Sunny Days Journal
Sunny Muse -
Visual Artist and Musician Hannah Crofts
Hannah Crofts is an award-winning Australian visual artist, musician, singer and songwriter. She also has incredible retro style, and is an avid vintage shopper. Among other accolades, Hannah sang backing vocals on Kesha’s single Praying, and she is also a mentor at Girls Rock! Sydney.
As one quarter of Indie Folk group, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Hannah has toured with incredibly diverse artists including The Backstreet Boys (USA), Marlon Williams (NZ), Midnight Oil (AUS) and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (USA). In 2017 All Our Exes Live in Texas won the ARIA award for Best Blues & Roots Album for their critically acclaimed debut, “When We Fall”.
What does living creatively mean to you?
At the moment that is a fine balance between feeling creative enough to create art for money and then to be able to create art that I want to be creating. I'm just trying to find a practice where I get up and I dedicate a certain amount of time between comissions, or to music that I have to make, or practice my instrument. And, then try to have a dedicated afternoon space, which in my mind is called "free time", but the free time is really the stuff that I want to make. But it's really hard especially when you start monitising your passion. I think that's really hard.
When did you decide to become a musician/artist?
I think I always wanted to be an artist. But when I was in High School I had a music teacher who told me I couldn't sing and that I couldn't do music, and I wasn't allowed in the music program at my High School. So I really had to fight to get in. Which is awful, but in the long run I think it was really good because I learned to fight for what I want. So, it really made me determined when I was about eighteen that I wanted to do Music as a career. It's a double edged sword though because I have spent so long thinking "I'm not very good". “Even though you won an ARIA?” “Yeah, I actually wanted to say something in my ARIAS speech to that teacher!”
What advice would you give to young creatives?
I think one thing that's taken me ages to learn, and this sounds so silly, but the people that I know who are good at music and art, have the confidence of always saying “yes, I can do it”. I feel like, especially with singing, alot of the singers I know who are really good singers, walk into a room, and they never walk in and say "oh, I can't do it". They just go in, ignore the inner dialogue, and they do it. And, because they have done it so many times they can actually do it.
I think that's a really good way of building up your skill set because so much of it is about confidence and believing in yourself. I think I've spent too long doubting myself, but then in the last couple of years I've realised " Oh no, I can do it. Just do it!”. And I think that you legitimately get better from doing that. I think that's what I wish that I had known when I was younger.
Who inspires you?
Dolly Parton. She’s my fav. I listened to a Podcast with her and Laura Marling. And she was saying that she doesn't identify as a feminist. But I just think she comes from a time where she wouldn't say that she's a feminist but she's just led by example in so many situations. And she's such a Boss and has dominated the Country Music Scene, and she's producing now. Anything she wants to do she has done. She's paved the way.
I'm inspired by The McGarrigle Sisters. I get very inspired by Folk Music Communities. The Magrical Sisters are from the Wainright Family (Rufus, Loudon, Martha). I don't want to create art or music where I don't have a community of artists or creative people around me. I don't see the point if I'm not sharing it.
Currently Listening to?
So I've been listening to Andy Shauf's album, and it's called The Party. It's the best record. It's a real folky record that sums up all the feelings of being awkward at a party and all the songs explore the idea of getting there too early, and then seeing someone that you only kind of know. I feel like he really pinpoints anxiety at parties and it's beautiful. It’s done with a full orchestra. So good.
Favourite Vintage Find?
I bought this beautiful green 1960s coat in Italy that's a current fav.
I have alot of fun vintage finds!
Find out more about Hannah’s exciting Art and Music endeavours at www.hannahmarjorie.com