top of page

One-on-one with world-renowned artist, Christy Hannah.

Updated: Oct 14, 2023


A conversation with an artist we adore.

By: HomeFindss Editors


 

We're so excited to introduce our latest guest on the home & living editorial: Christy Hannah! A rising star in the art scene, who has captivated audiences with her unique style and incredible talent. The homeFindss team has always loved and admired Christy's art and we couldn't wait to get an inside look at her artistic process and experience. Her insights and story are, to put it mildly, inspiring, and we know you'll adore her as much as we do.

Christy Hannah Art


Let’s start from the beginning. Share where you trained or did a residency. Where did you grow up and when did your love for the arts start?


I was born and raised in Nairobi Kenya, I'm a self-taught artist, with no formal tertiary training in art. I actually did art in high school. I always had an eye for arts, crafts, and fashion since I was young, I always would dress up my dolls with handmade dresses that I sowed or sketch up dress collections some of which my sisters sowed with custom tailors. The love of the arts quickly developed into a full-blown interest in art as I entered middle school where I was among the founders of the knitting club. I still love textile art to this day, which can be seen in most of my work today. So I can say I have always been drawn to the arts from an early age.

In October 2018, I got a life-changing opportunity to do an artist residency at the prestigious Ottawa School of Art in Ottawa, Canada which kickstarted my artistry career to where I am today.

How would you describe your style?

I'd describe my style as playful and fun with a serious side. My style is also dependent on the theme of the work I'm currently working on. I definitely love the detail and realistic scenes juxtaposed with vibrant and almost cartoonish-looking colors and shapes.


Christy Hannah painting in her studio



How have your other interest areas come into play with your art?

My Christian faith is paramount in my creative process, from development and creation to marketing. I always involve Christ in what I'm doing. I also love traveling global trotting and music. Travel and music have greatly influenced my art, therefore my work is not boxed to look like it's from one geographic location. Listening to a lot of music as I paint has also greatly influenced my brush strokes and painting techniques.



How has each area influenced your art style?

For me as a fine artist, I have many mediums to choose from. I don't like to box myself. I'd say I use different mediums depending on the outcome I am going for. For instance, if I want more detail I'll use Acrylics, if I want a loose impressionistic piece, I'll use Oil pastels. So they influence my work on a regular basis but in the way I choose them too.


What advice would you give someone who is struggling to pick an area of focus?

I would tell them to explore and experiment with whatever catches their interest. Be intentional in your work and maybe view that season as one of personal research. As time goes by, narrow down to what you like and you'll most likely end up where you want to be. Pray about it too. No one better to guide you than your Creator.



Second Chance by Christy Hannah 34 * 39

From Christy's art portfolio



What is the craziest thing that’s happened on a job, and how did you deal with it?

Someone once stole a good amount of canvas from me and messed up a large print that couldn't be fixed unless redone at my own cost. I'd say, always have money for incidentals. Do your research! Do your research! Do your research! Before you outsource a person or company to deal with sensitive areas of your business. I definitely learned a lot from that mishap.



How do you stay true to yourself when social media and the design industry can try to put you in a box?

I'd say, simply turn off the socials and communicate with yourself. Create alone in your quiet space for some time, then go back to the socials if you feel you are in need of outward inspiration.




What tips would you have for more introverted or private artists who would like to connect with their clients more intentionally?

Go to exhibitions and meet other artists and collectors and make connections. If you're on social media, LinkedIn for example, connect with art collectors and curators and begin to have a conversation about art and what you both do. Put your work on social media platforms and if you are not tech survey opt to hire a social media manager, I'd say do it. Engage with your followers, start an email list that is relevant to your audience, and email them interesting things, non-spamming, please!


The pond by Christy Hannah 34 * 39 Acrylic

From Christy's art portfolio



What’s the best part and most challenging aspect of owning your own business?

The best part is having to work on my own working terms and being my own boss. Funny enough this is also one of the challenging things that I have had to face. That said, I have to push myself a lot and have a productive mindset to be able to meet my self-imposed goals. I'm literally my own watchman. being your own boss means having to outsource almost everything else to others so as to help the business run smoothly, for example, accountants, social media team, etc. Designating certain tasks to others definitely lifts the burden and makes room for more creativity. I will say outsourcing those aspects that are less of my strong suit is definitely a game-changer!



As a business owner, how do you find a good work/life balance? Do you outsource any of your tasks or recommend doing so?

Literally, remember you are a working person, that means leave days. You have to set out time for work and personal life and stick to it. Clear boundaries between both should be kept.

There are clearly things I'm not too interested in doing in the business but as the boss of my own work, I have to, which eats into time I could be focusing on things I like doing. I highly recommend outsourcing. Every business needs a team at some point to scale up.


Beginnings by Christy Hannah 34 * 39 Acrylic

From Christy's art portfolio



Who or what has influenced your technique and art?

A number of people, from Monet's dreamy pastel paintings to Erin Hanson's gorgeous impressionistic landscapes. I love vibrant colors that almost look like they could be a dream or an animation. Andrew Tischler is my absolute modern inspiration for realistic work. His YouTube channel has been a serious boost for my career.



If you could leave your fellow artists with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don't compare your journey to another artist! Be yourself at every stage, at every turn! No one is like you so let that shine. Art is a way for humans to express themselves as individuals, so let's see that in your work. Make your art a business, see it as an empire you are building that will last for generations. Diversify how you express your art to generate different avenues of income. Finally, when you start earning, get financial advice if you are not too good in that area. Invest your money and create wealth that will help communities of people like you.




Christy Hannah painting in her studio



The artistic journey of Christy Hannah is a compelling tale of self-determination, passion, and transformation. From her humble beginnings as a self-taught artist, she has relentlessly pursued her craft, evolving into an acclaimed figure in the art world.


Christy has not only gained the admiration of critics and art lovers but has also etched a significant mark in the realm of contemporary art. Her pieces, brimming with creativity and meticulous detail, narrate fascinating stories that captivate the viewer's imagination.


The transformation from a self-taught amateur to a celebrated artist underscores the power of relentless pursuit of one's passion and dreams. Christy Hannah's journey serves as a beacon of inspiration for budding artists who may harbor doubts about their artistic prowess. It is a powerful reminder that with unwavering dedication and persistence, one can indeed scale the heights of their dreams.


One of the remarkable aspects of Christy Hannah's art is her ability to inspire and provoke thought in viewers. Each of her pieces tells a story and invites the audience to engage with the artwork on a deeper level. Her artistic journey and accomplishments serve as an inspiration to aspiring artists in Canada, Kenya, and beyond.


Christy Hannah's journey from a self-taught artist to a sensation in both Ottawa and Nairobi is a testament to her talent, passion, and dedication to her craft. Her unique style sets her apart in the art world. Through her work, she not only showcases her artistic abilities but also celebrates her Kenyan heritage, bridging the gap between cultures and inspiring others to embrace their own roots. As Christy Hannah continues to make waves in the contemporary art scene, we eagerly anticipate what the future holds for this rising star and the impact she will undoubtedly make on the art world.


To immerse yourself in the vibrant world of Christy Hannah's art, visit and follow her socials Art by Christy Hannah. Where she regularly shares her latest creations and interacts with her growing audience. Her art, a vivid portrayal of the rich Kenyan culture, is bound to leave an indelible impact on anyone with an appreciation for textured/ contemporary art.



 

Receive good things straight into your inbox. Stay connected by subscribing to our email newsletter and receive tips tricks and recipes. SUBSCRIBE HERE




Comments


bottom of page