Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Amman.
Hi Anna, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I was born and raised right here in Michigan and I really can’t see myself living anywhere else. Michigan is home! I grew up in the bustling metropolis of Portland (between Lansing and GR) and lived lots of places since. Most recently I moved to Galesburg to live with my mom after being in the metro-Detroit/Ann Arbor area for close to 11 years!
I started my creative journey as a kid, definitely. I loved coloring, drawing, and taking photographs with my mom’s “big camera”. In 2012 I started working at a photography studio (shout out to my pals at Focal Point Studio in Farmington) where I started as a graphic designer, then added photographer’s assistant to that, THEN trained portrait photographer!
Photography really helped me step out of my shell and be more assertive, which has translated into all aspects of my life. I’m forever grateful for the people I’ve met and things learned over the years.
Soooooo fast forward to 2018, I launched an Etsy shop, where I (still!) create greeting cards, art prints, & stationery. This year I launched a whole e-commerce shop where I have my creations along with others as well. I am so excited about AK Paper Co & where it’s going!
This year…I quit my healthcare job and decided to pursue (pedal-all-the-way-to-the-floor kind of pursue) my art more thoughtfully and with more intention. I can honestly say, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s been an INSANE ride but I’m here for all the crazy the universe has in for me.
My favorite mediums: portrait photography (love stories, weddings, elopements, boudoir, + career), digital illustrations (watercolor), digital calligraphy + digital modern lettering, & just recently I’ve picked up modern calligraphy with real paper and a real pen!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oooooooof. It’s definitely been a struggle. It’s hard navigating social media to promote my businesses, I’ll be honest. Social media is a beast, but it’s unfortunately necessary. Another obvious struggle that comes to mind is how saturated the art market is. It’s been that way since I got into it. It’s hard to stand out in the crowd. Add both of those things together and you’ve got a really really passionate girl photographing people and making things for a lot less money than I should be. *Laughs nervously*
It was hard to hear a lot of my life that “art” wasn’t a real job. I remember leaving high school thinking, “well I want to be a photographer, but I can’t make money so I’ll force myself to do something else”.
I did do other things, I worked at Michigan Medicine for 5 years in administration, and I did well at that job, but my soul wasn’t being fulfilled. Working a “real” job 40+ hours a week, plus shooting weddings, plus doing craft shows, was absolutely burning me out.
If there’s anything I learned over the pandemic, it’s that life is real short, it matters who you let sit at your table, and literally not a single thing or person is worth losing your mental health over.
I’m so blessed to have these talents and to share them with the world, I do not take that for granted. I can’t give if there’s nothing to give from!
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Like I said before, I love anything creative I can get my hands on. And if I get to help someone, make someone happy, surprise someone, or create something custom, that’s the good stuff right there.
I have shifted my photography a bit, focusing on couples and storytelling. I love showing people who they are and telling their story. Catching people in the moment. The little details.
AK Paper Company is growing too!!! I have my products in a few stores around GR, hoping to be in more by the end of the year. I’ve added custom pet illustrations + limited edition photographic prints from of my adventures too!
I think I’m most proud of always living my truth and being authentically me. I think (I hope!) that shows through in my art. I’m the real deal. I’m not afraid of learning or trying new things or asking hard questions. I love conquering a challenge.
I’ve been through a lot in my 31 years here, I’d like to think that if one person somewhere laughs because of a card I created or they cry viewing their wedding album, then I can sleep peacefully (with a fan on of course).
Chuck Klosterman (one of my favorite authors) has a quote that I frequently read, “art and love are the same thing: it’s the process of seeing yourself in the things that art not you.”
Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
Galesburg is a small farm town just outside Kalamazoo. It’s peaceful and quiet, just the way I like it!
- Website: www.akpaperco.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/akpaperco & akphotography_mi
- Facebook: Facebook.com/akpaperco & AK Photography
Emily Lynn Creative