Artist Q&A: Andie Hanna

We recently met artist Andie Hanna at the Surtex design show in NYC and we immediately fell in love with her cute, colorful designs. So much so that we asked her to create a sticker pack for PicCollage so that our users would get the chance to create collages with her adorable designs. The “Ice Cream Social” sticker pack she came up with is, quite simply, perfect for summer.  We asked Andie some questions about the stickers, her background, and advice for someone looking to become a designer. Check out the interview below!768x1024 (2)

1. Tell us about your background and how you became a designer.
My background is in fashion design. I have a degree in fashion design and spent over 15 years working as a designer for various brands such as Limited Too, JCPenney, Target and Thirty-One Gifts. As a fashion designer, I didn’t know how to create print and pattern since that isn’t typically something fashion designers do. I worked with textile designers that did that for me, but due to the heavy workload they couldn’t always keep up. Out of necessity I learned to create repeats and fell in love with it. I created a lot of the prints for the brands that I was designing for and then also started working with a few Print Studios in NYC on the side. After many years of working in the fashion industry, working long hours and traveling overseas a lot and missing my son, I decided to quit my day job so I could be home with our son, try for another baby and work from home doing freelance design. I still do some freelance fashion and product design, but my main focus is now surface pattern design and I love it.
2. What was the inspiration for the sticker pack you created for PicCollage?
I create a lot of print collections with fun little animal characters. They always have somewhat of a personality and are either doing something interesting or are wearing clothes. I wanted to do something with raccoons, so I thought it would be cute if they were eating something since that’s what raccoons do. They get into your garbage and eat everything. I thought sweet treats would be fun and it was summer time, so ice cream became the theme with the main character being the raccoon.
3. What’s your favorite sticker in the pack?
I’m very partial to the ice cream trucks. As a kid, getting ice cream from the ice cream truck was a super big deal so it’s kind of nostalgic for me. Plus they’re so cute.  I do also really like my raccoon with his little hat and bib.
4. Can you share a PicCollage you’ve created with your stickers?
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This collage is from a visit to our favorite local ice cream shop, Jeni’s. The photos are of my 9 year old son, Emerson, and my 2 year old daughter, Elle. You can’t tell they are at an ice cream shop and they aren’t eating the ice cream in the photos, so I guess we’ll just have to go back and get some ice cream so I can get some photos of them actually eating ice cream so I can make a better collage with my new PicCollage ice cream stickers!
5. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become an artist or designer?
Spend a lot of time creating artwork until you find your own unique style. Be original, don’t try to emulate other artists’ styles. Once you figure out your own unique style, build a portfolio that has a good range of subjects and has several collections. One-off pieces are fine, but collections are necessary. Once you have a good portfolio, start submitting your work to companies that you’d like to work with. You have to put yourself out there a LOT in order to get jobs. Expect rejection and be ok with it. It’s usually more about the timing and not always personal. Sometimes companies don’t need more florals at the time that you are submitting florals. That’s ok. Create more work and re-submit.
If you want to learn more about getting into the business of surface design, I am teaching an online workshop on Modernthrive.com called “The Business of Surface Pattern Design”. The live dates are July 7-9 but it will be posted online for while after the live session, so it should still available to take. For more info, you can check it out here.
6. Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
 I have a lot of fun things already out there in the world as well as several new projects that I’m working on. I created my first adult coloring book called “Blooms, Birds and Butterflies” that is in stores now. I have several new fabric collections with Robert Kaufman coming out. I have coloring notecards, coloring postcards, coloring posters, a coloring puzzle, coloring wood box signs and a coloring calendar coming out. I also have several notecards, notepads, calendars, stationery items, coasters and greeting cards coming out with various different companies. The biggest project that I’m working on is the creation of my own brand of products called “elem” launching in the Spring of 2017.  It’s top secret right now, so keep you eyes out for that.
7. Anything else you’d like to add?
I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to be home with my 2 beautiful children while also following my passion of having my own business creating artwork and original products. I have such a great and supportive husband as well as amazing family and friends who are all very supportive.

Thanks for chatting with us, Andie! We love your stickers and the advice you’ve given here is so awesome 🙂

Follow Andie on Instagram at @andielhanna. And remember…

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