Month 1 of 27 / by Hannah Harley

One month in to my New York adventure, and I've already had the quintessential New York experience: bed bugs. 

This crawly addition to the chaotic transition has been unpleasant, to say the least. Having swollen up, I've discovered that I'm actually really allergic to their bites. I'd share pictures, but no body wants to see that (unless you're currently trying to decide if you have bed bugs.. If you're on that quest, I am so very sorry.) 

I thought that bed bugs were a dirty part of an unhygienic person's lifestyle, a side effect of not showering or living in a mattress rented from a hot dog vendor's cart. But as one classmate eloquently put it: 

"I don't know anyone who has lived in New York for more than a year that hasn't gotten bed bugs. It's part of the New York experience." 

Beautiful bitterness towards the entire city of New York has taken hold of me, but don't worry - $1 pizza has relieved all of my ill will. 

Beyond these vicious little bugs, my life has been progressing quite well. I've been working on collaging art catalogues from the famed auction houses Sotheby's and Christie's. I've been having weekly critiques with professors and classmates, which have greatly informed my process and work. I spend most of my time in my studio, cutting up replications of famous artworks and repurposing them for my own use. I've been working on making 100 of these collages in just four days, trying to get significant progress prepared for my next critique. Grueling but a blast, as anything worth doing should be.

Putting in work || 23 June 2016

A video posted by Hannah Harley (@hanharley) on

It's been odd, having left my supportive creative community in Pittsburgh and working on transitioning to a new community. I've found that my work is heavily influenced by those working around me, and I'm always inspired by the relationships in my life. So entering a creative space with no familiar relationships is a bit striking. 

The people I've met here have been incredible. They all see the world differently and present it in new and exciting ways. They're already successful commercially, and they have minds that think outside of the box. To dote on my peers' successes, one of my classmates just returned from Vienna, where she completed an installation for Audi. (See her work here.)

I'm excited to share the final work with you in just a month's time! 

Stay tuned for non-bug related updates and stay bug free, my friends!