Sunday, 29 December 2013

Secret Santa papercut

Every Christmas all of the staff who work alongside me on the delicatessen counter take part in 'Secret Santa', and this year I decided to make my gift instead of buying something. Papercutting is a technique I very much admire and this was my first 'proper' attempt at a fairly detailed cut, which was inspired by my visit to Rob Ryan's London-based exhibition last month.

I incorporated my colleague's and her family's initials in to the surrounding design and used their surname 'Guest' as the focal point. I'm chuffed to bits with the outcome and my friend was thrilled with her gift! I'm looking to seriously branch-out in to papercutting and intend for it to play a large part in my portfolio come the new year!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Autumn, my favourite season

Just a couple of snaps I took one chilly, November morning whilst taking our dog for his morning walk. Boothorpe is beautiful...

'There Is Only Time'

I've admired Rob Ryan's work for a while now and the other month I was fortunate enough to visit his exhibition 'There Is Only Time', which was timed to coincide with the launch of the British artist's new children's book 'The Invisible Kingdom'.

Displayed in the Sims Reed gallery, the exhibition featured some of Ryan's largest papercuts to date alongside some smaller scale pieces and limited edition screen prints of selected designs. His entire new body of artwork was aesthetically captivating, filling the open-plan space with an aura of peace, warmth, and contemplation.

Silhouetted within the paper and print works were beautifully crafted words, as is typical of Rob Ryan, which were incorporated into the lace-like designs contemplating themes of love, life, the universe, and our place in it. The poetic text pondered the enormity of life and how liberating it is to consider our significance in the world; the impact we make on others' lives, and the main thing that we all strive to experience during our short time on this earth is to simply love and be loved -which in itself is a remarkable thing.

It was breath-taking to see his intricate silhouetted designs up close and since viewing Ryan's collection of artwork I have been inspired to pursue my fondness and admiration for papercut art further as well as explore the possibilities of screen printing, a technique I have wanted to try and experiment with for some time now.

After viewing the exhibit, my mum and I also managed to squeeze in some Christmas shopping on (a very festive looking) Oxford Street and was the perfect way to end a great day!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Facebook page

I hope you all had a great weekend! Just a quick post to say that my facebook page 'Hannah Webb Illustration' is currently down, but it will be back up and running in the next couple of weeks - my apologies! In the meantime please feel free to follow me on instagram and twitter for other updates; @hw_illustration

On a different note, I'm finally going to visit Rob Ryan's exhibition at the Sims Reed Gallery in London tomorrow! I've been wanting to go for weeks now so I'm really looking forward to it. My mum is accompanying me this time which will be great, I hope she enjoys it as much as I will; but I dare say we'll squeeze in a bit of Christmas shopping on Oxford Street whilst we're there, which I know she'll enjoy!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Vintage postcards

I find myself in an unfamiliar position. I usually suffer from artists block on a far too regular basis, but recently I've been overwhelmed with ideas for artwork so its just a case of knowing where to begin! So in an attempt to kickstart my creativity I recently purchased a bulk lot of 40 used, vintage postcards from eBay for the bargain price of £6!

I love to use old paperwork in my illustrations for several reasons; the first comes down to my fondness of the aesthetic of aged ephemera, but another is because my mind goes completely blank when staring at a plain sheet of paper! So by incorporating techniques such as collage in my artwork it allows me to free my creativity and not feel so intimidated by the blank canvas in front of me... does that make sense?

Anyway, I digress! The selection of postcards is beautiful and I look forward to creating some new illustrations with them shortly, stay tuned!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

'Nothing To See Here'

A week ago today I finally made the trip down to London to visit Oliver Jeffers' exhibition 'Nothing To See Here' in the Lazarides Gallery on its last day of being open to the public.

This small, understated gallery situated just off Oxford Street was the perfect choice to house Jeffers' artwork in his first London-based exhibition. Its natural interior consisting of bare-brick and white walls with wooden flooring complimented the series of works beautifully; varying from large, traditionally painted canvases to a collection of scattered hammers nailed on the wall.

His still-life paintings referenced 18th & 19th century landscapes whilst featuring contrasting images of men in smart suits and objects associated with modern-life. These subjects provided the perfect contradiction to explore recurring themes of censorship and power in today's society. Through these works the artist studied society's desire to be in control, and explored the issue of social ignorance and peoples' relentless need to feel empowered.

In another set of artwork, Jeffers continued his career-long exploration of the relationship between words and pictures. In this case, by defacing the traditionally painted canvases with a contradictory statement, i.e. 'Nothing To See Here', the viewer felt conflicted over which source of information to believe.

An incredibly thought-provoking collection of works demonstrating Oliver Jeffers' differing artistic approaches to very pertinent social issues. It was humbling to be able to see these works up close and the exhibition exceeded all my expectations - a beautiful collection of artwork!

A big thank you to my beautiful, favourite red-head, Melissa, who accompanied me!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Design Juices feature

The creative blog Design Juices have featured me on their website! Its a great website which showcases emerging talent across the globe (including graphic artists, illustrators, photographers and more), and it's a fantastic platform for us newly-graduated students to proudly display our work. A big thank you to Jared Thompson for the opportunity!

Check it out, here!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Dinner break doodlings

Just a little biro sketch I did on my break at work - it helped break up the monotony!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Exciting exhibitions!

Afternoon! It's all hands on deck at the minute trying to catch up on the past few months, but I'm making steady progress! My Twitter account is up and running (@hw_illustration) and I've already gained quite a few followers, which looks promising! I've also had a wonderful opportunity come my way as a result, which I'll update you of as soon as I can.

I'm also planning one or two trips to London as there are lots of exciting exhibitions lined up over the coming months, two in particular I'm thrilled about! The first is already open; 'Nothing To See Here' held at the Lazarides Gallery in London by none other than my favourite artist & illustrator - Oliver Jeffers. It runs until Thursday 3rd October and shows a series of new works questionning human behaviour and ignorance. I've been observing the progress of the oil paintings and exhibition preparation via Jeffers' instagram & twitter accounts (@OliverJeffers) and it looks fantastic, really thought provoking! For more information, opening times and directions, click here.

Secondly is an exhibition by Rob Ryan, an outstanding papercut artist, entitled 'There Is Only Time' at the Sims Reed Gallery, London. The show runs from the 23rd October til the 8th November. I can't wait to check out the intricacy of his work first-hand! The gallery is also holding a book signing for his new book 'The Invisible Kingdom' on Saturday 26th October between 1-2pm, so I'm hoping to coincide the two. For further information and a few sneak peaks at the work to be shown, click here.

Busy and exciting times all round!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

I'm now officially a graduate!

On Thursday morning I graduated from the University of Lincoln with a degree in Illustration! It was such a beautiful day, everyone looked really lovely and very dapper indeed - I felt so proud of us all. I can't wait to see what the future holds - what opportunities may arise, who I will meet, and how my work will evolve along the way - not only for myself but for everyone I shared the experience with.

'A Midsummer Night's Dream' prints

For my Negotiated Unit I selected 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' as my literary source of inspiration. I decided to focus on its strong theme of 'nature' to produce a set of three prints, to be sold as part of a limited edition, promotional pack for a re-release of the play. The script is in no short supply of quotations for which I could have chosen for these prints, however I decided upon the quote 'Out of this wood, do not desire to go' spoken by Titania (Queen of the Fairies) in Act 3, Scene 1.

To add depth to the prints, both visually and symbolically, I used my own photographs as backdrops for the printed typography. I took photos of woodland and flowers mentioned within the play, then played with the brightness/colours/opacity of the images using Photoshop so as they wouldn't distract attention from the quotation. I then lino printed directly on to these print outs. I really love the subtlety of the photographic background and its definitely a technique that I'll be exploring in my future work!

Degree Show work

I thought I'd post some samples of my work that I submitted for my final university deadlines - better late than never! I created a set of 4 greetings cards in response to a competition held by YCN for UK Greetings, whereby we were asked to produce a collection of cards for an occasion of our choosing. Since I have a fondness for old maps & used postcards and working over collaged backgrounds, I saw this as an opportunity to create a range of cards with a 'travel' theme.

Using a combination of lino print, collage, and traditional rubber letter stamps I produced these cards. Although I like the outcome, I intend on reworking these at some point in the future to try to simplify & brighten the aesthetic.

An area of illustrative design I'm going to explore in more depth over the coming months are repeat surface patterns. Using a leaf design I carved from a sheet of linoleum I created these patterned backgrounds, which I also wish to revisit in the near future to create a more complex design featuring additional leaf designs.

Back to the grind!

Hello all! I know it's been a while, but everything has been a bit of a blur over the past few months! My last post (all the way back in May, tut tut...) was discussing the degree show and I'm pleased to tell you that it was a huge success! Both tutors and guests said it was the best opening night the course had ever held and the quality of work that was displayed was truly outstanding. The book, An Assortment of Illustrators, was also a hit!

Since finishing uni I've moved back home - a small hamlet surrounded by the Derbyshire countryside - and I've spent the majority of my time doing oodles of overtime at work to get my finances looking healthier! Now that my bank balance looks a little less pitiful I have gone back to my regular part-time hours, so I can go back to my artwork feeling refreshed and focused. This also means I'll be updating my blog far more regularly!

I've also taken the time to create myself a Twitter account - finally! So if you're on Twitter, feel free to follow me on @hw_illustration and get in touch :)

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Sneak peak...

Here's a sneak peak at some of my work being displayed at our end of year degree show. These designs were for a competition by UK Greetings and were created with collage, lino print, acrylic, rubber stamp lettering, and photoshop - I finally feel relatively confident at using photoshop now, it's only taken me 3 years!

Ill upload the rest of my work and photos of my degree show space after my assessment on Tuesday afternoon. Wish me luck!

Friday, 17 May 2013

'An Assortment of Illustrators'

I know, its been a while! I've been meaning to post on here for a while now as I've been conscious that I haven't posted anything since Christmas (*slap on the wrist!*) but I've been furiously working on my two final units of my degree - scary times! Next Friday 24th May is our final EVER university deadline, so once that is done and dusted I'll be uploading all of the work that I've been producing.

But until then, I thought I'd show you all a piece I did as part of a collaborative project within our year. Entitled 'An Assortment of Illustrators', each person from my year has produced an illustration based on collective nouns, mine being 'a string of ponies'.

I decided to produce a papercut; a technique I've recently become fascinated by and have wished to explore myself, so I took this opportunity to give it a go! Initially I used a photographic background but it was felt by a few of my coursemates that the background distracted attention away from the papercut. So I opted for a textured colour instead. I found the method very therapeutic; carefully carving out the design, ensuring you don't cut the wrong bit!

The small group of students responsible for the fund-raising, organisation, design, publication, and promotion of the book have done a truly fantastic job and deserve so much credit for the time, effort, and professionalism poured into the project, to ensure its success! I feel so proud to have been a part of it.

Incidentally, our final year degree show is also serving as our book launch! Following the opening night on Friday 31st May, the show will be open to the public from 1st - 14th June. There'll be some fantastic artwork on display; showcasing work of the final year students on the BA(Hons) Illustration course from the University of Lincoln, and our book 'An Assortment of Illustrators' will be available to purchase! Visit for more details and a sneaky sample of everyone's work.