self portraitCH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

MH: I hesitate to say my work is any particular style because I feel like I still haven’t settled on a definite style yet! But I would say it’s cartoonish, cute and simple.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

MH: I get inspired by reading many comics and watching a lot of cartoons. I also try and draw from the world around me. I feel like there’s a lot of weird and cool stuff happening in both technology and nature, and I try to emulate that. A lot of my comics are about personal stories as well, so I take a lot from my daily life.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

MH: When I sit down to make a comic, I first write up a basic story and decide what it is and isn’t about. I usually start by drawing loose thumbnail sketches, then reworking them again and again until they’re legible. I try to draw things over and over instead of try and get them right the first time. I then pencil, ink, and sometimes color the comic. Usually I make some touch ups digitally.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

MH: I would like people to be positively affected by my work. I’ve gotten messages where people will tell me that they relate to a personal story, and that’s always a great feeling! I love it when people say they could connect to my work.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

MH: Currently I am a student at the Sequential Artists Workshop in Gainesville, Florida. It’s a small but wonderful comics school that so far has been great for me. I go to class every day of the week, and I’m very fortunate in that I don’t currently have to be working full time alongside school. I also do freelance work on the side, and sometimes things can get busy. I try and draw something every day, and have a comic to post online at least every week. My biggest problem is sitting down and focusing on one thing, because usually I’m working on about three projects at once.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

MH: For me, it’s always helpful to have a direction to go on. However, I also try and let myself stray from that as often and as quickly as I need to.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

MH: The most important thing is being a part of a network! For professional purposes, but mostly because it’s hard to produce work in a vacuum. I think the most important resource is having other people to give feedback on your work, and just to talk to when you’re feeling stressed. Basically, don’t let ambition or working get in the way of having friends. Reach out to other artists who are your same age and level. It’s important to know you’re not alone!

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

MH: Personal style and taste are important, but I always try to leave room for change. I don’t think my style is done evolving and I don’t know if it will be anytime soon. I’m always being inspired by new things!

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

MH: I think the hardest thing is the isolation that can come out of this lifestyle. I tend to get wrapped up in projects and forget to go outside! It’s also difficult for me to pour all my energy into a piece, especially something autobiographical, without feeling emotionally drained.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

MH: I love being able to do what I want, and I love connecting with people through art.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

MH: There are so many artists who inspire me! Currently, my favorite artists are Eleanor Davis, Lisa Hanawalt, and Emily Carroll. All of those women are cartoonists with very different styles but they all make work that I find powerful. I’m also a fan of Tony Millionaire’s linework! Steve Wolfhard is also a big inspiration to me. I love how his work is so sweet and atmospheric.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

MH: Technology is so important. I don’t think I would have thought to be a cartoonist if I hadn’t grown up reading webcomics. I use tumblr and twitter every day to talk to other artists and to spread my work around. Because self-publishing on the internet is so easy to do, there are an incredible amount of people producing great work.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

MH: I think being an artist does tend to go with certain personality types, but overall I think we all have different experiences and different viewpoints!

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

MH: I love to travel. My favorite cities that I’ve been to are Toronto, Los Angeles, and Portland, OR.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

MH: My favorite book is The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

MH: In the next year I would like to branch out into longer narrative work, and experiment more with fiction. I’d like to eventually keep a regular webcomic and make more interesting and ambitious zines!

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

MH: To me, being an artist means putting your whole heart into making something.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

MH: Nope! Thank you for your interest in my work!


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