At its heart, Geek Bomb is fundamentally about celebrating, inspiring, and getting to know women in geek. Founded by our Boss Bomb Maude Garrett and featuring a Bomb Squad filled with diverse, talented, and totally badass ladies, Geek Bomb has a mindset much like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Females are strong as hell. And it’s about time we start celebrating that again. So, we’ve decided to relaunch Women in Geek, our interview series that spotlights, shows off, and talks about the wonderful ladies who are leading the geek entertainment field.
Joining us this week is Hannah Alexander, a seriously talented artist whose work is warm, whimsical, and wonderfully inviting. We had the chance to “sit down” with Hannah to chat all things women in geek — like her favourite characters, where she got her start, her biggest influences, and the advice she’d give to those just starting out.
Geek Bomb: First off, when did you realize that you were, in essence, a geek? What geeky things are you up to now?
Hannah Alexander: I don’t think anyone suddenly realises they’re a “geek!” I’ve always had different interests to the “cool kids” — where they wanted to go clubbing and buy clothes, I wanted to stay home and draw and watch anime. Not until many years later when this was labelled and accepted as geek culture did I realise that I sort of fell into the category!
Right now I’ve just become self-employed, so [I] am working on lots of different project, mainly costume designing and creation!
GB: Let’s get our foot in the door by asking how you got your foot in the door. What’s your industry origin story – how did you get started? What advice can you give to those looking to break into your industry?
HA: I’ve been drawing my whole life, but only started taking it seriously about five years ago when my Disney costume designs went viral. From there, I created a brand and took advantage of that costume/cosplay niche in the industry. My advice would be to find a style, trust in your work, practice and work hard.
GB: What is the most difficult obstacle that you’ve had to overcome in your industry or maybe even still overcoming?
HA: Art theft is a big problem, and always will be. Also copyright infringement claims against my work, as a lot of my work is fanart.
GB: Picture yourself at ten years old. What advice would you give her? What would she love to know about present-day you?
HA: I would tell her not to worry so much about what other people think and live every moment with passion and kindness. I think she would love to know that I have worked hard to achieve being both a Veterinary Nurse and an artist!
GB: Who are your female role models and/or inspirations
HA: Ah, so many, I couldn’t list them all! Pretty much anyone who is passionate, fights for female equality and animal rights. To list a couple: Malala Yousafzai, Jane Goodall, and Angelina Jolie. In terms of art: Lois van Baarle, Helen Mask, and Tracy Lewis.
GB: Who are some of your favourite fictional female characters of all time?
HA: Lara Croft is number one, always and forever. She was my number one role model growing up – she was the reason I started drawing and gained my love for history.
GB: How would you like to see this industry grow for not only women, but within the entertainment space?
HA: In the art and entertainment industry, I want people to cast off the idea that female nudity is a degrading thing. People are so quick to judge, belittle, and label women who use their bodies as an art form or a way of making money. People think that for women to gain equality, we need to adopt masculine traits, but women should be able to show off their bodies and it be accepted that we can still be businesswomen, mothers, intellectuals, role models.
I want women to be seen as strong in every aspect, and for that to happen, both men and women alike need to change their perspectives of women in general.
GB: Where can people discover more about you? Socials/website/podcast or channel links.
Check out full-size photos of Hannah’s artwork featured in this interview (plus a few extras) below.
Thanks again to the lovely Hannah Alexander for joining us to celebrate the magic of women in the nerd world!