INTERVIEW: Artist & Model Muse Hannah Vandermolen


Hannah Vandermolen

Hannah Vandermolen is not only a muse and fashion model, but she is an incredible painter and artist. The first time that I actually met her was this past May on set for Vogue Italia. We instantly bonded because we both had the desire to make an impact in the World and be more than models. I also soon realized that we had many mutual industry friends, and it’s been wonderful getting to know her more as a person. Check out her beautiful oil paintings where she plays with distortion, shapes and colors here.

Hannah Portrait by Graham Dunn

Hannah captured by Graham Dunn

Tell us a little about yourself:

Who are you and what do you do?

Hello, I’m Hannah Vandermolen.  I am an artist, musician, and I model.

When and why did you start making art?

I started drawing with my dad when I was three.  He is also an artist, and he was my very first teacher.  It soon became my favorite activity, and I have been doing it ever since.

Not only do you paint, but you also make beautiful drawings and use other mediums of art. What is your preferred medium and why?

I love drawing in ink with cartography pens and nibs, but I also like graphite.  Painting in oil is probably my favorite medium though because it’s the one I have the least experience in, so I’m enjoying working with color and brushes and thickness of paint.  It is an entirely different process to drawing – much more freeing for me.

pen & ink

Do you have a favorite artist? What draws you to their work?

I have always loved the drawings of Kaethe Kollwitz.  Around the time leading up to WWII she made a lot of beautiful and haunting portraits of people, particularly women, struggling with the difficulties of proletarian life.  My favorite living painter is a Spanish artist named Antonio Lopez Garcia.  He is a living master.  I’ve never seen anyone alive paint better than him.

Let’s talk modeling. How did you start? What’s been your favorite job so far?

I started when I was really little, actually.  My mom and many of her friends were artists and photographers, so modeling and posing was a staple in my childhood.  The fashion modeling has been a more recent style, and I really love it.  I love the collaborative aspect of fashion, especially editorial – there are often so many ideas and people involved, and it’s inspiring to be a part of the mix.  My favorite recent job was probably a shoot I did with Glen Luchford for the LOVE magazine.  We basically all hung out in a hotel room in Atlantic City and ate donuts and watched Oprah, waiting for each others’ turns to shoot.  The other models and the team involved was so chill and down to earth, and they played really good music for a change.  That was a very fun day.

Collage Together

Dream job (modeling + painting)?

Some awesome location (Iceland?  A volcanic wasteland?  Antarctica?  The Amazonian jungle?) and yeah…something involving my artwork and modeling and an epic team.  That would be my dream.

I know that you live part-time in LA. Where are you originally from, and where do you live aside from LA?

I was born and raised in Boston, MA.  But since my mom is a photographer and loves to travel I was able to go to a lot of amazing countries and places when I was little.  Growing up I studied briefly in Italy, Australia and Canada.  Now I split my time between NY and LA, primarily.  And I visit my mom at her farm in New England as often as I can.

Hannah Portrait by Graham Dunn 2

Hannah captured by Graham Dunn

If you could bring one thing back from your home town and bring it to LA, what would it be? (unless it’s LA of course).

Probably all my animals.  But it would be tough to fit my mom’s horses and our cats on a plane.

Favorite places to go to in LA?

I like popping into Naturewell in Sunset Junction for a smoothie, but now there are so many good places to eat it’s hard to choose.  For coffee it’s Blue Bottle (wait, is that in LA?  Maybe I’m thinking of the NY one).  Highland Park and Echo Park have some awesome little places to sit and drink coffee and people watch.  Great Korean BBQ in K-Town.  Awesome Cambodian in Long Beach.  It’s always fun looking around in Necromance on Melrose Ave for odd little knick knacks and squirrel penis bones.  Great vintage shops around there too…  my friend just brought me to Wacko for the first time.  I think that might be my new favorite store in LA.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

When I feel down my dad always says, “move the feet, the body will follow”.  That seems to apply to all things.  I live by that.

All art work by Cara Mullinary.