“humor, how-tos, and hindsight”

So, if you listen to my podcast, you know I’ve got a soft spot for funny art… combine that with hand-lettering, gouache, and some tacky cats and I’m all IN. I discovered the wonderfully kitschy work of Melbourne based artist Anna Hoyle last spring. Her paintings of book covers are hilarious and beautiful and I had to find out how and why she makes them. There also appeared to be a major detour in style and career around 2005 so I wanted to ask about that too, and I did. Listen right up there under that little hound with bad hair, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few of my faves:

So much LOVE!

Now, here are her ink drawings from 2000-2005 that she was showing quite a lot. Gorgeous but so different than her work now:

She mentioned adding a bit of color when she started getting tired of black and white only, but it wasn’t enough for her. Enter her stacks of books painted in bright, beautiful gouache:

Oh, those little legs! And yes, this work finally allowed her to bring her sign painting skills into her fine art work. A few “sluggish frumps”, “Painting à la mode”, and of course, “Painting is for Pussies”.

Here are a few of her totally fictional, totally fabulous book covers … price tags and all:


Gah! I love everything, especially that last one! We talked a bit about why she loves books, but she sent me a follow-up email to explain it further, so I’ve included that here:

“I chose to paint books because they are gorgeous objects, but more importantly, they have this threatened and precarious quality in the digital age. I like to paint ‘how to’ and ‘why’ research kinda books because they are the very books that no one really turns to in the age of youtube/google … but, the whole point of my books are that they are about ridiculous, absurd subjects to research anyway.” 

Speaking of which…

Ha! Yes! Anna says she has plans for this jailed kale, so we’ll have to keep an eye on her shop!

During the Not-So-Speedy Speed Round™, I asked her if she was a “cat person” or a “dog person”… she answered “dog person”, but you can see why I wouldn’t be certain either way:

Kitschy cats and lots o’ hounds… her birds are fantastic too!

And finally, I asked if she could send me a few images from her childhood drawings, and what she dug up was hilarious! Turns out, Anna’s been “taking the piss” out of old advertisements, playing with funny text, and using bright colors longer than she realized:

“Beauty without the Beast” … HAHAHA! Sigh. Such a perfect way to wrap up this episode. Thank you so much to Anna for sharing her story {and seriously, how is she not already a full time illustrator!? Agencies, brands, etc… CALL. HER.} Thank you as always to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and BIG thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Anna’s Print Shop
  2. Maira Kalman
  3. “Middlesex” by Jeffery Eugenides
  4. Thea Astley, Australian writer

comments (7)

  1. Julie /// 04.08.2017 /// 2:51am

    Such fun and wonderful work! Definitely vanilla!! Another great listen Danielle x

  2. marianne clancy /// 04.08.2017 /// 8:39am

    showing all signs of hypercreativia a rare affliction that strikes only those who can paint anything and must! This artist rocks the big time! I love all her book covers the most and she shows she has a clear and amazing command of the medium no matter what she does. Lucky Melbourne! Love your work. More more please!

  3. The Jealous Curator /// curated contemporary art /// “humor, how-tos, and hindsight” - Lila Hafner /// 04.08.2017 /// 4:46pm

    […] Source link […]

  4. Katie /// 04.09.2017 /// 8:46am

    Perhaps my favorite episode yet! So inspiring…

  5. anna hoyle – Cyber Museum /// 10.23.2019 /// 2:15am

    […] ps. I had her on the podcast in 2017, so have a listen if you like. […]

  6. Angela /// 08.02.2020 /// 9:02am

    I am still working my way through your wonderful podcasts. I think is the first time I heard you mention doing a children’s book. Now, a mere three years later your book is about to come out! Congratulations! It gives me hope. I have just started doing a children’s book and think I have a unique idea. Maybe, just maybe it will be sitting next to your book on a shelf someday.

  7. the jealous curator /// 08.02.2020 /// 9:17am

    yay!!! yeah it’s so crazy that it finally happened! keep working on it… if i can do it, so can you 🙂

Instant Max AI Instant Profits AI Immediate Byte