Collaborating with Hannah Edwards
Welcome to our first ‘Collaborating With…’ interview!
I decided to mix up the format slightly to better cater for the wonderful creatives I work with. I’m very aware that not everyone has a business for their art, so I wanted to create a space that still showcases the ridiculously talented individuals I get to collab with, and gives you an insight into who their are, how they got started and what collaborations *actually* look like BTS.
So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the lovely Hannah Edwards, of My Friend Jak. Hannah is a self-taught digital artist who produced two incredible art pieces for Rust. I chose the photographs and she did the rest – and I’m so in love with the final pieces that I’m going to hang them on my office walls.
Who’s That Girl?
Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Umm, I’m super awkward and avoid social crowds at all costs. I learn things really easily, get comfortable and move on. Drawing is the only consistent thing I’ve really kept. I remember as a kid having those giant art packs with paints, miniature colouring pencils and crayons. I’d sprawl them over the dining table and get to work drawing Ren & Stimpy or creating outfits for figures that my aunt used to draw.
I have what I call the ‘extra gene’, so when I get into something you can only imagine how much it takes over. I can crochet you a plant pot cover, macrame all the things, make you a kick ass fondant cake, you name it, I’ve got the supplies tucked away somewhere. Don’t get me started about indoor plants, the extra gene is still going strong with that one.
In the past I have been a phlebotomist, support worker, facilitated an overnight art lockdown and hosted an exhibition, a makeup/microblade artist and even owned a hair salon.
These days I’m a total homebody hanging out with 3 incredible humans that are all taller than me. They are my world, but raising teenagers is fucking nuts! Drawing is my escape while doors are slamming and music is blaring (I’m just glad they have decent taste in tunes).
How is 2019 going for you?
In terms of getting my shit together, great. I’ve stepped away from my previous roles and my million hobbies so I can really focus on making this into a career. I’ve already done collabs with a few people this year, which is crazy so early on.
What’s it like living in Perth?
I seriously love it, the sunsets are better than you’ve ever seen and the beaches beaches are better than the ones you find on vacation – best move we’ve ever made.
What is home to you?
I’m a bit of a gypsy so I find ‘home’ to be a hard concept. My family is all over east, so I have learnt to be pretty independent. It’s a vibe for me; the kids can create havoc but as long as I have water near by, music and a clean minimalistic space I’m happy.
What was the path that led you to becoming a digital illustrator?
It came down to asking myself what my long term goals are, but more importantly, what made me happy. When we moved to WA from the east, I had left my salon so it was a huge life adjustment and I loved my newfound freedom. I actually had time to create again, so went to uni to do a bachelor of design, hated every moment of it, had a few meltdowns around imposter syndrome and now we’re here.
Is it your full time gig, side hustle, or a hobby that you’re ridiculously good at?
At the moment I’d say full time gig, buuut I don’t put in as much time as I know I should. I’m probably working part time casual hours. Self discipline isn’t my strong suit – working from home has way too many distractions.
What made you decide to collaborate with Rust?
I had only recently decided to make my ‘hobby’ not a hobby and saw Viv’s post on IG – it was almost like a sign that I’d made the right decision.
Can you walk us through the collaboration – what was involved, what role you played (aside from being a total creative genius), etc?
For this collab I was asked to flex my creative muscles, so I came up with illustrations based from reference images supplied by Viv.
What was your process for designing the two pieces?
This was an easy collab for me, as I was given total freedom to do my thing. After receiving images I sketched out a few concepts, refined colour palettes and took it from there. The jungle print I think is my favourite image ever that I’ve illustrated, who doesn’t want to be surrounded by that many plants?!?
How did you find collaborating on an artwork compared to doing it solo?
Usually a collab means I’m given a brief of what’s needed and a time frame, which I find really helpful as it gives me direction. I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do with my solo work #aesthetic but it can lead to a lot of indecisiveness.
Do you have any advice for those wanting to get started in digital illustration?
There is no right time and no such thing as perfect, so dive in. Learn on the daily. Checkout local workshops like Guerrilla here in Perth, Skillshare, YouTube etc, there’s so many resources to learn from if uni isn’t your thing.
What’s something that people don’t see/realise that you do (the nitty gritty, behind the scenes stuff)?
Emails and DMs take a lot of my day, a lot of people seem to think they need to send perfectly posed reference images, in their best outfit, but drawing is my jam.
Reference images help especially with something like my calligraphy outline style because they take away all the brands, colours and leaves us with pure body language and connection between people, but send me screenshots from Pinterest of your fave outfit and a quick photo and I can still come up with something you will love.
I also love working on branding with small businesses and helping them build content for the gram. I recently worked on packaging for a company and I’d love to do more stuff like that.
And of course: what inspires you?
Women who have drive, that have worked their asses off to change their lives and are now living beyond comfortably. That’s the goal!
How do you take your tea (or coffee)?
Does iced tea count?
Fave coffee shops/cafes at home
Mataya or Blackboard & Food Co are my fave local hangs hands down.
Go to outfit
Mum bun, denim & a plain oversized T with slides or Vans if I’m feeling fancy.
When my kids do something nice randomly for a stranger, it means I’ve done my job well.
A sleep in! My youngest has started Sunday breakfasts and it’s so damn good! Grabbing fresh fruit and veg at the markets, a good cold pressed juice (Im a total juice snob), plant shopping, beach hangs or hanging at home with the fam. I’m such a nanna.
Podcast: Your Creative Start, You’re My Type & recently Brandfetti
Book: Desert Wall Flower
Ultimate travel destination
We hope you’re loving this interview series as much as we are! We are curious in nature, and very much enjoy learning the ins and outs of business and start up stories from other female entrepreneurs.
If you have another wonderful lady in mind that you’d like us to interview, drop a comment below or straight to email@example.com
Until the next brew,
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Rust Creative helps women in their twenties fast-track finding their purpose. Through 1:1 coaching, group programs and specialised resources, we offer women clarity and direction so that they can ENJOY the most exciting decade of their lives. And tea, always tea.
The Rust Woman
AKA Our Ideal Client.
She's a savvy twenty-something looking for a safe space to he heard and supported. She's confident that she can achieve her goals, but she doesn't know how she'll get there – yet. She KNOWS she has a purpose but needs a helping hand to uncover it.