Student Spotlight: GRANT HANNA

Friday, November 12, 2010

We are proud to shine the SCAD-Atlanta Illustration Student Spotlight on Grant Hanna,
MFA candidate and all-around great guy. As usual, we asked him the obligatory 10
questions so everyone could get to know him a bit better. Enjoy his answers and his
wonderful artwork...

1. Where are you from?
I grew up in Chiang Mai, Thailand and lived there until I was 18 years old, then moved to the North Shore of Massachusetts for undergrad. I guess I consider Beverly, Massachusetts my adopted hometown.


2. Where have you been to school (and if grad student what kind of degree did you receive)?
I went to Gordon College in Wenham, MA for undergrad, and majored in Sculpture and Graphic Design. Then I took three years off before applying to the SCAD Illustration MFA program. 


3. What attracted you to Illustration?
I’ve always liked drawing pictures that have stories associated with them, especially when I can work collaboratively with other artists like musicians or writers to bring a visual element to what they’re doing – expressing both their and my points of view simultaneously.
My favorite pieces that I’ve done strike that place between communication and ambiguity, where the viewer can sense underlying and overlapping layers of meaning through an expression, a decorative element or a color choice.


4. Who are your biggest influences?
Hokusai, Mucha and Murakami for a long time now. Then James Jean and Sam Weber showed me how to bring those things into a contemporary setting.


5. If you weren’t studying illustration at SCAD, what would you likely be doing?
Probably I’d still be working a day job and painting at night, and going down to the beach at night to look at the lights across the bay.


6. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love catching up on new music and talking with friends about what projects we’re working on and where they’re going. I spend a lot of time hanging out with my cat, Frog, as well.


7. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I cook myself a meal from scratch almost every night of the week.


8. What would your dream job/client be and why?
I would love to do a wide-scope collaborative project with a publisher or author where I can
be involved from conception to execution, putting together a complete, intricately conceived design.


9. What’s your typical process for creating your artwork (technique, media, etc)?
I always start with a pencil drawing in mechanical pencil. From there I might go directly into the computer and start doing digital color, or more likely do some painting in watercolor or acrylic, or both, and then scan it and make color adjustments.

I love working with layers, textures and subtleties, especially when they come together to evoke a dreamy or melancholy air to a piece. 

10. Sum up your personal philosophy in 25 words or less.
"By being natural and sincere, one can often create revolutions without having sought them."
-Christian Dior

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