I started to submit my work to MTD Art: Moving Pictures, and my "Bathers" image was selected. That was when I sort of dipped my toe into the local art scene.
Wasn't your work selected for the Sky Gallery too?
Yes, my image, "Audition." It was pretty cool to see it that big, on a billboard. The last time I saw it, it was on Marketview Drive, near the mattress place.
What media do you use?
I tend to favor dry media — graphite, pastel pencils, Prismacolor pencils. If I do wet media, it's ink washes and watercolor.
What kind of subjects do you depict?
For now, it appears I'm doing a lot of animals. You often see one character or a big group. I'm interested in creating characters and universes slightly different from our own. I guess I'm attracted to the loner types. The students at the high school (High School of Art and Design in Manhattan) I went to were sort of outcast characters. We all had a sketchbook. We were doodling before we got into that school. I have a soft spot for loners and outcasts but I don't do social commentary. I don't usually depict animals. Those are the images that have received more exposure. But that's not the only thing I've done.
Do you sell your work?
I sell online at the moment. I haven't been doing any direct art sales. The only time I did that was during the Boneyard Arts Festival. I'm thinking of selling my originals.
Note: To see examples of EKAH's work, visit steampunkgrub.com.