After years as a designer in New York, Cane River native and LSU College of Art & Design graduate Annie Moran returned to her Louisiana roots. Today, the artist, illustrator and designer lives in New Orleans, where she produces art, fashion and home goods that reflect her love of nature and local culture.
Moran credits her artist father with exposing her to art at an early age and growing up in a rural area with her passion for depicting the natural world.
“Our house was on a riverbank,” she says. “I was always getting lost in nature, plants and birds and other animals.”
At LSU, she focused on graphic arts as a career path and moved to New York after graduating. For several years, she designed packaging for fashion accessories, then more than a decade designing the products themselves (handbags and other items) for such well-known companies as Henri Bendel, Kate Spade, Coach, Ugg and Liz Claiborne. At the same time, she rediscovered painting with watercolor and began developing a portfolio of pattern design.
Eventually, Moran was drawn to New Orleans, where she visited often and where her parents had relocated. Now in business for herself, she creates watercolors, pillows, wallpaper, fabrics, jewelry and clothing items with such indigenous subjects and motifs as palmetto leaves, oak trees, herons and Mardi Gras revelers.
“My work is really a love of all nature,” says the artist who uses a mostly pastel palette and admires the art of fellow nature-lover Walter Anderson. “But the swampy things we have here create a mystical mood that I don’t find in other places. What we have in this region is really special to me. What I’m trying to do is paint how the viewer identifies with the subject and comment on a really human level.”
Hand-painted one-of-a-kind murals, both residential and public, are her favorite form of expression; she’d especially like to create them for hotels and restaurants. She also teaches a progressive series of watercolor workshops, recently returned to a collection of ink and charcoal drawings and plans to add decorative finishes to her repertoire.
Diligence, persistence, the city’s support of local artists, exposure at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the visibility provided by Instagram and other social media have helped her develop a following. Her work is also available at Eclectic Home and through anniemoran.com.