REVEAL Q2 2017 - Page 26

INSPIRATION ATLANTA LOCAL ARTIST SPOTLIGHT An Interview with Hannah Griffin by Eleni Bafas Hannah, you are an accomplished local artist. Tell us about your background and how you got your start? I was born in Carrollton, GA. My parents work for an international organization, so I was blessed to grow up traveling the world with them. I was homeschooled until the middle of my junior year of high school, when I went to public school and settled back down in Carrollton. It will always be home for me. I went to University of West Georgia in Carrollton, and then moved to Atlanta to teach at a children’s art studio. I enjoyed it, but soon realized teaching is not my dream… painting is. Last year, I moved into an apartment with a little studio. My cat, Noah, insists he is my painting assistant. How do your roots influence you? I was very close with my grandparents, who were big dairy farmers in West Georgia. They left me with all of their old vintage photographs from 1930s on, and I’m obsessed. I can’t get away from the history and sentimental meaning they have to me. I painted the love story of my grandparents from these photographs for my senior exhibition. And I’ve just begun a new series using some of the farm pictures a couple weeks ago. I also think traveling with my family so much really opened my eyes to the world in a different way. Experiencing other cultures has given me a unique perspective on life, and I’m grateful for that. Kenya, India, and Peru are some of my favorites. How did you become interested in painting? I’ve always loved painting. When I was 7, I begged to take Bob Ross painting classes. That was the first time I had any real instruction in painting. Neither of my parents are artists, but they always encouraged me to do whatever I loved. They have never hindered my spirit or dreams – except the one time I carved a cat into the back of the passenger seat headrest with a pocket knife…but that’s considered art, right? What are your biggest inspirations? I’m having a hard time narrowing this one down, so I’ll just stick with some of my biggest artist inspirations: Steve Penley, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Britt Bass Turner (Atlanta), Raven Roxanne (Charleston). REVEAL | Q2 2017 26