Inside the Art-Filled Paddington Terrace and Studio of Painter Hannah Carrick
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we head to the sun-dappled sanctuary of Sydney-based artist Hannah Carrick.
Of all the rooms in Hannah Carrick’s home, her favourite is the bedroom.
The artist and graphic designer hasn’t been living in the inner city terrace house long––only three months, actually––but she’s certain. She loves the bedroom with its pools of warm light and its set of double doors that open out onto a balcony, finished with two vintage cane armchairs. You’ll find her sitting on one of them most mornings, drinking her coffee in the fresh air.
Carrick has only lived in this house for three months, but she was quick to fill it with these kinds of comforting rituals. “It already feels like home,” she explains. Located on a quiet street in Sydney’s leafy Paddington, shaded by trees and around the corner from two of the neighbourhood’s best cafes (Morris, for toasted sandwiches and good coffee, and The Organic Bread Bar for freshly baked croissants and bagels) the location is faultless.
Before Carrick moved in, the terrace had been freshly renovated, which meant that decorating the space was easy. All she had to do was fill the house with her collection of knick-knacks and vintage furniture in warm woods and natural finished, her show-stopping bronze-hued Sarah Ellison sofa, and a stunning collection of the artist’s own work.
“There are always surprise pops of colour too,” Carrick adds. “I think that’s what brings a space to life.”
And that's the thing about Carrick’s work; it instantly warms and elevates any space it's styled into. Think large-scale acrylic and oil paintings on canvas, featuring sensual, abstract shapes and figures. Carrick sketches often, keeping a diary handy so that she can draw ideas whenever and wherever they come to her. Only then, when she feels like she’s in the right headspace, does she get into the studio and pick up a paintbrush. “After having plenty of side jobs that my heart wasn’t in, it’s nice to wake up in the morning and get to do what I enjoy,” says Carrick.
Now working on her art full-time, Carrick has grown a cult following that sees her large-scale works sell out the minute they're posted on Instagram. A Hannah Carrick piece is a true treasure, which is why our exclusive Hannah Carrick x Bed Threads print collaboration is a unique opportunity to secure one of her pieces for yourself. Having never produced prints before, Carrick lovingly created two limited edition works for us, Spritz and Guuurls. With just 50 of each available, these pieces perfectly encapsulate Carrick's her signature aesthetic: nude curvy figures set against a peaceful dreamscape.
Hi Hannah! This is The Makers. What is it that you make?
I mostly work with acrylic and oil on canvas, however I’m also commissioned to do graphic design projects at times.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I have always found making things with my hands really therapeutic. Since I was a kid I was definitely more the creative type than the kid reading books. I don’t know, I think my mind can sometimes wander and overthink, so escaping it to create things takes me to my happy place.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
I admit I am one of those people who studied and didn't follow through with that particular professional path, haha. I thought Graphic Design would be a little more creative, and although it has helped me a lot with where I am today, doing it as a profession just wasn't for me. Since I can remember, I have wanted to paint full-time. It took me a lot of hard work and multiple side jobs to get to this point, but that's all part of the journey.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I always keep a small art diary handy so when ideas are brewing I can draw them straight away. I might have an idea that I am stuck on and I will draw it a few times before I paint it. I have stacks of paper in my studio of random drawings and ideas. But for me, I need to be in the right frame of mind to be painting, it can be really draining if I am not in the right headspace and usually results in work I’m not 100% happy with.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
I wouldn’t say I’ve had a strategy, I’ve just been focusing on what I love and been sure to learn as much as I can and as quickly as I can along the way. I make mistakes but there are always lessons to take away from them, which are important. For me, it’s all about being consistent and constantly challenging yourself and your creativity.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?
That things take time and to be patient. I think a lot of people can relate to comparing yourself to others at some point in your career but if you just stay true to yourself and focus on your own path, things will fall into place the way they are meant to.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self/ someone looking to start their own business?
Finish school, stop spending all your money, and learn another language.
Now, the home stuff. How did you initially know this was the space for you?
The atrium windows and natural light, plus our terrace is on a really cute, quiet street that has my fav cafe, Morris, and an organic bakery around the corner.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
We were super lucky the place was renovated just before we moved in. But for me, it’s all about the personal touches and the knick-knacks you bring to a space to add character.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
I usually steer toward earthy tones and natural textures like cane, rattan and timber, and opt for a mix of contemporary pieces with some vintage.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
At the moment we’re looking for a vintage sideboard to sit our record player on, and a new dining table.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Good linen, stylish lamps, some greenery or fresh flowers, and a comfy couch is everything.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I’m so excited about my print collaboration with Bed Threads! I am also working on a new collection of paintings which will launch on my website hannahcarrick.com in the coming months, and I have an exciting homewares collaboration in the works with Valet Studio.
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