From collage to interactive video, and from strumming a guitar to setting up her own record label, Hannah is a true creative and has never been afraid to try new things. Want to know how to follow your dreams and play to your talents? Our girl H has all the inspo you need!
Rocking the natural creativity
When I was younger, whatever I was making had to be a certain way. Like my first handbag. Ripped denim was totally a thing in the 90s and I was emphatic about how the rips should look on the pocket, what fabric should go underneath and any details I was trying to add. I don’t think this strange attention to detail ever went away!
Going to art school? No brainer!
I literally didn’t know what else to do. My Art Foundation was senseless fun – I loved it! I do remember wondering though what good it was to anyone. I went on to do a Fine Art Degree as it was the most open and versatile of the arts. It naturally became more theoretical - I wanted to know what I was making and why.
Medium serves the message
After exploring loads of areas I ended up making videos, which I’d never been interested in before. Interactive and digital technology was becoming more of a thing, and I befriended a technician who taught me how to do real time computer programming. I made a series of interactive videos for my final pieces, and in 2006, I got selected as a semi finalist for New Contemporaries. Then I decided digital work wasn’t for me, and I went back to basics: I started drawing and painting and simplifying my art.
Collage with a message is my jam
Linder Sterling a feminist collage artist and musician, uses subjects from old magazines in the 50s. When I saw her work, I thought I want to try this! I couldn’t believe how much more polished and pasteurised everything had become since the 1950s! Women then looked more individual somehow, despite being more stereotyped. I decided to take these modern images of women and try and insert some mystery and spirit back into them. To do this I used recycled materials, National Geographic mags, pictures of landscapes and unglamorous newspaper journalism.
When I was working on that project, I started thinking about why I was cutting these women out of magazines and wondered what had happened to the identities of these women before they had reached me as a viewer.
The guitar = my emotional companion
I started playing guitar at a very lost time in my life, when I was living in Melbourne - I had a lot of time on my hands and I slowly taught myself the guitar. This was a long and painful process at times - it literally can hurt your fingers! I knew I liked the sound of the guitar, but it was more than that – I identified with it.
You just gotta get it done
When I was 26,I had to make myself play in public. This was the first time I’d done anything performance based. I set up an acoustic folk night at the café I worked in, to allow amateur musicians and poets a chance to play. Eventually I started to work with some friends, a drummer and a bassist and we formed a band. We made our first EP in 2012. We had to raise some money to be able to release it, so we ran a cocktail bar at a festival and raised enough money to press a record. We thought if we were doing that, we needed a record label and so we just we created our own; 7 Eye Records. Social media helps us get shows, hear what people think, share our music and keep a relationship with our audiences. Let people hear!!
Multi-skilled and proud
The problem with doing lots of creative things is that it’s hard to say to people what you do, to become something concrete and ‘sellable’. I think it’s easier to find work in one thing that you do exceptionally well and people trust that you are experienced and great at what you do. I never felt like I had that quality! My advice is: do something for the pure enjoyment or challenge of it, and if you connect with the activity of it, hold on to it! Try and find time for it along the way – you only get better at things you spend time doing and the enjoyment and reward grows with that it.
Keep your mind open!
There’s nothing more rewarding than trusting something you want to do and allowing yourself to learn it. Be open to learning something and then stick with it. I had no plan to be a musician but allowing myself to try became the motivation and it ended up bringing more opportunities. It keeps me moving forward!
Keep up with Hannah (if you can!) on Instagram