Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview with Hannah Rosengren

I'm sure you've spotted the amazing bird painting currently residing in the large sponsorspot. Well, today I have a very special interview with the creator of that stunning bird and many other beautiful illustrations, paintings and creative projects. Do not forget to check out Hannah Rosengren's blog for more of her art work as well as other fun and inspirational posts.

Now on to the interview!

How did you get started in illustration?

I originally went to school for Studio Art, but after two years at a liberal arts college decided that I needed to make a change. I wasn’t happy with my work and I wasn’t happy with the department. I’ve always been interested in narrative work and children’s media, and realized that Illustration would make much more sense for me. So, I transferred to art school, and have loved it ever since.

What are your favorite materials to work with?

Currently I’d say my favorite materials to work with are acrylic paints. I also really love working with watercolors, but usually find that acrylics suit my style of illustration. And I enjoy using pen and ink every now and then when I’m feeling fancy.

Do you have any special projects planned for this year?

I always have random ideas floating around in my head, but lately I’ve really wanted to do a series on houses in a picture book kind of format. A lot of my illustration work so far has been pretty stylized and flatly colored, and I want to push myself to make much more detailed work this year.

If you’re in need of inspiration what do you do?

It definitely depends on the kind of inspiration that I need. A lot of the time it applies to a certain project, where I have an idea for an assignment but am not really sure how to make it happen. For example, when I wanted to make felt cardinals and chickadees but wasn’t sure how to approach it, I looked at some of Charley Harper’s work and how he simplified birds to get started. If I need inspiration in general, I’ll go to my bookcase and look through a bunch of my art books at once until something catches my eye. Looking through my giant Gustav Klimt book usually does the trick.

When do you feel a project is finished?

That’s a tough one! With some projects, I never feel like they’re finished. I could change little things about them every day for the rest of my life. But with most illustrations or paintings, I feel like it’s finished when the image in front of me is exactly (or close to) the image I originally had in my head.

Who is your favorite artist or the one that inspires you most?

I probably change my mind on this all of the time, but right now I’d say my favorite painter is Claude Monet, my favorite designer is Andy Warhol, and my favorite illustrator is Arthur Rackham. I’m really inspired by Monet’s sense of atmosphere and portrayal of light, and am always awed when seeing his work in person. Warhol’s color palettes always inspire me, and I love his early commercial work. And Rackham was just unbelievably talented. I love the fantastical creatures he created and the way he illustrated classic stories like Cinderella.

What do you have in store for us on your blog?

Lots and lots of work! My spring semester is full of studio classes, and I’ll also be illustrating a picture book by a local author. In the nearer future you can expect to see pages from my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project every couple of days, since I’m trying to finish it before classes start.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Just a huge thank you for interviewing me and helping to support my blog! It’s one thing to make work and post it but another to have people actually see it. I’m always excited to get any feedback on my work and I love finding new blogs so I can see other people’s work too!

Be sure to check out Hannah's blog to keep track of her projects and activities and her website to see her portfolio.


  1. What amazing work! I love the rabbit, deer, and owl in formal wear piece :)

    xo Amber P.

  2. Her works are awesome! This is a really fun interview! You should do more of these.

  3. Her work is so good, very versatile! I love the cats with hats and scarves!


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