Hannah Kang is an illustrator and designer living in downtown Detroit, MI. Born in Lubbock, Texas, she bounced around the world to South Korea, New Jersey, and Paris, France, before landing in Detroit. With this exposure behind her, she has a diverse blend of cultural influences to pull from with her art. Hannah is married to Bogobrush co-founder, John, and we are so proud that she shares her gifts as Bogobrush's illustrator.
In this Part 1 of 2, we're exploring Hannah's path to illustration and how she's channeled that into Bogobrush. In Part 2, we'll go deeper into her process and the genius of her work.
HANNAH KANG: I guess you could say ever since I was little :) I was always drawing as a kid, and dreamed of being a famous painter. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of spending days soaking in every painting at the national art museums in Seoul. But technically, I suppose I knew I was an illustrator when I was studying design at the College for Creative Studies. I was there to study car design, but seeing the work from the illustration department brought me back to those days studying every brush stroke at the museum, and I decided to take an extra year in school to minor in illustration.
HK: Illustration is a simpler and more amusing way to connect to viewers than traditional fine art. To me, it bridges my silly imagination/the message I’m trying to convey easily to the viewers rather than getting too serious like fine art. Of course, it can be serious as well which is why I think it’s more versatile form/expression of Art.
HK: I love a wide range of styles in illustration. I haven’t really come across the styles I really do not resonate with. I’m easy to please despite what my husband thinks ;-) I’m only a harsh critic to myself and maybe to my husband, hah!
limited edition prints, 2017, signed by hannah kang
HK: The simple design form with fun color ways help me come up with whimsical/playful illustrations. Typically, I tend to have an easier and fun time with the process if it’s a brand I resonate with my personal aesthetic taste and Bogobrush definitely falls in that category ;) Because of this, the creativity seems to have flowed pretty easily and thanks to Heather and John who encouraged my silly visions without any restrictions, I was able to come up with something that makes people smile or even giggle!
The very first project I did was during Bogobrush's pre-order campaign in 2013, and it was for a poster series of playful Bogobrush characters. I did another poster series for a Give Tour the company did at the end of 2014. For that series, I explored a different style of illustration. I designed landscapes unique to each city they visited on the tour. The landscapes were so detailed it took a lot of time. I think detail can be fun, though, so it wasn't bad. :)
pre-order campaign poster series, 2013 hannah kang
give tour minnesota poster, 2014 hannah kang
HK: I envisioned fun ways of delivering toothbrushes as if you would see them in an animation/short film. It started off with storks delivering toothbrushes and I thought it was too cliche and overdone. It evolved into my silly imagination of these toothbrushes jumping out of the planes, with a parachute, landing themselves in front of people’s doormat, personifying them as these cleverly skilled squad of toothbrushes, ready to serve the people and their teeth.
"...CLEVERLY SKILLED SQUAD OF TOOTHBRUSHES, READY TO SERVE THE PEOPLE AND THEIR TEETH."
All images courtesy of Hannah Kang.