Five Go Mad

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Q and A with Hanna Melin

Freelance Artist and Illustrator Hanna Melin was born in Sweden and moved to the UK to study art and design. Now based in London, Hanna's drawings have been animated for music videos and commercials alike. 

What is your earliest memory of creating art or drawing?
Around five years old I remember learning to cross-stitch with my grandmother . She knew everything about embroidery and sewing. I would also invite my best friend to come and sew with me. My Grandmother came over once a week and so our embroidery club was formed.

Who was the first illustrator/artist you discovered that inspired you?
From an early age i always liked illustrated books. My favorites when I was young were the magical worlds and characters of the Swedish children book illustrators, Ilon Wikland and Sven Nordqvist. I thought, this is something I want to do.

How would you describe your work to those unfamiliar with it?
Line drawings that manage to capture a mood or personality.

What is your favourite medium to work with?

What are you currently working on?
A project for a publisher in New York, it's an open brief. I have to respond to the word Nostalgia. I am also designing wrapping paper for a company in Canada and developing new products for my online shops.

Britain and the British way of life is obviously a huge influence in your work, what is the appeal for you?
I love the people and going to supermarkets or shopping centres to look/stare at people. They are a great source of inspiration for me.

Why did you decide to link up with FiveGoMad? 
It's always good to spread your work to a wider audience. I like the look of the website and the selection of designers are great.

The FiveGoMad slogan is "Quintessentially British" what does that mean to someone who grew up outside Britain?
My first experience of England was Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus. I bought a bag at Harrods, I thought Is this it? I feel sorry for tourists today walking up and down Oxford Street looking for a pub or cafe that won't cost the world. 
It's also all my wonderful British friends I have made and the home I have created. My friends go for long walks that end up in the pub. That's something you don't really do in Sweden. That's quite "Quintessentially British" for me.

Who do you consider a British icon?
Twiggy, Paul Smith, Terence Conran, Mr Bean

Do you enjoy British food,  is there a particular favourite?
Traditional British food is a bit heavy for me. I could understand it if you worked in a mine but I don't! I love the variety of food. I don't like British food, but I like the food in Britain.

You live in London, any particular cafe you couldn't live without?
Climpson and Son, Broadway market.

by Liz Appleby 


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