Amber Hahn is an abstract mixed media artist based in Toronto, Canada. Growing up, she was always drawn to creative outlets; painting, drawing, and writing. A five-year cancer survivor, Amber uses art to navigate the many emotions she experienced in her life journey and is imagined through themes of love, hope, strength, empowerment, reinvention, and discovery. Her abstracts bring a sense of calm, with soft flowing colours, bright lines, and a splash of brilliant, shimmering gold. Amber’s mission is to embody the spirit of happiness and light through her work, in order to elicit the strongest of emotional bonds with her viewers. We interviewed Amber to learn more about her practice, inspirations, and what she is working on today.
1. How does your creative day look like and what inspires you to make art? Has your creative day changed due to Covid-19?
My creative day is more like a creative night. I work full time in a digital media role, which funnily enough is focused a lot on creative as well. I find I focus best and feel most creative in the evenings. I throw on my favourite playlist, pour a glass of wine, and get to work. My days definitely changed due to COVID-19, both for the good and not so good. My four-year-old son was home with me while I was working full time. It was not easy, but I did embrace the positive in all of it. Extra time with my boy to create and play together. He loves to draw, colour, and paint with me, and I hope it will always be an important part of his life too.
2. Tell us more about your art studio.
My dream is to have my own studio, but for now, I have my own art “room”, which I like to call my studio. It’s bright with a lot of natural light (which is necessary to catch those beautiful gold shimmering golds in my photos!). It’s my favourite place in my house. Most of my days are spent in this room, I just love the way it makes me feel, bright and happy!
3. How did you first get interested in your medium/s?
I’ve always loved painting with acrylic. I started in my teens and it’s a medium I have always come back to. Alcohol ink is still a bit new to me, but I saw other artists I admire on Instagram creating with it, so I thought I’d try it out. I love the way it flows, the way the colours dance and stain to create new colours and shapes. The gold adds so much shine. It’s extremely eye-catching and I love that I’m getting more comfortable with it.
4. Describe your style in one sentence.
Soft and calming, embodying the spirit of happiness and light.
5. Has your style changed over time?
When I started painting more seriously, I was into really bright colours, a lot of contrast and black. My pieces were statement pieces. Looking at my Instagram page you can see how light and neutral my style has become. It’s a lot more “airy” and soft. I still like to dabble in some bright colours, but it’s not as drastic as before. Now that the cooler weather is here, I’m starting to add more blacks. You’ll still find those soft neutrals and gold though!
6. What are your main artistic tools?
Brushes, droppers, catalyst wedges, sponges, the list goes on! I love the different markings each tool provides.
7. Do you ever experience creativity blocks and how do you stay positive and inspired?
Yes! I often experience artistic blocks. In fact, I experienced a long one soon after I had my son. Probably from the lack of sleep? I find when I’m feeling this way, meditation, working out, going for a walk in the sunshine, helps me push through it and feel inspired again. Looking through my Instagram feed helps too. Seeing all of the other talented artists that I admire and what they are creating, it’s so inspiring!
8.What artists - either contemporary or from history - have had an impact on you and your art practice?
From history - Andy Warhol and his bright pops of colour, Van Gogh’s beautiful brush strokes, and Matisse’s soft curving lines.
9. Do you think the art world has changed or will be changing due to the pandemic? If yes, how?
I think there is even more appreciation for art and the beauty it brings. We are all kind of “stuck” inside these 4 walls and I think it makes us really stop and look at the little things. The details. Personally, I want to be surrounded by things that will bring me happiness and calm in this time of uncertainty. I think it’s also connected us in a way we didn’t expect. I think that this has changed the art world, but for the better.
10. What project are you working on right now? What would you like to do next?
Currently, I’m working on a couple of commissions. I’d love to work on a larger scale next and also on a collection. I’m excited to see where this journey will take me.