Hannah Minter is the self-taught Canberra artist behind Mint Illustrations. A lifelong Canberran, Hannah created the retro-inspired artwork for this year’s ACT Heritage Festival, with the theme ‘reimagine’. As a consequence of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 festival has been postponed.
1 What was the inspiration for your Heritage Festival pieces?
I’ve always been attracted to all things retro. One of the main inspirations behind my work is capturing all the gorgeous retro themes of the past, and transforming them through a female gaze. My pieces for the ACT Heritage Festival also took on the theme ‘reimagine’ – taking iconic symbols of Canberra’s past and reimagining them into the future.
2 What subject matter have you highlighted in your works, and why?
Growing up in Canberra, there are certain places and sites that I feel especially fond of. Some of the places featured in these artworks include the very retro and iconic Starlight Cinema Sign and our picturesque Lake Burley Griffin. I’ve also included things that Canberrans know very well, such as hot air balloons, magpies, Bogong months, the Canberra Carousel and the recent addition of our light rail.
3 What does it mean to you to have your work as part of the Heritage Festival?
Very rarely does a project come along that seems almost too good to be true! That was the case when I was invited to create art for the ACT Heritage Festival. It was an absolute delight, pairing my retro feminine art with all the things I love about Canberra.
4 How do your illustrations come together, from concept to the finished product?
Most of my work is created digitally. I spent years creating art with paint and pencil, but I have recently fallen in love with the convenience and accessibility of digital art. You can often find me drawing at a café in Braddon.
5 How did you discover the world of illustration and develop your skills?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always drawn and painted in my personal time, but up until recently, I never thought to turn it into a business. A year and a half ago, a dear friend took me along to an illustration workshop with the very talented Canberra illustrator Juliette Dudley [juliettedudley.com]. Hearing Juliette talk about her Canberra Illustration business filled me with inspiration, so I decided to give it a go. I threw my hat in the ring, and Mint Illustrations was born. Check out Hannah’s work on Instagram @mint.illustrations and online via mintillustrations.com