In anticipation of the release of The Walnut Branch magazine Volume 1, we interviewed each featured artist to learn more about their artistic journeys, inspirations, and processes.

Today, we are featuring our interview with the ever-talented, multifaceted artist Annie Rich Thompson, cosplayer, photographer, writer, & painter.

Q: Can you share a bit about your artistic journey and what inspired you to pursue your chosen medium?

Everyday magic inspires my creations in each of my art-forms and reminds myself and my audience to seek out the enchanted – even when it feels hard to find.

Q: Who or what are your major artistic influences? How have they shaped your work? 

My grandmother and her love of nature and storytelling heavily shaped my interest in art at an early age. She taught me some of the first art forms I fell in love with – storytelling and embroidery, and has always encouraged my creativity. My uncle was also an amazing artist and helped me believe as a child that my art was unique and worth sharing.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from your art? Is there a particular message or emotion you aim to convey?

I hope that readers can use my art as a stepping stone to imagine.

Q: Can you share a challenge you’ve faced in your artistic journey and how it contributed to your growth as an artist?

Believing that you can accomplish an artistic project is a hurdle every artist has to work to overcome, and so many of my stories and ideas have landed in the creative graveyard because I didn’t pursue them out of a fear of not being able to accomplish them. However, I’ve gone through some growth in recent years and met other amazing creatives and found the courage to reach for artistic goals I might not have before. Believing in my art and my abilities is a skill I’m strengthening and the value of creative community is immeasurable.

Q: Where do you see your artistic journey taking you in the future? Are there specific goals or projects you aspire to undertake in 2024?

In the next couple of years I want to become a published author, build bigger and more complicated costumes, invest more time into my drawing and painting and eventually illustrate my own books, and continue to tell mine and others’ stories through photography. I would love to collaborate with other artists this year and build valuable creative partnerships. I have WSP to thank for several collaborative opportunities that have already presented themselves.

Walnut Street Publishing is a Chattanooga-based independent publisher that specializes in amplifying stories from new and experienced authors and artists. We build a bridge for authors and artists to their audience around the world. We do this by creating avenues for talented individuals to publish their work. We believe in working together to help bring stories to life. We specialize in helping new authors find their voice and assist them in the publishing process while also being a solution to experienced authors who want a more personal publisher.

Emily Quinn

Emily Quinn

Emily Quinn is a Chattanoogan that dabbles in many different art forms, from music and writing to digital art and watercolors. She is the Social Media Manager for Walnut Street Publishing and a volunteer with Reach One Teach One UCA. Emily is a proud cat mom of 3, but most notably, she is the lucky wife of the talented writer, Aaron Quinn.