Tequila aficionado, traveler, explorer, and artist are only a few of the things that define Annamarie Pabst. Annamarie started working at W San Francisco in fall of 2011 as a Cocktail Server in the Living Room Bar. Serving drinks by night (very delicious drinks, I might add) and painting by day, Annamarie has fused many of her interests to build a portfolio of inspiring work over the years.
It all started back in St. Paul, Minnesota where Annamarie grew up. From there, she went on to study in Portland, Oregon, then spent a semester abroad in Kenya and Tanzania, and most recently lived in Vietnam for a year teaching English to primary school children. All of this before she landed in San Francisco! Are you getting wanderlust yet?
Her travels around the world and in our very own city of San Francisco have been a source of inspiration for Annamarie’s art. We played 21 questions to find out what inspires her to create, her go-to karaoke song, and how she navigates life as an artist in San Francisco.
Of all the amazing places to which you have traveled, do you have a favorite?
I got to see the Northern Lights on a backpacking trip in Western Canada. I’ll never forget that. I was also fortunate to study abroad in Kenya and Tanzania for a semester in college. Before moving to San Francisco, I spent a year in Vietnam teaching English.
Have you drawn inspiration from your travels for your art?
While I was studying in Vietnam, I took a trip to Cambodia that inspired my series of charcoal drawings S-21 Prison Series. I visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh where the walls are lined with mugshots of some of the victims of Khmer Rouge. This experience stuck with me well beyond my time in Vietnam and Cambodia. I didn’t begin my series of charcoal portraits until 2012, which took three years to complete.
You’ve been around the world, but what are some of your favorite things about your home in San Francisco?
San Francisco is packed with gorgeous parks, beaches, and stunning views. Lafayette Park, the Presidio, and Crissy Field to name a few. I love walking around in North Beach and drinking at ancient establishments such as House of Shields or Vesuvio.
How does San Francisco inspire your art?
Inspiration and ideas formulate in bits and pieces over time. Literature, movies, travel, people I know, music, illustrations, wilderness, architecture, all of these things can contribute to envisioning a painting. Caravaggio’s work inspires me, as well as movies directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.
Favorite restaurant in San Francisco?
Any guilty pleasures?
Cheese. It’s the best.
Drink of choice?
Favorite cocktail at W San Francisco?
The R&R. It's a Manhattan that tastes like root beer. So you get to feel like a grown-up and a kid at the same time.
Go-to karaoke song?
In my imaginary life, it’s “When You Were Mine” by Cindy Lauper
Annamarie’s S-21 Portrait Series will be on display at the Roll Up Gallery at Public Works from February 10 – March 10. Celebrate the opening of this exhibit this Friday, February 10th from 6 – 9 PM.
Opening Friday, February 10th, 2017
6 – 9 PM
Roll Up Gallery
161 Erie Street
The W San Francisco team is full of talent and inspiration. Read more about our talent and contributors here.
If we were to capture all the stories our guests bring in when they stay at W San Francisco, we would have an endless book of journeys. We love to be inspired by the endless creativity out there, so we sat down with the creative mind behind the Instagram account @paperboyo, Rich McCor.
We caught up with Rich over breakfast at TRACE. Not only did we get his story, we also got to watch him do his thing, live!
Rich started his Instagram account @paperboyo in 2015 with the intent of changing the monotonous and unchangeable scenery of some of the most iconic staples of the world. Think the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Burj al Arab in Dubai, or the Statue of Liberty in New York City. He wanted to make these classic staples different and make people smile, but never with a clear strategy or intention of turning it into a job. With the growing interest in photography and his previous knowledge in papercraft, he blended these two arts and did just that, change the scenic frames of the staples of the world with a twist of wit.
This is what he told us. Oh, and don’t forget to read it out loud in a British accent…
From your beginnings in 2009, when did it really hit you that your art form was taking off?
In October 2015, I was in Paris and I had just taken the photo of the lego man on the Arc de Triomphe and the press started to pick up on that. The Daily Mail in the UK reached out and asked a few questions, I sent them a few photos but didn’t think too much of it. At that point, I had 5,000 followers and had been focusing on building up my following. I remember going to a bar with some friends and whilst I was there I checked my Instagram and it jumped from 5,000 to 10,000 just from the article. By the end of that same week, I had 30,000 followers on Instagram.
How did this eventually turn into a job and how do you earn a living?
Right now, the traveling portion of the job isn’t covered, but it is the most fun part of it and where I create most of my content. Sponsored posts or promos for films is where I get my income at the moment, but I’m still kind of figuring it out and finding a path. I am also coming out with coffee table book with my photography. I am hoping to take February and March off and meet with the designers to get that going.
Is there an influencer that inspires you?
There is a guy called @abstractsunday who is an illustrator for the New Yorker, and he was one of the first people I followed. He does these really bizarre illustrations, and he just has a really good sense of humor. Looking at his stuff, I definitely got inspiration. There are also a couple of really great photographers in London that I follow, and I like bloggers that share good travel tips and advice. When it comes to bloggers, I like the ones that share their experiences rather than brag about them. I felt inspired by bloggers who had the ability to make their followers feel like they were coming on the journey with them.
Aside from W San Francisco, which W is the coolest?
I’ve only been to W Dubai right before I came to San Francisco, the design of that one was wicked. And I know the one in London which I walk past, but I live in London so I haven’t stayed there.
What do your family and friends say about your Instagram lifestyle?
I think they are so used to it now but gosh it was such a long conversation explaining to my grandma what I do. I remember telling my parents that I was quitting my job to go full-time Instagramming, there was this silence on the other side of the phone but then I told them how much I got paid for one of the jobs.
And this is where we mentioned that the oatmeal that was served at our TRACE breakfast table had honey from our own rooftop bees, and as any passionate photographer, Rich’s eyes lit up and asked us for the opportunity to check it out. Little did he know that we had something up our sleeves as well… we brought our own, San Franciscan symbol, a unicorn cut-out for him to play with!
This is what it looked like from our perspective.
Look out for @paperboyo's W San Francisco finished art on our page. We will share the amazing work once it hits our DM.
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SOUTH OF MARKET
W San Francisco is lucky to be part of such a culturally aware neighborhood in San Francisco. Home to many murals, museums, and public art exhibitions, South of Market (SoMa) has a reputation as the art hub of the city. SoMa has more than 12 museums in just 2 square miles - including our neighbor SFMOMA, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Museum of the African Diaspora.
Sites Unseen, a public art project of the Yerba Buena Commnity, has worked to beautify our neighborhood over the last few years with temporary art installations, performances, screenings, and other happenings.
If you walk around our beautiful neighborhood, you will find works of art everywhere - including alleyways, sides of buildings, and other underutilized spaces.
Barry McGee was part of the graffiti boom in the Bay Area during the early 1980s. Walk through any neighborhood in the city, and you will find that the influence of this movement is still alive. A native San Franciscan, McGee took inspiration from contemporary urban culture, which can be seen in his paintings, drawings, and mixed media.
As part of their effort to transform public spaces in a creative way, Sites Unseen is installing its first permanent large-scale exhibit in the Moscone Center Garage. Artist Barry McGee's iconic work will cover the exterior of the building in addition to an installation on the roof of the garage.
Not only does the Barry McGee installation enhance a building that we walk by every day, but we also get to explore the work by one of the Bay Area's most talented artists. All for free! The best part is that it's just a block away from W San Francisco.
Celebrate the unveiling of the Barry McGee installation this weekend on the rooftop of the Moscone Center Garage. The event will feature projects by other local artists including Fallen Fruit, Ramekon O'Arwisters and Leah Rosenberg.
Sunday, October 9
3 - 6 PM
Moscone Center Garage
255 Third Street
Whether you're a local or a tourist, San Francisco has many picture-perfect destinations to explore. Take advantage of the vibrant scenery and unique aesthetic that San Francisco has to offer. This guide offers up my favorite picks for the best Instagram shots in San Francisco.
From gorgeous 360 views to abandoned bathhouses from the early 19th century, this city holds endless possibilities for your creative eye. After you visit the tourist hotspots, escape to alternative areas of the city where you can capture a unique perspective.
SUTRO BATHS AND LAND'S END
Once a spot to mix and mingle, now Sutro Baths lays in ruins. Though this spot is on the far Western side of the city, it is definitely worth the trek. Explore this area for hidden treasures that make for that perfect Instagram shot.
Start at Sutro Baths and then explore the Land's End's Coastal Trail. If you're lucky you'll stumble upon the famous labyrinth, built by artist Eduardo Aguilera in 2004. The location of the labyrinth is one of San Francisco's best kept secrets, which is why locals and tourists alike make it their mission to explore Land's End until they find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. (I spent a year of hiking regularly at Land's End before I finally went down the right path.)
INSIDER TIP Walk down Judah Street on your way to Sutro Baths for a bite to eat at Java Beach Cafe or a coffee from Trouble.
In the geographical center of the city, Corona Heights offers stunning 360 views.
INSIDER TIP Because Corona Heights is centrally located, it is only a few short blocks from famous neighborhoods. Visit Haight Ashbury or the Castro District before heading over to make an afternoon of it.
Corona Heights Park
Cross the bridge and climb Hawk Hill for that classic shot of the Golden Gate. Once you cross the bridge, Sausalito is close by. Stop by Bar Bocce for a game of Bocce Ball on the waterfront.
San Francisco is famous for its creative and vibrant street art. Head to Clarion Alley in the Mission District to see the best of the best.
INSIDER TIP The Mission District has some of the best taquerias in the city. While you're here, head to La Taqueira or El Farolito for a taste.
Fusing the worlds of art, music, design, nightlife and more, 111 Minna Gallery offers a unique space in the Soma neighborhood of San Francisco. Minna Gallery creates a comfortable and appropriate setting for each chapter of the day. Stop for coffee before work, cocktails during happy hour, then again on the weekend to hear some of the best local DJs in San Francisco, all while enjoying the
monthly rotation of unique art exhibitions.
With weekly events and happenings, there are so many reasons to visit 111 Minna Gallery. Wine Down Mondays will help you beat the Monday blues. Half off bottles of wine? Yes please.
Throw it back on the second Saturday of each month when the 90’s go head to head with the 2000’s. Brittany Spears will battle it out with Nirvana, Snoop Dogg, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Visit again on the last Friday of the month for Trap x Art, a “celebration of beautifully diverse people, unparalleled live art exhibits showcasing amazingly talented arts, and of course dope music.”
Each month features a different musical tribute, from Notorious B.I.G. to Prince. If you’re looking to make your own mark, the event features interactive stations where attendees are encouraged to express themselves artistically.
111 Minna has it all. Love art? Check. Looking for a meeting space? They’ve got it. Need a coffee? Check. Something stronger? The bar is full. Just want to take a break from the work day? You can do that too – admission to the gallery free all day with the exception of special events. Head over at any hour for a different and unique experience.
111 Minna Street
San Francisco, CA