Description of Overwhelmed Teenager

Anna painted this self-portrait when she was a teenager suffering from anorexia nervosa. Her A* pass at school guaranteed her a 2 year placement in Epsom College, after which she attended Surrey University of Art and Design.

She passed with a 1st Degree in fashion and was chosen to show her collection at Student Fashion Week in Battersea Park 2002. Her mental health had melted away and she was happy. She applied for a placement with Vivienne Westwood and made it through to the last two…the job went to the other artist and Anna found the rejection very difficult.

She did, however, design with Gharani Strock, and then head-hunted to spend three months in Delhi working on collections for top fashion houses. She was given accommodation in a good hotel and a taxi took her to and fro to the design offices which were on the top floor above the sweat shops. Seeing the small Indian teenagers working in the so called Sweat Shops upset her so much that every night she knocked back all the drinks in the mini-bar and stopped eating. The cows laying in the road disturbed her and eventually she was sent home.

She left the world of fashion and began illustrating. Some of her drawings featured globally on the BBC World Services. Now, with her body weight dangerously low and she had found solace in alcohol. A period in The Priory followed and a life-long battle with anorexia and alcoholism weaved in and out of her life. The highs and lows were exhausting. She was ten years sober before she relapsed and a new internal battle began.