Hi, I’m Hannah, Suffolk based Illustrator, and the face and (right) hand behind Hannah Weeks Illustration (HWI) and Sandpaper Kisses – the two branches of my business.
The main branch of my business, keeps me busy with wholly bespoke, custom illustration commissions – I draw everything from wedding portraits and stationery to family portraits, pet portraits and illustrations for individual businesses. Sandpaper Kisses is my ready-to-buy print shop where I sell fun alphabet illustrations and quirky animal drawing on Etsy.
I have loved drawing, for as long as I can remember!
As I grew up, a mixture of pressure to carve out a “proper” career for myself and being given, perhaps…not the most suitable advice for myself, personally, I went to De Montfort in Leicester to study contour Fashion Design (that’s bra and knicker design). I did well and mostly enjoyed the course, but I now realise that the modules I most relished were the illustration classes. It was during these lessons that I was first introduced to digital illustration – and I loved it!
Upon graduating, in pursuit of my career goal I moved to North Yorkshire, having got a job designing lingerie for Marks and Spencer and Boux Avenue. But, came to learn that the fashion world wasn’t for me, long term. After four years of invaluable experience, I longed to get back to what I loved – all I wanted to do was draw. So, I made the leap to self employment and started over as a Freelance Illustrator. It was a brave decision, and it hasn’t been easy, but I have never looked back. At times, my friends and family may have thought I was mad to leave a secure job, but they can see how happy I am and the pleasure it gives me bringing people’s ideas to life!
I started taking wedding stationery commissions and for nearly eight years, the business has grown and evolved from there. Now I draw anything and everything, but what I most love to draw is people and pets. I get a huge kick out of drawing details that are personal to my clients – and there’s nothing better than receiving positive feedback from my customers when they first see the preview of their portrait or project.
Four years ago I moved back to my homeland, Suffolk and for a couple of years now I have worked a couple of days a week as a Gardener. I enjoy the happy mix developing my green-fingered knowledge alongside my business – it’s a wonderful, complimentary “side hustle” that keeps my mind clear and actually aids in my creativity. I am always thinking about the next idea and can see me merging the two disciplines one day…watch this space…
Makers Market From Home has helped me “meet” lots of other creatives – I feel part of a wonderful community of great folk. It has even seen me beat my fear of speaking online…I can now been found regularly chatting away on IG stories!