Atlanta artist and graphic designer Hannah Hanlon combines her lifelong curiosity for creatures in a clean style she calls contemporary scientific illustration.
The artist: Originally from Concord, MA, she grew up taking private art lessons and attending a high school with an excellent arts program. Hanlon attended Boston University to study art and play D1 lacrosse on a dual scholarship.
After receiving her BFA in graphic design, Hanlon moved to Atlanta to attend the Portfolio Center, where she earned an associate’s degree in graphic design.
For the next 12 years, her art took a back seat to her career as a full-time freelance graphic designer, specializing in small business branding. In 2019, she started to focus on making art.
The studio: Hanlon works out of a small, bright studio in her home.
The goods & materials: Drawings in two separate series: One in super fine India ink. The second series is in colored pencil. Both series explore Hanlon’s lifelong curiosity for creatures of all types.
What’s popular: Coleoptera Chroma, is a single piece made up of 25 individual 10-inch-by-10-inch colored pencil drawings of various species of beetles ($700 to $1,350, framed).
Other favorites: Aquatica Monochomaticus series, a collection of super fine ink drawings of aquatic creatures ($1,500 to $10,500, in white lacquered frames).
Her favorite in this series is the Red Octopus,” said Hanlon. “I just love all the textures in this piece.”
Inspiration: Love of wildlife. Also scientific illustration, naturalist prints and etchings by artists, including Catesby, Audubon and Rembrandt.
“I like to think that my work is a contemporary take on those traditional naturalist prints,” said Hanlon.
Her style: Contemporary scientific illustration. An artist Hanlon admires once told her that she was an artist who thought like a scientist. She liked that.
Fun request: Finishing up a 40-inch by 70-inch ink commission with three diving harbor seals for a Nantucket beach home.
“This is the first large piece I have done with multiple animals in two-color pen,” she said.
Tools: Hanlon used about 15 pens on Red Octopus (pictured). For the large harbor seal commission, she used 30 to 40.
“I try not to ‘retire’ pens, since the ones low on ink are great for super delicate light line work,” said Hanlon.
Big break: Representation with Spalding Nix Fine Art in Atlanta and the opening of her first show, “Ensemble,” running now through Jan. 8.
What’s new: Commissions for a pair of saturated metallic beetles for a baby boy’s nursery. Also working out details for a couple of line drawings (possibly a sailfish) for a client’s second home in South Carolina and a shark piece for a Florida beach house.
Where to buy: hannahhanlonart.com. Also Hanlon’s current work is available through Jan. 8 at www.spaldingnixfineart.com. Some small pieces are available at the “Little Things” show at the Swan Coach House gallery in Atlanta through Jan. 7.
Get social at:
- Facebook: hannah C hanlon
- Instagram: hannahhanlonart