We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hannah, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“You don’t need to know how to get there, you just need to know the next step.”
This has been powerful for me starting a creative business of my own. So much of creativity is the ability to let the creativity out of you, often we are the ones that get in the way of it. My brain wants answers, it wants to know the future, it wants a sense of security and everything planned out. If I learn to trust the process, and do what I’ve been put on this earth to do, I only need to trust in the moment, take the next step, without letting fear and control take over.
“Are you making this decision out of fear or love?”
I have found that it feels more intuitive to make decisions out of fear. I did this until I started my own business. I realized so much of the decisions where based off of a fear mindset, and for me to trust my instinct and follow my calling, I needed to live in love. This quote has translated to so many other aspects in my life, and I come back to it often.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I paint acrylic landscapes of the four corners area of the US. My style is colorful, impressionistic, layered and whimsical. Recently, I have been doing landscape paintings on topographic maps.
I’ve been making art since I was a kid, I went on to study landscape architecture in college and fell in love with the simplicity, depth and comfort of painting landscapes – a new way to get to know and understand a place. I found that I was the most happy and content when I was outside, exploring a beautiful new place with my paintbrush in hand.
There is this strong stigma that to be an artist, is to be “starving” and that it is best kept as a hobby. If you asked 7-year-old Hannah what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would have said proudly, “An artist!” That dream became hazy and I pursued a career in outdoor education – working as a guide, instructor, on to an administrator. In the silent moments with myself, the idea of fully dedicating myself to my art lingered- and one day I finally decided to do it. I gave myself a year and if I didn’t like it, at least I’d given myself a year. After my time was up, I was learning and growing so much and still intrigued. I was to a point where I didn’t want to turn back, just keep going and seeing where it would take me.
It wasn’t easy. Almost everyday I had to overcome thoughts and stories (in my head) of imposter syndrome, that what I was doing wasn’t meaningful, or even the millennial in me wanting instant gratification from my work and not receiving it. I had to remind myself that good things take time, care and persistence. And thinking doubtful thoughts was only getting in the way of my creative process.
I believe that I am doing (or in the process of) what I am on this planet to do. Once I decided to listen to this internal knowing, It feels impossible to backtrack. The more and more I believe in myself, the harder it is to make decisions that don’t honor who I am. It’s gradual, harsh at times and beautiful – but fully believing in myself has been transformational.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of the reasons so many people are drawn to SW Colorado is the access to the beautiful outdoors. It’s hard to not dabble in all of it. I would paddle board a flat section of the Animas River, Go mountain biking on Hermosa Creek trails, and then go rock climbing and swimming near Cascade Creek. After the adventures, we would eat at either James Ranch or Zia Taqueria and for desert Cream Bean Berry.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The book, The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron has transformed my views of running a creative business and held my creative process, by allowing me the space and belief that my work can transform and inspire others for good.