Hannah Richards enjoys masking-taping things together and drawing everything and anything that pops into her head. Her illustrations are usually based on neat little concepts or straight-talking, hilarious one-liners. You can buy some of her products, such as her Your Opinion is Irrelevant Because I Hate You greeting card, from our online shop. She’s an Ohh Deer contributor and the simple, forthright messages in her illustrations have both charm and moxie. We spoke to Hannah about how she began life as a puppet and why she would name her pencil ‘HB’.
How did you become interested in illustration?
When my tutor on my Art Foundation told me it was “fine art with a job at the end of it”… this advice is questionable.
Can you tell me about your background?
I began existence as a puppet, and through a convenient series of events was made into a real girl. I studied Illustration at the University of Brighton, graduated in 2011 and after a brief foray into the world of advertising, I have escaped back into the arms of illustration.
How do you get the ideas for your illustrations?
I use a lot of my own everyday experiences; weird things I see and hear. I carry a notebook around with me to keep track of ideas. I make A LOT of lists.
What materials/mediums do you work with?
I mostly work with graphite and ink, and occasionally paint. I used to use a wider variety of mediums, but I have slowly simplified my process down to the bare bones. I like the ideas of the drawings to be at the forefront and try not to allow myself to be distracted with aesthetic concerns.
Who are your illustration heroes?
Ian Stevenson! His work is fantastic and he doesn’t compromise his style or censor himself. Although I would say I look at the work of fine artists more then other illustrators; Cy Twombly, Olafur Eliasson, Robert Montgomery.
How would you describe the smell of freshly sharpened pencils?
If you were bought a new HB, what would you name it?
HB. Better not to name him if I then had to slowly murder him by grinding his head to dust.
One piece of advice for aspiring doodlers?
Keep going no matter what.