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Coveted Interviews

Coveted Interview: Hannah Stouffer

Hannah Stouffer is an Bay Area artist/illustrator. I first came across her work at the Capsule event last month, I instantly loved the opulence and richness of her prints. Looking at her website, it’s noted that she’s quite prolific, and I have seen her work in a number of places, the New York Times, Coca-Cola, Camel. She’s done work for Paper Denim Cloth, Levi’s and the North Face. It’s quite impressive really, and mostly because it’s so authentic to her style. Here she talks about her latest obsessions and that song that’s been in her head…

The Coveted: What are you obsessing on these days?
Hannah Stouffer: Monograms, gold rimmed glassware, gaudy decorative anything, serving platters, jungle safaris, predators, panthers and Benjamin Belsky.

TC: Let’s talk about your work for a minute… there is this undulating
dreamlike - smoke quality, like a genie coming out of the lantern. How would you, Hannah Stouffer, describe the underlying current in your art?
HS: I had the “I dream of Jeanie” intro song stuck in my head for 2 years. I don’t think that has anything to do with it but…. I definitely strive to keep the underlying current of my work classic, which I suppose could be a little dreamlike, since we are dealing with the past. I also try to portray a contemporary ornamental look, which combines these classic elements with more current decorative aspects. I’m trying to draw the best of both worlds, modern and vintage. I ate this gold covered chocolate the other day. How amazing is it that we can eat gold? I only want to eat gold.
TC: You’ve done work for some pretty high-profile clients, the New York Times, Coca-cola, and quite a number of galleries… were you ever nervous? Who were you most impressed by?
HS: Its always more excited than nervous. When I answer the phone while I’m brushing my teeth, or like… spilling my breakfast and they’re like, “Hello, this is Coca-cola” I usually get hot flashes, but I think I play it off really well. Sometimes I’m a really good business talker… and even if I’m still lying in bed I want them to think I’m working in like some crazy loft with huge windows… which I am, its just disguised to by much smaller.

I have been impressed by some of the art directors I’ve worked with, those that have such a clear direction and vision with a project that it is really easy for me to execute. It is sometimes difficult working with such large names because often there are so many people involved- each with their own viewpoint- that it seems like the direction is so undefined.

TC: I noticed that there really isn’t a clear distinction between personal and commissioned work, how do you keep them connected?
HS: I tend to get the basis of my commercial work, or my ideas, or inspirations from work that I do for myself, or for gallery shows. Its really important that I stay active, in terms of my thoughts and works. I think that style is the hardest thing to grasp, and when you can keep it consistent- yet updated and ever changing is a very strong trait- I strive for that. You’re making me want to draw right now…
TC: Favorite 3 artists both dead and alive?
HS: Andy Warhol, Deanne Cheuk, Si Scott (love you guys)
TC: Has anyone ever tattooed themselves with your art?
HS: Yeah… I get hit up a lot for this, but whether of not the person follows through with it is very much up to them… its funny because so much of it depends on the tattoo artist, and his style and what they are capable of, or what is possible to get done… a lot of my work is way too intricate.

TC: What are your future plans?

HS: Wow, the future? I don’t know. I like this right now…. I can’t really see myself doing anything else- I try not to plan more than a couple weeks in advance- you never know when someone is going to plan the party of your life. At some point in the future I plan to be eating gold in Argentina, hanging out the top of limousines like Motley Crue- with lots of girls and a jacuzzi….

Hannah Stouffer can be found on her website: http://grandarray.com/

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5 comments for “Coveted Interview: Hannah Stouffer”

  1. hehehe thats exactly what my post is about, jennine!!…..(i should have made a bilingual blog….its a pitty you loose my comments!!!!)
    I just wrote about “recycling lessons” and the way you can re-use your clothes from one year to another…hehe..last summers skirt may be a cute minidress this year! ;)

    ps- by the way….what a greaaaat work is doing Hannah! Fab intvw!


    Posted by Tallacuarenta | June 18, 2007, 5:40 pm
  2. Her stuff is adorable!

    Posted by Emma | June 18, 2007, 9:52 pm
  3. thanks love!
    well… i do live in california… so i should learn spanish… planning to take a class this fall, so don’t go bilingual! i need practice!
    : )

    Posted by Jennine | June 19, 2007, 10:03 am
  4. I featured some fashion illustrations recently on my blog too, so it was nice to actually read the interview with the artist! Thanks!
    Of course I’d like to exchange links! It would be my honor:)

    Posted by dianabobar | June 19, 2007, 12:16 pm
  5. Great interview! Her work is amazing!

    Posted by Carolina Lange | June 19, 2007, 2:58 pm

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