Aley Hanson’s playful illustrations are very much a reflection of her lifestyle. Working from the road, she’s forfeited the comfort of home to live a life of travels and adventures. This adventurous spirit also comes across her artwork. Describing her illustration style as “bright and neo-primitive”, her work is all about positivity, feminine empowerment, and our connection to the natural world.
“In 2016 I quit my job to hitchhike, volunteer and couch surf my way around the world,” said Hanson in an interview with The Design Kids, describing her lifestyle choice. “It took me a while to arrive at illustration because I waited until I had something to say, which solo traveling in 22 countries has given me in spades.”
But of course, the road to creative fulfillment is often a meandering one, and Hanson admits that it took her quite time to take this leap of faith. After first considering studying law (“I’m a natural debater”), she ended up studying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design.
After graduation, she worked at a screen printing shop in San Francisco that printed a max of 7 solid colors, which she says gave her a deep appreciation for what can be achieved with flat shapes and a limited palette. She then worked as a communication designer at a local food/tech startup. “It was fun, but adventure beckoned,” she says. Scrolling through her Instagram page, it’s apparent she’s made the right choice.