When we decided it was time for a new illustrator to bring the DailyCandy girl to life, the fashion-inspired watercolors of NYC-based Samantha Hahn (whose first book, For All Life and All Time: the Leading Ladies of Literature, will be published by Chronicle Books in 2013) were an instant fit. Here, the illustrator gives us a glimpse into her colorful world.
How long have you been an illustrator and why do you love working with watercolors?
I’ve been illustrating professionally for the last four years, after a stint at figurative oil painting. I started using watercolor because I love the immediacy of it, and it gives me so much freedom of expression.
I love working fast and bringing energy and vitality into my pictures. I love that I don’t have complete control, that there’s my intention and then the element of surprise in how the watercolor will react with the paper and the amount of water on my brush.
How would you describe your illustration style?
Bright, airy, and feminine.
What was your inspiration in creating DailyCandy’s new illustrations?
The girls in New York. To me, this city is a mecca for people who are not afraid to be themselves and who cultivate a personal style to create the life they’ve always dreamed of, career- and lifestyle-wise.
How would you describe the DailyCandy girl?
She’s a passionate career woman, a creative, a friend, a trendsetter. She loves her city and lives each day to the fullest.
If you were to create a self-portrait for DailyCandy, where would you be/what would you be doing?
That’s a tough question, but I’d probably be working at my drawing table or walking through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with my family.
What’s your favorite candy?
Peanut M&M’s (to eat) and swirly lollipops (to paint).
Photo: Tara Donne