Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Hanna Jaeun and I am a painter living in Brooklyn, NY. My work is often described as pop surrealism. I would say my work is dark yet whimsical.
What is your favorite medium?
I mainly use acrylic paint on wood panel. I like painting with acrylic paint because it is really easy to work with. It dries quickly and I love how smooth the paint looks on the surface of wood panels. I don’t like working with too much texture.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from many things, but often inspiration comes from Catholic or religious art and symbols, animals, fairy tales, and my own experiences. I am constantly looking for inspiration wherever I go.
What is your creative process?
I first start out with a lot of thinking, brainstorming, research, and finding inspiration if I don’t already have any. I wash a lot of dishes during this period. Once I come up with an idea I like, I either do a quick sketch or start blocking out the flow and layout of the painting. If I like what I see and have a firm idea of what I am doing then I will start painting.
Is there a specific theme/message/emotion you aim to evoke?
If I am working on my own theme, rather than an assigned theme, I try to evoke emotions of isolation and sadness set in a dream-like world. I like working with darker themes, but I try to approach these emotions with a touch of whimsy to lighten the mood.
What motivates you to continue to create?
If I am not creating, I feel as though I am not being productive. I have to constantly create, so that my head continues to stay in that mindset. If I stop for a while, it can sometimes take a bit to be as motivated again. It is like exercising your imagination. What motivates me most is that there are so many great and amazing things being produced by artists and various people in other fields all over the world. Also, when people who i have never met before take the time to express their appreciation for my work, that is truly motivating.
When you encounter creative blocks, what do you do to overcome them?
Creative blocks do happen. I feel this is when I grow the most after I push myself to overcome them. It is quite frustrating . This seems to happen when you feel stunted and need to grow from where you are at the moment. Sometimes I will have to put my painting away and revisit it with a fresh mind and eye.
What are your thoughts on the future of art?
I think that perhaps there will be more digital or electronic art, using computers or whatever technological device they invent in the future. But I don’t really know, strange things can happen.
What is something you have had to learn on your own that you would like to pass on to the next Creative?
I had to learn many things on my own because I had to teach myself how to paint. I think that you just have to throw yourself into the game and just figure things out as they come. I have made mistakes and it can be quite a challenge from time to time, but I learned from all my mistakes and continued to push myself. It takes a lot of patience, and perseverance, and determination to tackle the problems that come your way. And there will always be room to improve and grow as an artist.