Hannah Farr is a talented pet portrait artist from England. Her work is whimsical and colorful and I'm happy to give her the spotlight this week! Read on to find out all about her shop:
Being a small business owner myself, I love to hear the origin stories of other makers. When and how did you decide to start your own business? What is your creative background?
From the age of four I've always wanted to an artist until one day in my childhood my best friend at the time told me that being artist included late nights and working past my bedtime! from that point my four year old brain was like "no way am i doing that!"
Anyway thorugh out my my puberty years of where most girls where kissing boys, getting boyfriends or anything else about boys, i was staying after school doing my art homework, i wasn't to most confident of people when growing up, very shy, didn't have much confidence due looking like a pale, acne covered skinny girl, who tried to do the whole emo-looking thang, I found art was my "get away."
At the age of 18 i moved out of my parents house and went to art college in Plymouth in England. Started out doing photography but then didn't quite get my head around the aperture or depth of field etc...; so opted for illustration on the thought of, i could sit and do my uni work in bed!! I was living by myself in this huge city full of new people and so my night life was more important to me than my grades. Saying this i had the best time of my life. I've got all my partying out of my system and now loving my nights in painting.
I started my business last year, i wanted to start a career for myself, i was always doing uninspiring dead end jobs and was sick of it, so thought lets start something which i will actually enjoy doing.
How did you decide to focus on your medium & style?
Literally just always loved painting, I've experiments in various fields such as using a graphic tablet, pencil, collage, lino printing but always gone back to using acrylic, i just adore how you can layer and if it all goes wrong then just slap white paint to cover the mistake and paint over. I've dipped my toe into the tattooing world due to my boyfriend, however was worried poopless because i couldn't get my mind round the fact that, if you make a mistake, THATS IT! you've had it! you cant rub it out! its on there for life!
Have you set any exciting goals for yourself or your business for 2015? What can we look forward to seeing from you!
I mainly paint commissions of client's fur babies and I recently just started to paint on ceramic tiles. I pop little silicone feet on the bottom of the tiles and varnish them which then people can use these tiles as coasters for cups of tea. These are working out to be very popular and so I'm going to continue with these coasters but broader my horizon and maybe experiment using a bit more pattern in the backgrounds of my work. As for my business, there may be an exhibition in September as my local art gallery is holding a exhibition about dogs, so this month i will start prepping for that.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their own self-made business?
Get organized! I have a full time job in the daytime being an assistant manager at a Deli in a pretty Cornish town of Wadebridge. Most of my painting are produced in the evenings, so on my lunch break I would be writing a list of what I need to do when I'm at home as I find writing lists gets me motivated, furthermore when I'm painting I find it relaxing and great to relieve and rewind the stress of the day.
Start telling people what you do. when I'm walking my own dogs (molly the pug, Maggie the shihtzu, Charlie the frenchie) and you get into conversation with another dog walker I'd just throw it out there that I'm a pet illustrator, or in the Deli, which is dog friendly, I'd show them my work; I've had many commissions just from word of mouth. You've just got to sell yourself.
Last advice would be .If your selling your art work online on Etsy or big cartel (like i am) get your shipping prices correct, sounds stupid but I learned the hard way, my first ever painting i sold (literally one of the best feelings in the world by the way) and the postage alone was the same price of the actual painting and my estimate of the postage was far to cheap (was posting from England to America) I made no profit at all on the piece, not a penny; however saying this i had a happy customer at the end which all that matters.
When you're not creating, what do you love to do?
Like before I work in a Deli, I sell Cornish cheeses all day, make and drink awesome coffee and create Italian Tapas's, I super enjoy the job and it pays the bills and my love of shoes, lipsticks, earrings. One day I may do the big leap of faith into just being full time freelance illustrator but at this current time I'm loving the direction of where every thing is going.
Lastly, can you share three of your favorite artists?
Laura Laine (lauralaine.net) for her stunning and crazily talented fashion illustrations. Mab Graves (mabgraves.com) for her sheer use of detail in her art work which mainly consists of wonderland, make-believe surrealist cute characters. Pippa Mcmanus (@lepip) for her colour scheme, and that models she paints are so pretty and you kinda wish you where them.
If you are liking my work and are wanting a personal pet portrait then please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep up with Hannah & shop her latest projects here: