Growing up, Hanna Pippin would draw elegant dresses and shoes on her sketchpad. She was going to be a fashion designer when she got older.
While she never landed a gig as a fashion designer, Pippin has continued to express her artistic side in a variety of ways – from drawing to woodworking to sewing.
“I always liked coloring and sketching when I was little,” Pippin said. “Both of my parents were artistic, so I just kind of followed in their footsteps.”
Pippin grew up in southern Missouri and attended Norwood High School in Norwood, Mo. Norwood, known for its livestock auction yards, was where Pippin honed her artistic craft.
“I actually didn’t take any art classes in high school or anything like that,” Pippin said. “I was more focused on science and math and the normal school subjects.”
Pippin is a self-taught artist, trying her hand in a variety of crafts. She comes by the talent honestly, as her parents displayed their artistic abilities in different ways. Pippin’s father is a painter, who has even sold a few paintings locally. Pippin’s mother was a woodworker, who also dabbled in embroidery and drawing.
“My dad has always been a good painter,” Pippin said. “I’ve tried my hand at it – and I’ve learned painting is hard. It’s very hard.
“My mom enjoyed hands-on, practical work. She did woodworking and a lot of sewing. She was fantastic at drawing.”
Pippin’s mother taught her how to sew and also instilled in her the woodworking bug. Pippin refinishes furniture in her free time in addition to her drawing and sewing habits.
“Refinishing those pieces is a lot of fun,” Pippin said. “Turning items that some consider trash into someone’s treasure is rewarding.”
As far as drawing, Pippin enjoys still-life and landscapes. She has taken a couple of art classes since she graduated high school, including a 3D class, which she enjoyed. Pippin also makes jewelry in her spare time.
“All of this, it’s a creative outlet,” she said. “When I have the time, which isn’t always that often, it’s fun to have an artistic release.”
Pippin has worked at the University of Missouri since 2007. She began her career with the MU Research Reactor Center as a receptionist. She worked her way up to an administrative assistant and was involved in customer service. She is currently an executive assistant in the Office of Research and Extension, a role she has held for nearly two years.
“This job has definitely been a change of pace, but I absolutely love it,” she said. “It’s a ton of fun.”