To celebrate adidas Originals releasing an exclusive range available through Hype DC we got three Hype DC team members to step outside their stores and tell us a little more about themselves. This month we feature Hanna-Etta, a Brisbane-based illustrator inspired by cartoonish settings and characters.
When did you first start drawing?
I started drawing when I was little, my mother didn’t like it at the time because I would draw chickens on the inside covers of her hardcover books. After being shown less destructive avenues of drawing I began to like it more and learned how to draw horses. A very natural progression from one farm animal to another.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
My work is based around fairly simple cartoonish settings and characters. The only way I can aptly describe it is by saying that whatever I do looks like I did it, using mostly black and white linework or a limited palette to make it. Sometimes the execution or even the style will vary depending on the theme or the overall mood of what I’m doing, but generally speaking it’s very cartoon based linework with no real narrative and a hint of subversion.
You’ve done some great mural work, what excites you about that mode of expression?
The scale of it is enough to get me jazzed. I like the sense of accomplishment that comes with turning a little sketch into something bigger and better. It also forces me to work with a different mindset—rather than making something that’s contained to one page, mural work requires me to make an immersive visual experience. Mural work is basically creating small two-dimensional worlds on the surfaces provided by our existing three-dimensional reality. And that’s awesome.
Are there any other mediums you really enjoy working with?
I draw more than I paint, so I use a lot of Copic and Micron brand pens to make my linework and then I also like to colour with Copic markers or watercolours depending on the piece. Sometimes I like to draw digitally as well, or use Photoshop to tweak scans of my illustrations.
What’s your creative process?
It’s really erratic and additive, I’ll never play that down. I start with one idea and then I begin to add on a bunch of stuff. Only to remove said stuff from the piece or going over it halfway into executing the original idea and reworking what’s left until it’s done. Somehow, the end result ends up looking like something that came from a resolved mode of thinking.
How does it change when you’re working for a client as opposed to creating something for yourself?
I’m my own worst critic, working with other people on ideas is always a welcome change. Client work can be stressful but I like it for the direction and focus it gives me. Also, you never know what projects people are going to approach you with and if you can even do it. That’s the fun, the unpredictability of someone else asking you to execute their vision in your own way.
Is there anyone whose work has particularly inspired you?
The list would be so, so long if I were to actually make one. I guess if I had to narrow it down I’d say that my favourite artists are ones that do whatever they want unapologetically. For example, Leon Karssen is one of those favourite artists because he does exactly what he wants and calls it art. Likewise with Rime from MSK. I’m drawn to and inspired by artists who create their own worlds and stay true to their vision without wavering or depending on popular opinion.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m working on a piece for a group show that’s happening in January called ‘No Acronym’. It’s curated by one of my favourite people, Sarah Hazlehurst, and hosted at her gallery, The Culprit Club. Other than that I’m putting together a better portfolio of work and toying with the idea of releasing some prints and things to see what happens.
- Photography: Savannah van der Niet