The other night, while idly surfing Tumblr (yes, I have one of those now too... my social networking problem really is blossoming), I had the most wonderful surprise; I came across a young artist who has utterly inspired me.
Hannah Hill is a seventeen year old textile artist and illustrator from North London. Most of her artwork deals with feminism and female experiences.
There's often a wonderfully biting sense of humour to her work, but it's also shot through with a tender, naive vulnerability.
|(I reeeeally want this one on a t-shirt)|
Hannah's style reminds me of another, older favourite: Scarlett Barry.
Scarlett seems to have dropped off the (online) radar for the moment (and I do miss seeing her breathtaking work), but she was a major inspiration for me, particularly when I first turned my hand to cross stitching.
I was particularly drawn to Scarlett's immediate, honest, and simple style.
This is reflected in her drawn work, with its clean yet overlapping lines, often in brown gel pen:
She also cannily uses found objects in her work, in a way which seems almost natural:
Did I mention that she's also gorgeous and a brilliant writer? You can check out Scarlett's highly original art here.
Another fem(me)ale artist whose work I first came across on the online community Livejournal is Jenee Larson.
Jennee's work perfectly straddles (ooh-er) the line between twee and erotic art. And if you don't believe that's possible, check out her Flickr photostream.
Personally I prefer her earlier work to her current haunting (or haunted?) portraits of saucer-eyed femmes fatales, but she is certainly a dab hand with glitter!
Jenee's work is whimsical and strange, as proved by her series of weeping and love-making unicorn-people(not both at the same time, hopefully!)
Around the same time I discovered the work of Scarlett and Jenee, I was sucked into the whimsical world of Joanna "Bunny Mitford". Joanna is another artist of this generation who has completely dropped off the face of the internet, but she always was a mysterious girl, and I imagine this was a carefully concerted part of her charm. The small glimpses of her life that she gave us led me to believe she was as magical as the girls in the children's stories which she used in her art.
Her photography and sense of light was warm as twilight.
Just like Scarlett Barry, Joanna's writing was captivating, perhaps even more so.
“She loved the arts, music, paints, nature. Hans Christian Anderson, Van Gogh, Tchaikovsky. They were her favourites. She loved Tchaikovsky because he made his sadness into warmth, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Symphony No.6. She loved Vincent because she felt his loneliness in his paintings. But she couldn’t look at his sunflowers for too long, the yellows stung her eyes. Feeling too much Feeling is too much sometimes. She told me how she thought it was weird you know, that all these people who created such beautiful things were so sad. How sometimes the sadness was so strong that they ended their own lives. Their last work of art.
She said she thought that most geniuses were lonely. I said I thought everyone was lonely. That even the Moon is lonely, and that’s why it pulls on the tides.”
I miss her, much like you might miss a friend you've lost contact with over the years. Which is strange, because I never really knew her.
The final member of "the girly gang" is a bit of a departure from the others.
Chelsea Dirck, at the tender age of 22 or 23, is a veteran of the American punk scene. Her zines, scribblings, type-writings,textile art, and illustrations are a visual diary of a life lived state-hopping, missing friends and loved ones, listening to music, and having her heart broken.
I've bought quite a bit of Chelsea's work and I urge you to do the same. She's a lovely person and very generous; you may find a little extra gift or hand-written note in your package.
Why have I introduced all these ladies to you? Because I hope their art will inspire you the way it inspired (and continues to inspire me). All of these artists are young women at the start of their careers, but I believe that each of them is truly "one to watch".
I see these women as my contemporaries, and would be honoured if even one of them felt the same for me.