We caught up with Hannah last year to ask her about her loves, life and inspiration behind her work...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
My name is Hannah. I am an illustrator & designer. I make work about the little things in life; like a cup of tea someone else makes for you, or the wonder of dancing in the kitchen or just a good gin &; tonic! I have worked as an illustrator for over a decade, doing lots of different stuff, from publicity for theatre & bars, to branding & merchandise for various companies, to Large scale public commissions for the NHS & BBC. I have had 5 picture books published. Monkey & Robot (the stars of 4 of books), have appeared on CBeebies bedtime stories & have just been optioned to be turned into an animation - fingers crossed! I live with my marvellous husband Felix, little girl Ursula and our 2 cats Ron & Nog. I'm trying to learn to grow vegetables and get better at cycling up hills!
Apart from creating things what else do you enjoy doing?
I love just noodling about really! Whether it be in our garden, which are slowly try to tame, or in junk shops looking for a bargain. I love our home, so I do love to do a bit of making/ decorating/ customising about the place- but I guess that is creating isn't it! Well, just sitting in a comfy chair with a glass of wine & a good book is pretty hard to beat!
Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere really! I'm a big fan of boiling things down into little moments (life is pretty tricky and all a bit overwhelming at times, so I find divvying it up helps a lot!) and when you see things like this, everything is a picture. Just listening to other people I think gives you a bit of perspective & walking is pretty key too. Letting your brain, just quietly whirl, while you walk is very valuable.
Describe your studio or workspace?
A big colourful mess! Its our spare room at home, which is ace, cause I can drop in and out of work as I need to, although it does mean I have to clear up a bit when we have people to stay! I don't have one of those, clear, pristine white studios, that super cool graphic designers have, its a chaotic, scruffy space that sorts of evolves depending on what I am working on! Having all of my things around me inspires me & I think a certain level of mess is creative!! Although I do like to clear the decks each time I have a new project on the go.
What is a typical work day for you?
I don't really have a typical day, which is rather nice! It depends if my husband is around or not (he is an actor, so is away on tour at times) and we share looking after our little girl – so it depends if I am fitting work in around her or if I have a total studio day. But it normally revolves around coffee, list-making, emails, drawing at a lightbox, scanning, colour images on screen, pushing the cats off my lap, sending work to clients, listening to the radio, posting pictures to people, walking up and down the garden with Ursula, bath time, and wine!
What do you love most about what you do?
I love love love my job! I feel sooooooo lucky to be able to say that! Its scary at times, when you aren't quite sure when the next bit of work is coming from, but when you get paid to draw pictures of robin hood or make dolls of characters you have created or draw pictures of a toothbrush for a commission (as I have done this week) its pretty glorious really. Also, the fact that I can be a parent and an illustrator all at the same time, is pretty ace too and I think being creative has saved me a bit during the particular tricksy bits of child-rearing! I'm well lucky & I count my blessings, thank you very much!
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Ohhhhh it would have to be Mr David Hockney's little wonderland please!...although they do say never meet your heroes. But I reckon I could happily hang out with him & learn a thing or 2 or a million!
Which local artist/maker do you most admire?
There are too many! We live & work in such a creative place. My sister Ruth & my dad are both artists and are very inspiring & supportive. Last year I was really lucky to meet some or the fellow PSS makers and see how talented and darn nice they all are. Mr Dave Bain & Carys Tait are right talents & so are the rest of the Drawn in Bristol gang, & I love Lucie Sheridan's work, Peskimo's tea pictures are particularly lovely, Alice Sheilds is a newish pal & makes very witty work & is ridiculously funny & generous in real life! There really are lots and lots of people I could mention, but haven't! Sorry!
Tell us your current loves:
* Restaurant / Café - Bristol does pretty well for nice cafes and the like, Gloucester Rd particularly, but at the moment, I really like the museum; it may not be the hippest hang out, but you can have a lovely cup of coffee, Ursula can noodle about happily & you can hang out with a gorilla, a gypsy caravan & some cracking vases! Woop!
* Blog - I love a blog called Designsponge & have a kind of daily fix of it with a little efeed- it can be a bit american & smug sometimes, but also very inspiring and just what a need to get my visual brain cranked up.
* Magazine - I love Pinterest too in a similar way, its like looking at all the lovely pictures in magazines without having to buy the magazines!! Having said that I still love the real thing, me & Felix always sit down to 'read' them together, which I LOVE!
If you were stranded in the wilds somewhere, what item would you need with you the most?
Oh I don't know! Felix is the practical one in our family, so can I have him please? (I'm not sure how he'll feel, being described as an item!!)
Thank you Hannah! We love this interview, Designsponge is one of our favourite blogs too but you can't beat a good book. You can find Hannah's colourful prints are available in Paper Scissors Stone shop.
Paper Scissors Stone
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Sun: 11am - 5pm