Student Artist Spotlight: Hannah Holt ’21

“I have always had the ingrained mentality that the best/most valuable art is the most realistic. I am constantly trying to unlearn and deconstruct that.”

Hannah Holt ’21 creates art in many different mediums, including animation, three of which are featured here. We asked Hannah about her creative process and to share other thoughts about this versatile medium.

Could you tell us a little bit about your process?

My process when animating varies. I have an iPad and mostly use the app Procreate to animate. I have largely taught myself through trial and error and YouTube videos on the basics of animation. I usually get sucked into animation and often work non-stop on a single piece until I finish it, and then tend to take a long break before animating again.

I have found it to be a very interesting medium for my art to exist in. I am constantly spreading my work across many mediums (painting, drawing, ceramics, silk screening, or a combination of multiple). Animation is one of the most lively, authentic, and unique forms I have found.

What do you do when encountering challenges during the creative process?
I have always had the ingrained mentality that the best/most valuable art is the most realistic. I am constantly trying to unlearn and deconstruct that.

I also definitely struggle with making art simply to make art—not to present it somewhere or to make a finished piece. I think it is healthy and beneficial to create for the act itself, rather than a final product. Still, it can be really difficult to appreciate and value the works that aren’t exceptional visually or conceptually strong.

Additionally, I have spent the last two years very focused on building a portfolio. That is tricky, because the emphasis is on what I am lacking (while also trying to predict a college admissions staff’s perceptions), rather than what I have done well. This is great for working on well-rounded, polished work but not always a great mindset for authentic, relaxed creation.

How would you describe your style?
I haven’t quite figured this one out yet! I often refer to my abstract drawings simply as “squiggles,” but I feel like there is definitely a stronger way to articulate that, like some variation of abstraction.

What inspires you and why? 
So much. The majority of my inspiration comes from my communities and identities. When creating, I think a lot about who I am as an individual and the people and places that help me grow. That includes friends, family, pets, and anything else that I love. I also am constantly enamored by other artists’ work. I pull a lot of inspiration from my classmates, teachers, and creators I follow online.

How has your style evolved during your time at Miss Hall’s?

My style has evolved immensely at Miss Hall’s. I have started making the art I feel inspired to create and not the art that I feel like I should be making. Having access to amazing artistic resources and a great support system has opened up so many opportunities. I am so thankful for Miss Hall’s and the Expressive Arts Department.