{the interview series} Samantha Hahn

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Hoje trago-vos uma talentosa ilustradora que vive na fantástica cidade de New York!
As suas personagens são fortes na cor, na personalidade e no glamour. As suas pinceladas são vibrantes e certeiras. Apresento-vos Samantha Hahn.

Não se esqueçam de seguir {the interview series} no facebook e de reler todas as entrevistas aqui.
(Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.)

Today I bring you a talented illustrator who lives in fantastic New York City!
Her characters are strong in color, personality and glamour. Her strokes are vibrant and accurate. I present to you Samantha Hahn.

Don't forget to follow {the interview series} on facebook and to read all the previous interviews here.

Samantha Hahn | Samantha Hahn Illustration
site | blog | shop

1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Samantha Hahn. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm an illustrator who is inspired by style, beauty, my family and surroundings.

2. You work as a freelancer illustrator and your education include a BFA in illustration and a MA in art education. How and when was this creative passion born?
In utero.

3. You paint mainly in watercolor, which is a versatile but quite difficult medium, but you also use ink and digital mediums. Can you tell us why you prefer these mediums?
I love how fast they are and also how variable. I never know exactly how something is going to turn out and that's exciting.

4. Your characters are feminine and bright. They come out of your imagination or are they inspired by real people? Do you sketch first or you’d rather be more spontaneous? Share your creative process with us.
I usually find or take a reference image and go right into the painting. If it's a job I might do the same image multiple times until it turns out nicely.

5. Tell us now about your surface pattern work and its many applications, such as wallpapers, fabrics and stationary. How are they born? What digital means do you use to create them?
I always draw by hand and then I color digitally and repeat using photoshop. My patterns can be seen from journals in Anthropologie to wallpaper and t-shirts around the world. I love making my drawings into repeats.

6. Your clients include names as Marie Clare Magazine, Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble or Victoria’s Secret. The exquisite sense of fashion present in your work is influenced by your commissioned work or is it natural in your style?
It's more natural. Whether or not I was getting commissions this is the kind of work I'm compelled to create.

7. You have a recognizable style, you’ve participated in exhibitions and are a published artist. What means do you use to promote your work?
I keep a blog where I share daily drawings and other design/inspiration. I also reach out to potential clients via email or sending postcards.

8. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
Actually I'm about to move. My current work space is a bit cramped. I have a desk with computer, scanner and printer in the livingroom and then in the bedroom is my drawing table. When we move all my stuff will be in one area.

9. Would you share with us a regular day at work?
5:45 Wake up. Play with toddler, have family breakfast. Get toddler ready and send him and husband out the door for daycare/work.
8am Sit down at computer and answer emails, blog post, plot out day.
10am Go to drawing table work on jobs or projects.
1pm Lunch break.
1:30 Back to computer or drawing table.
4:15 Pick up toddler spend the afternoon with him.
6:30 Put him to bed.
7pm Dinner with husband and relaxing.
9pm Work for a couple more hours.
11pm Read or tv with husband and to bed!

10. You live in Brooklyn, with your husband and toddler. Tell us a bit about this vibrant city of New York! Would you share some of your favorite places?
I love Brooklyn and Manhattan. They are truly alive with inspiration and passionate people. My favorite restaurant in Brooklyn is Franny's in Prospect Heights. I also love Brooklyn Flea. Lots of creative people sell their wares and it's a vibrant place. Manhattan is full of museums and parks that I love. We never tire of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

11. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
Probably the Jazz era. It was a beautiful, stylish and creative era.

12. In your blog you regularly share with your readers some of the things that inspire you, like fashion, design and style. Would you share with us some of your favorite artists?
Lisa Yuskavage, Dana Schutz....too many to name.

13. What else are you passionate about doing?
Oh gosh, lately it seems there's absolutely no time for anything but work....it's work I love though. If I had free time I'd love to grab coffee with friends and take a bike ride along the water.

14. What advice would you give to someone who would also want to become an illustrator?
Give it time. Work hard. Create work you'd want to get hired to do.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
Create lots of books and get them published. That's both a plan and a difficult dream to make a reality. I'll try though.

Now a quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one:

book: Wind Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
music: Stevie Wonder
movie: Dark Crystal
personality/artist: Lisa Yuskavage
color: Orange
object: Vintage perfume bottle
animal: Whale
drink: Coffee
food: Whoopie Pie
season of the year: Autumn
travel destination: Paris
piece of clothing: Dress
secret: Sometimes I get so tired

And if you happen to be in New York, don't miss the opportunity to visit Samantha Hahn's first solo exhibition: A Thousand Ships!
The opening reception will be tomorrow, September 22nd, 7-9pm, at Gallery Hanahou.

I leave you with some inspiring words from the press release...

«Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.»

- Christopher Marlowe, on Helen of Troy in Doctor Faustus

In her first solo exhibition, illustrator Samantha Hahn brings forth the massive stores of her creative mind and lets her works overflow onto the walls of gallery hanahou. From collections of her daily drawings, to sketches of yearned-for items from the Brooklyn Flea Market, blogger portraits, and visual tributes of great women of literature, including incarnations of Helen of Troy, this show is an ode to all things bright, beautiful, and inspiring. On September 22nd, we invite you to take a glimpse into the ever-growing, color-saturated world of Samantha Hahn's works, that she has been happily creating over the past year.

The exhibition will be comprised of works ranging from sketches on scraps of notebook paper to larger, framed pieces, all crowding the walls of gallery hanahou for your visual pleasure.

How I wish I was in New York, so I wouldn't miss this show... and, well, for many other reasons! It will be patent until October 21th, so drop by if you can! If you're not close, feel free to contact Gallery Hanahou for a show catalog or to buy some Samantha's works on the online shop.

Thank you for sharing your world of beauty with us Samantha, wishing you lots of success to your show!


  1. Wow, she is an amazin artist. And Ana thanks for all our effort that you put in your interviews and give us an inspiration.


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