Q&A with local artist Hannah Song
by Gabbie Meis
Hannah Song is a sophomore Art major, blogger, and YouTuber from Coralville, Iowa. Her blog focuses on building her own art portfolio and sharing her vegan recipes with her followers. On YouTube, she’s showcased her bullet journaling and cake decorating techniques. Her most popular video, “simple and clean theme | bullet journaling,” has garnered 207K+ views within the last two months.
In addition to her social media presence, Song was one of 21 local artists selected to participate in UICCU’s BenchMarks 6.0 program this past spring. The project is a public art program that seeks to bring art into everyday life by designing and painting benches located in Iowa City’s Pedestrian Mall. Song’s bench, titled “Don’t Get Wet Butt,” can be found across from Aspen Leaf. Read more about Hannah below.
Fools: What got you involved in art?
Hannah: I’ve always liked drawing, that’s where it got started when I was younger. I only had a few friends in school, so I would just draw things once we got separated in school. That’s how I spent the most of my time. I am a shy person, and it’s kind of difficult for me to talk to people, so I enjoy being able to speak through my art. It’s not necessarily out there in ‘this is what the art means’ because everything is up to individual interpretation, but I’m still making a statement. [Speaking through my art] is a very cliche thing to say, but it’s satisfying to know I don’t have to say something aloud to say something
F: What is your individual art process like?
H: Most of the time, I sketch random little drawings in my sketchbook, and if I like something I’ll turn it into a more put together final copy from the original. I’ve been trying to be more intentional about the process instead of sitting down and doing random stuff. A lot of the time I make an image and add meaning to it afterwards, but I’ve been told not to do that. I’m trying to do that now.
F: What made you start your YouTube Channel?
H: I like things to be organized, and I thought it would be a good way to share my stuff and have all of my work (studio art, baking, etc.) all in one place makes me feel calm.
F: What’s been your favorite part about running a YouTube channel?
H: They’re difficult, but they’re fun overall. Right now, I do a lot of bullet journaling, and I really like the video editing and matching the aesthetic.
F: What’s does your style say about you?
H: My art is a lot of not really proportionate people, and lately, I’ve been into flowers and the idea of growth in the work. So, I’ve [been drawing] the people growing. I don’t stick to realism when I’m drawing; I feel like it’s a valuable skill to have, but it’s so much more fun to make up your own people.
F: Do you think your art, your YouTube channel, and your personal fashion choices are all related, or does each one have its own version of yourself?
H: It’s similar in that it’s all stuff I had to work up to being able to share. I cared a lot about what people would think about my YouTube channel, my drawings, or the way I dressed. I had this friend who is super into fashion, and dresses very out of the ordinary, unafraid to be herself. So I took that and told myself I could do that, too.
F: What inspires you in your work?
H: A lot of the times, it’s based on what I’m feeling. If I’m upset, that often is reflected in my work. That’s something I want to think about more - the meaning behind my work. That’s a question that a lot of people ask, so generally, I ask, “What do you want it to mean? It can mean whatever you want.”
F: Do you have fellow artists you look up to?
H: @Soymilky (Instagram) Eric Jones // Both of them do stuff similar to what I like - taking figures and adding more abstract ideas or design elements around them. @kristsoup has a nice YouTube aesthetic, as well.
F: What advice would you give to students interested in art or pursuing a career in the arts?
H: Just do what you want. When I was going into school, I just decided on Studio Art because that was what my parents wanted - me to pursue Graphic Design, but I realized that is not for me. Don’t be afraid of what you make, or the imagery you produce. I was always afraid of what people would think, but they don’t care as much as I thought they did. Whenever I would be drawing or painting, I would consider how other people would react or what they like, so I would change things to what I thought they would like more. You just have to do what you want.