Cover art by Brooke Hatfield; cover design by Devin Cox.

Heads up, SFA mebers: A new issue of Gravy is on its way to your mailboxes. But before we leave issue #50 behind, we want to introduce you to Brooke Hatfield, the creator of the the To Kill A Mockingbird -inspired ham collage on the cover.

SFA:  What gave you the idea for this image, and how did you execute it?

Brooke Hatfield: The scene where Scout is dressed as a ham in To Kill a Mockingbird has always been weirdly resonant, probably because I have so many strong positive feelings about both ham and Scout. She’s so important if you’re a tomboy in the South! Which I guess I was—if you could be a tomboy and still suck at softball.

I drew the image digitally, then printed it out and traced the legs and torso with a scalpel onto a cooked ham steak. (The best part: EVEN MY MISTAKES TASTED LIKE HAM.) I cut the eye portion and lettering out of paper, placed them atop the ham, and photographed it all on a piece of white paper. Here is a photo from that late-night session. There was a little Photoshoppery—the legs had zero structural integrity, so I had to skewer them together with a toothpick, which I edited out—but by and large I made the whole thing by hand.

SFA: What’s your day job?

BH: I’m the communications coordinator at Georgia Organics, a member-based non-profit that connects organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. We also partnered with the SFA and Whole Foods Market on the excellent A Spoken Dish video storytelling project.) Favorite professional achievements include this video of a former Harlem Globetrotter doing basketball tricks with a cabbage and making Blingees of farmer beards. (Editor’s note: We didn’t know what Blingees were, either. Click the link to learn.)
SFA: What’s your next side project?
This June I’m releasing a ‘zine of Flannery O’Connor portraits at the Atlanta Zine Fest, which has been a really fun opportunity to convene 13 amazing artists on a single project. It’s going to be a Voltron of excellence. Emily Wallace, whose completely charming work should be familiar to SFA folk, is one of the artists.

I also recently learned how to cross stitch (as part of Aubrey Longley-Cook’s Rupaul Cross Stitch Animation Workshop), and it’s really hard and kind of great and I look forward to doing it more.

Eggplant cross-stitch by Brooke Hatfield.
Eggplant cross-stitch by Brooke Hatfield.