Artistic Attraction: Annie Atkins
Welsh-born Dublin resident Annie Atkins was the lead graphic designer on Wes Anderson's lively caper The Grand Budapest Hotel, winner of the Oscar for Best Production Design in 2015.
Meticulously detailed, infused with subtle humour and visually enchanting, the pieces Atkins created for the film - from the map which lead character M. Gustave praises for its artistic integrity to those unforgettable sugary pink Mendl’s cake boxes - have become icons of cult cinema, key to the captivating imaginary world the film’s characters inhabit.
But the artist, who has a degree in Visual Communication and one in Film Production, has made Dublin her creative home, where she has been based for the past decade. Annie, whose mother is Irish, has fast become an invaluable member of Dublin’s diverse creative community and is just one of many cutting-edge creators attracted to Ireland’s artistic sensibility. Having teamed up with Irish copywriter Eoghan Nolan to form creative studio Think & Son, Annie also finds time to run workshops for up-and-coming graphics students, when she’s not busy designing for film productions or giving talks at home and abroad.
Getting to Work
Having worked for an Icelandic ad agency before pursuing and earning her two degrees, Annie’s first job after graduation was as a graphic artist on season three of the hit Showtime series The Tudors, filmed in Ireland. There, she became known for her painstakingly top quality work designing such elements as stained glass windows and medieval scrolls.
The artist soon carved a name for herself designing for television series such as Camelot, Titanic: Blood and Steel, and Vikings (both filmed in Ireland), as well as animated feature The Boxtrolls and music documentary The Coronas: All the Others.
But it was her work on Wes Anderson’s irreverent and sentimental feature that really showcased Atkins’ unique creative talent. Together with production designer Adam Stockhausen, the pair created a visual masterpiece that has already entered the halls of cult film history.
Atkins’ profile, as a result has skyrocketed (as no doubt has fan mail to her Merrion Square studio), and her latest works of graphic design magic, from Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies to hit TV series Penny Dreadful, hit atmospheric home runs as a result of her gifted talent and skills.