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Hannah Sawtell

Hannah Sawtell is a freelance illustrator from Nottingham who’s recently moved into Sneinton Market Avenues, joining the growing community of creative and digital businesses here, including a number of local artists. We caught up with Hannah to find out more about her work and inspirations.

Tell us more about your work?

I’ve always loved to draw, but a lightbulb moment happened when driving along my local high street, observing the vibrancy and activity of a community – shoppers and parents getting from one point to another; pathways crossing and intersecting, given context when placed against recognisable shops and schools. I normally begin with a line drawing and experiment with various processes to add colour, which are digitally layered to produce limited edition prints. Recent Sketchbook experiments have led to a range of original collage work, which is another avenue I’m exploring. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with a few schools, showing younger and older children aspects of the processes I use to produce collaborative pieces.

4 victoria park

How did you get started?

Before, during and after my arts degree (quite some time ago!) I have tried to remain consistent in maintaining sketchbooks observing my immediate surroundings and experimenting with new ideas. After my two children (then small) started school, as part of a supportive network of friends in Sherwood, I took steps towards turning drawings into something more finished and began producing mixed media limited edition prints inspired by my local community. Working as a freelance illustrator has gradually grown from these beginnings over the last eight years, juggling available time with childcare, as the children have grown older, more time has become available to focus on my business.

george green flattened

What brought you to Sneinton Market?

Until November 2016 I had a study space at home but was inspired by Corrina Rothwell’s move to Sneinton Market (she had also been working from home). I was ready for a separation between work and home and found that, as much as home is comfortable and cozy, it can also be quite isolating. I had thought about moving to a studio space before, but couldn’t see the point of moving to a space where I’d still be isolated. An important part of choosing Sneinton Market was the fact that I became connected to a creative community, while also feeling connected to the wider Creative Quarter and Nottingham city centre.

2 rainbow rooftops

Are you enjoying your new space?

In the few months I’ve been working here I’ve noticed that while I’m more focused than I was at home (and therefore more productive hopefully!) I’m also able to catch up with other creative neighbours for a tea break!


How can people view and buy your work?

I have a range of limited edition prints, books and cards available which people can buy through The Shop at Sneinton Market, A Room Full of Butterflies, Focus Gallery and Nottingham Tourist Information Centre. People can also shop online at I also do bespoke commissions for people, so if that’s something anyone’s interested in, they can email me at

To see more of Hannah’s work please visit her website