Today I have an interview with the very talented Hannah Stouffer. I’ve featured her work here several times, mostly because I’m an unabashed fan of her stunning personal work, as well as the staggering amount of commercial work she produces. There is so much I like about her work, from the incredible colors, to the detailed illustrations of animals and skeletons, and she has the most amazing typography too. My friends at Foreign Family introduced me to her work a couple of years ago, and then they introduced me to her in person. I’m just glad she could find the time to answer my silly questions.
Where have you been finding inspiration lately? This collection of books I just bought is transforming my work in a whole new direction- I’m completely overwhelmed and engulfed by them. Mystic Places, Psychic Powers, Spirit Summonings, Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects, Hauntings, Powers of Healing, Search for the Soul, Transformations, Time and Space, Magical Arts, Cosmic Connections, Mind over Matter, Mysterious Creatures, Visions and Prophecies, Occult Sciences, Phantom Encounters and Psychic Voyages.
What are some of the themes you’re exploring in your personal work? Some things change, some stay the same, time changes things… I’ve been stuck on the phrase ‘Dust to Dust’ for the past 8 years or so and it keeps re-visiting me. I’m constantly facing dualities and contrasts in my work and have been playing more into fate and emotion, with the ever present themes and ideas of the cycles of existence.
What does Grand Array mean? The basis of it stems from this obsession I had with standard error, human error and accommodating that… Grand Array was actually a name I came up with to describe a gorgeously decadent dining spread, as it was originally intended as a name for a line of over-the-top ornate, baroque inspired house wares that I was interested in creating. Coming up with a nome de plume was never my intention, but my work kind of fell into place with it- now it just kind of makes sense.
I think your artwork is incredible, but I think it’s also true that you produce an astounding amount work for other brands and clients. It’s kind of overwhelming how much cool stuff you do for other people. How do you balance the two? Um… well, thank you. Its all part of the greater plan I guess, and I’ve found a way to make it work, and I’d love to start giving away all my recipes but I think I’m going to keep some of my secrets locked deep inside the vault. Hustle real hard.
Do you enjoy these projects, I’m guessing you do, based on the sheer volume of creative output? I love what I do, on every level. I find just as much satisfaction in the commercial work as I do from the personal- though its entirely different. The ability to create something that turns into a tangible product is so amazing I think- but when I have free creative reign to turn out an entire space or gallery- that is the height of my creative energy and exhaustion- but such a satisfying release.
What are some recent highlights of this kind of outside work that you’ve done? A music video for Ludacris, my own hightop Vans, a line of Nike 6.0 outerwear, a collection of erotica books with Chronicle, an artist series tequila bottle for Jose Cuervo, skis for Atomic and Line, North Face jackets, a handful of snowboards for Rome, GNU, wall graphics with Blik…. um…. I’m hoping to create some gear for lazer tag sometime in the new future, or at least start a band with all of these mini electric guitars that I’ve been collecting…