Hannah's story of her artwork business is inspirational to me. Hannah has a business called Wrendale Designs UK, it's the kitchen table, cottage industry family business story.
Studied Art at school, Zoology at College, married to a Farmer, living in the Lincolnshire countryside with her family, Hannah started painting animals, hares, geese, rabbits, dogs etc and the business evolved from that with her Husband and their team now running the business, Hannah is free to create. I love to hear a good success story.
The great thing about Hannah's work for me is the expression that she paints. Everyone single one of her artworks has that feel, you can almost hear/see what's happening, what the animal is thinking/feeling/doing like Hannah has taken a snapshot of something that's happening rather than painted an animal.
The duck below for example, the work is called 'Crash Landing' and that describes it perfectly. There is a feeling of this landing isn't going well!
I don't think there is a creation from Hannah that doesn't make me feel something or have a narrative going on in my head, yes I give voices to animals lol, you don't?
Another of my favourites is entitled 'The Pink Ladies' love them, they just know that they're fabulous dahling!
I think Hannah's Zoology range are my favourite, although it's hard to say that when all of her work is incredible. But the baby Rhino chasing a Butterfly is just magical, Hannah has captured that perfectly. Her background in studying animal behaviour definitely comes through her artwork. How gorgeous are these Giraffe, especially the young one.
Hannah's artwork can be found in lots of different formats on her website e.g kitchenware, stationery, prints etc. Hannah has won awards with her artwork at the Henries Awards on more than one occasion, they are awarded to people within the greeting card industry.
This Parrot strutting his stuff is titled 'Parrot on Parade', perfect title. The horse below is called 'Gloria' I just love her mane and the Penguin giving a happy skip show two examples of Hannah's greeting cards.
I am sure you can see why I love Hannah's work, the humour, the expression and the movement just makes me happy. Hannah is a very talented lady, so let's meet her.
Hello Hannah, tell us a little about you..
My name is Hannah I'm 33 from Melton Ross, near Brigg in North Lincolnshire UK.
Tell us a little about your art and what you do?
My first love is painting animals. I am a Zoologist by training and I studied animal behaviour. I used to do a lot of field work as part of my degree and would take a sketch both with me. I think this is where I first discovered a love of painting animals (although going back through my school sketch books, I think it was probably already there) I paint mainly in watercolour but occasionally dabble with ink, acrylic or oils.
I love the softness of watercolour and I tend to build up layer upon layer to get the end result.
What is your earliest creative memory?
I have always been creative - I learned to knit and sew at a very early age and was always writing stories. My mum was a wonderful seamstress and taught me how to embroider and later to sew with a machine. She bought me my first set of watercolours when I was about eight and I used to paint illustrations to go with my favourite books.
Do you ever suffer from a creative block and if so how do you get yourself out?
I wouldn't say I'm ever short of ideas, I usually have two or three in my head and if I am stuck doing paperwork for a few days I'm itching to get onto the next painting. I do find it difficult to paint under pressure and if I'm working to a deadline I can spend days working and come up with nothing I'm happy with. I find the best way is to have a day away from it doing something completely different and come back with a fresh pair of eyes.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by all kinds of different art, I've always loved the work of Peter Howson and Jenny Saville and more recently I'm intrigued by the work of textile artist Mr Finch.
What is your favourite piece of art that you've created?
I have recently created a series of limited editions and I'm really proud of them, my favourite is a painting of three fox cubs called 'The Afternoon Nap'
What are your creative ambitions for the future?
I feel very privileged and lucky to be able to make a living from my art and I'd be happy just to keep doing i! I'd love to become more well known, our ambition when we started Wrendale Designs was to become a household name, we still have a way to go!
How do you silence your inner critic?
I wish I knew the answer to this! I am never totally happy with what I paint as it never looks quite as good as it does in my head. I have pieces that I can't even look at because I am not happy with them and no one else can understand it. I tell myself that the sense of dissatisfacton pushes you on to be better, but it's not a nice feeling to be constantly disappointed about your work.
I can complete relate to that feeling on nothing I've ever done is as good as it is in my head either, but then I don't have your talent.. but like you said it pushes you not to be complacent, I suppose.. keeps you on your toes!
What do you do when you're not being creative?
I have three children under six so I have very little time for anything other than work and family, I enjoy pilates and seeing friends - when I have the time.
You're on a deserted island, you can have three art/craft items what would they be?
A lifetime supply of oil paints, brushes and paper - I would love to be better at painting with oils.
Love that answer, not what you're most comfortable with but the perfect opportunity to hone something you want to improve at.
Finally, where can we find your work Hannah?
Facebook: Wrendale Designs
Please go and check out Hannah's art, I defy you to not have a smile on your face by the time you finish.
Hannah, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Your story and artwork are inspirational I wish you all the luck in the world and continued success with Wrendale Designs.