The eXTra finGer

...''He was counting on his fingers.One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven.Eleven?Had he been born with an extra finger?''...

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Interview with Hannah Barton

q)Let’s start with the basics; what's your full name, where do you live, and how old are you?

a) My name is Hannah Jane Barton. I live in Brixton, South London and I'm 24 years old.

q) Do you have any formal training?

a) I have studied art at University, having completed a degree in Illustration in 2005.

q) Did the place you grew up in influence your image making?

a) I grew up in Manchester in the North of England, and I don't think it particularly influences my work on a day to day basis; I think the work I produce generally is reflective of my current situation, interests and location unless I want it to be otherwise.
Co-incidentally though, I intend to take a trip up to Manchester in the near future to complete a location drawing project about the area in which I was born.

q) How do you come up with your concepts?

a). My ideas behind my pieces spring up differently. Sometimes they are prompted by a brief, and at others, the idea will pop into my head- usually the latter! I quite often tell an story of sorts in my pieces which is something I'd like to develop that aspect of my work further and create a mini narrative strip. I certainly have favourite things to draw; big cats and people keep on popping up allover the place!
q) Describe your creations in a clear, concise and understandable sentence. What do you call them?

a) I currently produce drawings. I want them to look drawn, with flaws and all. They are very simple things.

q)What other mediums would you like to explore in your image making?

a) I want to do much more print making, screen printing in particular. I love the process; the fragility if it and the thought that goes into it. Plus, the scope of work you can produce with screen is massive- from a throwaway leaflet to a pristine run of prints.

q)What is the best time in the day for you to work on a project? Is there one, or is it more about the environment -- maybe the right mood?

a) I prefer working in the evening and into the night. having moved to a smaller house recently I have discovered that I really appreciate a lot of space when I work! I'm very messy so a big desk is vital for me.

q) What are your artistic influences?...and …generally who or what influences you the most?

a) Stories and daily oddities inspire me- the oddness of people and the things they do!

q) Who are some of your favourite artists/designers/photographers?

a) Some of my favourite artists at the moment are Chris Ware, Marcel Dzama, Simone Lia, Gemma Anderson and Ceri Amphlett

q) What is your next project?Exhibition?Collaboration?

a)Upcoming work includes my 'Going Home' project, exploring a personal sense of space.This is in preparation for an MA which I'm starting in October. Starting an MA will enable me to get a lot of work done- create a fanzine, print posters, and draw, draw, draw!

q)Are there some web sites that You would like to recomend? Artists, art communities, xxx,...!?

a) I participate on a few art sites- www.,, and there's always loads to look at on the Magma website ( I also love the work of the Heart Agency artists ( . There are so many decent websites and when you look at some, more and more interesting ones keep appearing.

q)What sort of music do you listen to?

a) I collect a lot of rubbish! I hoard things endlessly- train tickets, letters, birthday cards, notes; I'm a very sentimental person and I get attached to things far too easily. It's not a good habit but I can't see myself changing anytime soon! I also have a big book collection and I try to collect prints from fellow illustrators and artists when the opportunity arises.

q)Do you collect anything?If so what?

a) I listen to lots of music and I particularly love the blues! Son House and Bessie Smith. I love Led Zeppelin, the White Stripes and I've been listening to Amy Winehouse recently who I think is amazing. I think a lot of Mclusky, Queens of the Stone Age and Sleater Kinney. I could go on but I think that gives a fair impression.

q)What do you do for fun?

a) For fun I like to read, watch films, play tennis when I can. Also, I really appreciate trips to the country now that I live in the city too.

q)Any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?

a) The best advice I got when I started out was ' be tenacious'. I kept on working as hard as I could; I got many a knock back and I expect to get many more. And be as honest as you can with the work you produce. Honest work is always the best.

q)Your contacts…

a) Contact Info:email:


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