Why Ana Zanic Doesn’t Think About Her Audience While Painting

Artwork Archive’s Featured Artist, Ana Zanic, explores profound contrasts and innate human connections.

Ana Zanic’s artwork, primarily created in watercolor, is a testament to the fluidity and spontaneity of life. Her technique, deeply rooted in the spontaneous and gestural act of mark-making, is a homage to calligraphy and symbolic communication.

Her paintings evoke the ethereal beauty of natural forms, resembling elements as diverse as abandoned landscapes, ancient scribbles, and celestial bodies.

The tension between the fluid calmness of watercolor and the energetic rhythm of drawing is central to her work. Watercolor as a medium holds inherent qualities of intimacy, lightness, and spontaneity.

It’s this interplay of opposites–a dance between control and surrender–that infuses Ana’s paintings with life.

Artwork Archive had the chance to chat with Ana Zanic about her creative process, why she doesn’t think about the audience while she’s painting, and how Artwork Archive makes her art career more manageable!

You can see more of her work on Discovery and learn more about her art practice below.

Do you have a favorite or most satisfying part of your process?

The moment just before I start, standing in front of a blank piece of watercolor paper, is full of potential.

I don’t yet know where exactly I am going, but I am ready to take the plunge and be surprised! That is my favorite part of my creative process, and It never gets old.

The tension between fluidity and energy is a central theme in your work. How do you balance these opposing qualities when creating a painting?

Most of my work consists of watercolor washes juxtaposed with the intricate mark-making.

I believe this balance results from respecting the materials’ inherent qualities; I let the watercolor be fluid, transparent, and organic and then contrast it with the drawing’s natural rhythm and energy of line and mark-making.

The opposing qualities end up working in partnership and enhance each other.

What impact do you hope your work will have on those who view it?

What interests me in my work is capturing the moment, a sense of life and intimacy.

Even when I create on a large scale, I want the result to be gentle and delicate- there are always tiny marks that draw you in, invite you to come very close, and make you really intimate with the work.

I love it when my art speaks to the viewer on this quiet, intimate level and opens up like a new mysterious portal to enter. However, I don’t think about the audience when I create. During the process, I only listen to my voice.

Thinking about the audience is very dangerous for me–I find it both kills the joy of making and results in sub-par work.

You mention the importance of intuitive and spontaneous processes in your art practice. Could you elaborate on how you approach this aspect of your work?

My art practice gives me the license to be unconcerned with the outcomes and to enjoy a sense of flow.

I grew up in a creative home. There was a constant exchange of ideas and lots of music and humor.

My parents were direct, honest, spontaneous, and creative people. They brought me up without many boundaries. I believe my intuitive approach to creating naturally stems from those very early experiences of freedom of expression.