“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”–John Muir
Much like John Muir, Hannah Bleiweiss finds inspiration for her art in nature. Her ability to create has always prevailed within her, for her memories are coated with making art. Bleiweiss has the ideal life of continuing her varied passions through higher education. The addictive lust of art has fueled her to lace in many different topics for discussion. She creates art with meaning behind her pieces and emotions she desires the audience to feel.
Critique of production is bound to occur, and often, the biggest critic is the creator themself. Bleiweiss’ work looks like it comes from a brain running constantly and striving for perfection, but her greatest advice to other creators is to “stop thinking so much.” The focus of what a person wants to make is a block preventing the actual act of doing it.
Belweiss’ style varies a lot when it comes to what she makes, but the passion and dedication is showcasably recognizable. She explained more about her process to us.
How did you first get into making art?
There’s always been an innate need to create since a young age. I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t. I have a lot of memories as a child: having my mother draw pictures for me and participating in anything where it can continue to be facilitated, like school projects. I’ve always had a need to be making art, and that is going to continue as I get older.
Are there other mediums you use to express yourself?
I went to high school for creative writing, but even if I don’t attend higher education for it, it is still a passion of mine. I enjoy working with nature, and I incorporate aspects of that into my art. Activity-wise, I hike; I bike; I collect crystals and rocks. I think it’s pretty essential for me to enjoy those other mediums in order to generate ideas for art.
What is the process of creating your pieces?
I am trying to show versatility with what I enjoy creating. The questions I ask myself are: is it appealing to audiences on social media platforms versus what I’m trying to create? Then, there is a huge dichotomy between that, because at the same time that I love creating portraits of people, creating abominations, humanoid creatures, terrifying things, those are often like two different subjects that are hard to come out.
I’m in the process of continually trying to figure out how I can create both and still appeal to others. Not that I’m only creating for the sake of getting recognition, but just because I want to be able to create both and not have to compromise. With this project, my process is to not think or to think as little as possible and to allow my emotions and my own hands to guide me. Otherwise, if I get too consumed by what I want to put on the page, I’ll never see anything that I think is worthy of showing. Instead, I’m creating based on my emotions, and I think the result ends up looking a lot better. My process is to allow my emotions and things I like to guide me versus second-guessing myself.
What are some difficulties when creating?
Thinking, which is contradictory, but it truly becomes my greatest obstacle. The majority of times I’ve been making art, I felt like that was a barrier, because I would be compromising my own ideas in the effort of trying to make what I was envisioning. I recently decided to practice more often, create more, and I started to let go of having a thought process.
Do you wish to pursue art as a career when you’re older?
I’ve kind of been grappling with this conversation with myself about what I wanted to be studying in college. When I was choosing the place that I would attend for higher education, one of my biggest factors was, I wanted to pursue a path that would allow me to dedicate to all my passions, because I didn’t want to sacrifice one for the other.
Just as much as I enjoy making art, I enjoy environmental studies, creative writing, and ballet, but I didn’t want to put those off. I always wanted to be an artist career-wise, but I also want to be an artist in the sense that I integrate my other artistic pursuits so that I can combine film, video production, or art writing together, maybe even activism. One goal I’ve had is to work with Meow Wolf in Denver. It’s always been a dream of mine to work with them. I’m hoping that within the next two years, I can build a portfolio that is strong enough to get there. That’s going to be a huge step up to where I want to be.
What’s something you wish to portray or convey with your work? What are influences?
The cycle of life and death, but also the cycle in-between. I always feel like I’m in an in-between state, and I want that to be translated in my art. If I’m making something that can be unsettling to look at, I want the viewer to feel it. At the same time, because I have such a love for nature, I want that to be integrated into my art. Nature can be beautiful as well as terrifying.
Are there any pieces you’ve created that you are most proud of?
I made this shark sculpture where I was speaking out about the shark fin industry. People slaughter 100 million sharks every year and cut off their fins for the sake of making a luxury food item, shark fin soup. It’s really a dying tradition, and there is no nutritional benefit, but because it is expensive, it is considered luxury.
The only reason it continues is because people see it as a representation of them having wealth at the price of them killing millions of animals every year. The sculpture is essentially a dead shark mounted on a piece of board. It’s been cut apart, and it’s bloody. There’s also holes in the shark that are silver, and it’s supposed to represent monetary wealth. I wanted people to feel disturbed when looking at it, because it is such a disturbing thing. When we do kill animals for the sake of profit, people often forget they’re actually destroying a life for the sake of it. If I can just get rid of that barrier completely and show how it really is, I want to be able to do that and make it look as disturbing as possible so people are motivated to change their habits.
How do you improve your skills?
As far as improving, I would tell people to stop thinking so much about what they want to make, and trust yourself enough to think unconsciously. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but don’t slack off, either, because you’re going to be unhappy as long as you’re not working towards your goal. You’re going to compare yourself to other artists and ask yourself, why aren’t you there? Well, it’s because you’re not putting in the time, for you reap what you sow.
I enjoy environmental studies, creative writing, and ballet, but I didn’t want to put those off. I always wanted to be an artist career-wise, but I also want to be an artist in the sense that I integrate my other artistic pursuits so that I can combine film, video production, or art writing together, maybe even activism.
How did you develop your style?
I don’t have a style, because I like creating so many different things. My portraits don’t look like my monsters, and my environmental activism pieces don’t look like my sculptures, but I’m okay with that. I don’t want to draw a certain way, because it’s recognizable. I want to create what I see fit.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Versatility is OK. You don’t have to be creating for the acceptance of other people. I think there’s a sense of randomness that the viewer sees, but to me, it stems from a place of passion. It’s okay to show your creative vision versus making things so that you can succeed based on what other people want.
All art provided by Hannah Bleiweiss