Hannah Mosley created the stunning front cover for our soon to be launched collection, Disturbing the Beast. We were so impressed by her artwork that we wanted to find out more about what drives and inspires Hannah as an artist!
Hi Hannah. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your illustration career…
Hi there! I’m a Manchester based illustrator and tattooer. I’ve been doing this full time for about 7 years, but I started drawing seriously much longer ago, when a family friend called Barbara McCabe gave me my first ‘proper’ sketchbook for my 13th birthday.
I studied illustration with a view to getting skilled up for tattooing, and inadvertently fell in love with telling stories through pictures along the way. Drawing keeps me sane, and I feel very lucky that it’s such a big part of my daily life. I’ve worked for a wide range of clients, from individuals wanting tattoos to organisations like the NHS and CBBC.
Please tell us about an art moment of yours that you’re most proud of.
Tough one, but recently, finally finishing the manuscript, dummy book and sample artwork for my personal project, ‘My Mummy Comes From The Sea’. It’s a story that had been rattling around my head in various forms for nearly ten years. Although it’s not been seen by many people, and I have no idea if or when it will be published, the sense of joy and achievement in having it as an actual physical object rather than just a persistent thought is driving me on to make more stories. It’s a deeply satisfying feeling.
What does Disturbing the Beast mean to you?
That moment when you realise you have more power in a situation than you knew, and the resultant urge to exercise that power. It can be slow and creeping, or sudden and violent.
Who’s your favourite artist and why?
Just one?! That’s impossible. There are so many incredible artists out there, living and dead! But I guess I’d have to go with a tattooer called Steve Moore. He has a real narrative bent to his work that I love, and he has a way of taking ancient ideas and making them new again. He really nails both the craft and the emotive aspects of his work. He’s an incredible draughtsman. I’ve also been lucky enough to get tattooed by him, and the care and humanity he brings to his working relationships are really humbling. Nobody makes art in a vacuum, it’s about communication and relationships, and Steve kind of embodies that for me I guess.
Do you have a favourite author? Why do you love them?
All the tough questions!! I really don’t think I can pick just one author, but maybe I can love them all for the same reason? Angela Carter, Roald Dahl, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez all craft really wonderful short stories, with a perfect mix of lightness and darkness in them. I can totally lose myself in just a few pages of each of their writing, which I think is profound and kind of silly at the same time – like drowning in an oil-rainbowed puddle.
Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
You can find my work on skin and screen, and links to all my social media, at http://www.hannahmosley.co.uk
Find out more about Disturbing the Beast
Disturbing the Beast is a collection of weird fiction stories by some of the best women writers in the UK, featuring Kirsty Logan and Aliya Whiteley. Submit to the collection by the 14th September.
Support the Disturbing the Beast Kickstarter campaign: Weird fiction from women writers featuring Aliya Whiteley, Kirsty Logan and more.
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