Artist: Hannah Coates
Art Medium / Style: Primarily acrylic paint, also ink/pen mixed media
Find Hannah Instagram: @hannahcoatesart
Meet Featured Artist in Recovery: Hannah Coates
We sat down with artist, Hannah Coates to find out more about her story and why she is so passionate about art.
Hannah is a 23 year old artist from Baltimore, Maryland. She found recovery when she was 19 and is now in school for Graphic Design with a minor in Fine Arts. She wants to now use her love for art to help others find their sobriety too.
Outside of art, she loves listening to music and looks forward to going to live concerts. She likes a wide variety of genres but says her favorite is hip-hop. She also noted that, “Concerts are a lot more fun since I have been sober.”
Hannah says her Love of Art was Inspired by her Mother
“My mom was my main artistic influence, she is an art major and graphic designer. She had an art studio at the house growing up and educated me on many art forms as well as who the artists are. We often went to art museums, like Baltimore Museum of Art and The Walters Art Museum.”
“It is time for parents to teach young people that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou
How Art Helps with Addiction Recovery
“Art has helped my 100% in my recovery”, says Hannah when we asked her if she feels art has helped her overcome addiction. She went on to say, “Life gets harder when you are just getting sober and art helped to settle my mind, make a distraction for my feelings especially when I struggled getting my feelings out, it was also a buffer for my loved ones because I was able to use my art to work through my feelings and not always bombard them”.
“I want to convey confidence and encourage others to work past the insecurities and concerns about judgement of their art work.”
Art Helps Individuals with Self Expression
Hannah was able to find her own artistic perspective by allowing herself to be open minded in her process of creation and finding her own voice as an artist. We asked her if he work has a specific focus or intention. She said that a lot of her work is focused on helping individuals overcome any lack of confidence they have in their own abilities.
“I feel like my focus tends to be towards feminism, I want to support women in art and help women embrace their bodies and sexuality without it having to be sexual. I want to convey confidence and encourage others to work past the insecurities and concerns about judgement of their art work.”
What would you say to someone who is curious about creating but hasn’t expressed themselves using art yet?
“Try not to be as concerned about others judging your artwork even if you feel you are not going to be good at it. If you have an interest in art you should try it. Be patient, willing to try and fail and keep growing over time. Remember, it’s about the journey, not just the destination.”
A Reminder for Those in Recovery
As a person in recovery herself, Hannah knows that we tend to be very hard on ourselves. We even avoid trying things because we think we won’t be good at them. This is sad though, as it means that we are missing out on things we could be really good at or enjoy doing, simply because we’re so critical of ourselves.
Hannah reminds us that it’s not just art we miss out on though, it’s life.
“Being critical of yourself translates to many things in life, not just art. If you love it, keep doing it. Keep trying and remember progress not perfection.”
How the ECHO Foundation Helps Artists in Recovery
The ECHO Foundation helps individuals who are struggling with addiction while in treatment and beyond.
Often times, a person new to recovery does not have the means to support themselves while in the initial stages of treatment. The ECHO Housing Initiative is designed to help these individuals take the first step back towards becoming productive members of society by providing scholarships towards safe and supportive housing and personal needs while in recovery.
In addition to the housing scholarships, ECHO aims to provide individuals in recovery and their families a voice in community organizations, networks and government initiatives that matter to them most.
We have seen the power of art in recovery.
Art offers a path to healing unlike other forms of self-expression allow. We want to share the stories, such as Hannah’s, of those who have used art to help overcome addition. Sharing real experiences helps bring people together.
ECHORecovery.org is a platform for artists in recovery to share their work, tell their story and bring hope to others who are looking for something to move them.
Art inspires when words fail.
Do you have an Art in Recovery story to share? Submit your request to us and let’s talk about a collaboration. Contact us here.