We had the good fortune of connecting with Hana Mendel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hana, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
It’s taken me some time to learn how much it helps to either be extroverted or extraordinarily gifted at pretending to be. Since the trajectory of a photographic career is pretty abstract, we heavily rely on connections made through working gigs. It’s a much bigger conversation than the quality of your work and mostly comes down to your relationship with people and the industry.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work categorically aligns with photo-illustration; the images live as fiction in a world adjacent to our own. I find this to be a space that best acknowledges a structure of reality while leaving room for perspective. I’m most interested in concept-based assignments; my two covers for the New Yorker’s: Flash Fiction series established my growing interest in cover-creation (books, music albums, etc.). Since my early interests were in illustration and caricature, I’ve found a way to embody these influences within this niche. The work is limited, which comes with frequent challenges, but I’ve also enjoyed learning to apply the skills I’ve developed towards other pursuits within the publishing industry. At the end of the day, I am interested in stories and the ways in which we can share them, and that remains a space where the possibilities are endless.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s all about parks, history, and food. I make sure to take my friends to the classically cash-only authentic eats; Punjabi Deli, Café Tibet , Hop Kee, Streecha. I’m in the Upper East Side, so we always meander through Carl Shurz park and Central Park, likely with a bagel from The Bagel Shop on 3rd Ave. Maybe we’ll go to Angelika film theatre if our wallets aren’t already emptied, and at some point, we take the Roosevelt Island gondola (and make a pit-stop at 24 hr diner, Ritz). The visits always include a lot of walking, laughing, and people-watching. Jazz bars definitely included.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout is dedicated to Safta, my grandmother, who played with me on the floor, filled my head with ancestral tales, and planted seeds in my imagination. Her vibrance for the joys and humors of life undoubtedly validated my early artistic interests.

Website: https://www.hanamendel.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hanamendel/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hana-mendel-a4512b164/

Image Credits
1. New Yorker, Flash Fiction Series, “Listening for the Click” 3. Helena Mendel, grandmother 6. New Yorker, Fliash Fiction Series, “A Lot of Things Have Happened” 7. Model: Samantha Nitting, Fashion Designer: Stephanie Kim, Fashion Line: Sapiomatica 8. Self-portrait

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.