creative juice

An interview with artist Hannah Marquardt

In our previous post, Allovus honors influential women, we highlighted the naming of our Gig Harbor office spaces. Naming them after women who’ve made an impact on our society came along with a set of beautiful illustrations to go with each room.

Here’s a little information about the artist who created them. Read our interview with art student, Hannah Marquardt.

How did you become the artist for this project?

When I was approached about the project, I was just wrapping up my summer internship work with Allovus. I wanted to see if there was anything I could do during the school year, so I reached out to Jason, my mentor. Within a few days, he told me about the project. There was already an illustrator who was working lightly on the project, but they thought it would be really meaningful to have a female illustrator do the portraits since the project is about empowering women and celebrating their success. It’s a topic that I’m passionate about, so I was really excited to use my talents and bring this project to life.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment of when I wanted to be an artist because it’s been something that’s always been a part of me. I’ve been creating and making art ever since I could remember. But in terms of an actual occupation, I didn’t consider a creative career until later in high school. I’d always been told that being an artist isn’t sustainable and that I’d end up without a job—which by all means can be very true. I was about to corner myself into a profession I wasn’t really passionate about until one of my close teachers called me out and stopped me before I could. With some research and faith, I started on my path to becoming a professional artist. 

What was the process you used to create the illustrations? How did you arrive upon the style, colors, etc?

Starting out, I got inspiration from the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, a book that highlights the stories of influential women and includes cute, unique illustrations for each of them. I wanted to stick to a more realistic but illustrative style. However, I didn’t want to take away from the work by over-rendering and blending. Instead, I opted for a blocky brush and kept it a bit rustic. This is more true to my own style too, so it was something I was comfortable with. In terms of the color palette, there was a lot of exploring! I was playing around with making them all black and white, true to life colors, or just a limited palette. But after I asked around, I finally settled on the teal limited palette. I wanted to keep Allovus’ brand in mind since these pictures were going to be hung up throughout the building. That’s where the blue and teal palette originated from. It helps that the office is right on the ocean too! 

Tell us about your background! What school do you go to? What do you want to do after graduation? Where did you grow up?

Right now I’m going to school at Digipen Institute of Technology to get my BFA in digital art and animation. After graduation, I’d really like to work in animation or games because there’s a lot creativity and innovation behind them. Specifically, I’m interested in visual development and concept, but I’d be happy to work with any of the processes. I’ll be looking to graduate in 2021! I grew up in southern Oregon and then moved to Washington when I was 10, which was definitely a change of pace. Growing up in a small town out in southern Oregon really helped me to appreciate some of the smaller things in life. But living in Washington in a more developed area gave me a lot more exposure to things. 

What is your favorite medium?

Going to a tech school as an artist made me realize there’s a lot more to art than just painting and drawing. Now I’m working with things like Maya and Substance Painter, doing 3D and shader work. But in terms of things I’ll always fall back into, it’ll most likely be digital painting! It’s a lot more convenient being able to pull out my laptop and a tablet rather than set up a whole painting area.

Did you do research about each woman you illustrated for the project? 

Yes! Before doing any of the portraits, I tried to connect myself to each woman through research. It helped me to portray them accurately. I tried to include something in each of the portraits that shows something they’re well known for, whether it was a background or a prop. 

We’re excited to see Hannah’s career launch after she graduates!

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