Community Spotlight | People Love - Hannah Jensen September 15 2017

This month we are honoured to bring you the incredible locally grown Kiwi artist Hannah Jensen. Hannah is known for her beautifully carved artworks, a craft she created at university 14 years ago. It is no secret that becoming a successful artist is near impossible and Hannah’s success story is truly inspirational.

From a very young age she knew that she wanted to be an artist and to do that she was going to have to work her bum off. She got her first job at 14 to start saving for university. By 17 she had enough in the bank and only wanted to attend AUT art program. With all her eggs in that basket she was relieved when she was accepted. Having already worked so hard to get to university she took advantage of every opportunity that she could to learn and grow her art. She was the first one at the studio in the morning and the last one to leave. It was there that she discovered her completely unique carved artworks. Her technique is something that she created, no one else is doing it, and the discovery of it was a bit of an accident. An amalgamation of different things she was doing at University; layering, painting and carving. An AHA moment that has continued to inspire her work to this day.

Hannah is a breath of fresh air to meet. A true Kiwi, she is kind, open and her smile makes her very approachable. Giving back to her community while promoting the arts in young people Hannah is a volunteer art teacher at our National Children's Hospital, Starship, teaching students for the past 7 years. A Nature Lover from mountain to sea, she is an active lass that heads out most weekends for adventures. From climbing mountains to stand up paddle boarding, fishing and mountain biking; Hannah loves moving her body and connecting to nature. However to keep her calm when she is in the city, Hannah heads to local yoga studios which stretches her out before or after long days of carving. She has been practicing since university and is proud to be a Lululemon Ambassador and a positive role model in the community. Hannah adores travel and from a young age loved discovering new cultures and diverse landscapes; using both to inspire and fuel her passion to create. With a dream to live out of the city, Hannah is working on the reality of a move to a more rural setting, where gumboots are frequent and fresh grass fragrance is natural not from a lit candle.

As we love to do, we asked Hannah some of our favourite questions.

What purchase of under $100 in the last year has most impacted your life?

This may come as a surprise but I bought my first terrarium last year; a beautiful small picturesque garden of divine plants and crystals. I haven't got a garden of my own at the moment and this mini representation of what is yet to come brings me a lot joy, knowing I will be living my dream someday soon in a cottage with some land that can be made into a wonderful garden. Meanwhile, my green fingers tend to my many pot plants.

I could not live without...

Coconut oil! I love the stuff, on my body, in my hair and cooking with it. Highly recommend when roasting pumpkin with turmeric, cumin, thyme, rosemary and garlic... delicious!

What are your morning routine/rituals? What does the first hour of your day look like?

I love to move - I call it my morning adventure, it's either heading to a yoga class or sunrise walk, getting outside and seizing the day always sets me right for the rest of it, with a hot coffee to follow and straight to the studio. 

What's one thing that you do that people think is 'crazy' and why do you do it?     

I love to swim, even it's it big swell or freezing, sometimes I just can't deny myself a dip in the ocean! An element I would struggle to live without.  

When you think of a successful person, who 1st comes to mind and why?

Hayley King aka FLOX - an exceptional artist, business woman, mother and good friend; always challenging herself to do better and succeeding in doing it.

If you could relive ONE moment in your life, what would you choose and why?

Swimming with dolphins Christmas morning 2015, I headed out with my Step Dad for an early morning paddle board and we were greeted with a very playful pod of dolphins, I LOVE swimming with these divine creatures and can't wait for more of these moments. 

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?

Go boldly and courageously; choose your friends wisely and know that time is best spent with people that pick you up and make you feel good.

My biggest/hardest to achieve/scary goal at the moment is...

I am working on my next solo show, 7 very large scale animal works, hours and hours of carving ahead and hoping my body holds together. I will show these pieces in Auckland and then my biggest dream is to have a solo in New York!

Right now I am most inspired by...

My girlfriends, the constant battles each one has and their ongoing success in riding the waves of both ups and downs, life is truly beautiful but no one can escape hard times. They inspire me because together through chatting and supporting on another, we are reminded that we are not alone in the journey. 

I have never been...

To South America, despite some amazing trips in my lifetime I am yet to reach this glorious continent and I can't wait to be inspired. 

If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life...

It would be Greek salad - fresh juicy savoury ingredients! 

I highly recommend checking out Hannah’s work. It's incredible. She is currently working on her next solo show; part 1 'WILD: IN THE MAKING' which opens 6th October 2017 at Endemicworld - 62 Ponsonby Road and runs for 10 days during Artweek Auckland. Part 2 'WILD" will exhibit early next year.

Otherwise you can catch her on all the socials below.

Website | Instagram | Facebook

We hope you enjoy this new series featuring people we love in our community! If you know of someone, or are that someone that would love to be featured, we would LOVE to hear from you !!

Bex Murphy - Doer of all things at Mala Earth, community connector, social media superstar & most importantly mumma of two

photo cred: Alice van Schaik