Viewing entries tagged

HOUSE/guest Maryanna Hoggatt

HOUSE/guest Maryanna Hoggatt

By Britt Appleton

HOUSE/guest is our monthly interview series where we showcase an artist who has impressed us in the digital world. They might not be local, but their effects are felt here in Portland. 


This month's HOUSE/guest is Maryanna Hoggatt, a painter/sculptor/illustrator. You might know her series Animal Battle, or her 2 part comic book Adult Babysitting. She may have even been your bartender.

L/h: What does being a full-time artist look like? MH: About eighty percent of the time: sweatpants or pajamas, unkempt hair, no makeup, headphones. It’s not very glamorous. I manage to put on real pants whenever I leave my house/studio. And I try to make up for the slobbery when I attend actual social events.

L/h: What kind of stuff did you draw as a kid? MH: I think my first drawings were Disney characters. Actually, the first thing I remember drawing on my own was Mickey Mouse, when I was about five. Later, Looney Tunes characters. I kept spiral notebooks as sketchbooks, and drew the beginnings of various storybooks, like a family of dinosaurs living in caves. If I made a mistake, I’d draw over boulder it. I also started painting fairly young.

L/h: When did you feel like your skill level had caught up to your taste level? MH: Not for a looooong time. I could always somewhat draw what I wanted, but with a lot of struggle and frustration. It took a long time before I felt I was really rendering images the way I pictured them in my head, and even longer before I felt I was doing that with ease. I don't think my skills really started to develop until my late 20s, when I finally decided to stop screwing around and get serious about making art for a living. That's when I moved to Portland to attend art school.

L/h: What do you do that is unique? MH: I seem to cross mediums pretty easily. Some people were surprised that these were my first clay sculptures, but I found the transition very natural. I think of myself as a storyteller. All art mediums are another extension of storytelling, and in that regard I try to never place any limits on myself.

L/h: What advice would you give a less experienced artist? MH: You will probably suck for a really, really long time. Even when you think you're pretty good, you actually suck. Talent counts for very little. Hard work makes up the rest. When you see an artist that is successful and creates amazing art, you're looking at thousands and thousands of hours of hard work. Never, ever give up.

L/h: Who inspires you? MH: Anyone that hustles for a good dream. It takes guts.

L/h: What art is on your walls? MH: Too much of my own. I am the proud owner of very few original pieces of art, which I plan to remedy. I want to become more of a collector. My husband is a designer, so between the two of us we have illustrative work of designers, like Milton Glazer. And I have a couple of comic's prints, like a Paul Pope piece.

L/h: What blogs do you read? MH: When I'm working in my studio I try really hard to stay off any useless websites, but usually end up failing. Especially if I post any promotional stuff, then I end up wading around the black vortex of social media. But with intention, I'll read the news each day at NPR, or check Twitter for the latest happenings. Thankfully when I'm sculpting I'm away from my computer.

L/h: Who do you follow on Instagram? MH: On Instagram I follow some of my favorite artists, like Esao Andrews (@esao), Souther Salazar (@southersalazar), local galleries like Pony Club (@ponyclubpdx), Hellion Gallery (@helliongallery), Antler Gallery (@antlergallery), and some peeps like my adventurer/illustrator pal Brooke Weeber (@littlecanoe), and this guy John Stortz who takes amazing pictures of his pure white wolf-like dog in beautiful landscapes (@johnstortz). And so, so many artists! The extraordinary ability to glimpse the process that is behind the work of so many people I admire is one of the best parts of social media.

L/h: What is your dream project? MH: When I started sculpting in January, I was referring to the first sculpt as a maquette. My initial research was for armatures, puppet fabrication, and animation. I read articles on stop-motion sites, watched a lot of youtube videos, and of course, studied the work of Kent Melton. Halfway through my first paintings of Animal Battle (begun early 2013), I knew that I wanted to make these characters move. I didn't see them as just drawings. Each animal I create has a personality, and lives within the narrative behind the whole series.

I became really interested in the maquette stage of animation, and since it seemed like a good place to start making these characters a reality, I started sculpting. After I finished the first one, I was obsessed. I could not believe how ridiculously fun it was to sculpt!

Eventually I will get to the rest of that dream. There's still a lot of exploring to do.

L/h: What is your favorite animal? MH: Boy, that's difficult. I find so many animals charming, or majestic, or wonderfully weird. There's a very long list of creatures I still want to draw for Animal Battle. One I know personally that's pretty cool is my cat, Theodore. He's my favorite feline dude, even if he is kind of a jerk.

Okay, let's be real: sloths. Sloths! And raccoons. And foxes. Wolves. etc..

L/h: What is your favorite cocktail to make? To drink? MH: After so many years tending bar, my home drinks require nearly zero effort. Like wine. Or a greyhound. I much prefer someone else to make my drink now. When I go out, I'll drink 400-ingredient cocktails from fancy menus. Negronis and Manhattans are also delicious. And any bar that stocks Fernet Branca is a good one in my book.

L/h: If you were an animated character, who would you be? MH: One I have yet to create.

Thanks, Maryanna!


You can keep up with Maryanna on her blog, on twitter, and through her Instagram. Her solo show featuring the Animal Battle maquettes opens on August 7th (First Thursday) at Hellion Gallery in Portland and will be up the rest of August.



All photos from Maryanna Hoggatt

HOUSE/guest Hombre McSteez

HOUSE/guest Hombre McSteez

By Britt Appleton

Introducing HOUSE/guest, our monthly interview series where we showcase an artist who has impressed us in the digital world. They might not be local, but their effects are felt here in Portland.


Are you familiar with Hombre McSteez? He's an Instagram hero of ours. (There's also a Tumblr.) Here is our interview with Marty Cooper, the man behind the magic.

L/h: Who is Hombre McSteez? MC: Hombre McSteez is your friendly neighborhood hombre.

L/h: What do you, Marty Cooper, do? MC: I am a storyboard artist for animated movies. I have worked at Blue Sky, ReelFX, and Rovio. I also make pickles, play golf, and ride my skateboard.

L/h: How did you get the idea for this? MC: You can actually see the progression of the idea on my Instagram from over a year ago. It started with a whiteboard drawing of a fish in my dad's workshop:


Then I thought it would be cool to try to make it look like the drawing was existing in the environment. I found a plate of glass and a dry erase marker and began experimenting with that, erasing the drawing each time. Then I remembered how the classic animators would use acetate cels and paint on the reverse side and overlay that on the backgrounds... So I basically did the same thing that animators have been doing since the beginning of animation.

L/h: How does it work - do you always have transparencies with you? MC: I carry a backpack with my sketchbook, transparencies, pens, and whiteout. Then I basically just walk around aimlessly for miles looking at things and trying to find a good setting. Once I find an interesting place I sit and draw in my sketchbook until I draw something that makes me laugh. This takes 4-5 sketchbook pages sometimes. Then I draw and paint the cel on the spot and take a bunch of pictures. It's a lot like a treasure hunt only I have to create the treasure. Usually when I go on an expedition like this I get 5-6 images and usually only post one or two of them.

L/h: Do people around you notice what you're doing? MC: People are always really nice! They ask me what I'm doing, then I show them the picture and sometimes they ask if they can help hold the cel or something. Sometimes people won't let me take pictures in their store. I got kicked out of the movie theatre once for taking a photo in the theatre. I won't try that again. Also gyms won't let me take photos inside, which is a bummer because there could be some funny ones in a gym. If there are any gym owners out there that want to let me take photos, let me know!

During the shoot for the little butter guy jumping on the pancake, the IHOP staff thought I was crazy. It took me 3 tries to get it right, and each time I would order a stack of pancakes then smoosh them down with my fist to get the bounce effect. So I ended up with 15 pancakes that were smooshed and didn't eat any of them. I don't know what they thought.

L/h: What is your art background? MC: I studied animation/illustration at San Jose State University. Shrunkenheadman animation club for life! SJSU's animation program was awesome because they teach you how to animate traditionally (with pencil and paper) before you ever use the computer to animate. At the time it seemed archaic to not use the powerful animation tools we have on the computer, but it was tremendously helpful to learn how to animate on paper, just to get a feel for flipping the paper and understanding spacing and timing...and now I use it everyday!

L/h: What blogs do you read? MC: I frequent the cartoon brew, fecal face, Toby Shelton has an amazing blog with his storyboards. So good. John K stuff, Leo Matsuda, Erik Benson, Rad Sechrist, LAIKA's own Grickle, love his work. PES, and a lot of skateboarding websites.

L/h: Who should we be following on Instagram? MC: Jay Howell - @punksgitcut - rad cartoons in old books; Ed Templeton - @tempster_returns - pelicans and chicks with skateboards on the Huntington Beach Pier; Jerry Hsu - @internetfamous - strangeness and oddities in the daily life of skateboarder Jerry Hsu; Artrebels - @artrebels - fresh art/design from Denmark and Europe; David Choe - @davidchoe - legendary artist/hitchhiker/billionaire; and Lindsay Olivares - @lindsayolivares - best chicken drawings ever.

L/h: What do you think about social media for artists? MC: I think it's awesome! I love having an audience that sees my work everyday. It motivates me to make more stuff and try to entertain people.

L/h: If you could be any animated character, who would you be? MC: Flint Lockwood from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but I will always aspire to be Roger Rabbit.

Thanks, Marty! Keep being awesome.






Photos by Marty Cooper (Hombre McSteez)