The Hans + The Kenny – A conversation with Stephanie Hans

Stephanie Hans is an illustrator from France whose artistic style seamlessly blends classical painting styles with modern comic sensibilities; soft color shades accompanied by thin hard lines, her work can only be described as… Ethereal. Hans is most well-known for her work on the cover of Marvel’s Angela Queen of Hel and the Storm solo series. Despite the popularity of her mainstream work, she does have significant indie cred for her work on more indie titles such as THE WICKED + THE DIVINE and Suicide Risk. Stephanie was in town for STGCC 2016, we manage to sit down with her for a short interview.

TGCC 2016 Interview Stephanie Hans

You are known for your depiction of powerful women in your comics. What are your thoughts on the “Current” age of comics where there is a more realistic depiction of diversity?

Stephanie Hans: I guess it evolves with the readers, I’m not saying there hasn’t been female readers but I guess now – especially with social media and everything, the publisher finally understood that depiction realistic femininity attracts readers and to make comics talk a bit more to this group of comic readers.
When sexualisation of women started to be a thing years ago, the version of those comics are pretty much more caricatural than it is right now, those comics are more comicky but not always. The ways we tell stories now is a little different. We are telling stories to people who are used to things moving very fast such as TV and movies. All these actually affect the way people read stories.

You’ve garnered praises from your co writers during your stint as the artist for “Angela”. Co-writer Margerite Bennett once called your art’s simply exquisite in an interview, who and what are your influences for such a refined brand of artistry?

Stephanie Hans: I’m a sucker for traditional art, so my roots are in carnival art, traditional paintings. Illustrators from the 50s and 70s such as Norman Rockwell. They really are the roots of my style. I’m really a sucker for traditional art but also I always wanted to do art for adults. That was a real problem because there was no market for that in France because most French comic books or illustration are targeted at young adults as most of them (the artists) would eventually evolve into photography. So I didn’t have much choice. So when I first started out for Marvel, it was really a very good Feel for me because I could do the more mature illustration that I wanted without being “limited”. You can actually see it (traditional artistic style) in 1602 where there is a lot of the “traditional art” I was saying about earlier. I was actually looking at art from the 16th century to find something coherent for the book.

STGCC 2016 Interview Stephanie Hans booth

What are your thoughts about the on-going debate between the relevance of being able to work on traditional media in our vastly technological age?

Stephanie Hans: Things are changing right now. I remember the first time my father discovered photoshop and discovered the Auto-Color button, of course the result wasn’t good but he was so impressed by the fact that the button exist and that the contrast was so poppy and everything. For a while, during the experimentation part of this, a lot of artists and publishers went through the same experience. With globalization, there is a form of uniformization that arrived such as the mixture of hot and cold colors. Right now, there is growing minority of artists going back to either a traditional feel, totally traditional or a mixture of both.

TGCC 2016 Guest Stephanie Hans

You’ve attracted a significant following on tumblr who are fans of your style, many of them aspiring artist. Do you have any advice for up and coming artist?

Stephanie Hans: I actually have a website (http://grainedepluie.com/le-metier-dillustrateurtrice)with a special page for aspiring artist, there is also an article about comic book portfolios on my facebook page. The most important part of getting a portfolio that’ll get you hired is to fill it with things that you love and crave to do because otherwise you’d be hired for something that you’re not passionate about. At one moment in your career, you’d have to draw that (what you’re not passionate about) very late because the deadlines are so short and if you get bored of it because it isn’t exactly what you wanted to do, you lost.

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate on a project with?

Stephanie Hans: I actually wrote to Neil Gaiman quite a few time to “beg” him to work together *laughs*… I didn’t really beg but Neil has always been very nice and answered me so you know, it’s not a lost cause *laughs* we’ll see but I really want to work with him on one work or another.

Thank You for your time!

Photos by Ken Koh

By Kenny Chen KangYi

© POPCulture Online 2016

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