CONCEPT: Graceland Day Book is where we revel in the intelligent, inimitable and totally mesmerising women we come into contact with during our travels; both across the globe on buying trips and en-route to the local dance floor. A series intended to engage and inspire, this précis collection of interviews represents the backbone of Graceland’s ethos: feel stirred, be superb.
Inspired by growing up by the South Pacific Ocean and the exploration of femininity through the use of abstract form, we recently joined forces with Melbourne-based artist Hannah Rae Powell to create the 'Seaside' print.
Like the start of many modern-day collaborations, we first stumbled upon Hannah's work via Instagram. Immediately drawn to her playfully abstract designs, an email friendship quickly formed and Hannah became the artist behind Graceland Collection's first-ever collaborative piece.
We chat with Hannah about how she juggles being an Artist/Illustrator/Graphic Designer/Small Business Owner and her take on intersecting fashion with art.
Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself…
I am always overwhelmed by summing myself up! In a neat little box: I am currently working as a graphic designer in a commercial setting, which is what led me to illustration and sharing my work online. I felt like I needed to have a creative outlet outside of that (sometimes restricting) 9-5 setting. So, I am also an illustrator now! And trying to work out how to run a small business and still have a life/relationship/friends/health and mental sanity. Outside of that I drink lots of wine and read on my porch.
Hannah in the studio with two of her loves; art + coffee
Tell us about the inspiration behind your art?
My illustrations are always very personal, I use them as a way to figure out my (many) feelings, or as a type of visual diary. Women in general and how we interact with the world is always influencing my work. I love to use symbolism and I’m really inspired by nature so I love to use flowers, leaves and the moon to represent growth and change in a relation to femininity.
"Eggshell World" by Hannah Rae Powell
I noticed (and love!) that you use eco-friendly materials where possible to create your artwork, tell us a bit more about how sustainability intersects with your art practice?
I definitely think that this is an area I could be so much better in! Especially in terms of postage/packaging, it’s a shame that the easily accessible options are not always the most sustainable (often the way of the world). So, my goal for the year will be to take more responsibility in that area. The paper I use was suggested to me by my lovely printers (Hound and Bone) who are so incredible and know this is important to me. My work is printed on 70% bamboo and 30% recycled washi, so its better for the environment and also really beautiful, so it’s a win-win.
Lately your art has evolved into the fashion world and you’ve collaborated with accessories brand Oktoberdee, fashion label OhSevenDays, and now us! What do you think makes a fashion collaboration work well?
The fashion side of things has been such a nice extension of my work, it still feels a little surreal to see the pieces wandering around in the world! I think for a collaboration to work both parties need to be supportive, respectful of the design/design process, have a similar style and also to get along! Which is what makes our t-shirt so special!
Hannah Rae Powell x Graceland 'Seaside' Organic Cotton Tee
What matters most to you when you’re choosing what to wear?
I absolutely adore clothes and choosing what to wear is a really important part of how I present myself to the world. I love that my clothing choices flow with my moods and how I’m feeling about myself on any given day. I love the power clothes have to transform you into someone else for a bit.
What is that one vintage piece that has traveled with you over time, or, your all-time favourite vintage find?
My all-time vintage find is this absolutely beautiful rust coloured suede trench coat from the 70’s. It was outrageously only $15 from Savers and I’m still in shock no-one had snatched it up. I guess I was meant to find it. I love the sunshine, but I’m excited for winter when I can wear it again.
Hannah's work nestled between some of her latest op shop finds.
Tell us five things you can’t live without?
My partner, my pooch, my people, wine and coffee!
What’s something you have your sights set on achieving in 2019?
I would love to keep transforming my two-dimensional work into other three-dimensional avenues, I’m really interested in textile/fashion design and would love to try ceramics.
Words: Lucy Giblin
Here's where to check out more of Hannah's work: