Thursday, 16 September 2010

INTERVIEW: Hannah Evelyn Rowlands

As I mentioned in my previous post, it's come to my attention that all of my friends are a talented bunch really, and in order to give my blog some love I thought it'd be a nice idea to feature them all and hope that other people stumble across their super talents.

To start off with, I've got my little interview with Hannah. I can't even remember how we 'met'. It was probably through something dorky like Myspace. Since then she's been kind enough to illustrate some flyers for my shop and teach me all there is to know about Blythe dolls.

Could you tell us a bit about your creative background?

I grew up receiving a chest of 'art stuff' every Christmas which was the best thing ever. And making fake stained glass windows at my neighbors house out of sweet wrappers. I used to sew things all the time, notably- bad barbie clothes. I remember drawing an epic picture of the lion king at school. And sewing 'home sweet home' on some bad cross stitch fabric. I used to collect pencil erasers too. Me and my sister had competitions with each other where we had to draw the 'best back garden ever', inspired by those gardening tv shows. That was memorable. Oh and doing hair braids on our council estate.

What made you choose to study Illustration?

I always knew I wanted to do art, but it was studying graphic design at school and that made me aware of illustration as a subject. I knew i either wanted to do that, or textiles (because i loved sewing). But I like drawing and making up stories the most so illustration was the progression of that for me.

What is your favourite piece of your own work and what are your favourite things to draw?

A lot of the time, the newest thing i've drawn is my 'favourite' but that's only because i always worry my work is rubbish. 
I illustrated a children's book i wrote about a bear who hid his food, and i think some of the spreads from that are my most recent favourites. But it changes. Daily! 

What are your inspirations?

Brightly coloured toys, furniture or objects from past times. 1960's fashion. I love everything about googie architecture. Old american candy packaging, animals, pretty clothes! Funny characters, memories.

Who are your favourite illustrators and artists?

Frida Kahlo, the band The Residents (because their imagery is brilliant), Kveta Pacovska, Orla Kiely, Jonny Hannah, Fort Thunder, various vintage illustrated children's books, Charley Harper, Edward Bawden, my friends and classmates work can be inspiring too. Illustration blogs all over cyberspace!

Apart from drawing and illustration, what are your other interests and hobbies?

Seeing bands, vintage clothes, collecting things. Alot of my hobbies and interests revolve around art related things. I think many artists tend to make it their life, and i think it is probably important to try and make time for non art related stuff, but i never stop thinking about it, it's obsessive. However, i do like going out and drinking lots of vodka, i'm not going to lie.

Since you're studying at university, do you find you have much time to do your own work? What is your working routine? (if you have one)

Well i am at Kingston university and the illustration course there is very intense. You have to be in every day working on various projects at once, or out location drawing or life drawing. I try and make the uni work very much my own anyway! That's a main part of being an illustrator, answering briefs, uni is like a client in a way.
As part of our course we have to set ourselves self initiated projects all the time, so i can choose what i want to do for those. And in my spare time, or holidays, i just draw things that are more self-indulgent, that perhaps don't necessarily have complicated meanings or concepts; stuff i think looks nice, or makes me happy. 

Routine- At the moment my course gives me the day to day work routine as i have to be in most days. Although I am a night person. I work best at night, tend to get more done!

Do you have any plans for what you want to do creatively in the future?

Well i am now in my third year and the thought of finishing is very strange but also exciting. I will have to find my own art related work, and set my own projects and goals. It will certainly be different to studying. I will be have to attempt to make a living out of what i love doing, and I am aware it will be hard work. At some point in the future i'd love to do an MA. But i guess that will depend on what i feel like in a few years time and money.....

What are your favourite....TV shows / Films / Books / Websites to browse etc......

TV -  Breaking Bad was the most recent show i was very addicted to, until i watched it all! And THE LION MAN. You can never have too many lions and tigers.
I do also have a soft spot for. you know, those bbc three type documentaries... trashy.

Films - Sleeper, Annie Hall, Happy Go Lucky,  I'm a cyborg but that's okay, Ghost World, Kids, Pedro Almodovar's films..

Books - The Virgin Suicides, The Bell Jar. 

Websites - oh i don't know. the internet has far too much good stuff..

Where can we find your work?


  1. this interview is super lovely! i love Hannah's beautiful illustrations & endearing characters x x

  2. Hi,

    been enjoying looking at your blog - which I found via Jean. I run several blogs & would like to add a link to yours + I also publish a monthly arts zine: & wonder if you;d be interested in curating a few pages for a forthcoming issue ? ta.


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