Kat Hahn won the top prize at the 2013 Square Art competition, an art exhibition open solely to those in the ad industry.
Tell us about your winning entry. I loved that the brief was exploring the relation between digital and craft. It’s a complete reflection of my work/life balance: digital during the day, crafty at night.
My piece is called "The second mouse gets the…" and it’s a cheeky illustration of our industry. It’s not always the pioneers or inventors who necessarily get the acclaim (or the "cheese of success") they might feel they deserve; sometimes, it’s the people who are there at the right time and know how to be a bit clever about things. It’s not critical; it’s just an observation – as I firmly believe that, throughout your career, you’ll be both the first and the second mouse at some point.
How did you get into art? I’ve been creating things since forever, and sculpting has always come more naturally to me than drawing. Maybe my early Fimo animals were an indicator of things to come? I started taxidermy almost four years ago. Some parts are a little "challenging" and you have to push yourself – eg. my least favourite bit is picking the brains from the skull.
How do you find inspiration? "From anywhere" – that’s what everyone says, right? And there is some truth in it. I just heard a talk by the set designer Es Devlin. She compared her creative process to a puzzle – pieces come together and make a different, new whole. So, taking that approach into consideration, "The second mouse gets the…" was probably inspired by some pub banter and the fact that my taxidermy partner had just bought a whole lot of frozen white mice.
Who is your favourite artist? Louise Bourgeois. Every piece of her art touches me deeply. I love her sewing work – lots of small hand-sewn people hugging each other. Her work is gentle but powerful. Most people don’t realise how much writing she did – long protocols of internal monologues that please the copywriter in me.
Grayson Perry is another favourite. His work sparkles with humour. Pretty much everything he says is very well-observed, funny and makes complete sense.
What are you working on now? Lately, I’ve been concentrating on my incredibly rude bunting – my personal vendetta against the world of twee. The name is so rude that I can’t mention it here. In my studio, I have what I call my "freezer of death" – a future project might involve a fox or a shrew.
Maybe I can include my (limited) Arduino skills, which would be the perfect merger of digital and craft.
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