Flynn’s ‘chaotic’ approach gives way to success

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 at 9:01 AM
Flynn’s ‘chaotic’ approach gives way to success by Cassandra Gripp
Pictured is work from Hannah Flynn centered around immigration in the U.S.

Hannah Flynn is a senior closely involved with the Edinboro University Art department. Whether it’s her involvement in graphic design club, or fighting for the fine arts programs this past semester, Flynn is there.

In her time at Edinboro, she feels she’s become more “well-rounded” through her many art classes. Flynn said she’s inspired by her professors Shelle Baron and Diane Crandall, as well as her peers. “They’re all so talented and watching everyone kind of grow up together over the past four years has been amazing.”

Looking toward a potential career, Flynn mentioned Pentagram, a design studio whose projects have stretched from the movie industry to companies like Citibank and MasterCard. She then expressed that the path in which she wanted her career to follow had changed. “I thought I wanted to do advertising and things a little more corporate (annual reports and publications for companies) when I first started coming here, but after I started learning and getting into more specialties within graphic design, I found that I really love branding and logo design.”

Furthermore, in being passionate about politics and helping others, she’s realized that branding for political campaigns and non-profit organizations is the ideal career for her. “I try to combine these branding opportunities as often as I can, because one is more of a passion and the other is hopefully my career,” explained Flynn. By working for these types of organizations, her artwork would be going toward something she truly cared about instead of just making deadlines.

As for what work she felt best defined her as an artist, Flynn began to smile while discussing a political piece she’d done a few years ago regarding the stereotyping of immigrants in our country. It was completed at a time when the government was cracking down on immigration laws and removing undocumented people from the U.S. She created images of multiple people with different ethnic backgrounds and cultures as a reminder that while someone may not look, talk, or act like us, they are people too. The images are accompanied by phrases like, “She has dreams not drugs,” and “He is valuable not violent.”

Flynn displays art on her social media profiles, but also likes to be informative. “I definitely have a lot of things that I try to share,” she explained. “I made a register to vote post and my professor had us make an infographic back when the Coronavirus [pandemic] was just starting, which was kind of interesting because we knew so little about it at the time.”

In terms of her process when creating a new piece, Flynn described herself as “chaotic” and beamed at her ability to think up new concepts on the spot, even if it takes her a bit to figure out the execution. She recently created several images for the 2020 election reminding people to go out and vote, as well as fan art for Bernie Sanders.

Flynn is also an active student in the art community on campus, participating in the graphic design club. When the “Save Edinboro University Fine Arts” movement was happening in the fall of 2020, Flynn used her social media platforms to speak out and express the importance of these programs and why they shouldn’t be cut. She was a constant presence on the Facebook page, in particular.

Reflecting back, Flynn said: “I think it was definitely really stressful. We just started our first mostly virtual semester, and it felt unfair that it was happening while many students were far away and didn’t feel like they could help in anyway. Social media really played a huge part with the petition that was made, and the Facebook page brought us all together and even some Instagram information graphics. I had talked with so many people, from other students to alumni, talking about what to do and what others had done in the past, so a huge silver lining was seeing everyone come together despite the issue at hand.”

Although she had toured other schools before deciding on Edinboro, Hannah Flynn has certainly found her home and community here among fellow art majors and like-minded people.

Cassie Gripp | @edinboronow

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