Hanna Lee Joshi is a visual artist from Vancouver, BC and a friend of Bailey Nelson. We had the honour of Hanna painting not one - but three - murals in our new store on Main Street and her impressive talent and vision has transformed the space into its own work of art. Hanna’s unique style and powerful imagery speak volumes and allow the viewer to interpret and find their own meanings in her art.
We caught up with Hanna to chat about her influences and inspiration for the beautiful art she creates, and hear about what she’s playing in her headphones and reading right now. Check her out on Instagram and follow her latest works on her personal site here.
What’s your background in art, and how old were you when you knew you were destined to become an artist?
As long as I remember, I wanted to become an artist. Because I grew up with a lot of anime/manga, I wanted to get into animation. Since graduating from Emily Carr, I worked at different animation studios for 8 years where I learned a lot of my technical skills.
What are you seeking to say with your works? What do the pieces at our Main Street store mean, and mean to you?
I have never been the best at expressing myself with language. I always found words to be cumbersome. I hope that I can communicate my deepest feelings and ideas through my work. The piece at the Main street store is about accepting oneself fully and in doing so you are able to celebrate everyone’s individuality.
Who are your biggest influences?
GMUNK is a director and artist that I always find inspirational. His 8 Secrets to Intergalactic Conquest video is something I would suggest all creatives take the time to watch. He really hits home about the importance of personal work.
Andy Gilmore is an abstract op art wizard that I constantly find inspiring. He is prolific and always evolving.
James Jean, of course is on my list. I love how he navigates between many genres and juggles both commercial and fine art like very few can.
What aspects of society and pop culture influence your work?
Nature documentaries from David Attenborough. They are visually stunning and always fill me with wonder of how incredible life is. Music also plays a huge role for me. I feel things with certain songs and sometimes it translates to me making visuals interpretations based off of how I feel.
Which trends in the art world are you following, or keeping a close eye on?
To be honest, I try my hardest not to look for trends. It is so easy to be influenced and try to make art like other people. It's a challenge to stay true to your own voice.
What are you favourite pieces of classical or modern art?
I saw Mark Rothko’s paintings in art history books many times and never really thought much of it. I got to see them in person and it really is a masterpiece. It commands a room and takes your breath away. I feel like if you can, always go see artwork in person. It such a different experience to see it in person vs. seeing it in small reproductions.
What is something that you’re absolutely OBSESSED with right now?
Bon Appetit channel on Youtube. I don't cook often and this channel makes me feel like maybe I can and might even enjoy doing it. I especially like this series called “It’s Alive!” which is all about fermentation. Time to make kombucha again now that the summer is coming.
What are you reading right now?
I am reading “Dune” by Frank Herbert. I enjoy reading sci-fi and everyone recommended this book. So far, really enjoying the world building. I'm excited for Denis Villeneuve’s interpretation of the book. I’m also reading “You are a Quest” by Guillaume Wolf. It’s a poem/visual meditation book. If you are in need of some encouragement and guidance, give this a read.
What are you listening to right now?
New Flying Lotus album “Flamagra” just dropped and I've been trying to savour it. I’ve also been listening to “IGOR” by Tyler the Creator and “Persuasion System” by Com Truise.
Do you have a favourite quote that you live by or cherish?
“Be here now.” I catch myself re-living the past or worrying about my future and never fully live in the now. I’m trying to implement that into my daily life.