While doomscrolling through the endless grim news that social media sites and their users often churn out, posts of Haggytea’s artwork stood out like little glimpses of sunshine among the heavy clouds.
CommunityAd are such big fans of her Faversham inspired linocut prints, we thought why not move our relationship with Haggytea (her artist name) from distant social media likes to actual conversation with Tina Hagger, so that’s what we did!
So Tina, firstly, how long have you called Faversham home?
I’ve lived in Faversham for 12 years now, we moved here on a whim having only ever visited the creek and never visited the town centre, but luckily it worked out well. My partner and I had both grown up in Ashford and so we haven’t moved physically far, but culturally you couldn’t find two different places!
What makes it such a lovely community to be a part of?
I honestly believe there is something truly special about the community of Faversham. The town does so much together, there are so many grass-roots initiatives and projects. People here are so open and friendly and willing to get stuck into things together. I remember the very first day we went around the town after moving here and shopkeepers said hello and chatted to us. I kept whispering to my partner ‘Do you think they are mistaking us for somebody else they know?!’. I hadn’t really ever encountered such warmth and after I got over the initial surprise, I fell in love with it and have fully embraced it.
There’s a growing community of creatives and artists which is great for the town, isn’t it?
There are, which can only be a good thing for the town. It’s great to see the town go from strength to strength in this way. I think there is always room for more creativity in a place, I would love to see more places for artists and makers to show their work in the town: more exhibition spaces, more high-quality maker fairs, more pop-ups.
Linocut printmaking is quite the process isn’t it, but must be an extremely satisfying one?
Linocut printmaking is a long process and not for the faint-hearted, you draw the design, trace it, transfer it to the lino, go over it again with marker, spend hours cutting it out using tiny sharp tools, and then ink it up and print it over and over and over. And if you are making a multi-colour print, most of those steps need to be repeated for each colour! However, not only is it extremely satisfying, it is also extremely addictive. I couldn’t stop now, even if I wanted to!
We love your Faversham-inspired pieces: what is it about the town that inspires you to get creative?
Thank you. I fell for Faversham, its community, its character and the beautiful, beautiful marshes in a big way when we moved here. That love has been an enduring one. The prints I make of the town and its surrounds are an expression of that love.
As well as printmaking you love a good sketch, don’t you? There’s definitely a benefit to the human soul of doing something creative, isn’t there; why would you recommend our readers take on a little creative endeavour?
I have come to realise over the last few years that drawing and creating is vital to my wellbeing. It is a time when I feel utterly absorbed in the act of observation and creation. All thoughts and stresses are forgotten, there’s just me, the pencil/pen/tool/ink and the subject. I would wholeheartedly suggest everyone draws or creates in some way regularly, it gives you a breather, a moment away from this crazy world.