artist hannah carrick invited us to her studio in sydney’s inner west to talk about her latest capsule, heroine, what inspires her creative process, and what international women’s day means to her.
an ode to women with hannah carrick
what motivated you to pursue a career in the arts?
i really struggled in school. i couldn’t focus and didn’t receive the support i can see that i needed looking back. i got into painting at a really young age as a bit of an escape and it was the only thing i enjoyed and excelled in. to this day, i am a self-taught artist and grew up with the impression you had to have a fancy art degree to be a ‘full-time artist’ and, because of the struggles i had at school, this seemed really out of reach for me. this directed me to a diploma in graphic design and i freelanced for a year, all the while knowing it wasn’t for me. i worked side jobs to support myself and would literally spend all my free time and money on painting supplies to refine my work. it took years of hard work, dedication and setbacks to get to the point of working for myself, which makes me appreciate it even more.
tell us about your creative process – what inspires you, and what is involved from start to finish in the creation of your work?
i would say my creative process is pretty chaotic. it goes through waves – i might have a week in the studio and get zero work done, or ruin artworks because i’m in a weird headspace. i'm still learning to give myself time and sit back for a few days if things aren’t flowing. my work is a reflection of my mood, surroundings, memories of my childhood and places, from my hometown to places i've travelled that have stayed with me. my process always begins with the basics – pencil to paper, outlining concepts weeks ahead of painting. then, the chaotic part starts.
what was the inspiration behind your latest capsule, HEROINE?
HEROINE is inspired by female empowerment, independence, and the courage and selflessness of women supporting families on their own. i will be donating 20 percent of all sales to the womens’-focused charity, Dress for Success.
why does the work that charity dress for success does resonate with you?
dress for success’ work resonates with me because after my parents separated, my father didn't pay any child support. my mum had my brother and i in her late teens and had been a stay-at-home mother up until that point. she was my age when she was a single mother, raising two teenagers with no work experience or the resources to study, so she worked as a cleaner to support us. i would like to be able to contribute in a small way to helping women get back on their feet and find a sense of independence.
you left home at the age of sixteen. how did this shape you to be the woman you are today?
it has helped me to be more resilient, and taught me that whatever you want in life is achievable with hard work and determination. nothing comes easy and things take time.
i worked side jobs to support myself and would literally spend all my free time and money on painting supplies to refine my work. it took years of hard work, dedication and setbacks to get to the point of working for myself, which makes me appreciate it even more.
you often depict the female form within your artwork. what is it about femininity that inspires you artistically?
the female form has so many beautiful shapes. there is something so calming about it.
your artwork is also a celebration of colour – how does colour speak to you and shape your creative process?
i like creating euphoric, peaceful places through my work that project positive emotions. colours to me are so important because it really shows what i may be going through at the time and relates through my work.
how do your artistic influences inform your sense of style?
i tend to go for classic everyday styles that are most comfortable. most days i wear tailored pants or jeans, a ribbed tank and sneakers or slides.
who are the women who inspire you most?
my mum, nanna and my girlfriends.
what does international women’s day represent to you?
women supporting one another and lifting each other up.