Meet the local artist who is ‘showcasing the beauty of the North East’

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Anna Longville creates unique pieces which shine a light on the beautiful scenery and people of the North East.

North East illustrator Anna Longville recently caught the attention of local celebrities and North East art-lovers, as she created a special piece of artwork for International Women’s Day, which depicted females from the North East who have made it to the big time. 

We sat down with the 22-year-old artist to find out more about her artwork, and why she feels it is important to shine a light on the North East. 

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Going back to the very beginning of her love of art, Anna explained that ever since being a young child she had an interest in art. 

“It was always something I loved doing, and I was naturally good at it”, she said. 

Anna also told us of how her grandad was an architect, which she thinks played a huge part in her deciding to continue art as a professional career. 

Anna went on to study Illustration at York St John University, moving away from her hometown in the North East 

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“I wanted to study illustration due to it being more commercial and thought about a career in illustrating children’s books”, Anna explained. 

Due to Anna’s first year of university taking place during the coronavirus pandemic, she found herself returning home for the lockdown period. 

She took long walks along Roker Beach during this time, which inspired her to create artwork depicting the beautiful landscapes of the North East. 

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“We had this project at university where we had to create a mini magazine. I decided to base my project on the local scenery of the North East.” 

Anna decided that showcasing North East landmarks was what she wanted to do with her art, creating ‘cup lid’ pieces, where she uses a recycled takeaway cup lid as a blank canvas, creating a ‘window effect’ which displays various scenic settings of the North East.

“I think it is really important to showcase the beauty of the North East”, Anna explained.

“It’s nice to show how pretty it is, and the rich history we have here, as well as the work that has gone in to make the North East a wonderful place to live.”

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Anna explained that one of her favourite pieces she has ever created was a cup lid painting which depicted the DFDS Ferry, which leaves from South Shields and travels to Holland. Anna’s painting of it also features The Groyne in South Shields. 

Anna said: “It’s important to me, as every year we have a family holiday to Holland. My grandma and grandad used to wave us off. It’s really special to me.”

While Anna’s cup-lid paintings are certainly a unique aspect of her artwork, she also creates watercolour and ink paintings which are usually available in A4, as well as greeting cards.

Anna LongvilleAnna Longville
Anna Longville | Anna Longville

Anna explained that the artistic process of the watercolour and ink scenic paintings involves photographing the place she wants to depict, hand-sketching the art before using watercolour paints to add a colour and vibrancy. She finishes with ink to carve out intricate details.

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Anna recently graduated from university in November 2023, but had decided to sell her artwork before then in 2021. 

Anna’s artwork is available to view and purchase online via her website, as well as in the National Glass Centre and Sunderland Museum in Sunderland and The Word in South Shields.

Anna also regularly sets up at local markets, she will next be selling her artwork at a market on Saturday, April 6 at Sunderland’s 1719. 

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