In an effort to make the second bedroom in our apartment less of a storage facility and more of a usable space, I need to part with some of my stuff. I’m going to start listing myriad handmade items and supplies in my other etsy shop. First up: ceramics from college (click on the image to go directly to the etsy listing).
Internet, I’ve been keeping a secret from you. The boyfriend asked me to marry him a couple months ago. Now that we’ve finally set a date and booked the location, a good part of the stress is over and I get to move on to the fun parts like the dress and invitations!
Anyway, for Valentine’s day, Mike enlisted his brother to make something to replace the store’s ring box that I keep my ring in each night. David is a bit of a Jack of all artistic trades — ceramicist, woodworker, blacksmith, photographer — and he turned this lovely piece on his lathe.
Hannah Stouffer is the brilliant hand behind Grand Array (which I posted about back here). I asked her to give us all a little insight into how she does what she does.
How did you get your start as a professional illustrator? What was your first big job?
One day I told myself that I was going to be an illustrator… then I started telling everyone else… and one day when I was riding the bus I got a call from a big pharmecutial company that wanted to pay me to draw. I don’t even know how they heard that I was gonna be an illustrator, but it was really surreal and it all kind of snowballed from that point. If you believe in something enough and want it, it will all work out. I swear.
What are your inspirations and influences?
There are many. I don’t even know where to start. I’m very easily overwhelmed and I’m attracted to so many things… sometimes I feel like I might explode… in a good way. I was reading this Pictorial Encyclopedia last night from 1990, I tend to do that a lot… I only made it from A-D though . . . but it gives me a bunch of good information and ideas without allowing myself to be influenced by contemporary phases and trends. I’m extremely interested with classifications and sub-cultures . . . both historically and in our current society.
What is your process?
Research then draw, and hope that it all goes away when I close my eyes at night.
Is the work that’s in commercial campaigns and magazines a sketch you did for yourself first that they liked or do you create work with a specific client in mind?
I’ve decided recently that in order to keep the basis of my work as real as possible its important that I create most of what I do for clients on my own terms. I usually create a series of works for a gallery show, or for myself and then incorporate into the work I do for clients, or even license it out for other projects and product. This isn’t always the case as clients do often have something specific in mind- but more often than not I make work for myself first.
Any advice for aspiring illustrators?
Anything else we should know about you?
I’m wearing black reptile skin pants and this amazing oversize ‘Party Prowler’ tee right now that I got at the flea market, I just ate some string cheese and I feel like a million bux.
Tamara Kane of Easy Street Studio creates beautiful and evocative images by digitally combining two or more photographs. The images ebb and flow and seamlessly intertwine, revealing the spontaneity with which she works. She says, “There isn’t a whole lot of planning that goes into them. They come to me and when they do I work with a sense of urgency while I have the idea still flowing in a clear way. I think this is one of the reasons that I prefer this medium because I can work quickly and not risk losing the ‘moment’.”
I created each of these unique prints in college using completely unconventional processes. For each plate (the prints above use three separate plates), I dissolved copier toner in alcohol, then dripped or poured it onto the clean, heated aluminum. Heating the aluminum made the alcohol dry faster than the toner could move, leaving the shapes you see above. To get this image to print, I then painted a thin coat of silicone over the whole plate, which was resisted in the areas where the toner had dried. Once the plate had dried and the toner was washed off, the ink stuck to the raw aluminum only and I printed these!
I love this process because it employs relatively cheap everyday materials and really is something anyone could do. Plus, both the aluminum and the toner were recycled (respectively from old newspaper printing plates and the last remnants left in the cartridge that usually get thrown away) Each print is approximately 5″ square and signed on the back — and available for purchase here!