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About a Girl:

Hattie Stewart

Interview by Hazel Cills

Illustrator Hattie Stewart makes crazy incredible drawings while watching documentaries. We are seriously freaking out over her new Hattie Stewart X UO collaboration!

When did you first start getting really into doodling?

It's just one of those things that I've always loved to do. Now that it's something I can take on professionally, it's just an absolute dream. I've always had a pen in my hand since I was a wee child.

Your style is really distinctive. You can always recognize a signature Hattie Stewart smiley face. How would you describe your illustration style?

Well I guess bold, and fun, and playful. I always have a little bit of sinister undertones, which I really quite like, so it doesn't get too cute. I've always liked strong lines. I don't think I've ever "chosen a style" because I don't think you can choose a style, I think as soon as you put that pen to paper it sort of grows organically with you as a person.

And when you put your pen to paper, it always seems like you're doodling until there's no white space. Your work is a little crazy. Do you ever find yourself sort of losing control when you draw?

Oh definitely! I think sometimes you're sort of drawing blindly? Like you're drawing and you sort of lose consciousness of what you're doing. Sometimes you have to step back and say, "Well I guess that's a bit too much. I need to calm down." I think the reason that I like detail so much is because I want to do work that really shows skill. It's not as much what looks good but what's technically good. I want someone to look at something [of mine] and think, "How did she do it?"

What's your typical routine when it comes time to sitting down and starting a project?

The first thing I definitely do is tidy my room. I clear out my mind and just get everything organized before I start. I like to work predominantly with documentaries [on]. I find it really fascinating how somebody else's struggle, passion and motivation can then motivate my own passions and drive. You can sort of get so caught up in the way things look when they're finished that you actually forget how much it took to actually get to that stage. So I definitely love little documentaries and the radio and stories—I find that motivates me to do the best that I can do.

What are some of your favorite documentaries to watch?

Art & Copy is a good one. I love the Keith Haring documentary. Just everything and anything is amazing! One of my favorite ones is all the Lord of The Rings extras; I love Lord of the Rings and the reason I love the extras is because they're like 12 hours long, and I like to work uninterrupted. It goes through every detail and everyone's hard work and it ends with them winning the Oscars and at that point I've reached the end of my piece so I think, “I've really accomplished something!” [laughs]

You've designed T-shirts, store installations, porcelain china, etc. What haven't you done that you're really itching to do?

Cars! [laughs] I would love to paint a car! I don't know, anything. One of the main things with my work is that I don't want it to just be on paper. Maybe because I don't want people to get bored of my work; I want to find ways to show it on different platforms.

You've done a lot of fashion collabs too. Has fashion always been something you've been interested in?

I don't think it's always been something I've been interested in. I did actually want to be a fashion designer when I was younger and I remember taking fashion illustration when I was about thirteen. I would always get Vogue, my friends and I would always read Vogue. The brands I've worked with have been amazing and it's great to have a style that they liked. I didn't have to change myself for them. I love it.

So tell me a little about your collaboration with UO?

It all happened so quickly! We're doing a housewares range with porcelain pieces. Then, the first one set up is the T-shirt collection, which is a nice introduction to Hattie Stewart for Urban Outfitters. Then that led on to me being invited to Space 15 Twenty to do a pop-up shop. I'm going to go there for a week and decorate with huge murals, loads of stuff and badges and patches and oh my god! It's going to be great!

It's going to be amazing. Have you ever been to L.A.?

No, it's my first time!

What are you most looking forward to doing in L.A. beside the Space?

What is it called...the Star Tours or something? [laughs] You can't not. I love that kind of stuff. Yeah, I definitely want to do some real touristy things.

And lastly, If you could have any job for a day besides being a professional doodler, what would you be and why?

I would love to be, like, an amazing singer. Like Adele, and just shut down the house. Or Beyonce, oh my god. I just think that's the dream! [laughs].


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