The artist Hannah Polskin, with one of her Triptych paintings.
Meet Hannah Polskin, a Los Angeles-based artist emerging into the interior design space with her unique pieces and notable collector base.
Hannah Polskin with her diptych painting, mirror and studio rug.
Hannah Smith: Who are you and what do you do?
Hannah Polskin: I am a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Los Angeles. My work is an intersection of fine art and design which I call “liveable art”, a freedom aesthetic that bleeds across each project. I rarely dream up a new piece without considering the home content it will sit in, so it’s been a natural progression for me to brand into home decor and categories such as mirrors, TV cabinets, tables, rugs, and shelving.
Hannah Smith: What is your background?
Hannah Polskin: I was born in New York City and graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Hannah Smith: How do you work?
Hannah Polskin: I feel really lucky to have a studio within the loft where I live so I can constantly be immersed in my work. I love to be able to eat, sleep, and breathe around my art, it’s allowed for a natural progression from painting to designing and translating my aesthetic across different objects. I turned my outdoor patio into a makeshift woodshed so I can live quickly go from a sketch to a wood prototype. I’m a pretty spontaneous worker so having all my tools at my fingertips is key.
The Studio Island by Hannah Polskin
Paintings and kitchen table designed by Hannah Polskin
Hannah Smith: What art do you most identify with?
Hannah Polskin: I’m so inspired by artists who turn their vision into an entire world. I visited Marfa and got totally immersed in the works of Donald Judd and was amazed at how he translated his aesthetic across humble plywood chairs to larger-than-life concrete installations. The breadth of work and all the different types of spaces it touches really does it for me.
Hannah Smith: What has been your favorite experience so far as an artist?
Hannah Polskin: My studio also functions as a gallery and showcase and the best thing is that it lets me open it up to prospective collectors. I love having people over for tea and showing them my latest pieces. Especially with custom commissions, I work closely with my collectors to understand their space and how they uniquely live in it so anytime that download can happen face to face over here, it’s really enjoyable and productive.
Hannah Smith: What is the best advice you have received?
Hannah Polskin: I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert and she said this thing once on her podcast that really stuck with me. I think of it every time I feel like I’m holding on too tightly to the desired outcome and just try to enjoy the ride.
“Let go of this whole idea, it worked, it didn’t work. It was a success, it wasn’t a success. When did inspiration promise us that it owes us anything? As far as I understand inspiration, it owes you nothing except the transcendence of experience of working with it all. That’s the only contract that we have with inspiration. It wants to dance with you and we want to dance with it. The result? That’s all human ego questions. Inspiration doesn’t look at you and say well that didn’t work. Inspiration looks at you and says that was fun, look what we did!”
Paintings and mirror designed by Hannah Polskin
Hannah Smith: When you are now working, where can we find you?
Hannah Polskin: I try to get to the beach once a week to recharge. I was such an art and theatre nerd growing up I completely missed the whole sports thing and was surprised to fall in love with tennis a few years ago. I’m a flea market addict and find a lot of inspiration from thrifting.
Hannah Smith: How has your career as an artist shifted during the past year?
Hannah Polskin: In the last few years, the biggest change was finding my new studio in West Hollywood. It was the height of the pandemic and it seemed like there was nothing left in LA and I desperately needed a bigger studio. In my last place, I often found myself moving the sofa into the hallwasy to get more floor space to work so I eventually just left it out there. I got really lucky with this one! I was actually on the phone with a collector discussing a commission and he mentioned he worked in real estate. A few weeks after that call he found this place for me and the extra space has allowed my work to reach new dimensions; it feels truly incredible.