When looking through publication gal-dem’s many brilliant articles, there is often an accompanying illustration that tempts you in as well as its editorial content. Lots of these illustrations are by Hannah Buckman, a Camberwell graduate who employs her unique use of linework, texture to evoke the story at hand.
To illustrate editorial pieces Hannah says she’ll spend time reading the text, “highlighting key words and phrases,” and then noting down “whatever images initially come to me from those words”. From there, the illustrator opens up Photo Booth and takes images of herself posing to create reference material to draw from. The fact that Hannah doesn’t look for references elsewhere, creating the inspiration herself, makes her process distinctive, and the work created matches this individual process.
Most of Hannah’s illustrations are finished digitally, saying it’s best to work this way as “it’s easy to just keep tweaking things”. However lately her process has begun more by hand, “because then it’s like I’ve gone through the process once and when I get to the computer it’s almost like using muscle memory and then the appears screen,” she explains. “Sometimes I’ll trace over handdrawn scans which is nice, I like to be able to get sort of wobbly hand-drawn effects through the computer.”
When it comes to drawing an individual featured in an article, Hannah likes “to keep focus on women of colour and attempt to do my little bit to represent some of my experience, hopefully that resonates with others too,” she says. “I try to be sensitive to the experience of the author that my editorial images accompany, aiming for a more conceptual focus where messages are more implicit and nuanced.”
Hannah’s unique approach to illustration is also coupled with her influences that include beach scenes “really, really hot weather and the effect that has on your mood,” landscapes and nature, fashion designers such as Paloma Wool and Chelsea Bravo, literature by Zadie Smith or Lorrie Moore and the pattern work of Lucienne Day. The illustrator’s openness to these influences are each noticeable in her work in bold, or tiny details that are equally charming.
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