LA based artist Hannah Stouffer is kinda a big deal. She's had exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Aspen, Portland, Toronto, and Japan. She's done commercial illustration work for Nike, Christian Dior, Vans, Disney, Microsoft, and NPR (to name a few). She's the Print/Web Editor at Juxtapoz Magazine. Her father is wildlife cinematographer Marty Stouffer, of Wild America fame. And, most impressively, she's latest artist to tackle The Standard, Downtown LA's 6th Street Mural. We sat Hannah down and talked to her about nature, commercialism, and whether size really does matter.
STANDARD CULTURE: We were very excited when you were chosen as the next mural artist. Did the size and public nature of the 6th street space influence your process?
Hannah Stouffer: The scale of an installation always delegates the medium and process- and something of this size certainly pushes my normal tendencies and capabilities, its nearly 40ft long! I am always aware of the public aspect of my work, though I don't really create work specifically with that in mind. With this piece, it's more of a message of shared consciousness, or an evolution of that, beingness.
To scale rendering of the 6th Street Mural "'E.P.S.T' (Existence, Possibility, Space and Time)" by Hannah Stouffer
What do you like most about public art?
Being able to utilize a space of this scale, I am able to nearly transform a piece, or an illustration of mine, into a large-scale, interactive object. The size of a work easily influences its impact and can turn something into an all encompassing experience.
Your newer work merges our natural environment with transcendental and ethereal imagery. What are these elements meant to communicate?
I've been drawn to focusing on themes of metaphysical beingness, as of late. I'm still heavily engaged with our natural landscape, due to my upbringing and an an almost overwhelming admiration for that which we came. If anything, it is just a commentary on our own mortality and spiritual and personal growth and reflects the reality of what is constant.
You’ve been commissioned to do illustrations for some big name companies. How does your creative process change when you’re working on a commissioned piece versus a work that’s all your own?
I maintain a pretty solid, personal base behind all of my work and the majority of my commissioned work is created beforehand, for personal use in an exhibition or an installation. I'm very fortunate to be able to them transfer it over to client work by way of licensing or adjusting an existing piece to fit the perimeters of a project. I like to think its all my own in this regards, because 95% of the time, it is.
Hannah Stouffer for Nike
What’s your favorite adventure so far in your career as an artist?
I have to choose just one?? This one, right now. Today.
What’s up next for you?
I've been working on producing hand-illustrated typefaces and a few new alphabets, the most recent based on a trip I took to Bali for the month of April. I have a few upcoming solo shows that I'm putting a new body of watercolor and airbrushed work together for, and of course, some more travel planned around those. I've began piecing together a new Psychedelic book that I'm editing and curating for Juxtapoz Magazine and Gingko Press, along with my usual writing and editing for Jux- which I love. I'm also thinking of revisiting the idea of buying a conversion van so I can be even more transient then I always am...
Hannah Stouffer's art will be on display on the 6th Street Mural at The Standard, Downtown LA through the end of August. An artist reception will be held on Monday, June 10. Click here to see more of Hannah's work and click here to follow her on Twitter.