A little while ago I discovered the beautiful works of Hanna Hermans. I met up with this blonde snow-white Dutch illustrator at Vinnie’s Deli to talk about her dreams, work and ambitions. Hanna is not only an illustrator though. This little whirlwind also makes her own clothing, jewelry and lovely food photography. (see pictures below for an overview of it all)


Her mind is constantly floating on a stream of consciousness. In real life, across the IJ-river in Amsterdam, she works in her atelier space, apart from being a coffee bar girl at Two For Joy. Hanna needs this job to set herself free from the many ideas she gets. It is lovely but at the same time very overwhelming to be such an inspired person. A constant overflow of ideas and inspiration makes her go crazy sometimes when taking time for herself. But, she needs that time to focus on her creative work too. One thing compensates the other.

The reason for her inspirational overflow is very convenient though, as Hanna works with her intuition as a starting-point. She studied at ArtEZ in Zwolle, the Netherlands, and found out that you can analyse your own intuition, after having followed it. While working she doesn’t necessarily feel that she is staying within a certain patern of frame. She uses her subconscious inspiration to bring colour, light and shades onto paper, textile, cake or photography. After creating a series of work, she loves to look at her work as if it’s a timeline. Websites like Tumblr and Facebook make it very convenient to track her artistic archive and for that reason she appreciates their existence. It makes her find out which style or colour she preferred to use, how she felt throughout a series of work or what exactly is her artistic signature.


One element comes back in all of her work. It is her aim to show the most beautiful and authentic aspect of every thing she works with or is inspired by. She explained to me that even a carrot can be beautiful, when cutting it in half, putting the two pieces next to each other and tracing the gradual colour difference, roots and deeper hidden structure and shape. That is exactly what she focusses on when making art. She tries to include the purest, which is the most original and authentic at the same time. Such a method of working truely forces her to be occupied in so many different categories. If you already dissect the simplest elements, you can go on forever with making art and finding the deeper beauty of things.


For a graduation project she asked friends and family to send her post, so she could make art of every letter or parcel with which she would reply. And yes, every single one of them turned out to be an original and personal piece of art in an interactive, yet silent way of communication. When photographing her cooking skills, Hanna makes fruit, vegetables and pies look like luxurious goods. And when dressed in her navy blue velvet dress, drinking black coffee, this girl with thoughts as radiant, gold and white like the sun, definitely gives the impression of a modern Marie-Antoinette. Eventhough this look is natural, pure, delicate and eclectically royal. Yes, that was my firs impression of this inspiring young artist. She dreams of having her own gallery someday. But, she takes life as it comes and is happy with the fragmented and unpredictable way she is dealing with it. In my opinion especially this attitude is wonderful and should inspire us all. We need directions and dreams, that’s for sure. But the way we get to the destination and what we do and take with us on the way there should be personal and unpredictable.

+++All visuals, pictures, dishes, textile and jewelry below are made by Hanna+++