Illustrators we love: Hannah Sunny Whaler

One of our recent featured artists, Bristol-based Hannah Sunny Whaler, is a signwriter as well as a beautiful illustrator. "My work has pretty much entirely been centred around my signwriting since graduating," says Hannah. "These two sides of my work are equally as important as each other; one informs the other."

We asked her to share her first commission, favourite piece and her most personal work so we could get to know her better.

 Hannah's work in progress

Hannah's work in progress

 Hannah's finished piece.

Hannah's finished piece.

“My first illustration commission was a piece I got asked to create after my final show at Art College, aged 17. The lady who commissioned me had seen my work there, and wanted something in a similar style (but on paper rather than on a collection of old wooden planks and doors like my piece in the final show!).”

“Every year, the third year Illustrators at Falmouth Art College produce a book called Illustrated Quotes an Sayings to showcase their about-to-be graduates. As well as producing a piece for inside the book, you can submit a cover design too, simply illustrating a single number – ours was number 9. I chose to hand paint it on a plank of wood in a circus style, and my design won. It was such an honour to have my image represent such a talented bunch of illustrators! I'm very proud of this.”

“My most personal piece is probably my most recent exhibition: “Searching for Words”, which was on display for a week at Line Gallery in Stroud. It consisted of four panels, upon which I sign painted with a uniform but freehand set lettering style. All of the wording was taken from an intensive period of remote brain writing exercises where I just wrote as I thought, going from brain to page, linking phrases with rhythm, rhyme and colour. This was accompanied by a big wall painting introducing the show. It was very experimental and hugely personal, and felt rather exposing, like I was letting people read my mind.”

See more of Hannah's work in issue 32, and her sketchbooks and signs at hanasunny.co.uk.