Who am I really?
Recently, some events in my family have begun to reveal origins stories unknown to me. This has created a shift in my reality and concept of self.
Embroidery has a rich history with the women in my family. With every stitch, feeling strengthened by that connection, I explore questions of identity, with added layers of mental health exploration, ethnicity, and nostalgia. My background in design and illustration has informed my compositions, colors, and characters with a graphic, yet, dream-like, whimsical, and surreal feel.
I embed folk patterns, symbols, and imagery to apply a deeper level of context into my pieces. By depicting alternate versions of myself, I imagine that I am absorbing the protection of the symbols. It is, perhaps subconsciously, providing me with clarity and sense of self. This has become my mechanism through which my past, present and future selves speak to each other.
Anna Nazaretz Radjou was born in Chicago, Illinois, raised in Northern Virginia and lived abroad (Munich, Germany, and London, England). Throughout her childhood, she was introduced to many different cultures through travel, folk festivals, and museums. With these experiences, Anna developed a fondness for observing others, often paying close attention to how people reacted to everyday moments.
While attending the American School in London, Anna was encouraged by her art teacher to apply to art schools for college. As art had always been a constant in her life, she was excited to grow as an artist, and to have the possibility of pursuing a creative career path. While attending the Maryland Institute College of Art, Anna’s selection of Illustration as her major allowed her to take elective courses such as fiber art, sculpture, or printmaking. She quickly discovered that combining various mediums allowed her limitless creative possibilities for each project. After graduating with a BFA, Cum Laude, Anna threw herself into creating art for art shows, commissions, and her own personal enjoyment. During this time, she increasingly collaborated with a former colleague, and their successful work together grew into the creation of their own agency, j.a. creative. As the creative director and primary graphic designer, Anna has helped j.a. creative grow into an award-winning marketing and graphic design agency that provides services to international non-profits, locally owned businesses, and national associations. With the agency soon celebrating its 15th anniversary, Anna is excited to renew her efforts and endeavors working on her art.
Anna lives in Arlington, Virginia with her partner and two children. She is represented by Gallery Underground, is a member of the Arlington Artists Alliance, and is Artist Pro Tem at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Anna also recently became Gallery Director at Gallery Underground.
2009 - present
Graphic Design Awards for j.a. creative
Hermes Creative Awards
'I Voted' Arlington County Sticker Design Contest 1st Runner Up Finalist
Equal Merit Award
Mid-Atlantic Region T-Shirt Design Contest Winner
Whole Foods Market
Good Neighbor of the Year Award
Shelter House, Inc
Performance Excellence Award
Rhode Island School of Design Book Award
International Programs Scholarship
Maryland Institute, College of Art
Presidential Merit Scholarship
University of the Arts
1995 - 1999
Maryland Institute, College of Art, BFA, Cum Laude
1992 - 1995
American School in London
1991 - 1992