Artist Cathy Hansby is passionate about Aotearoa’s beautiful fauna. Working from her Auckland home, she loves creating stylish, vibrant and modern artworks featuring local birdlife from New Zealand and Australasia, using traditional and digital tools.
How did you get into your craft?
I’ve always loved drawing, and when my kids were young I rediscovered my interest in drawing. Previously I worked in fashion and interiors, in design and styling, so illustration has been a natural progression.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I studied visual arts and have a BA in Fashion Technology at AUT, but drawing is something I’ve always done.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
My favourite tools are pen and paper to sketch ideas, and coloured pens. The iPad and pencil are great for drawing on the go too.
Tell us about some of the techniques involved in producing one of your pieces?
I research international trends, so my images work with seasonal colours and interior schemes. I do lots of sketching, refining and reducing images to create simple outlines. I edit and colour images using Illustrator and Photoshop for final touches. I recently began drawing on an iPad which has been amazing, with more freedom to play with scale and design.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by colour and global design, by architecture and sculpture, by shapes and contrasts. Spending time in nature and having close encounters with our amazing wildlife.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
My work often features our endangered species, because they’re so unique to our place in the world, and remind us how close we are to losing some of them. All prints come with their own story, to educate and spread awareness. I’m proud to be supplying NZ Forest & Bird and supporting the incredible work they do.
Describe your creative process
I love working with the latest colours and creating simple, timeless images. I take lots of photos, look through books and images online, seeking the right angles, expressions and details. I also enjoy researching, observing and engaging with birds and animals.
Describe your workspace
My workspace is in the hub of the home. I work between my sketchpad, iPad and desktop, and often work on the go. It’s great to be able to work anywhere, and get ideas down. My desk is a busy place, with designs in development and new colour palettes.
Your favourite feedback from a customer?
It’s always great to hear from people who have my prints on their walls, and enjoy them so much they come back for more.
What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
I’ve always loved the Little Miss and Mr books, the bold, vibrant images define the characters so simply. I’m enjoying them all over again by reading them to my kids!
What are you reading now?
Mr Cool and Little Miss Hug (with the kids).
Who is your hero/heroine? Why?
Wonder Woman – she’s brave, strong, elegant, and powerful!
A favourite quote?
Less is more.
What’s in store for the rest of 2018?
Lot of new prints in sea green, dove grey and black and white, featuring local birdlife from New Zealand and our neighbours in Australasia.
Cathy has very kindly offered a beautiful prize for one lucky Felt reader of an A4 framed print of your choice from her Felt shop! If you would like to be in to win a vibrant Hansby Design print, let us know in a comment what you enjoyed reading about Cathy’s story and her gorgeous artwork. The draw closes at 5pm on Monday 3 September and is open to New Zealand residents only.