University of Brighton Alumni Association

10 years on … Hannah’s story

My name is Hannah Forward, I graduated from the University of Brighton Graphic Design course in 2006. I am now an artist printmaker, working from my Hove-based studio, and produce linocuts, woodcuts, screenprints and paintings which I sell online via my Artfinder and Etsy shops.


The subject matter of my work is mainly people and their social pursuits. I’m not sure why this holds such fascination for me, but I think it’s to do with capturing something of modern life today, the way I see it. I try to capture movement in the lines I make, and always want to get across a kind of simple joy and good humour.


I do most of my printmaking in my studio at home using my book press. If it’s a small print I don’t tend to do much prep work, usually choosing to start drawing a design out straight onto the block before carving into it. If it’s a larger design I’ll draw everything out first, sometimes on separate pieces of paper, before cutting them out and settling on the composition. Sometimes I might carve up to six blocks for one design, each block being inked up with the roller a different colour. Gradually when you print each block the layers of colour build up to reveal the image. The process is old-fashioned and time-consuming but this is why I love it!

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At university I was always very experimental with what I produced, usually being very hands-on and tactile, making marks, photocopying and cutting things up with scissors rather than turning straight to the computer. That course has been fundamental in shaping me into the artist I am today because it taught me the essential benchmarks of good design and composition, and how to hone an idea down to its bare essentials. It really helped to shape my own tastes, and began to help me develop my own drawing style.

Going to the University of Brighton suited me perfectly because the course offered so much freedom. You were encouraged to be daring, take risks and be original. Also, I was lucky in that we shared studio space with the illustration students, so I always kept half an eye on what they were up to, with great interest. I feel like I learnt a lot from just observing some of the great work being produced by such talented artists on the other side of the room.


I love being an artist because it means being free to spend my time doing exactly what I would want to be doing anyway! It’s so rewarding and exciting, to have that physical and mental space to just create whatever you feel like.

You can follow me on these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Sarah Grant • November 24, 2016

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