Speaking with artist and Law student Hannah Buck, In the Middle Associate Steph Bennett explores Buck’s recent illustrations for The Gryphon’s second issue.
What inspires you to create? Given the current climate, is there anything you do that helps inspire you?
“I like to follow other artists on Instagram and look through Pinterest boards of genres of art that I’m interested in to inspire my work. Being surrounded by beautiful vibrant pieces gives me the urge to create things myself and I often get my own painting ideas from looking at the ideas that others use. I try to fill the extra time I have from being locked down by sketching a lot and trying new mediums like inking and collaging!”
How did you originally get into art?
“I first started getting into art when I was about 12 and loved drawing my favourite cartoon characters. I started posting them on Instagram on a separate page for my artwork and having people actually like and comment on what I’d made really encouraged me to believe I had a skill that could be worked upon and I started getting into studying realism and figure drawing and then eventually developing my own artistic style.”
What’s your favourite medium and why?
“My favourite medium is oil paint because it always produces a beautiful realistic effect and has an interesting texture. However, oil paintings take a very long time and require you to use paint mediums so I mostly opt to use the digital medium for the accuracy and wide availability of colour.”
Your illustrations for our previous issue were really impressive – what was your process for coming up with them?
“I always start my pieces with a reference photo from Pinterest to create a sketch. For those two pieces, I used two photos of beautiful POC wearing something cultural to them. When I sketch, I try to characterise my facial features and reflect this in my linework too. I use the adobe colour website to find the perfect base palette of colours to work form and I usually look for bold, contrasting colours.”
A lot of your work seems to be created digitally – how did you initially get into digital art?
“I initially got into digital art by finger painting on my phone at a very young age. Digital art is so fun because you can achieve pretty much anything you want to create whilst having a great amount of detail and none of the mess from traditional art. I currently use an iPad and Apple Pencil which I highly recommend but for new artists wanting to get into digital art, getting a cheap tablet and any stylus can definitely produce just as good results!”
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
“My best advice would be to keep practicing and bring a sketchbook everywhere. People often believe you have to be talented to be good at art but it’s more about studying the area you’re interested in and always trying to improve from the last thing you’ve produced. I also think drawing inspiration from other artists work to help shape your own style can be really beneficial.”
Images by Hannah Buck