We got the opportunity of interviewing amazingly talented graffiti artist and illustrator Harriet Wood AKA “Miss Hazard” here it is alongside some of her paintings and illustrations:
1. Firstly Miss Hazard we would like to thank you for taking the time to have this interview with us! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what originally got you into drawing, illustration and painting? When did you decide to take it seriously and also who and what inspires you?
Hello! I’ve managed to simplify my job title down to graffiti artist, illustrator and designer although there’s so many other things I do too! I’m 24 and I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. My Dad is a fantastic illustrator and graphic artist, so it all began very early for me – it’s also probably made it that bit easier for me to do it as “my job” because it was always accepted as a legitimate career, which I’m aware is fortunate! My Dad works in many different aspects of the creative field from film, titles, typography, graphic design to illustrations and so I’ve always been massively inspired never to limit myself to just doing
one thing.
2.Your main choice of medium is spray paint do you feel that spray paint gives you the ability to paint not just cleaner but also allows you to paint quicker and bigger and also more publicaly. And if so how do you feel about the current graffiti and street art scene in UK and the wider world right now?
I love spray paint! It was almost like learning to draw again when I started out, which was frustrating because I just wanted to get my sketches onto a wall. But after around 11 years of practice, I can now say we understand each other haha! Its not the fact that I’m painting publicly but that that I can paint a building or wall or surface that is in a public environment and therefore changes the landscape a little bit. I also love the fact it can just be temporary and the scene changes all the time. The UK scene is amazing, and so inspiring – people pulling ideas and styles together.
3.You often paint female characters with beautiful wavy hair and tribal styled patterns either on head wear or the clothes the character is wearing alongside henna styled patterns on hands, clothing or hair buns. Can you tell us why you chose to use tribal and henna styled stuff and what you wanted to invoke through incorporating that into your designs?
I’ve not got a firm answer – it’s simply because its something I’ve always been visually attracted to – communal, aborigine and tribal patterns, colours and beliefs. I’ve always been in awe of the Mayas and Ancient Egypt but also influenced by punk culture, cabaret and rockabilly so it’s all merged together in there somewhere with an urban/rootsy feel! I’ve always been obsessed with intricate patterns and details too, so before I’d learnt to spray I was always drawing patterns on top of patterns and then working in some sort of real life sketch too.
4.Really interesting maybe you was a mayan in a past life haha! So whats been your biggest moment in your creative career so far? Followed by the worst? haha..
I’m not sure what is my biggest moment, but the best job in the world is getting to spend 2 weeks on site with my friends at Glastonbury Festival whilst its being built! I spray painted two lots of 7 x 10 metre boards as a whole main stage in the dance area. I also painted the bar for the venue, a giant shipping container and some other stage set pieces. It’s pretty cool seeing thousands of people enjoying themselves, watching someone perform on a stage you created! I was also voted in The Guardian’s top 5 female graffiti artists in the UK and The Huffington Posts Top 25 Female Street Artists which was pretty nice! The worst… I really don’t know, I’ve done a few radio interviews and listening to them back is the WORST, how many times is it necessary to say “erm” and “dya know what I mean?!” ?!… It definitely wasn’t the worst moment, but painting in Berlin at -21C was by far the coldest!
5.We firmly believe that most great art and music is the essence of every culture through all era’s even the ancient ones. Do you believe that suffering also gives birth to such art-forms? And in a way most art and music is created when man is forced to delve deeper into oneself, For example the economic turmoil in the late 70’s early 80’s gave birth to graffiti in the bronx. How have you used your artwork to express yourself? And what feelings and emotions do you wish to invoke in other people through your paintings?
I think art is one way of expressing emotions, be that happy or sad or due to success or suffering. Its a way of depicting an emotion for some people and it’s definitely therapeutic. I would say my artwork is a form of expression although maybe not in an as obvious way as other artworks. For example, I’m at my most content, most happiest and most peaceful when I’m painting regardless of whats going on around me, and I guess that comes across in quiet a few of the characters expressions whilst having crazy hair or material around them.
6.How does it feel being a female graffiti artist in a predominantly male art form?
I get asked this a lot, as you can imagine. But its really not important, YES ok – I made the silly choice of having “Miss” in front of Hazard, making it pretty obvious that I’m female, but my honest opinion on male/female artists is that it’s completely irrelevant who painted it – could be an alien for all I care, it’s about the artwork! I’m a strong believer in equality (definitely not the man-hating shit) and I think as long as my own artwork is getting better and the street art scene is getting better then it doesn’t matter who is a part of that! 🙂
7.Have you ever had any issues and arguments over your paintings? either where they have been placed or whether people have dissed or ruined your pieces before? And if so what’s been the outcome? Not many – I’ve had the usual crazy heads scream at me when I’m painting in the street, but it’s a public place so they’re well within their right to do that, just like I feel well within my right to paint there 🙂 ! I’ve had the predictable…. where I’ve painted over someone, they got offended, so painted over me… but I painted back over them. Teehee. It’s all fun and games!
8. Finally, what have you got laid out for the future? And what is your end goal or highest achievement?
I’m not planning too much right now, my goal is to paint bigger and better and in as many places as possible. I’m in the middle of design jobs, illustrative work and big mural commissions and I wouldn’t change any of them. I’m also based in Barcelona at the moment and seeing what opportunities I can find across Europe and maybe further afield. I don’t have a particular level I’m trying to achieve, I’m just determined to enjoy myself and “live my dream” as it were.. Haha! It’s feeling pretty good right now and I’m excited to see what this year has in store.
Hazard illustration
Wicked well we wish you all the best on your creative journey! 🙂 Massive thank you and many blessings to you Miss Hazard for taking the time to have this interview with us! And to our readers and followers keep your eyes peeled as we will be collaborating on new designs for our brand with Miss Hazard VERY soon!
For more of her work visit the links below
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Below is our recent video interview we had with Miss Hazard 14/6/2016 check it out