What inspires you?
As a creative, I always stumble upon new inspiration from my experiences and the world around me. From a young age, I have always had a particular interest in drawing the human figure. I vividly remember myself as a young girl, attempting to create portraits of my favorite celebrities based off of cutouts from old gossip magazines. I would spend hours drawing face after face, trying to render them recognizable to my fan club of one (my mom). My interest in figure drawing and portraiture is still a central focus across much of my work now. Most recently, I enjoy focusing in on and emphasizing certain elements of the figure, often pulling inspiration from the ostentatious poses of haute couture modeling.
There are many artists that inspire me as well, and I make an effort to extend the inspiration I pull from other artists beyond the boundaries of specifically fine art. Often, I find music to be a great muse to my own work, pulling from the content and moods of my favorite musicians. Writing is also another great source of inspiration for my work. I love to use excerpts from literature and poetry. In terms of fine art, Michael Reedy, Kehinde Wiley, and Alyssa Dawn Silos are just a few of the artists I admire and reference in my work.
I have always enjoyed experimenting with elements of contrast or tension in my work, and my interest in establishing these juxtapositions has progressed over time. I think unifying opposing elements in one work poses a challenge for me as the artist and provokes dialogue. Across much of my work, I incorporate elements of nature, specifically the ocean and outer space. I love exploring the vast and unknown beauty in these two “final frontiers” of sorts. Moreover, I think that these two stunning settings feel innately mysterious and powerful to humans, and I seek to capture that magnificence in my work.
I also enjoy to use online sites such as Inspiration Grid, Pinterest, and Tumblr to find images for reference and inspiration.
Do you have any resources you recommend to other artists?
I mostly use online sites such as Inspiration Grid, Pinterest, and Tumblr to find images for reference in my work. Much of the inspiration from my own work comes from haute couture fashion photography and conceptual photography.
Applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and Glitchéare great interfaces in which to draft and take risks with your concepts. These apps allow me to fearlessly experiment with the possibility of bold colors, compositions, etc. in my work without making any permanent changes that I’m not certain I’ll like. I often also use them to combine elements of different photos I like or play with unique effects I may want to recreate in my work.
In terms of design and more specific photo needs, as a college student, I’ve learned there are a lot of great sites to get stock images from without shelling out a handful of cash to Adobe every month. Negative Space, Kaboom Pics, and Pic Jumbo are great resources for high quality, free stock images to use for anything from class presentations to website design.
Another noteworthy resource for designers and artists alike is Colour Lovers. Colour Lovers is a great site where you can create and share color palettes for free. You can select from a huge value scale or upload a photo from which to select specific values. I think this is a great resource for artists, especially those who don’t have a strong understanding of color theory. When you look at images or art for inspiration, different colors surrounding the shade you are looking at can play tricks on your eye and affect your perception of the value you’re trying to achieve. This website is a great free tool to select colors more carefully and intentionally, and design and create pieces unified through tonal range.
Do you have social media?
Yes! You can follow me on Instagram @hannahghafaryart to see more of my work, as well as progress posts and other updates. My Pinterest may be worth checking out if you’re interested in seeing more of where I pull my inspiration from. My tag is @hannahghafary and I often pin images and links I reference back to later when I work. I have a blog that I am currently working on growing, which you can read here. Lastly, my personal social media handles are @hannahghafary on Instagram and Twitter.
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Do you take commissions?
What materials do you use?
I love to layer media in my work, and my favorite mediums are pen and acrylic. I don’t have specific brands of acrylics I use, but I love using Micron pens to have versatility with my mark making. I have certain pieces that are often mistaken to have elements of watercolor, because over the years in developing my style, I have found that I sometimes like to water down my acrylics when painting. This technique can be great for building subtle layers, or for more loose or vague elements in your work.
Generally, I work on stretcher canvases or wood panels. I build my own stretchers or buy them, depending on the size of the project. In recent years I have become interested in painting on wood, an inspiration from several of my favorite artists such as Audrey Kawasaki and Alyssa Silos. When working on wood, I sketch out my design onto the panel first and seal it with Liquitex Matte Medium before applying paint. The medium acts as both a sealant and a primer that smooths out the porous surface of the wood to give you more control over the paint.
Can I make a return?
Returns are only accepted in the case of damaged products. If you received your order damaged, please save all packaging materials and damaged goods in order to make the return. To file a claim for a return, click here. To read the full Return Policy, click here.