Interview: Hanni Baumgardner

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Hanni Baumgardner is a designer, photographer and crafter. I was lucky enough to interview Hanni about her work and what she is currently up to.

Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you! How are you?

I'm great! Except I managed to cut my finger chopping vegetables yesterday, so typing is proving to be a creative challenge today.

How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?

You know, I've always wished that I was passionate about one thing...that I was a skilled painter, or passionate about writing. I'm just now learning to call myself an artist, despite the fact that I dabble in a little bit of this and that. I'm always pushing myself to make or try something new, and experimentation is the best teacher. 

Have you always been into crafts?

Yes, I've always been a maker! As a child, the art closet at school was like a dream full of possibilities. Even as a kid I was always trying out new creative pursuits - crochet, origami, drawing, making little houses of out leaves and sticks. 

If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?

I'd love to do some kind of a large scale art installation. Or design a series of land art in a local park! 

What equipment do you use for your work?

Honestly, I usually try and use whatever I have access to. That changes depending on what life season I am in! So right now, I find quite a bit of inspiration from the little toys my kids leave around the house. I also use their art supplies- (Shhhhh! haha!) Not sure if this counts as equipment, but I use elements from the garden in many of my flat lays. I *really* miss being able to go out and wander through the garden for inspiration when it's winter!

What tools or materials could you not live without?

I have a box of ancient acrylic paints I use all the time. I've also come to depend on this long bendable clamp for my phone so that I can do overhead shots or time-lapse video of works in progress. 

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

Instagram has given me a creative community. I've always been a maker, but sharing my work has been a step of faith. (and courage!) I've met so many other wonderful creators and have been inspired by work I probably would never have seen if it wasn't for social media.

Who inspires your work?

All of the people I follow on Instagram- all of them! They cover such a wide variety of creativity that I am inspired by everything they share. I especially love the arrangements of Adam Hillman (@witenry), the design aesthetic of Caroline South (@caroline_south) and the humour + florals of Kimber Hall (@runnerkimhall).

Do you have any favourite pieces of work that you adore at the moment?

I'm very proud of my multi-stitch crochet afghan, and I'm also oddly pleased with any piece that has lots of little pieces lined up neatly.

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?

Back in January I challenged myself to create a weekly image using a gradient (a colour ranging in value from dark-light or from one colour to another). I'm interested to see how many different ways I can interpret this! And I hope I can stick with it through the whole year. 

What are you currently working on?

I'm working on crocheting a wearable blanket and I'm planning out a rainbow garden to plant in the spring. I'm also in the middle of repainting one of my old canvases. I normally have 3-4 random projects going on at a time. 

What’s your typical working day?

I'm a stay at home mama to three young kids, so most of my day revolves around taking care of their needs! I don't have the luxury of long stretches of time to work (although that does happen once in a blue moon). I try and squeeze a little bit of creative time in whenever I can.

Do you have any exciting plans for this year?

I just want to keep making, sharing, and growing creatively! I'm throwing around the idea of creating a website/portfolio, but at this point it's only an idea.

What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?

Be willing to experiment! Show up and do the work, but half the time it may not go the way you expect. In the words of Bob Ross, there aren't any mistakes, just happy little accidents. Sometimes the happy little accidents take your work in an unexpected and delightful direction!  I'm not sure that I have my own style defined yet, and even if I did, I would hope that it would be constantly changing as I grow creatively. 

Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to do crafts?

Just give it a try! It's not going to be perfect, and it doesn't have to be perfect. It's from YOU and that's the most important part.

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

Begin! Even if you don't feel like you know what you are doing. Or if you are scared to try, or don't think you have the correct tools, or, or, or... Those are just excuses! Get started anyway, and you will learn and grow throughout the process. I actually have this quote framed and hanging in my house (It's from Lisa Congdon @lisacongdon) as a reminder to myself.

You can find Hanni on Instagram at ‘@craftplanter’ and on Pinterest ‘https://www.pinterest.com/craftplanter/’.

Rhiannon BrittenComment