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ELK TALES: ELK x HANNAH NOWLAN

At ELK, we embrace the creative process. Together, with our Melbourne based design team, one of our favourite pastimes is to connect and work with fellow creatives to showcase and share their amazing work.

A local talent we worked with is Melbourne based artist, Hannah Nowlan. Given ELK’s signature aesthetic of unique, custom designed prints, earthy hues and a considered design approach, the match felt like a perfect fit.

ELK Creative Director Marnie Goding commissioned Hannah to create a beautiful piece of art inspired by a mutual love of the ocean and a yearning for time outdoors.

One of our favourite photographers, Mikey Anderson, captured a photo journal of the work's development providing a unique insight into Hannah’s creative process and her studio.

The abundance of light, colour and painters tools, captured a behind the scenes view into the creative journey. The result is a stunning piece of artwork titled “Seven Moons Away” which now hangs proudly in the ELK office.  

We sat down with Hannah to find out more about her creative process and the inspiration behind the recently commissioned piece for ELK.

Tell us a bit about yourself, what made you choose the path of being an artist?

My name is Hannah Nowlan, I am a 23-year-old artist, where I live and work from my home-based studio in Black Rock, Victoria. I am also Co-Founder of my family business Grain of Descent. Being an artist has always been a dream of mine. When I finished high school, I was accepted into The Victorian College of Arts, Fine Art Department and I’ve been working as a full-time artist ever since. Completing an International Artist Residency in Portugal back in 2016 was very defining for my career where I found confidence in my ability to make a business from my passion.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day always begins with coffee, I make one for myself and my parents. I then head up to my studio which is on the mezzanine floor of my parents home. Creating a plan for the day is a simple way to make sure I’m meeting all my deadlines. I love a good To-Do-List to keep my mind focussed and not frantic. My days can be so varied which I really love. It’s actually rare that I spend a full day just, painting! There are materials to be collected, timber to be ripped, emails to be written and paintings to be planned. 

Tell us about the creative brief and collaboration with ELK Creative Director, Marnie Goding and how it shaped the final commissioned work “Seven Moons Away”

Originally Marnie took inspiration from an artwork she viewed at my capsule collection on display at The Design Files Open House. After discussing a commission artwork over the phone, we met at the ELK Preston office to discuss the colour palette and inspiration for the piece.

Together we decided on a rich and moody colour palette. Working with dark tones of deep blue, navy, terracotta and rusty sienna with offsets of cream and vintage pink hues for lighter elements. Steering towards motifs of curved archways that reminded Marnie of historical European influences.

There was definitely a vintage overlay for this piece as Marnie spoke of looking to the past in order to create contemporary designs for their upcoming collections.

What inspires you?

I am endlessly inspired by the Australian landscape and coastline; I never have to stray far from nature. Exploring landscape, new and familiar is an important source of inspiration as it provides a platform for my intuition and creativity to flourish. An aspect of nature that I’m particularly drawn too is its incomprehensible power; a force out of our control. I also find that using my art practice as an expression of personal narratives can be an imperative tool to process some of the lightest and darkest elements of my life. Sometimes I feel I would be completely lost in thought if I didn’t have my paintings to let go of them. 

What is your favourite ELK design this season? 

My favourite ELK piece would definitely have to be the Coast Cardigan. I love that this strong colour can really vamp up its minimalist aesthetic and elegant design. 

Click here to learn more about Hannah's work x


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