Featured Artist: Hannah Presdee

This month, London based artist Hannah Presdee shares her love of typography and explains the inspiration behind our funky SHORT SHORTS cover. (Clue: it’s very, very cool.)

You describe your style as whimsical and colourful, has it always been this way? Why typographic designs?

Always! One of my earliest memories is drawing the most obscure cartoons at my nana’s kitchen table. She had an empty Quality Street chocolate box filled with felts tips and paint that would end up splattered across the entire table and kitchen floor. I’d sit and draw with every colour felt tip possible until my hand would hurt.

When I studied art at school I began drawing in a very traditional style – using pencils, paints and
watercolour. It wasn’t until I studied design at university that it gave me time to really explore various mediums and concepts such as collage, photography, print and moving image. I merged certain graphic design and fine art elements together along with colourful, bold vectors – this is where my love for typography came into play and how i found my style. Typography brought a whole other informative element to my illustrations.

How do you go about creating a piece? Do you draw or sketch things out, and go from there? How does freestyling compare to working to a brief?

I usually sit with a coffee, listen to music, read a magazine, watch music videos or explore Pinterest and Tumblr for visuals. Once I get an idea I then sketch it out or I'll sit with a graphic pad and pen and work
directly in Illustrator or Photoshop.

Freestyling gives me the opportunity to really work from my imagination, allowing more of a flow – whereas a brief can be very limited in regards to what the clients needs.

Have you always been interested in art? When did you know it was something you wanted to do?

I’ve loved art from a very young age. It was the only subject at school I really enjoyed, along with dance and drama. I knew I wanted to pursue art as soon as I finished my GCSEs. [Ed Note: Exams taken around 16 years old.]

What inspires you? What other artists do you love?

Music, film, dance and fashion are my biggest inspirations. Artists I love at the moment? Keith Rankin, Jessica Walsh and Es Devlin.

You're currently a freelance illustrator. How have you created a career out of art and doing what you love?

Persistence is key and finding what drives and inspires me to get out of bed in the mornings has gotten to where I am today. I work full-time as a graphic designer and I am an illustrator as my side hustle.

I am a big believer of self-care, self-motivation and to never give up. This has allowed me to do what I love. It’s taken a lot of setbacks, but I have persevered.

What do you love to create/draw most of all?

My go-to is bright, bold geometric patterns and shapes. I love drawing food'; I’m not entirely sure why but there's something very relaxing about it. At the moment I love creating logos, I love helping to brand a business – it’s so exciting.

What is your dream for your work? What would you love to do with it?

I’d love to see my work on a billboard one day. I’d also like to experiment more with animation to give it life.

Tell us about the process of creating the cover for our SHORTS SHORTS issue?

I watched Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy’ music video! [Ed Note: This is the most amazing conception story.]