Hannah Stouffer is a professional illustrator whose work mixes feminine decorative elements with macabre motifs and conceptualized animal figures. Her art addresses the essence of emotional human conflict and her intricate imagery is characterized by shadowy, ethereal tones. Hannah has maintained a strong presence in the illustration world even while exhibiting her commercial and fine art. She’s featured in this year’s Pow Wow Hawaii, writes for and is written about in Juxtapoz Magazine, and is basically one of the raddest artists working today.
Wheatpaste Art Collective: It’s Friday night. What are you doing?
Hannah Stouffer: Probably staying in, the weekend crowds typically terrify me.
WP: You’re originally from Aspen, but San Francisco has a creative buzz second to none. Do you think you could ever leave the city for nature full-time?
HS: I don’t think I could live anywhere full-time. I prefer a very transient, varied existence. However, I wouldn’t turn down a small beach house in Mexico if the opportunity surfaced.
WP: 2012 seemed like a big year for you. Magic of the Woods at Antler Gallery, Visceral/Visible at Kinfolk, working with Juxtapoz, SF Zine Fest – what was the raddest thing of 2012?
HS: Yeah, it was a decent year, a bit of a struggle, but busy as usual. My Visceral/Visible installation in Brooklyn in October was probably the most ambitious and difficult thing I’ve ever set to accomplish. It was a 40 ft. interior site specific mural I completed entirely in watercolor, in one weeks time. It was pretty insane.
WP: What’s your favorite animal?
HS: My dog, Taki. She’s a brindle Shar-pei / Daschund mutt that looks like a hyena and acts just like me. I adore her.
WP: A lot of your work explores the violence and beauty of nature’s struggle, life cycles, and hints at cosmic universality. Do you feel a connection with an unseen world or is it more of an illustrative technique?
HS: Well, based on my upbringing, that was very much centered around our natural environment, with a wildlife documentarian as a father, I’ve had no choice but to ultimately exist as very connected to it.
WP: You’re up next for karaoke – what’s your song?
HS: I’ve only done karaoke one time. I sang Chris Isaac’s ‘Wicked Games’. I’m not a huge karaoke fan. Actually I lied, I did it one other time in a duet with my best friend with Deep Purple’s of ‘Smoke on the Water’. We might have gotten kicked out after that.
WP: People have tattoos of your work. Is that awesome or weird?
HS: It’s fine, it’s awesome I guess. A lot of people have weird taste.
WP: You’ve got a plane ticket to anywhere in the world. Where are you headed?
HS: I’m on a plane to Honolulu right now and just booked a ticket to Bali in March. I guess I could go to Cuba or Puerto Rico after that, do you have a place for me to crash for awhile??
WP: What’s next?
HS: The surprises are the best part….