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A Magazine for Sheffield
Hannah Lock1

Hannah Lock "I love tactile artwork – artwork with texture"

The minute Hannah Lock's vibrant, Hockney-inspired drawings landed in our inbox for consideration, we knew we'd want to have her as a Now Then featured artist.

Born in West Yorkshire and now based in Sheffield, Hannah does all kinds of creative and commissioned work, and strikes us as someone who's always got a coloured pencil in her hand. She told us more about her practice, as well as giving us the chance to share some her work with you below.

Hi Hannah, pleasure to have you as a featured artist. Could you tell us a bit about your artistic journey so far and what brought you to Sheffield?

Hello! Thank you for the opportunity.

I studied at Leeds College of Art for my foundation, and then onto the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin for my BA. The Cambridge School of Art teaches its illustration students to have a strong basis in observational drawing, so there was a lot of going out into Cambridge and drawing in the cold the first few weeks, and every week they’d have live drawing sessions people could sign into.

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Hannah Lock

What brought me to Sheffield is a combination of things, mostly to move in with my partner, and also, I think there’s a lot of artistic opportunities here. I love how creative Sheffield is, especially all the street art on buildings and shop shutters. My current favourite thing to do is to go out in the morning and find spaces to draw, either for my commissions or drawing from observation. Bole Hill on a sunny day is particularly lovely for the scenery and just lots of dogs passing by.

Who or what inspires you to create?

A lot of different things! At University, our tutors taught us that gathering from all sorts of different sources of inspiration is great for your own work, as just getting inspiration from illustration can sometimes just lead to burn out. So I love grabbing inspiration from lots of sources: books, graphic novels, music, films, artwork, pottery and history.

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Hannah Lock

I love the films of [Michael] Powell and [Emeric] Pressburger for their colour, composition and pure imagination for this reason, and a lot of my inspiration for bright, vivid colours come from them – especially from the films Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes.

One of my favourite artists and inspirations is Yorkshire lad David Hockney, mostly for his bright colours, and without him, I don’t think I’d have the guts to go with such vivid colours. I love his recent foray into digital work, and also his large paintings of the Yorkshire landscape.

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Hannah Lock

Is working physically - with coloured pencils, pastels - important to your practice and your connection to your work?

Yes, definitely. I tried illustrating digitally in high school and at University, and whilst I love digital illustration and digital illustrators, it isn’t for me.

I love tactile artwork, and artwork with texture, that even without touching it – you could grasp a sense of what the artwork feels like. I think it brings an audience closer to the artwork. I also love the sense of surprise that comes with working with working with traditional mediums, as you don’t know how colours will mix, or how the line will come out, it’s hard to 'ctrl-alt-delete' with physical media, and I think that forces you to grow as an artist.

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Hannah Lock

You've done all kinds of commissions. Is there a particular 'thing' you like providing illustration for the most, and if so why?

Although I’ve only dipped my toes in, I love providing illustrations for musicians. I’ve previously created a poster for the Mountain Goats Spectral Tide tour, and provided the artwork for Current Joys poster. For one, I love both their music, and I love the creative freedom that comes with responding to music. I’d love to have more opportunities like that in the future.

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Hannah Lock

I also love illustrating scenes from books in my spare time, perhaps because there’s creative leeway in the ones I tend to read. I’ve been trying to weedle weedle, pry and needle into the publishing industry for a while now. Hopefully I might have some luck this year!

Have you got anything exciting coming up that you can share with us?

I should have a puzzle coming out later this year. The company I worked with sent me two samples, and I got to test them out on my auntie and my grandparents, and they loved it. Excited for people to see it!

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