for the outdoor active lifestyle

Did you pursue your dream from the start?
by <a href="" target="_self">Stephanie Briggs</a>

by Stephanie Briggs

04 August, 2020

Here at Spring HQ, we can’t fail to be in awe of people with a talent, a true brilliance at one particular thing.  How great to notice it early on and pursue it right from the start. Annabel Howe is 19 and is just about to embark on her artistic journey at Uni.  She took time out to sketch the team – thanks Annie – and can’t think of anything better than to earn a living from drawing.  We thought we’d take time out to chat with her about how companies can help burgeoning talent along its way, if there’s any hope for us to nurture a little artistic talent ourselves and which sketch of the Spring team is she the proudest of.

Annie, you’ve clearly got something going on there, we’re pretty impressed with these pics.  Were you always good at drawing or is it just a case of practice makes perfect?

I was never naturally arty.  When I was about 12, I realised it was a hobby that I wanted to be good at.  I started to practice every day – I just wanted to be better so I kept going.  I used to sketch while I was watching TV, would pause the cartoons, and see if I could draw those freeze-framed images.  I definitely think you can be good at drawing if you practice,  I don’t think that you just have it.  Everyone I know that’s producing good work has practiced and trained.  I was awful back in primary school. 

Some of the Spring team were pretty mediocre at English in Primary School now they’re awesome!  Did other people see your talent before you?

Pictured: Buddy the dog, Annie’s first ‘dog-commission’.

“When I was at secondary school, people used to come up to me and say that I was good at drawing but I just didn’t see it.  Now I’m taking commissions like this one of Buddy.  When I started him I wasn’t great at painting dogs, I was a bit lazy and took ages but now I’m more comfortable with this kind of picture and can complete one in a week.”

Ahhh we’ve all been there!  That project that you can’t start, that you’re struggling with.  Best to crack on with it which is exactly what you’ve done.  Life lesson!  What was the first thing that you remember being proud of?

“A painting of a red dragon.  I did it together with my dad and I was so proud of it.  He taught me how to do painting properly.  He’s a hobby artist and likes to paint, he actually paints a lot now but has never done it professionally.”

Nothing like a bit of family support, there’s a lot of that going on at the moment.  What’s the next step?

“I’m going to Arts University Bournemouth to do animation production.  I’ve had extra time with my family and now I feel I’m ready to move on.  I’m really excited”.

I don’t think you’re the only one feeling the need to fly the nest sharpish!  So what have you been doing over the last few months?

I’ve filled an entire book with drawings and am half of the way through another one!  I can definitely see my style has grown in confidence and you can see it progress as you look through the books.  The break has also given me time to read up on some animation and art books.

Sounds like you’ve resisted the urge to sleep in until 2 pm then unlike some!  We’re interested in how we can help people like you, people at the start of their careers wanting a bit of a leg up.  Any advice?

Work experience!  Oh, I’ve had some not-so-great work experience weeks.  If businesses want to get something meaningful out of their work experience student then I would recommend:

  • Definitely having a key plan laid out.  That’s a good thing.  I did work experience at a vets and I basically did nothing but clean the back yard.  For a week!
  • Paying attention to them would be good too – it’s daunting going into a workplace where you don’t know anyone and have no friends.  Just a little acknowledgment, that’s all.
  • Explaining.  Just make sure they know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

In terms of art commissions having an idea of exactly what you want is always good and being able to relay that is really important.  Being in touch and having a connection is really key too.  These things open up connections for the future, you never know where one commission is going to lead you.

The same is true for a marketing brief Annie, you’re spot on.  So, we want to know, which one of us did you enjoy drawing the most?

I think I most enjoyed drawing Abbie as she was the first one I did and had such fun hair. 

The Spring Team! From left to right: Abbie, Naomi, Mel, Stephanie, Helen and Jo.

Fun-haired Abbie.  We like it.  We love the pictures of us so thanks for those and good luck at Bournemouth!

Annabel Howe, Spring’s Portrait Artist


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from The Great Indoors

Walk on the Wild Side this National Walking Month

Walk on the Wild Side this National Walking Month

Happy National Walking Month! It goes without saying that we Springers love spending time in the great outdoors. To celebrate, we wanted to share with you our favourite countryside strolls. Our boots have been re-proofed (with Nikwax, of course), Darn Tough socks are...

OTS 2022 Catch-Up!

OTS 2022 Catch-Up!

What a show! Well, if the year wasn’t flying by fast enough already, it feels crazy to think OTS 2022 has now been and gone. The Spring Team headed up to Liverpool to attend the show on Tuesday and Wednesday. We got to catch up with some of...

The family feel you get from AKU

The family feel you get from AKU

Where did we go? We’re back fully Italian-ised from our first sales meeting for a very long time.  The good guys at AKU Footwear extended an invitation to the Spring team. We bit their hand off, naturally.  Well, when you’re flying into Venice en route to Val Gardena,...