AS MUCH AS THE INTERNET HAS HAD A HABIT OF MAKING ME REALLY ANGRY OF LATE, WHAT IS CONSISTENTLY INSPIRING IS STUMBLING UPON BEAUTIFULLY CREATIVE PEOPLE SHOWCASING THEIR WORK. THIS IS ONE OF THE POSITIVE REASONS THAT KEEPS ME FROM SWITCHING OFF THIS CONNECTION ONLINE. I’M EVEN MORE INSPIRED WHEN I DISCOVER PEOPLE THAT HAVE INTERTWINED THEIR CREATIVE WORK WITH MY OTHER PASSION, NEWCASTLE, AND THAT IS HOW THIS INTERVIEW CAME TO BE.
Sitting in the back courtyard at Core Espresso (did you even know they had a courtyard?) as the sun was just starting to hit for the day, Hannah and I had a chat about her creative project, being nude and who she is…
Hannah: I'm studying visual communication design at the University of Newcastle and I guess you could say I'm mainly illustrative based in the work that I do at the moment.
How did you end up creating - well, I'll let you describe...
The nudes? Ha, ha. I actually started - the first nudes I ever created was sad nudes and they were for a zine that I was doing at uni. I struggle with a bit of anxiety and things like that too and they were saying, "Do something that you're working on at the moment." So, uni obviously, I think, causes everybody anxiety.
Then I got some really positive feedback from my teacher about this design. The simple line drawings and things, it was just effective. The first time I'd ever drawn nudes to begin with and then I guess with my teacher motivating me to do more in that sort of area of work, I extended further, creating a variety of different nudes. I made some happy nudes as well that were overlapping.
For me, they became a representation of what it is to be an artist. So, it's that idea of being vulnerable which is why they're naked of course. So, you're basically showing your soul to everybody, either to be judged or to be loved, and I guess that's what it is to be an artist as well.
The nudes embody that sort of vulnerability and bravery in putting your work out there as well, regardless of what the outcome is.
That's fairly profound.
It is. It's a lot deeper, I think, than what people initially think of when they see it. I mean, there's two sides to the nudes. There's the really happy free-loving ones that are quite confident and then there are the other ones that are just the reality of being a human being, that we have happy moments and sad moments and that's what makes them so relatable, I think.
I started out thinking that the happier nudes would appeal to people but I found a few people who have wanted prints or copies, there is a tendency to go for the other ones because it's something that's relatable.
There's more of a connection with some of the deeper, maybe the darker elements.
Absolutely, yeah, and I think when you find people that are producing that sort of stuff, it makes you feel okay in yourself to know that, "Okay, they're feeling it. I'm feeling it. I guess a lot of other people are feeling it."
It's definitely for me also a way of breaking that stigma that's attached to, you know, we have down days but it doesn't mean that we're incapable human beings. A lot of expression and insight comes from those times and then being able to balance it out.
So, I haven't been able to do it so much because I'm full on with uni but eventually I want to do a thing that's a nude a day keeps the doctor away. So, for me, it actually...It makes me happy, drawing these nudes. So, it sort of started off as something for me personally and now it's been driven to get it out there for everybody else to see.
I think there's a lot of Novocastrian pride, it plays in well with that and you're tapping into that.
Absolutely and I think - this is just my sort of assumption as to - you know, people have been interested to - it's that sort of quirky style that you might see more in places like Sydney or Melbourne.
I actually had a girl from Sydney who is the lead creative of the card shop in Miranda who sent me a message. She said she doesn’t usually send messages to strangers but she saw my work. She was an hour’s student for Vis.Com. at Newcastle Uni and she just wanted to stop by and say that my work is amazing and it's something that Newcastle really needs.
As you said, we have that Novocastrian pride about us and a lot of people have said this is great because rather than sending out your typical Newcastle things that you can find, it's something a little bit different. It's something a little bit funny but it's still representing Newcastle and the place we live and the people in it.
I just love how you've been able to… I think it's the simplicity, I think you've done something quite incredible in that.
Yeah, I even surprised myself to be honest with how I've went, particularly just my drawing skills. I couldn't do hands. I still don't bother to do toes or faces but I think that's important to the actual identity of what I'm creating there anyway because it's not one specific person, it's everybody. So, I don't want to put too much detail into it.
Similar to body shapes and things like that, it's not about the physical identity of the person, it's about the internal.
I heard a rumour you are collaborating with Dylan from 2HRSnorth?
Yes, Dylan Smyth.
Yes, for dick pics. I'll have an artwork in there which is really, really exciting. I can't wait to see all of the artworks and how that turns out as well. I did a collaboration with the girls from Secret Book Stuff.
Yeah, Laura and Amy?
Yeah, they're absolutely fantastic. I did three custom commissions for them as well that they use now.
Yeah, it's really nice to see my work being appreciated as well and then being used. I've got a few upcoming things but I'm going to have to keep my... [mouth zipped action]
Couple of rumours. Follow the nudes.
Yeah, follow the nudes. I like that.
I also love that it's not spelt in the traditional way. Is that also to not tie in too closely?
I think it's so that they have their own unique brand so that they can still be part of Newcastle but they can still stand alone as nudes if they go outside of Noodcastle as well.
They're illiterate deliberately and I've had to stop and really think about why I've done this and I definitely think it's to do with our culture at the moment and that social media. So, when you think of memes, the nudes remind me of memes in that they have the image with words and the words again are quite relatable about being human and the follies of being human and with a lot of memes, you sort of notice those things that are "Err ma gawd." It just adds to the humour and it takes away from the seriousness of something that might be seriousness as well, so it lightens it a little bit and it helps me to get away with if I do make a spelling mistake, nobody knows if it's...
... on purpose or...
It's always on purpose.
Are there people in Newcastle that maybe don't inspire you, you don't reference but you look at as local inspiration?
I think everybody at the Roost is definitely someone who is a person to look up to because the Roost is essentially people that are running their own sort of small businesses from this one space which is just this big creative hub.
Mel O’Dell. She's absolutely fantastic. Even her presence is beautiful.
A pretty special person. You need a collaboration with Mel then.
I'd love to. I think she'd be up for it too.
You can find the Noods at @noods_creative on Instagram and at a Market Stall soon.
Plus you can find her work in several other spaces like we discussed earlier or sprinkled inside our October issue.