Rad Friends Doing Rad Things: Tessa Raven Art

Posted on Feb 20, 2013

I’m starting a new artist feature here on the blog. I have found that I like to surround myself with creative people and I enjoy drawing inspiration from those. So I thought I would share some of the people that inspire me, who also happen to be friends of mine.

This first girl has talent coming out of her ears, and she’s only 18!

Name: Tessa Raven Hancock

Creative name: Tessa Raven Art

Where do you create: My room in small town Oklahoma currently. My dream is to have my own big warehouse studio where I can fling paint and keep pencil shavings on the floor. I’m believing for it.
How did you start in your creative field: I grew up in a family of artists, my mom is a writer, my dad is a visual artist, my brother is a musician, most of our friends are creative types. so I grew up around it, and i started really showing interest around 13 or 14. I just started doing it! drawing, and painting, and figuring it out.

Where do you draw inspiration: People. Studying faces in the supermarket is something you will find me doing often. I look at photos by good photojournalists, I read books about creativity to keep motivated, and good stories to keep imagining. I try to always keep my eyes open for observing the world, my observations get me thinking and feeling and then all I have to do is sit down and paint and they’ll work their way into it. I try to keep my brain fed, and then try to tell the truth about what I see. 
I think that’s important, telling the truth.

Who are some of your creative heroes: Egon Schiele, Jim Henson, Gustav Klimt, Ray Bradbury, Ralph Steadman, the team Herakut, Jamie Hewlett, Candy Chang, Norman Rockwell, Toulouse-Leutrec, the list goes on.

Do you feel your art serves a purpose: I do. At least I have an idea and a wish for a purpose it serves. If nothing else it’s to make people feel something, feel some sort of magic. I hope to make them happy and perhaps even inspire them to express something of their own, to give them a license to let go, live free, and tell their truth. I hope people can see that in my work. If by healing my own soul I can serve another, what a wonderful gift that is.

How do you make time for your art: Being home schooled I was given a lot of free time which I’m thankful for. I’m 18 now and have been lucky so far to not have to get what some might call “a real job” and what I might (on one of my feisty days) call the opposite. When you have time for yourself, sit down and start something off the top of your head, it may be a struggle to get what you want at first, but once the first layer of dust comes off of you and you keep pushing, you start getting to the good stuff. It’s hard to keep working but I believe it’s possible and important  to make time for personal expression. Without some sort of expression life often feels very bland and pointless. I’ve tasted bland life and it’s not for me. We must express to keep living, to keep taking life in we must let some out. 
We are not only consumers, we are creators.

What are some of your insecurities dealing with the creative process: I have so many. Insecurity is something I struggle with a lot. Most notably I have a need to be right, and to know things, which makes it hard for me to be honest and ask what are sometimes silly questions, but important ones nonetheless. I want so much to be shamelessly ignorant, and equally curious. To not be so self conscious. This is why I like to be alone when I create, I can truly let go and be not so self aware.

What has been your biggest obstacle creatively: Keeping inspired. I tend to be a loner when I’m blocked creatively, burrowing myself in a hole and forcing myself to work, which is just useless when my brain has nothing left to give. It’s just regurgitating the same ideas, so I have to push myself to get off the grind and go outside to observe the world and think new things.

What advice would you give others hoping to enter your field/ or what to expect: My advice would be to just do it. Do do do do. Don’t over think it. Ray Bradbury said 
thinking is the enemy of creativity, it’s self conscious and anything self conscious is lousy. 
You can’t try to do things you simply must do things.” 
Find artists you love and study them, and then study who they studied and draw draw draw. Keep your eyes open and take life in, be curious. Expect it to be difficult, expect someone to be better than you always and to feel inferior, but remember that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything unique to say, just try to tell truth. 
Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original, 
whereas if you simply try to tell the truth without caring twopence
how often it has been told before, you will, nine times out of ten, become original 
without ever having noticed it.” – C.S. Lewis 
By “tell the truth” I don’t think he meant only paint still lifes and things you can actually see, I think he meant be honest about what you think and feel. Let go and have fun, don’t try to be anything or worry about who’s looking, just tell the truth, just be genuine. I could sit here all day quoting inspiring people and talking your leg off, or you guys could stop reading this and go DO. I like that better. Go do it, if for no other reason than that it feels good to get the dust off your back and create something.

Follow her daily drawings and various other exploits on:

Teeraves on instagram

Thanks so much Tessa!


  1. Vanessa Castoe
    February 20, 2013

    I love this girl.

  2. amberZon
    February 21, 2013

    @vanessa she is definitely a rad one.


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