Meet: Annelise Pollard
Interview: Lauren France | Written By: Lilli Ferry
Despite growing up in a family without a creative bent, Annelise knew from a young age that she loved to make things and she loved art. Growing up in Milwaukee, she has fond memories of her grandfather taking her to the art museum by the lake. While he was the first person who came alongside her and encouraged her artistic inkling, he was soon followed by more encouragers.
In middle school, her art teacher helped her connect with the high school art teacher to encourage her endeavors. In high school, she remembers a guidance counselor asking her what she wanted to fill her open schedule with during her senior year, and she responded with an art class: even though she had already taken all of the options available at her high school.
It seemed like the obvious choice, studying art in college. Despite being asked endlessly if she would concentrate on art education (she comes from a family of teachers), she knew that wasn’t her dream. She loved the process too much to teach.
During her time in college, Annelise discovered her medium: watercolor. She took her first class in it during her sophomore year at Judson, and she was hooked. Quickly, she realized this connection to the medium was not just an admiration for its beauty, but a spiritual tie.
Many things did not go her way in college, she says: “The medium of watercolor reflected that, because I couldn’t control it.” She wanted to study abroad, but it didn’t work out with her schedule. She was in a serious relationship that ended in heartbreak, despite the Christian college “ring by spring” culture. She had to learn to give God control in the midst of her heartache and discontentment.
Art was her therapy. Though it was hard, she learned to press in; as she released her water and ink onto the canvas, she released her own desires for how her life would go to the Lord, too.
For her senior thesis, she painted a series of large-scale watercolors; and as she painted, she processed.
Eventually, Annelise would like to pursue art full-time; but she recognizes that right now, she could not support herself making things.
Annelise is surrendering her desires to the Lord once again. She is working for her alma mater, Judson University, as a recruiter for the art, design, and architecture school to pay the bills.
Considering graduate school, but determined to pay off her undergraduate loans first. Applying to art shows, and committed to learning more about the business side of running her own art business before abandoning her 9-to-5.
The Lord is blessing her in these little steps of faithfulness too. In her job, though it’s not making things, she gets to work with high school students who are filled with the same passion she had back then. She gets to view their portfolios and talk to them about their work. And she’s been accepted into a Milwaukee art show, showcasing 30 artists creating small-scale pieces for 30 days.
I think we can all resonate with that desire; that prayer for our creative endeavors.