CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?
MH: I would describe my style as fun and whimsical. Inspired by nature and my surroundings but with some added magical elements to my artwork. For example, the raccoon character in my October work reflects a personal enjoyment for me. I really love giving my work more personality, in this instance by showing his passion as a little scout!
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
MH: Nature mainly. I live in Devon, UK and I am surrounded by so much beautiful land and seascapes. Especially in the summer, I love to take the train to the beach and be in my own world whilst drawing. I also do gain a lot of inspiration from folklore in books and films that help bring out those magical moods and atmospheres.
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: It can vary depending on each project. Sometimes I have a clear image of what the final illustration looks like, but other times I can spend hours just doodling and experimenting with different media and styles until I can find something that fits. I’ve found that even a simple set of marks on a page can help drive the continuation of an idea into a fully developed artwork.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
MH: I love to create textured artwork. Even though I predominantly use digital tools for my pieces, I almost want people to question if it is hand-drawn. I do this by incorporating watercolor layers, and pencil marks, and working from there.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
MH: I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by a lot of inspiring, artistic friends and live in a very creative household too. I always gain inspiration from them and my favorite thing is when we get a big roll of paper out in the living room and all just draw together. It’s rewarding to see all the fun mixes of styles interact together on the page and I’m constantly motivated by these people in my life to pursue my own work.
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: A bit of both! Sometimes I have an idea or want to work with a specific color palette or medium. From there, the more impulsive elements develop.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
MH: I try not to permanently throw away or rip out pages of drawings. Even if I hate it at the time, I know now that I can come back to it and see potential, even if it is just to understand the progress I’ve made over the years in my work.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
MH: Of course, everyone has different tastes in style and so not everyone will love or even like my work but there will be an artist out there for them. I am just so grateful when people message me to say they do enjoy my work- it really makes my day!
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
MH: When I have no inspiration. In those moments, it becomes easy to feel like almost everything I make is awful. My best advice to myself on these days is to take a step back from the project and return to it when I feel I can just have fun without thinking of the greater outcome.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
MH: I love being able to make people happy. When I create a piece of work that I love and people resonate with it, it is almost as if people are able to see a glimpse of how I see the world. That is an incredibly rewarding feeling.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?
MH: I always have a few but currently my favorite artist has to be Felicita Sala. I recently bought her book ‘Be A Tree!’- I absolutely love how she brings a range of mixed media to create these beautiful scenes and her use of texture is just so inspiring!
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
MH: I absolutely think technology is a valuable tool for artists today! I mainly create work digitally and because of this, I am able to work quicker and experiment a bit more with layering and textures. When I work with more traditional media, such as watercolors, I find it a bit harder to create a finalized piece and I most likely will still upload it onto a digital platform to clean it up. When also considering social media, it has been life-changing for me. It has helped me gain an audience and to connect with a larger group of people that I wouldn’t have access to without technology.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
MH: Of course, I can only speak for myself but when I go out on walks I can take inspiration from the beauty of the world and think how intricate and complicated such simple things can be. Such as flowers! They look so beautiful but when you take a closer look it’s incredible to see how intricate they are.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
MH: It’s one of my biggest passions! I sadly haven’t been able to travel in a while but my last big trip was traveling around Vietnam. I spent the whole time in awe of the landscapes and communities. Being able to experience different places and cultures is truly so inspiring and fills my heart with so much joy.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
MH: Fiction wise my favorite book recently has been ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens. I also love to collect children’s books as I find them to be so beautiful. I picked up a few recently but my new favorite has to be ‘Secrets Of The Mountain’ illustrated by Richard Jones.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
MH: I am largely ambitious, to produce pattern design work for various textile products. I’ve been working on making more hand-punched rugs but I also would love to at some point make a scarf and hat set with my designs on them. I think that would be truly awesome!
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
MH: Being an artist allows me to make people experience how I see the world through artwork. Illustrating gives me the freedom to be playful whilst creating a piece of work and if I can smile when I’m making it, I truly feel like an artist.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
MH: Whilst writing this I’ve been listening to my Discover Weekly on Spotify and one of my favorites has to be ‘Hold Me’ by Joshua Henry.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
MH: Have fun! If I am not creating work I enjoy and love I strongly feel people can tell. Just allowing myself to create fun, intricate, and whimsical work.