Geometric flowers (Submitted photo)

Anna: “Want to paint tonight?” Friend: “Sounds good!”

The Pandemic has seriously affected everyone, but Anna Hershinow has successfully embraced the forced changes in her life to her advantage.

The restaurant where she serves had to shut down last November, so Anna needed to quickly find a way to generate income. During high school in Skokie, she had taken AP Art classes along with dance, and then majored in dance when she attended Ohio State University. Since dance was not an option during the pandemic, she decided to research ways to use her art skills. And she found some including private commissions, selling art to the restaurant where she worked, and building a more general clientele.

Baddies (Submitted photo)

Recently, the restaurant reopened and working there again consumes much of her time. So these days, Hershinow finds herself with the constructive but constant tension of finding the right balance between an ongoing paycheck and building her art portfolio and clientele.

One of Hershinow’s high school friends majored in fine arts in painting. With Hershinow reengaging in art, they wanted to paint together, but with the pandemic that wasn’t an option in any “normal” way. Happily, they found that FaceTime provided a great solution. So now on many evenings around 9:30 p.m. they visit over FaceTime while they both paint. They listen to music, chat and occasionally ask for input on each other’s paintings. This arrangement, borne of pandemic desperation, has turned out to be a very welcome sense of company for both of them. Anna finds that working for an hour to two together helps her wind down and relax.

Smush face (Submitted photo)

Hershinow’s apartment is small, so she sits on a chair and props a canvas against her bureau. Her primary medium is acrylics or collage on canvas. Generally working one piece at a time, she lets the piece “dictate its own journey”. She prefers painting fast, messy and chunky so “her hand shows”. No small brush work for her! Her work demonstrates her interest in strong, vibrant color and color mixing.

Scouring social media, Hershinow creates mood boards to inspire her. Her dancing influence shows up in her painting as she is inspired by the body: faces, skin, postures and fashion as well. When she is able to overcome her current barriers of space, time, and money, she dreams of making five to ten life size paintings of fabulous people in action and in high fashion.

Artist Anna Hershinow (Submitted photo)

For now, she is enjoying commissions including portraits and animals. A small dog is her current project. She has also reached back to her high school work and is touching up and modernizing, merging in what she has learned over the past five years.

Living in Evanston provides Anna a strong sense of support for the arts that has helped her with her pandemic transition. Through Evanston Made, she exhibited five art pieces at Backlot Coffee on Central Street . She also sold two artworks to the new Blue Horse Tavern on Davis Street. When COVID-19 restrictions are reduced, she hopes not only to display her works on canvas, but also perform on stage as a multi-disciplinary artist.

To see more of Anna’s work, visit her website. This article first appeared on the Evanston Made website.

Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham retired from the business world and is now enjoying the next phase, including writing about local artists to increase awareness of Evanston’s amazing art community.