Artist for life
Minot artist moves past blocks to continue drawing
An appreciation and passion for something can come at a very young age and that was just the case for a young artist here in Minot.
Hannah Tiedman has been creating art her whole life. She watched her father draw and make digital pieces. Her love of drawing was largely inspired by her father and the cartoons that she watched when she was younger. Some of her favorites were “Teen Titans,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Hey Arnold!, “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” and others on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.
Tiedman’s art style is influenced by all the cartoons she watched. When she’s feeling ambitious, her style changes to look more realistic. Which style she chooses to draw in depends on her mood and how much detail she wants to put into it.
The realistic part came in part from a figure drawing class Tiedman took with Micah Bloom at Minot State University. She had previously struggled with drawing anatomy and keeping the proportions accurate, but the class helped her improve.
“It put a new light on how I view the human body,” she said.
Her quick sketches and shading were done in charcoal and she thought it was really fun to work with.
The method she’s most familiar with is drawing on paper, using a variety of utensils. The original sketch is done in pencil then outlined with different thicknesses of black Micron Pens or black Prismacolor fine liners to give it more of the flat cartoon appearance. Depending on the piece, Tiedman uses Prismacolor dual brush tip markers or Sharpie markers. Despite the flat cartoon style, she adds layers and shading to give it some depth.
A drawing of a high-top Converse shoe and a Venus flytrap took her about five or six hours for an assignment for a college class. Tiedman put a lot of time into it using charcoal and colored pencils on a 1-foot-5-inch square piece of paper. She wanted to make it more color based. She was able to choose her own shoe, and she also had to choose a plant to go along with it. It could have been any plant, whether it was real, fake or from images found on the Internet.
“I chose the Venus flytrap because you don’t see many of them around here,” she explained, “and they’re difficult to keep alive when you do find them.”
With that in mind, she used numerous photos from the internet at different angles so she could get a feel for how it would look.
The size of the paper she works with varies, as well. The two sizes she likes working with the most often are 8 1/2-by-11-inches and 11-by-17-inches, using mixed media or markers. Sometimes she’ll do a collage, cutting pieces and putting them on a page to form a new image. When she draws something in one of her sketchbooks she wants to hang up, Tiedman will tear it out and tape the edges or frame it.
For the most part, art is a hobby for her and she does commissions for those that ask her to do something for them. People will ask her to make drawings of them, their pets or a piece of them with their pets. Some even ask her to draw them with their significant other.
She also wants to get into selling her art, but she won’t sell all of it. If a piece turns out much better than expected or if she really likes it, she’ll keep it as a future example for herself.
Tiedman also mentioned that she has been wanting to experiment with painting and digital art a bit more.
“I use paint once in a while,” she said.
Her paint of choice is acrylic, which is much easier to manipulate and dries much faster than oil-based paints.
“I probably won’t use oil paints because of how difficult it is to use,” she said.
Canvas is what she does most of her experimentation on, practicing with blending colors and creating different textures.
She does her digital art on her Surface Book Pro. The screen can be removed from the keyboard so it can be used as a tablet. She has a Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet, but she prefers to use a stylus or digital pen to get finer and less shaky lines. The pen that she uses has a soft plastic nib on the end so it won’t scratch her screen. Using her finger is also an option, but it’s difficult to see around to determine where the lines and colors are going.
There are many different art programs that an artist can use, such as ArtRage, Microsoft Paint, Sketchbook Express, Procreate on Apple devices and the many Adobe programs. Tiedman uses Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for her digital works. Each one has several functions, some of them overlapping in both.
Her girlfriend, Maddie Barnes, is one of her biggest supporters and inspirations. That inspiration helps Tiedman get past artist’s block.
“It’s great to have another wonderful mind in my corner to help when I get stuck,” she said.
Doing a collaboration piece with Barnes has been something that Tiedman has been thinking about, but she admitted that it’s rare for her to give up the reigns when it comes to her art. When she gets together with a group for a piece, they all give their ideas so she can see what everyone else feels before starting.
“There are sometimes conflicting ideas, but we work with them in harmony,” she said.
“If you’re passionate about something, go ahead and do it,” Tiedman encouraged. “Don’t think down about your artwork.”
She said she cringes when she looks at her old artwork, but it’s a great reminder of where she started and how much she has advanced and perfected her technique over the years. Barnes tells her there’s always a way to get better.
“She gets on my case,” Tiedman said of her girlfriend, “and gives me a good pep talk.” Having that motivator in her life helps her move forward as an artist.