Graphic designer Anna Potter addresses female empowerment, internet culture and our obsession with social media through witty Instagram posts and zines. Her iGIRL project – described as “the burn book of Instagram” – captures the millennial’s quest for the perfect feed with a series of statements inspired by real-life comments on the platform.Potter studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins. She is based in Bournemouth and has been working under the name Top Girl Studio since graduating in 2015. Explaining her decision to go freelance, she says: “After finishing uni, I realised I didn’t want to end up producing work that I wasn’t in love with or vaguely interested in.” She set up an Instagram feed and began sharing self-initiated projects – a strategy which led to commissions from Nike and Missguided.Potter recently collaborated with Nike and fashion blogger Girl on Kicks to create a series of images promoting Air Max Day. She also created a limited edition poster celebrating International Women’s Day for Riposte magazine. Potter was one of six female artists asked to create a poster – along with Lakwena Maciver, Tracey Ma, Paula Scher, Lynnie Zulu and Sonya Dyakova – and proceeds were donated to humanitarian organisation Women for Women.
Potter’s Instagram feed is carefully curated. She sees the platform as an opportunity to promote not just her work but herself and her interests, with photos of her favourite brands alongside recent work and images of things, people and places that have inspired her. “I’m a designer, but I also look at myself as a brand. I don’t want people to just buy into the product or idea I create, I want people to buy into me,” she says.
She hopes her account – and the success she has had with it so far – will inspire others to forge their own route into the industry. “I really do believe that social media gives us a unique opportunity where there are no rules to abide by. You don’t have to ‘do that’ or ‘do this’ because it’s normal or what everyone else does. Do what you love, show the world what you’re good at and make money doing something you’re passionate about. Take Instagram seriously. Follow everyone and start the conversation,” she says.