A series of interviews with creative people we've come across on the web. Some are friends, some are strangers, but all are interesting.

Mia Hansen, Illustrator

Mia Hansen, Illustrator

Play is a series of interviews with creative people we've come across on the web. Some are friends, some are strangers, but all are interesting.

Visit Mia's Blog for more info.

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If you live in Vancouver, then you may already be familiar with some of Mia's work. Whether it be an illustrated cover for the Georgia Straight or a hand-made skirt hanging from the rack in one of Vancouver's more hip clothing shops, Mia is one seriously talented lady!

LORI: What made you decide to be an illustrator?

MIA: Self-indulgence. If I could do it over I would be wearing a lab coat right now and own a matching dinette set. Seriously though... My parents didn't want me to go to art school. My dad was a graphic designer and found the constraints stifling. But it was his design magazines that sparked my interest. And my sister and I were always encouraged to do art at home. My parents are amazingly talented artists.

LORI: What other jobs have you done before turning to art and design full time?

MIA: Cleaning lady, library lady, waitress, forklift driver, screenprinter, movie extra, apartment painter, clothing designer.

LORI: Where do you get your inspiration?

MIA: The web, magazines, comic books, and the general mayhem one witnesses outside every day.

LORI: Do you have a favorite artist/illustrator?

MIA: Julie Doucet, Gary Baseman, Marcel Dzama, Mark Beyer to name a few. I like work that makes me laugh and feel slightly uncomfortable at the same time.

LORI: What is your favourite website?

MIA: The search continues for the ultimate, mind-blowing web site. The closest is Bubble Soap which is not a very original choice. I don't like web sites that have all kinds of busy, senseless Flash animation and you don't have a clue where you are supposed to click. This one is just like that but it is meant to be! It's totally fun and chaotic. Another favourite of mine is the portfolio of Brian Rea. I think the site of artist Eun-Ha is very beautiful too.

LORI: What would be your dream job/project to work on?

MIA: Developing the characters and story for an animated television show.

LORI: What would you like to do that you haven't done yet?

MIA: I would love to do a comic book or graphic novel.

LORI: Do you prefer the digital medium over good ol'fashioned painting?

MIA: I prefer hand done work. The allure of digital is that you can work on the same image for hours or days without having to throw it out. You can take an imperfect sketch and make it tight. But no matter how many more options are available with a computer, I have never seen the kind of depth and perfection you can find in the "imperfections" you get by hand. The more I work on a computer, the further I get from this and that scares me.

LORI: What is one valuable thing you learned in art school?

MIA: That the dichotomy of post modern negative space is a dialogue of juxtapositions embodying historical references to articulate the spatiality of a particular site through a conceptualized process of placement and inscription which allows a complexity of dialectic, the assertion of differences within difference, a release of the imagination from convention, and establishes a location for catharsis, the irrational, dissent, slippage, disjuncture and transgression.

LORI: What would you like people to get from your work?

MIA: Laughter is first, preferably mixed with a sense of unease about what they are laughing at. I like the challenge of taking a serious article and creating an image that is light and funny but still respects the subject matter. The world can be a stinky, scary place - I like to focus on the ridiculous and absurd side of humanity.

LORI: What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do? The most frustrating?

MIA: It's frustrating getting into a blue funk thinking that you will never be able to attain the greatness of those you admire. The most rewarding aspect is the fun and the freedom.

Interview By: Lori Joy Smith

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