Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ILLUSTRATOR INTERVIEW: Molly Cannon Hadfield

Have you always known you were an artist? When did you start? 
  
I loved to create from a young age.  My parents and grandmother helped foster my interests by example and by giving me a multitude of opportunities.  Though my brother didn’t follow this path, he excelled at drawing when we were young.  He and I were extremely competitive, so maybe that inspired me to want to work hard to be as good as he was.  It wasn’t until around Jr. High or High school that I started taking formal classes that helped me to hone my skills.

What is your favorite medium?

I can be sort of a lazy artist.  I gravitate toward things that don’t require a lot of set up or clean up.  I like to do and appreciate more intensive art, but it takes more mental energy to get started and sustain a project like that.  I spend a lot of time on the computer these days working with photographs and using Adobe products. However, if we are talking about what medium I like the most when all is said and done, I think there are few things as beautiful and satisfying as a well-executed oil painting or bronze sculpture. 

Where has your work been published?

I believe my art was first published early in high school.  I think it is pretty ironic now because I have strong feelings about gun control—but, for one of our school projects, our art teacher required us to enter an NRA wildlife art contest. I took second place, and my drawing was published in Insights Magazine.  Later in high school, I was the Art & Photography Editor for the school newspaper.  I don’t know if that counts as being “published,” but it lead to a friendship that would provide further opportunity as an adult.  A few years ago, my old friend Aimee Hickman, from the newspaper staff, and the editor (at the time) for Exponent II, asked me to provide an illustration for an article written by a mutual friend.  A few months later she called and explained that the Exponent II board had conceived of the idea of creating a coloring book of influential Mormon women, and would I be interested in creating the illustrations.  The coloring book was published by Exponent II earlier this year. 



What is the hardest thing you have learned about being an illustrator?

I’ve really enjoyed the process for the most part.  I think deadlines can be hard, but they are also the thing that motivates me the most, so I have to say that I function better under some constraints. 
While creating the coloring book, I did get some constructive criticism about some of the illustrations.  There were certain elements I was willing to go to bat for.  Sometimes, I was able to convince the other parties to keep things as they were.  Other times, I was talked into making changes, and I think the final product was better for it.  It can be hard to have art critiqued. It can feel a little personal if you let it, but it can also lead to great growth.

What has brought you the most joy?

I didn’t get much in the way of monetary compensation for the Exponent II book, but I was so excited for the project that my feelings more than made up for that. The coloring book has illustrations accompanied by biographies of extraordinary Mormon women.  Women’s contributions in many fields of work and varying organizations have often been overlooked historically.  It has been extremely gratifying to see the responses from the people who have gotten their hands on a copy.  It makes my heart happy to know that something like this book exists.

Get the Coloring Book Here

What would you tell a budding artist who is just starting out? What do they need to know?

Time and effort—that’s what it takes. If you have the desire to make art and some basic aptitude for it, you can do it if you are willing to put in the time and effort.  Be willing to try new things and ask for help.  Be willing to accept criticism, but also have a vision and be willing to stand up for your work.  And finally, you need to be passionate about some part of the process to make a go of it.

Where can we find your work?

I have a bachelor’s degree in interior design and a minor in fine art.  I have historically and continue to dabble in many mediums and creative endeavors both formally and informally, volunteer for various non-profit organizations and am raising a family, so I don’t have a lot of work available for consumption currently.  The only product available for now with my work is the Exponent II coloring book:  Illuminating Ladies: A Coloring Book of Mormon Women.






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