Born in Milan Laurini spent some time between London and New York before deciding to settle in London.
After finishing a fine art diploma at Central St Martins Anna went to live in NYC
where she took life drawings classes at the Art Student League and sold her paintings in the artist market in West Broadway Soho.
A true free spirit held down by nothing Anna goes where she feels her calling is.
With her first solo show in 2 years on the horizon we nabbed some time to have a natter over coffee with the prolific street artist about what drives her and the need to just paint anywhere and everywhere...
In London, New York and other major cities around the world you are known as a prolific street artist - but you only started painting on the streets about 5 years ago - What compelled you to take your art to the street?
Painting in the streets came much later in my career. I never really considered myself a street artist but instead a fine artist based in the studio. When I was living in NYC I used to create work in the studio and then take it down to West Broadway, Soho, to sell it, I was doing quite well and made me realise I could actually make a living with my art….
I started getting involved in the street art scene about 5 years ago in London when I realised how vibrant the culture in Shoreditch was and how the street art was a big part of the culture and community.
How do you choose where to paint? Is there something specific that attracts you to a place?
It is not very premeditated. - I used to have an electric bike so I would get around to all corners of London super quick just stopping to paint wherever I felt like it, it was all very random, nowadays I prefer painting in central London and especially in Soho as its where I like to hang out the most. I became more focused to paint pieces in specific areas or where I get commissioned, Like The Old Bank Vault!
What drew you to Soho?
You grow out of places, I kind of got bored of Shoreditch and so went searching for new areas to explore. Soho to me is vibrant and multicultural, there's a very laid back vibe it's super diverse you can spend hours just drinking coffee and people watching. Like anywhere in London there is also still a lot of construction sites which means a lot of hoardings and blank canvases!
Let's talk about the iconic profile that Londoner's and keen street art spotters worldwide often spot, from Lisbon to Tokyo! Who is she? What does she represent? And do you ever get sick of being asked that question?!
It's the most natural question when you see my work. To me she represents a character, an attitude, a personality - Ultimately she embodies a feeling of harmony and balance, making feel like you are in the right place at the right time. A kind of reassurance. I love to put positive and empowering messages out there for everyone to enjoy.
You often create artwork on old book pages, music sheets and exhibition catalogues. What compelled you to work in this where you are almost breathing new life into existing what could be seen as existing works of art?
When you have been painting as long as I have in sketch books, on blank canvases and all the other conventional art mediums you feel the need to experiment. I really love the smell and look of vintage books and I also love to travel. I like the idea that my drawings and paintings can become a story through my travel and I love to discover old book shops in any city I go and collect more material to draw on.
Stay tuned to hear more about Anna Laurini's process and story...