(AW) Could you talk a bit about your creative process and where your images come from?
(AW) Who inspires you most of all?
(HG) My creative process begins with me doing a few drawings, taking photos and hunting down images. I then scan these in and draw around them in illustrator to create a stylized silhouette. When I have my silhouettes I arrange them into my lace designs. Then it's time to cut them out--I do this by hand when cutting paper, but I also cut vinyl using a Craft Robo which is an amazing cutting machine. When cutting more adventurous materials like fabric and acrylic I use a laser cutter; I'd love to be able to do more laser cutting!
The themes and images I use tend to come from anything I'm generally interested in. I can be quite un-disciplined and if I get excited by something or think it's cool, I want to work on it, but at the moment I am trying to stick to a trend. I made a trend board based around spring woodland theme to inspire me and to help focus my ideas, so at the moment I'm working on pieces for that collection. It's working well so far and I think it's helped to give my shop and portfolio more cohesion.
(AW) Mm! I like the sound of that. Reminds me a bit of this post by Katie on her mood board. What about lace and delicate patterns draws you in? Have you always been interested in these delicate silhouettes?
(HG) I'm not really sure what it is about lace and delicate patterns that I love so much...I suppose I've always been a doodler. Instead of sending time doing drawings I've tended to build up intricate patterns from little pictures and icons, I've covered the backs of notebooks and post-it notes and eventually like to see things that you wouldn't expect hidden within the pattern, the sort of thing you see in Timorous Beasties wallpapers. I suppose my interest in lace came from working on my degree. My course allowed us the freedom to develop our own ways of working, so from drawings of objects I gradually started cutting out images and almost by accident created lace. My tutors encouraged me in this and I eventually developed my technique. It wasn't really until after my degree that I discovered the work of Rob Ryan and other paper cutters.
(AW) Where do you like to create?
(HG) I do my work in a corner of my bedroom which I've set up with a nice big desk and my Mac. I've got the wall covered with inspirational images and all my materials where I need them--my little studio. Of course I'd prefer to have an actual studio, and one day I hope I will, but for now I love my little corner! It hels me to work productively and get less distracted, having a space set aside specifically for work, however small it may be.
(AW) How do you think being a designer affects your work?
(HG) Being a designer has affected my work in a number of ways. I work in a very commercial but also very inspiring studio, I see designs being tailored to fit the consumer, but also know that it's important to push the boundaries and be creative. I have learned that it is important to have the customer in mind when designing, so from my degree work, which was about youth culture and crime, my imagery ranging from guns to drugs and using bright neon colours, I have toned down my themes, as I know that these aren't everybody's cup of tea. Though the theme I am working to is more commercial, I have not adjusted my designs at all, I still make them as intricate and unusual as they need to be. I am learning to find the balance between the commercial and the creative. Another way that it has affected me is that I am always inspired to design, I'm so lucky to work alongside talented designers every day and to be surrounded by beautiful design and inspiration. It makes me want to work all the time, and I'm always getting new ideas. I think it could be harder to be motivated if i had to switch into design mode after a day in the office or something--this way, I'm always feeling creative. I feel very lucky to be able to do the thing that has always been my hobby as my day job too!
(AW) Who inspires you most of all?
(HG) So many people and things inspire me. My Grandma was a very talented and creative person who made beautiful embroideries and all sorts. She taught my brother and I so much when we were little, we were always making things and she inspired me to become a designer.
On the professional side of things, obviously Rob Ryan is my hero!
(AW) I just checked out his work (very cool!) and can see the correlation, but yours is a definitely a voice of its own. Thanks for your time and thoughts, Hannah.
Hannah's piece, "Flutterby," is currently in the Artwall Nursery. It's Time for Tea, her Etsy shop, is home to more cutouts and things. You can also see what she's up to on her blog or follow along with Twitter.