Anu Samarüütel comes from a fashion background, but illustrating, painting and designing have always been parallel practices for her. In the last few years painting has become a real focus in her life and she has moved on to large scale acrylic painting on paper. She has illustrated several books and also worked on many illustrations for commercial clients.
Originally from the nordic country of Estonia, Samarüütel finds nordic minimal design sensibility very close to her heart. Her biggest inspiration are the painters from the first half of the 20th century - Cubists, Fauves, Constructivists, Picasso, Matisse, Fernand Leger. She also loves the work of legendary fashion illustrator Rene Gruau. During the last two years, her work has mainly been figurative and has a hint of fashion about it. She finds painting human beings fascinating- although her humans with their colourful anatomies look a bit out of this world. To Samarüütel, their red, green, bright pink and yellow faces seem completely natural.
When working Anu Samarüütel makes lots of small pencil sketches and then chooses some to work on with. The finished work often only remotely resembles the sketch- she thinks you have to trust the process and just know when to go with the flow. When she starts a painting, Samarüütel does not quite know what her ladies are going to wear or what colour makeup they might have. After she paints the oval of the face on paper it tells her what it wants to wear and what will surround it.
2006 Central Saint Martins College, MA Fashion Womenswear
2004 Estonian Academy of Arts, MA Fashion Design
2012: Group, New Nordic Fashion Illustration, Helsinki Design Museum, Helsinki
2011: Group, New Nordic Fashion Illustration, Rotermanni Gallery, Tallinn
2010: Solo, Freehand, 10 Gales Gallery, London
2004: Chevening Award, The British Council
2000: Väike Nõel Award, Textile & Clothing Union of Estonia
I love fashion, Valgus Publishing, 2003
My London, Petrone Print, 2010