Some people are born with a special talent that makes them unique to family and friends, whether it’s cooking, making music, or having a knack for mathematics, Hannah Eisen shares her artistic talent with the community on and off campus.
Eisen, 21, is a Pierce student pursuing an illustrations major. Her passion for art began when she was young, watching her mother and grandmother who were artists.
“I grew up knowing I wanted to do, art,” Eisen said.
Eisen said that being an artist can be challenging, but she continues to create.
“You have to keep drawing because practice makes perfect and it’s not good to just stop drawing out of nowhere,” Eisen said. “My style wasn’t the same as it was three years ago, because it’s developing each time I draw something new.”
Eisen attended Taft High School where “unfortunately” no art classes were offered to students. But despite the lack of classes, Eisen’s career as an artist began as she developed a community with her peers at Taft.
“I had a lot of artist friends, so we would all get together and feed off of each other and teach each other stuff we didn’t know,” Eisen said.
Eisen sought art classes at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, during her last year of high school. She also spent a lot of time learning via online art classes and says that they really helped her learn specific techniques, such as portrait painting.
While it was during this year that Eisen began selling her artwork. It started with students and friends offering to buy her concept artwork, which was inspired by a band she listened to, she said.
Eisen said that balancing school and other responsibilities made it difficult to make time for her to sell her artwork. She plans on selling her prints on etsy.com in the future.
When Eisen began at Pierce, she continued to pursue art classes, taking an illustration class taught by art instructor Gerry Vicich. Vicich said he immediately noticed Eisen’s artwork.
“She has a particular style that developed throughout her high school years,” Vicich said. “She has an intrinsic understanding of color. It’s playful, fun and friendly.”
Vicich said Eisen’s work is unique and takes spectators to another universe.
“It’s like she creates this little universe that we’re all invited into,” Vicich said.
Vicich said his favorite work of hers is a storyboard that was featured in the student art show in spring 2017. The work is composed of six boards that represent pages of a book.
“The cadence of the story worked very well throughout, and the drawings were all exciting. She had a captive audience with the class,” Vicich said.
Vicich said there is a 60s energy to Eisen’s work. He said her work looks like it is influenced by Peter Max, an artist whose style was pop art and expressionism.
Vicich said that Eisen’s work reflects her unique style. Her storyboard of aliens in space was inspired by a Cage the Elephant song “Telescope,” Eisen said.
“It’s all her style, and there are things she puts in there that are entirely unexpected,” Vicich said.
Eisen said that her artwork ideas often stem from music and the beach, where she likes to find inspiration and relax.
“If I have nothing in my head to draw, I’ll just go there and lay out and paint the whole day,” Eisen said.
Eisen said that she also attends concerts almost weekly and while she’s there, ideas begin to spark in her mind.
A lot of Eisen’s inspiration also comes from traveling, she said.
“I travel a lot. When I went to Israel over the summer, I came back pumping with ideas,” Eisen said.
One of those ideas, was an illustration of a mermaid with her tailfin wrapped around a cup, which Eisen said is her recent favorite.
Pierce student James Le, 25, met Eisen in an introduction to illustration class, where he immediately noticed her work and gave her a nickname.
“Hannah Miyazaki, because she is that high level of an artist,” Le said.
Le said he supports Eisen’s artwork because he appreciates her talent as an artist.
“We all should support each other, and Hannah’s art inspired me to make my own art even more,” Le said.
Vicich said he sees opportunities for Eisen in her career as long as she keeps working on her skillset and “being Hannah, because Hannah is liked by everybody.” He said he’d like to see her become a professional illustrator for books or even write her own book.
Eisen’s artwork can be found on her Instagram, @hannah_beat, and her Etsy page, Given Vintage.
“Art is creativity. Without creativity, the culture would just self-destruct,” Vicich said. “The world needs it, and when you have somebody who has an individual voice like Hannah, it should be celebrated.”