Anamaria Biro, The Handful Project [Interview]

Anamaria Biro is awesome. She challenged herself to draw her hand every day for a whole year and every new hand. I personally can’t wait to see what she came up to every new day and I am always surprised. She is a true inspiration and I bow my hat to her. Below you can find a short intervew with her, because I felt the need to know her better 🙂

You can see the whole progression right here 

A little bit about yourself (what you like, what you do for a living, hobbies, accomplishments, dreams)

My name is Anamaria Biro and I am an economist. I was born in Sebes, studied and lived in Bucharest until the end of February 2014 when I moved to the UK and currently living in Reading. All the jobs I had so far, including the current one, have nothing to do with drawing but a lot with doodling. I think 95% of the meetings/conference calls I attended in the last 7 years ended up with at least one compulsive drawing (depending how boring or how long the meetings were). The rest of 5% are the meetings I attended without a pen and paper. I am a very big fan of cheesecakes, Placebo and Alexander McQueen’s creations. I love animals (especially cats), sewing, skating, long bike rides, the sea and summers.


Why are you drawing?

I draw to express myself, to relax and because it’s fun.


We all draw when we are children. Why do you think some people stop?

Because of society, because of our parent’s education or lack of education, because of an educational system that’s out of date. When I was a kid, drawing lessons were only taught in primary and secondary school and one class per week. The focus was on math, literature, physics or chemistry. We are told since we are young that we need to study hard to become doctors, engineers, lawyers or economists because these are the types of jobs that offer a good pay, security, a successful career, status etc. Art school could not be an option for me at that time also because I was convinced I had no drawing talent whatsoever. So I became an economist. There is a very good TED talk from seven years ago that speaks about how school kills creativity.


What did you like to draw when you were little?

I remember I loved to draw trees with many branches, empty nests and no leaves. There was no drawing notebook without a forest in winter time. As you might have noticed from the drawings I sent so far, I love patterns. I remember our drawing teacher used to collect the best drawings and display them on the hallways of our school and one time (and the only time) she took my drawing, too. It was a chess board with yellow and red squares and the yellow ones had black “Chinese” characters. Of course, they were not real but they looked quite real. I had a bottle of Chinese ink and used the label as inspiration for my version of Chinese. Maybe they even meant something but no one in our school knew Chinese.


Have you had a break from drawing? Why?

Yes I had a very long break from drawing, about 15 years, but I’ve always been doodling. It was only a couple of years ago when I bought a big sheet of paper that I wanted to fill with small abstract drawings but I never managed to finish it. My boyfriend also gave me, as a birthday present, a drawing kit with pencils, water colors and a very nice notebook but unfortunately I only used them a few times. When I go to Sebes I will definitely look for that kit take it with me.


What makes an artist be an artist?

The ability to think outside of the box and offer different perspectives. Like all kids do.


 When do you feel more inspired to draw?

I feel inspired all the time, there’s always something to draw about and everything can be patterned. Of course, some drawings are better than others, but the inspiration is always there.


What would you draw on a big building downtown?

Ants. I would make a small research before starting the project. I would stay near the building for a week (three or four hours every day) and try to talk to the people passing by, explain them about my project and ask them to tell me their favorite color, and 3 words. Then, I would start drawing and decorating the ants based on the colors and words they gave me.


If you drew a golden fish and it could grant you a wish related to drawing, what would that wish be?

To be able to earn a good living from drawing.


Why your hand? Why a year?

Not sure exactly why my hand, it was an idea that just popped into my head that late night. I am thinking it could be linked to the fact that when I was little I used to put my hand on paper and draw its shape, many times. And maybe because it’s similar to a fingerprint, with a unique shape. Also, I realize now that it adds more difficulty to the whole process.

Why a year? I think because I tend to start a lot of things but never finish them. So I see this as an opportunity to get rid of this awful habit. This time I will need to stay focused and determined for a longer period of time. And to be honest, I am really curious to see how the 365 hands will look like.



In the attachment a selfie from the train cause that’s where most of the drawing is happening.