Allow me to introduce you to Hana Shafi, a.k.a Frizz Kid. Illustrator. Freelance Journalist. Self proclaimed “Weird and frizzy”. Hana is a graduate of the Ryerson Journalism program and is currently at Ryerson completing a certificate in Digital Art Production through the Chang School.
You may recognize Hana from Ryerson’s 6th annual social justice week (Oct. 31 to Nov. 4), where she was one of five panelists who explored the connections between creating art and resisting sexual violence in Art Heals: Interventions in Adressing Sexual Violence. She led art workshops to help sexual assault survivors share their emotions, then collected the peices and put together an exhibit titled Lost Words. The art work was displayed in a pop up art gallery between Gould and Victoria streets on the Ryerson Campus (Sexual Assault: The Roadshow) from Nov. 1-4. The Road show exhibit consisted of annoymous posters which prioritized the voices of survivors.
Hana has held about four art workshops now. She began holding them in September after the Office of Sexual Violence, Support and Education at Ryerson, brought her on as the artist on residence. The residency has now ended but Hana said she plans to keep holding workshops at Ryerson, since they’ve been such a success. In fact, keep a look out for one she’s planning this November!
Feminist themes are both important and apparent in Hana’s work. “It comes naturally to me,” she said, “It’s important for me to include those themes, because feminism is just such an instrinsic part of my life. It’s a huge aspect of my identity and I infuse it into all my creative and social practices. Or, at least, I try my best to.” Hana feels that it’s extra necessary to adress sexual violence on University campuses. Rape culture is everywhere, she said, it’s particulary prevalent in a University setting. This being said, she plans to continue her Lost Words project, which debuted with Sexual Assault: The Roadshow. She has yet to make any concrete plans but is very confident that she will continue with it.
Currently she does hyper-detailed pen portraits, as well as brainstorming some other illustration series, but her primary focus right now is her positive affirmation peices. Hana sells these peices and other products on her Red Bubble page, where she talks about her positive affirmations in a journal entry: “It started with me making some artwork in support of #IBelieveSurvivors and seeing the positive impact it had on people inspired me to make more art with a positive message.…There is something immensely healing about art. With the positive affirmations artwork I create, I’m not only creating something that could give a sense of comfort and understanding to the viewer, but the process of making them is, in and of itself, therapeutic.” You can find her page here- https://www.redbubble.com/people/thefrizzkid/journal
When Hana first started making positive affirmation art, it was very different from her usual beat. She knew hat her own mental health needed those simple, affirming reminders, but had no idea the affect that it could have in helping heal both herself and others. She called it an “immensely fulfilling feeling.”
I asked Hana if she had always wanted to be an artist: “I’ve always been very invested in creative work, but I never imagined that i would delve into art this much or become known for it. I always loved creating visual art, but I never felt that I had the talent for it.” She told me that she had always been more confident about writing until she really started pushing herself to do more art, “I just took the plunge,” she said, “and realized that this is something I love doing and that it doesn’t matter whether I produce something ‘good’ or ‘bad’.” Now Hana says that as long as she’s doing creative work, she’s happy.
In terms of long term goals, Hana wants to publish a book of poetry and art, along with much larger peices. “I want to do huge stuff on massive canvases,” she said, “It sounds silly, but i’ve always wanted to just create something massive and immensely detailed. Something I could pour myself into completely.”
Keep following your local artist on her instagram (frizzkidart) and check out her Red Bubble page to see what she’s doing and stay up to date with her awesome artwork! If you’re interested in either commisioned work or buying some of her prints, all you have to do is shoot her a message.