We virtually caught up with Ana Thorne to chat about her latest collaboration with PMA and her start as a Philly creative.
Hi Ana! Tell us a bit about your background. Were you always creative?
I am a Graphic designer and later on I took some courses at Moore College in Philly for fashion and learned how to sew at a small class in Lower Merion High School. Since I was a kid creativity has always been part of my everyday life. My grandma is a crafter and I believe she was the one that planted the seed. I remember leaving notes and drawings hidden for my mom, dad and grandparents as a surprise for them to find later and always admired my grandma's clothes that she made for herself and my aunts.
How did you get the idea to form a business?
When I was in college it was a dream of mine to create my own company one day. Eventually fell in love with textile design and it wasn't until later on that I decided to start my own business. I started with one sewing machine and hand printed some of my fabrics and digital printed others. All products I sell are handmade with my own illustrations on the fabrics, I did not have the money to hire a company to create my products, so I had to learn how to sew. I fell in love with Philly and created tons of designs inspired by the city of brotherly love on top of my other designs.
How is the creative community different in Philly from in other cities?
Diversity! Philly has so many cultures in one place and the support from local people makes it the perfect place for artists like myself to grow. From Murals, to an amazing architecture it's all about culture and art around the city.
Who inspires you?
Hard working people in general ... the ones that always come up with tons of plans and don't stop until they reach their goals! For my art and illustrations, I think I get inspiration from my surroundings, family friends and my old dog. She recently crossed the rainbow but definitely always shows up on my designs somehow.
What is your favorite gallery in the Museum?
Modern and contemporary art! I find interesting and refreshing how creative and innovative some artists are after years and years of picture perfect art, I actually identify with abstract or surreal artists, I always struggled to fit in my art classes back in college, all they taught was to re-create and not to explore and form your own style, the more perfect the better and if you look at my art it is all about imperfect and colorful elements.
Tell us a bit about the process of collaborating with the museum on the masks.
Collaborating with the Art museum (I still have to pinch myself to believe it) has been an amazing experience, From setting the paintings on the face mask fabric, and hand making them, All the staff is super friendly and they definitely guide you and support you in the process. I love that PMA is all about working and supporting local artists. It is such an amazing platform to show all the talent that exists in Philly, the perfect opportunity to discover new crafters and artists and I feel extremely honored and lucky to be able to collaborate with PMA for this face mask project.
Any other local artisans we should keep an eye on?
Carol Stamper! She is an amazing artist, creates art with Coffee as her watercolors.
Turn Style art as well, she creates amazing collages with security envelopes!!
Shop PMA x Ana Thorne masks here