Today the Venice Paparazzi Spotlight shines on Hannah Penninger, creator of Lady Hannah Art.
How many years in Venice?
Give us a brief bio of yourself:
I grew up in Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina, a small and pleasant town if you will, outside of Charlotte. I found my way to Venice through a friend who moved here. She told me many times that I was meant for Venice, that I would just love it here and that everywhere she looked she thought of me. I was a little hesitant at first, but after a few visits, I was sold!
Before moving to Venice, I was living in Chapel Hill, NC where I had recently graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill. I was feeling a bit lost about what I wanted to do, I knew that I didn’t want to move forward in the area of which I had studied, but imagining a creative career at that time was not quite clicking for me, but packing up and moving to Venice, to simply enjoy life, explore somewhere new, and figure it out – that clicked well!
Here, I have learned what freedom feels like, freedom to express yourself however you wish to express yourself, freedom to dream as BIG as you wish to dream, and freedom to be who you want to be.
As I settled in, I found my way back to my love for art, and I found confidence in pursuing art to make a living. I also landed a job as a design consultant for a custom furniture store, sketching up custom designs, and allowing my brain and spirit to be in creative, design-mode full-time.
I also met the love of my life – a like-minded, passionate dreamer, who is full of life and chasing his dreams. And together we are about to tackle a huge dream of ours and many more more to follow.
Tell us about your art. Describe your style, and what influences it?
My art is colorful, happy, dreamy, and whimsical. It is influenced by the beauty I see around me everyday. The colors in the sky when the sun sets, the shapes of trees I see each time I take a walk, and definitely by the ocean’s presence that I always feel near me and that calms my soul.
How many years, and how did you get into it?
As soon as I could hold a crayon, I loved making art. I am 29 years of age, so might I be able to say that I have 29 years of experience? Maybe that is a slight stretch, but it feels right. I remember painting a seashell in watercolor when I was about 8 or 9 years old and for years to come I remember thinking, “Damn that is so good, how did I even do that?” I live for those moments and am beyond excited to see what creations are yet to be made.
Biggest accomplishment or favorite show?
I would say my biggest accomplishment to date is having my art hanging in Qusqo Bistro and Gallery, a Peruvian restaurant in Santa Monica. Knowing that my art is being shared and seen among people there to enjoy a nice meal brings me so much joy. Just being where I am today is it, I keep seeing my next biggest accomplishment waiting around the next corner, even being here right now and writing this to you is an amazing feeling on it’s own, thank you!
What projects are you currently working on?
The upcoming project is, The Lady and The Lion Bus! We bought the bus at the end of July and left it with my family in NC. We are heading there at the end of October to begin our grand conversion of it. We plan to make it our dream home and studio, to live, work, and travel in. We plan to give it our absolute all, to create something with it that has not been seen before!
A few personal questions:
Success is continuous personal growth. Never stop growing, changing, evolving. That is success.
What is the best advice you have received:
Always be kind.
How are you surviving Covid-19 and the lockdowns? What moves or pivots have you made?
Covid definitely gave us time to take a step back and assess our situation, define goals, and make plans. Our plans with the bus are now taking off majorly in part to this. We have been dreaming of a life of traveling around to cities, shows, and festivals to bring along our art and music, and also to traveling to and creating in beautiful serene landscapes that will inspire new masterpieces. Through the time off due to covid lockdowns, we had the time to plan this into reality, and we are beyond stoked to begin the next phase.
Finish off the statement “Art is…”
Art is the flowing expression of your soul or spirit, it is the words you can’t find to say, it is the colors of your thoughts, and the formations of your dreams.
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote:
Believe in yourself. You always have the power and freedom to choose, trust yourself to make the right decision. Listen to your inner voice, and steadfastly believe that you’ll never steer yourself wrong.
Favorite book, band or movie?
- Music: I love Beyonce, I always thought, if I had been born on the west coast, I would have probably, most likely been one of Beyonce’s back up dancers, I’m a big fan! I also love Tash Sultana, and anything that makes me want to dance.
- Books: It has been awhile since I read a novel, but the romance ones were always my favorite.
- Movies: Mellissa McCarthy movies are quick to come to mind! I love her.
List 1-2 things on your “post covid” bucket list?
Definitely to travel somewhere extraordinaire, maybe Greece, or Thailand, somewhere where the nature is beautiful!
Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts or accomplishments.
Crazy Fact: When I was 12 years old, I was accidentally shot, through my chest but somehow it only passed through tissue, missed my heart, all bones and arteries. It shaped me in more ways than I am probably aware of, but definitely I know that life is meant to be enjoyed and we are meant to be a positive force in it. Two months later, I tried out for the volleyball team and made it.
Venice is the most inspiring place to any creative, judgement free, with energy in the air that we all vibe on. Whether it is the surfer riding in the wave, or the roller skating disco dancer, the mermaid sand carver, the break dancers, the body builders, the muralists, the skateboarders, the aerialist, the list goes on and on! In the air, there is this whisper saying, “What is your dream? You can do it.”
What do you do for fun in Venice during Covid times?
Through covid, we spent a lot more time enjoying our home. We put up sound proof curtains and turned up the speakers! Many, many nights we stayed up cooking, making art, jamming and often dancing. Afternoon sunset walks became a daily ritual. And through that time, we dreamed of and grasp the reality of the moves we are making now.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?
Definitely setting up to sell art on the boardwalk and for sidewalk sales. The experience is something else, I think some of my craziest and fondest all in one!
Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?
Thank you Venice Beach! You have transformed me into exactly who I am meant to be right now!!!
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?
Ecstatic Dance LA – They host a silent disco out on the sand every Wednesday and Sunday with actual live performances. It is on my bucket list to do before we take off. I have walked by many times, everyone out there with their headphones dancing with no worries. Each time I have seen them, there is always a school of dolphins passing by. I think they feel the good vibes.