Hannah Carpenter of Searcy is a freelance illustrator and, among Arkansans who are not famous in regular life, perhaps the most famous person in Arkansas on Instagram. She has 112,000 followers on the social network, where she mostly posts pictures of her four children and (much less often) her Harding University professor husband. She’s so popular on Instagram that she’s attracted national advertisers, including Apple and Toyota, who pay her to run sponsored posts, and she and her family were featured in a 26-page spread in Vogue Living Netherlands. Carpenter and her business partner, Heather Thrash, also run the company Little-Biscuits, which makes Dress Me notepads for kids that feature Carpenter’s illustrations of children dressed in white underclothes, on top of which young artists can add “clothes” and “accessories” with crayons.
1. What are you working on? My business partner and I are working on some products for our company, Little-Biscuits. We’re developing a product that has a focus on diversity.
2. Where is your favorite local spot to gather inspiration? Whenever I leave the house I tend to go to my favorite antique or thrift shops: Sweet Home Furnishings and Midtown Antiques in Little Rock and 410 Vintage Market in Fayetteville.
3. Tell us three handmade items on your wish list. 1. The Alie Handbag by Dower, the Little Rock leather goods company. It’s just so pretty. 2. A family portrait by Kat Wilson. I tend to gravitate toward art that’s a bit on the creepy side. 3. Any painting by Grace Ramsey. Again, wonderfully creepy.
4. Name three can’t-live-without locally made eats or drinks. The Root Cafe’s Spicy Banh Mi sandwich and Three Fold’s noodle soup bowl (with the egg) in Little Rock and cream cheese kolaches from Wild Sweet Williams in Searcy.
5. What’s your favorite local hangout? In Searcy, Midnight Oil is an indispensable local hangout. It’s owned by The Kibo Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with communities in East Africa to reach their full potential, tackling poverty and injustice, and they contribute profits to these global communities. Midnight Oil is also great about providing a place for local musicians to perform and displays art by local artists. And if you ever find yourself in Searcy around lunchtime, the curry chicken salad is my favorite.
6. Name a local artist/musician who deserves more recognition. Isaac Alexander. I’ve been living in the shadow of my big brother, a musical and art prodigy, my whole life, but have never been jealous, only amazed and proud. Amazing talent and human, that guy.
7. What’s your favorite art/music venue or event? Fayetteville Roots Festival. It’s indoors and I’m oldish, so I love it. We took the kids a couple years back, and it was very family friendly. They always have special concerts and events for kids, too.