frame_alta conversation with…..


Hanna Melin is one of my favourite illustrators. Her work can be seen not only adorning a wide variety of regular newspapers and magazines, but also on canvas bags, tea-towels, teapots, mugs, plates and ceramic tiles. Oh – and t-shirts too..and the odd music video and TV commercial!! Blimey!

Hanna was born in Sweden but moved to England in 1998 to study a Foundation course at Kent institute of Art and Design, a Ba Illustration at Brighton university and an MA Communication at the Royal College of Art.

Hanna was kind enough to let us quiz her with a few questions!


ke: Where do you live and work currently?

hm: I live in Homerton and work in Hoxton, East London

ke: How would you describe your work?

hm: Line drawings and filled in colour, mixed with Photoshop. Quite humourous.

ke: Can you tell us some of the clients you have worked with over the recent years?

hm: The Guardian, Nokia, Halifax, Just Jack, Hotel Intercontinental, The Independent, Financial Times, Paul Smith, Ken Livingstone, Chicago Post and The NY times..

ke: If you had to choose, which would be your favourite piece or commission that you have worked upon?

hm: I really like the image I did for the Chicago post (below). They wanted me to illustrate “when do you need a life coach?”…It was a hard subject, but I think I managed to catch like a “film still” in my illustration.


ke: Who would you say are (or have been) your biggest inspirations for your illustration work?

hm: Hella Jongerius, Jockum Nordstrom, ceramics, Tesco and Oxford Street!

ke: I always find it fascinating to see peoples’ working space..wether it be their studios or bedrooms, kitchens, garages.. or a tiny space on their living room floor! Please could you describe your working space, to give us a sense of where and how you work?

hm: A desk in a studio. I have lot of boxes everywhere containing bags and other stock for markets I do at Christmas time. They annoy me a bit. It’s a bit like working in a stock room.


ke: How difficult has it been for you to establish yourself as an artist?

hm: I think it’s still hard.. I think this career is always about reinventing yourself. I keep drawing and contacting people, but what I feel now is how much I have learnt and know about my style and what I can do.

ke: What advice would you give to anyone starting out in a similar field?

hm: Get to know your style. If you want to do commercial work, allow your work to be commercial.

ke: And finally…what are your aspirations for the future?!

hm: More products, I want to do something in cork!

ke: Thanks so much Hanna! x


Check out just some of Hanna’s designs below! Go direct to Hanna’s website to see more or to contact Hanna to discuss any personal commissions!