Hannah Phillips AKA Hannah

Artyczar

Moderator
Messages
8,654
Hi There! It's that time again, and you might be wondering how I/we come to pick our artists for these spotlights in the first place. Well, I'll tell you that I have a little method that brings up active members at random. Then I ask them if they would like to participate a few weeks before I send them their interview questions. This last time, Hannah, our administrator, happened to pop up, and after some cajoling, I was able to get her to do an interview.

At first, I thought maybe this would seem a little bit like nepotism because she is co-owner of this site. However, because some other members here have already expressed some interest in getting to know the owners and moderators of Creative Spark in this way, I thought I'd go ahead and proceed with posting this and hope that you will come to enjoy it. ;)

Hannah is multi-talented, as she works as a writer, musician, photographer, and visual artist. She is also a very skilled database systems administrator and web designer. In her day job, she works for an international company that hosts spaces for high-end websites and manages their customer operations. For "fun," she spends some of her time managing the backend of this site and helps to troubleshoot the hairy issues we get into as co-owner and navigating the community.

So now, please join me in honoring a warm welcome to her into the spotlight!

1. Where are you from and where are you located now (for how long)? And what do you like about it?

I am from the uncomfortably-friendly wilds of Minnesota. That's where I'm "from," but I've lived in California 14 years longer than I lived in Minnesota, so where am I really from? Now I am in Joshua Tree, California. I love everything about Joshua Tree. The beauty and solitude are often overwhelming.

2. When did you start making art, playing music, creating, or writing, and what do you consider yourself predominately in these fields?

I consider myself a writer and a musician, but I've been making some kind of visual art for as long as I can remember. I was a freak from birth, so I didn't have much choice in the matter.

lighbulb.jpg

Jessica Had to Eat Lightbulbs, Sumi ink on 100-year-old book paper, approx. 7 x 5 inches.

3. What kinds of media do you like to work in?

When I make visual art I use all kinds of media, but I like to make drawings with hand-ground Chinese ink and a brush, and I like watercolors too. Pieces of wood, nails. Lately, I'm digging the Copic alcohol pens/markers, but I'm not much good at handling them yet.

4. Where would you say you get your ideas from?

I don't really have any ideas. Well, very few. I usually make a line on some paper and it goes from there. I have no idea what it's supposed to be or what I'll end up with. 99% of the time that line leads to a face or a body, and 99% of the time the drawing will also have words written on it. Sometimes a lot of words. Sometimes the drawings are more story than drawing.

Aylee&friend.jpg

Aylee and Friend, black and white photograph, 8 x 10 inches.

5. What backgrounds do you have (trades, jobs--creative or otherwise) that may or may not speak to being creative?

None? I was a printer - like running offset printing presses - for about 15 years. A few of those years were spent in the bindery, doing all of that finishing work - cutting, padding, collating, folding, binding, boxing. But I don't think any of that is creative. Running those small offset presses is part science and part voodoo, but very little in the way of creativity.

Oh, and I was a professional musician for a while. 😉 Is that creative?

6. Is your work about anything in particular? Does it need to be?

Absurdity. And yes, it has to have that absurdity, or I'm not really interested.

oncebitten.jpg

Once Bitten, mixed media collage on paper, 8.5 x 11 inches.

7. What is your opinion on art education, formal or otherwise? What makes an "artist?"

Art education is for non-artists. I mean, it never hurts a real artist to learn some skills that apply to their trade, don't get me wrong, but as far as a college degree in art or writing? That's only useful for commercial art or advertising.

Of course, a degree in art or writing opens a lot of doors to the fine art and literary worlds. But through those doors has rushed nothing. Just a mountain of awful, pretentious art and even larger mountains of bland literary compost. I don't think you can learn to be an artist or a musician, or a writer. You can always smell the work of those who have been "educated." The stink of the shockingly unoriginal and uninspiring. And by "usually," I mean "always."

Education exists in opposition to creativity. It's education's job to beat any creativity or originality you might have out of you. Education seeks its level in mediocrity and conformity. Nothing creative ever came from it.

Is that a generalization? ha ha ha. Okay, it's probably not true, but I haven't seen much to disabuse me of that admittedly extreme view.

wedding.jpg

The Wedding, black and white photography, 8 x 10 inches.

8. Have you traveled a lot? Where are some of those places you've been to? Can you site some highlights about them?

Not a lot, but when I did travel it was usually on a tour with a band. That kind of traveling is really its own kind of category that you can't adequately explain to anyone who's never done it.

I loved Tunisia. Spent a few weeks there with a reggae band, and it was wonderful. While we were there I walked over the border into Libya, which was (and is) verboten, so that was fun. Something to write home about. Ha ha. "Today I went swimming in the Mediterranean and, oh yeah, I walked into Libya. Okay, bye, give my best to Aunt Crackie!"

Another highlight was loading all of our equipment into a giant flight container, like the size of one of those "pods" that people use to move to a new house, and being told it wouldn't fit into the plane we were taking to Germany. As we were standing on the tarmac. With the flight leaving in half an hour. That was memorable.

But really, every minute of every tour anywhere in the world is memorable. One night we were driving through endless olive groves in Tunisia, and I was the only one awake on the bus (aside from the driver, one hopes). I was laying with my head against the window, watching the olive trees go by, lit by a full moon, when I saw a shooting star. A trivial occurrence, but a memory I'll have forever.

9. Do you surround your environment with art or art objects? If so, can you describe some of the things in the room now?

Yes. Well, I live with you, so art is everywhere. 🥰

But in the room right now - on the wall right in front of me - is a small painting on wood that you made a long time ago, a painting of Dan, a work by a friend of yours ("strength varies with time," "strong light made me cry"), photos of Tibor Jankay and Bob Marley, a couple of acoustic guitars (they are also art), an Uncle Dave Macon "LOOK WHO IS COMING!" gig card, an awesome painting of a night scene in Patagonia by an artist whose name I can't read, and small poster from the movie, Rockers.

10. Do you have things in your life you would still like to do? If so, what are they?

Learn to play the piano. Figure out Tai chi. Avoid Monkey Pox.

paco.jpg

Paco, Sumi ink on 100-year-old book paper, approx. 7 x 5 inches.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Just that I think you are incredible, and I respect the community you've built here.

And that hate and war are a Babylonian trap to keep us from seeing the real enemy. Just those two things. 🙂

You can visit Hannah on Instagram here: @hannah.in.joshuatree
 

snoball

Certifiable
Supporting Member
Messages
6,347
Great interview! I just love learning more about all of my virtual acquaintances. In this interview, I saw a tiny peek of humor that I've not noticed before but was glad to see.:) Now Ayin, somewhere along the line you need to include yourself in these interviews. ❤️
 

Donna T

Well-known member
Messages
1,370
Nice interview and it's great to see some of your work, Hannah. I like the touches of absurdity in your pieces very much and agree with the assessment that you are multi-talented. Let us know how the piano lessons go once you start them! :)
 

Terri

Moderator
Messages
1,811
Great interview, Ayin. ❤️

Hannah, I liked seeing these samples of your visual art - in particular I love these B&W photos and would like to see more! I'm rooting for you to start those piano lessons, but also, frankly, I gotta say just don't stop - anything else.

Next time you drop by, I'd love to hear a snippet of your music - if you care to share. 🎶
 

Joy

Contributing Member
Messages
439
Wonderful interview, Ayin! And I echo Margaret that I would like to see you interviewed soon, even if you have to "interview yourself"!

Hannah, you are certainly multi-talented, original and creative. It is so interesting to get different points of view on the perceived value of education in the arts from the chosen monthly artists.
 

Jo Castillo

Contributing Member
Messages
1,386
Hannah, great to know you. You are an interesting person and evidently full of absurdity. :) Your interview made me smile.
 

laika

good intentions
Messages
931
Wow, there's so much in the interview that is quotable! And just like Jo above me, I find myself smiling after reading.
Also, judging by the visual content of the interview, your creations would inspire and delight the rest of us if we saw them more often :)

Now, why does Chromium browser frequently sieze up when I'm choosing my "like" button responses?
 

joe1It

Well-known member
Messages
2,526
Wonderful interview, and I really enjoyed seeing,discovering some of your works, good works
 

Desforges

Well-known member
Messages
1,195
I loved the interview with Hannah.
I value absurdity as it gives a perfect sense of what reality is.
The photographs are lovely and the artwork too.
Very interesting.
I like that there is no plan, just hands on and the result is what it is.
Thanks for the share. ❤️
 

Hannah

Admin
Moderator
Messages
129
I like the touches of absurdity in your pieces very much...
Let us know how the piano lessons go once you start them! :)
Thank you, I've sought out the absurdity in everything for as long as I can remember. It's a sickness. 🙃

The piano is going great. Though most of what I do is try to beat a sense of rhythm into my left hand. I've played the guitar for more than 45 years, and all the rhythm is in the right hand, so it's terribly unnatural. Every day is a little better, but only a little. 😉

I will say I understand more about the technical construction of chords and music because the keyboard lays it all out in front of you, and there's some simple logic to understanding it. The guitar on the other hand - I never understood the structures as much on guitar. I went by instinct and chord shapes, which isn't unusual among guitarists.

I love these B&W photos and would like to see more!
Maybe I'll do that. 🙂 I have such a mountain of negatives to scan though, and I'm pretty lazy, so...

You'd be real fun to know in person!
You'd think so, wouldn't you. Ha ha. I don't know though. Ask Ayin.

I echo Margaret that I would like to see you interviewed soon, even if you have to "interview yourself"!
I'll third that motion!

Your interview made me smile.
Mission accomplished!

Wow, there's so much in the interview that is quotable!
What a lovely compliment, thank you.

Wonderful interview, and I really enjoyed seeing,discovering some of your works, good works
Thank you. 🙂

I value absurdity as it gives a perfect sense of what reality is.
I like that there is no plan, just hands on and the result is what it is.
Thank you my friend. 🥰
 
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