You can always tell I like a book...

...when I draw my own versions of the characters.

Here's a quick sketch of Katniss from Hunger Games. Just her face. Maybe I'll do the rest of her some other time. Maybe.

Who am I kidding. I'll definitely draw the rest of her sometime.



Leaving Oxford - Redone

Remember THIS piece that I did just over a year ago?

I decided to redo it. I ended up doing a whole new one without Mrs. Coulter and her monkey. I like it better. I have certainly come a long way.

Here it is. I wish I had had the time to use pen and ink for the linework, but that's okay. Still lots of work to be done on it.


Jessica Hische

A couple weeks ago Designer Jessica Hische came to the Universtiy in neighboring town to lecture. It was awesome. SHE was awesome. I really loved everything she said, and it was nice to be able to laugh about art jokes.

I really admire her career. She is doing something so new and different, and she's doing it well. It was inspiring for me to see a woman make such a name for herself in a such male-heavy profession. I'm going into Illustration, and right now it seems like my competition is mainly women. But when you look at the business it's mostly men.

Anyway. Everyone should go and look at her site. It's fantastic. My favorite things are the Daily Drop Caps.

Here are Sean and I with Jessica. Photo credit: Kristin Gulledge.

PS. I have an internship next summer in NYC. :D


The Myth, The Hero's Journey, and some more Character Design

My focus for my BFA project creating a graphic novel inspired by the modernization of a myth. I'll take a Celtic myth (Lleu and the Tynghedau of Arianrhod) and using the classic "Hero's Journey" pattern to create a modern retelling of it. By modern, I mean in the last few hundred years. The story, of course, will follow the 17 steps of the Hero's Journey as laid out by Joseph Campbell.

I've decided to set it in an alternate-historic WWII Britain. Sorta steampunky, but not in the Victorian Era. And not really steampunky at all, really. The world I'm portraying will just be a little bit different than what we know the world to be. They'll be more advanced in some areas, and less in others. The war will take different turns.

I'm planning on the show going up sometime next September, a month after I graduate.

I'm incredibly excited. Seriously. I love mythology (especially Celtic) and I LOVE the Hero's Journey. It's fascinating, especially when you realize that almost every story or narrative you read falls into that pattern. Go read about it, it's awesome. But...really, I'm going crazy with excitement. I already have a pinboard on pinterest dedicated to finding things that inspire me. Mostly it's just propaganda posters and fashion, but soon I'll be looking around for artistic inspiration as well (mood, etc).

Here's another drawing of Flora. This is her in a wheat field. Not being consumed by flames, even though it looks like it. This is from the part of the story that lines up with the "Belly of the Whale" step in Campbell's 17 steps. She's not the main character, I just love drawing her. She's like...a semi-main character. She has her own little hero's journey.

Next to her there's a really rough sketch of some bombs being dropped. It's...yeah, you can't really tell they are bombs.  Yet.  



This is a drawing of one of the main characters from the graphic novel bfa project thing. I should really give it a name, huh. 

Anyway. Her name is Flora (surname to be decided). She was born in 1925 in Liverpool, England. 


BFA Project: Graphic Novel


I'm feeling amazing. A couple weeks ago in my Business of Illustration class we presented our portfolios and helped each other decide which area of Illustration we would fit best into. I showed mine to the class, and we decided that it is definitely not children's book material, but could possibly fit into young adult novels, which is a small market. I explained that my work tends to focus on darker themes and that I tend to develop elaborate backstories to all my pieces.

So then my teacher said "What about graphic novels?" The class agreed.

Wow. I had never even thought of that!

So, today I spoke with m BFA advisor, and discussed my current plans on doing "Modernizing the Myth" as my final project. I was planning on doing 2 modernized myths from each of the Celtic Nations. But then I told her about the class discussion about how I want to do graphic novels someday, and she suggested that I just change my project to completing my own graphic novel and then sending it in to be published. The idea intimidates me, especially because of those people I know (coughJakeWyattcough) who are so incredible with it.

It intimidates me, and that is why I decided to do it.  I'm starting a graphic novel. It's still going to be a modernized version of a celtic myth. I'm planning on doing a WWII-era retelling of the 4th branch of the Mabinogion.  I'll be keeping you updated on my progress and the re-telling of the story as I complete this project. It will be on display in March. I'm pretty excited...

On another topic, here are some drawings I did in Wales this summer. This way, this post isn't just purely text and rambling, and it's sorta related because of Wales.

Here are some bits of Chepstow Castle I drew:

On the same topic (Chepstow Castle being the nearest to J.K. Rowling's childhood home) here are some drawings of Harry Potter characters. After seeing the movie, I decided to read the book. I couldn't get Daniel Radcliffe's stupid face out of my head so I decided to redraw the characters I wanted to imagine differently. Obviously I didn't draw a Harry Potter that I liked. So here are some others.

Notice how Ginny Weasley doesn't look like this anymore:

Here are some airport people I drew at Heathrow after spending the night sleeping on top of my luggage trolley. I showed these to my friend Griffin and he pointed to the girl with the writing on her bum and said "Bare butt!" Hahaha. Oh man.


Business Cards

I finished the design for my business cards the other day. Actually, boyfriend Sean helped a lot with it, because he's brilliant at design and I'm not so much. So, here's the final thingy.

We got them printed two days ago. It was a pretty sketchy place, honestly. I thought they'd be more professional, but they ended up cutting them all a little crooked, which bothered me. But I didn't get that many printed, just enough to take to Wales with me. So I'll reprint them with someone more professional when I get back. Hopefully letterpress. :)


Mr. Watering Can

I did this awhile ago, but just added the caption recently. I used to have the original somewhere, but I can't find it and I think it was lost when I moved. :( Oh well. 




Hello! I have several pieces that are for sale currently. Please consider a purchase, as it will help me earn money to study in Wales this summer. :) Also, if you know anyone who might be interested, send them this way.

If you are interested click on the titles, or go to my etsy shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/HannahJayne

Here are some of the pieces: (If you have any other suggestions or pieces you want a print of, just leave a comment or email me at hjhillam@gmail.com)

Branwen the Blessed

$25 ($30 with shipping)

10 available

10x13 inches


$35 ($40 with shipping)

10 available

7x16 inches

Hazards of Love

$25 ($30 with shipping)

10 available

9x15 inches

 Waking the Sleepers

$25 ($30 with shipping)

10 available


Land of the Dead

$25 ($30 with shipping)

10 available



$30 ($35 with shipping)

10 available


$25 ($30 with shipping)

10 available

10x16 inches



Winter Semester 2011 : An Overview

Here are some more things from Winter Semester. I finished a few weeks ago (and it feels great to be done, until fall at least) and I took some really helpful and great classes. One, Illustration 5, is my very last Illustration class before I start preparing for my BFA project, and then graduation. I did an ongoing theme of Modernizing Myths (mostly from the British Isles) which I think I will continue with for my BFA. 

Here's my third project of the semester. It's called The Valkyrie. (Valkyrie is from the Old Norse word valkyrja, which means "chooser of the slain.") In Norse Mythology, The Valkyries were women who would choose who would die during battle. I'd like to think this particular woman is Brynhildr.  I love me some death-themed art. :D

I'd like to do a whole lot more with this. Maybe someday soon. I suppose I do have about 2 months of free time to do what I want. But I have a feeling that Verbal Vomit will be taking up much of that time for now. :) 

Also, this girl sorta looks like my best friend Erika. Actually, she looks a LOT like Erika. It's kinda freaky.  I think it's the eyes. Or maybe the scarf. Erika wears a lot of scarves. Maybe it's the impending doom and symbols of death flying around her. Just kidding. 

I also took Character Design, which was lovely. It was taught by the amazing Jake Parker. I was lucky to have him, since he was only a visiting professor. You should really check out his stuff. Seriously. Click the link. It's fantastic. If you have kids, buy them the Missile Mouse comics. He's been working on that character since he was a teenager. I personally love the Robot and the Sparrow. Here's a sample of some character design work. Just one picture, because I didn't put enough into that class to be proud of much of what I did.

Another class I took was Typography (turns out I'm definitely meant to be an Illustrator and NOT a designer). For the final project, I did an 8 page magazine spread. I chose to redesign NME. I'm a little afraid to post it because it's a real magazine and all. I also made a typeface. We were allowed to use Fontstruct. No stairstepping, and no soft edges. I call it Soviet because my teacher said it sorta looked like Russian Propaganda lettering. 

"Welsh Hymns"
For my Welsh 305 class we had a lovely project that I'll never forget. We were able to translate a bunch of hymns into Welsh for our own use. Many of the hymns were written by Reverend Colin Gordon-Farleigh, a Welsh Reverend living in England who writes a hymn a day. He actually came to visit a couple months ago. It was nice to speak Welsh to a Welshman again. :) Not that my teachers and students don't help with keeping up my language, it's just nice to speak with a natural.

So,  I was able to do the cover for the hymnbook. It was a quick and simple project, but I think it still captures the green-ness and beauty of the South Wales landscape I based it on. Carmarthenshire, to be specific. 

Another project I've been working on in my free time has been re-doing some old pieces. One, The Gray King, I did back in 2009. It was alright, and at the time I had just broken it off with my fiance, and I felt that I needed a change in my life. Including how I did art. It was done with a completely new technique which I've become very fond of since. It also has a feeling of breaking free of something.

Here's the original, done in November of 2009.
And here's the revised, better one. I like the t-shirt better than the weird brown cloak thing. This illustration is from a book written and set in the 1960's. So the t-shirt makes it more modern, but it also still has the feeling of fantasy. 

In the realm of freelance, I was able to do some small illustrations for my University's travel magazine about Couchsurfing. It's an online system that allows people to sign up to let people stay at their houses for free while abroad. I drew four separate but different couches. I'm not sure when the magazine will be published. 

I was also able to do rework a piece for a magazine for Quarterly West, a journal from the University of Utah. I already blogged about it, but I'll include it in here anyway. I'm excited, because I'll be on the cover of the very last printed edition! Looking forward to the publication. 

At the end of the semester was the student show. Two of my pieces made the cut and were displayed in the HFAC with the rest of the wonderful student work. I got a crappy cell phone picture of one of my pieces. The other one, Magnolias, was on the main floor and I never really got around to taking a photo of it. 

After the show went up, I was in class and my teacher, whose opinion I really respect, gestured that I should come talk to him. I was nervous, because he's very honest and upfront about what I need to work on. He looked at me and said "I've been very impressed with the work you've done this semester." It was such a compliment. 

Anyway. There's the last four months. I'll post more from my sketchbooks soon too. 


Painting on Toms

On Saturday,myself, Kristin, Colt, Hilary, Sean and a bunch of other local artists had the opportunity to work for Toms Style your Sole event. Toms goes around to different Nordstroms and hires local artists to paint on shoes for a day. Here's some cool photos for you to check out. It was such a great experience!

(This camera one was done by Kristin)


Some overdue character design

I took a character design class this semester. Nobody knew it though, because I hardly posted anything about it.

So, here are a few select things that I actually like. The two bottom ones are from the novel Sky Island.


Work in Progress - Norse Myth

This is Brynhildr, a Valkyrie from Norse Myth. So far this is what I've got.

Right now i'm adding crows and ravens around her. I'll be finishing it up by the 21st, with updates to follow.