An Interview with Jan Hoyle

Samm January 10, 2012 No Comments »

SpaceGypsies had the chance to interview our friend Jan Hoyle about her artwork and what inspires her to create the amazing pieces on her site. Jan uses a variety of mediums along with exquisite details and vibrant colors to bring her pieces to life. If you haven’t seen her work, you should check her out!

Where did you first discover art?

As far back as I can remember. Probably in the womb.


How do you describe your style?

Fantasy, Womens issues, abstract and somewhat eclectic.


What is you biggest influence?

My brain, it’s not geared towards math or science! My mom always took me to art museums in the Detroit area, and always to special exhibits at the Detroit Museum of Art, and Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. She also took me to the zoo & the Ice Capades 🙂 But she also started me with paint by numbers kits. I had a great Kindergarten teacher who taught us how to use different textures around us to bring depth to our fantastic crayon colorings. And I had a great Art Teacher in grade school who taught us ceramics with pinch pots and printmaking with latex wood blocks. I didn’t like my High School Art teacher because she wanted us to use mathematical concepts, and I suck at math.


Do you find yourself influenced by other artists?

Yes, definitely! Vincent Van Gogh, Edward Munch, Pablo Picasso, teachers. I definitely credit my love of ceramics to my Professor at University of California Irvine, Gifford Myers, and Artist Pamme Turner, also Printmaking to another Professor at UCI, John Paul Jones. You should see the recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night I painted on flower pots 🙂 it’s quite beautiful. Of course my mom made jewelry and was always painting, sewing or crocheting. Textiles are an art form by the way.



What is your preferred medium?

Ceramics & Printmaking. I love watercolor, but I really suck at it so I will leave that for others who are talented with watercolors. I love the feel of clay, it’s very tactile and an excellent medium for people like me who are have had to work through fine motor skill problems. I prefer using underglazes for fine painting, I can’t get the same effects with Acrylics or Oils. And printmaking (scraffito), well it’s the same for me. When I grduated from college I use to joke that I missed the smell of acid, alcohol & Kerosine in the morning, LOL.


What inspires you to create? Can you explain your creative process?

I have no idea, I just get ideas in my head. That seems to be a standard question for artistic people, and I don’t know of anyone who can really answer that. I see it in my head, and work out how I will approach it. I’ve never been able to draw a rendering on paper, I just can’t work that way. I figure it out then if it’s something that has to have exact measurements, then I write it out and create a rendering. Plaster or silicone molds definitely require a detailed blueprint.


The proceeds from some of your work is donated to charity. Why are those charities important to you? And what other ways can people help? 

My main charities are the ASPCA & Doctors without Borders. I love animals so deeply, I grew up with 2 cats, a dog, rabbit and a Parakeet in a suburban area with a lot of wildlife. And I’ve always loved cats, big or small. All animals are sentient beings with feelings, and they love unconditionally. No animal should ever suffer in any way, they are helpless in many situations, and deserve food, shelter, kindness and love in return. The ASPCA is very involved in every process from education to rescuing abused animals, taking in strays, medical care and adoption. They are always there in the midst of disaster to rescue animals displaced by natural disasters. And I adopted my kitty from them in 1995.

Doctors Without Borders because every person regardless of income, age, race, religion or location deserves medical care. DWB goes to places no one else will, to donate their services. Just like the ASPCA, DWB rushes to areas where there has been a natural disaster to aid those in need of medical care. The conditions rescuers work in a anything but ideal, they risk illness, injury and their own lives to help others in need. I know I never could have helped to rescue animals after Hurricane Katrina, I’m just not physically able to do that. 2. Donate, once or monthly, if you can’t give money volunteer your time. There’s shelters and organizations in every area crying out for volunteers, in all areas from clerical to walking dogs, and cleaning litter pans. If you are a veterinarian or a medical doctor, even nurse or tech, offer low cost vaccinations to low income patients, volunteer at the local clinic or shelter, or donate pet food to outreach centers. You can always help in a disaster if you can’t have a regular schedule to allow for that time. Educate yourself about charitable organizations, and tell others about the need for volunteers and donations.


How do you handle criticism of your work? What inspires you to keep creating?

Well it depends what kind of criticism it is! If it’s creative criticism from other artists, friends, etc. I want to hear it so I can improve my skills. I often take and use criticism from other artists in my studio and friends. It still takes a village, lol. But if it’s from someone like my son who just doesn’t appreciate art in the first place, not well. In fact there’s times I’d like to kill that kid, because it’s painful to have a family member feel that way about what I do.

As for inspiration to create, encouragement from others is the best gift you can give an artist. And of course and artist is what I am, not what I do. I couldn’t live without creating art.


Do you have any words of advice for aspiring artists?

First of all while you are still a student talk to your teachers, explore different mediums and genres. I started out earning a BA in Drama, and while working found out I was much happier as an artist, so I went back to school for my MA in art. Also learn how to find and file the paperwork for grants both private and educational. Keep up with all of the professional websites and publications. They always announce “Call for entries” on their websites, getting your work out there even if you will not be able to sell your work is the best way for people to find out about you. Some ask exorbitant fees for submissions so start with student submissions which are free or low cost. Don’t start out trying to sell your work at art fairs, and conventions where table fees are very expensive. There’s nothing more disappointing than not even making enough to cover your table fee. Use those art shows to get feedback on what is popular, what sells and what audience to target. And as with any profession, network! But don’t expect people to add you to their websites, especially if they they are selling the same type of art as you are. No one wants to help the competition. Also, don’t waste your money on ebay. The buyers there are looking to find something for nothing, which is often the case at craft fares. Once you graduate get any job you can, you can’t buy supplies without money. I know most artists just don’t do well at 9-5 jobs, and most of us did very well getting fired from most of them, but you need something. If you can live at home and handle being around your parents, do it, even if they ask you for rent or to contribute. It’s hard to find decent roommates, and it’s very expensive.


Where can fans stay up to date on what you are working on? Where can they purchase your pieces?

I am on facebook and twitter, my facebook page is under The Art of Jan Lorraine Hoyle, on twitter I’m known as @ceramicat. You can purchase at my website and wherever I am exhibiting my art. I have several things pending, but I will definitely have my work at the ApolloCon Art show in Houston June 22-24th. Right now I haven’t decided whether to invest in the Pagan Pride Los Angeles Fair or the Summer Solstice Fair in Long Beach. And I’m always looking into different cons around the country, while I will be volunteering at Wizard World Anaheim in April, and Nuke the Fridge Con in City of Industry, I’m not sure my work would do well there. So if anyone has any ideas on cons or shows, please let me know so I can check it out.


Thanks Jan!

Make sure you visit her SITE and check out her available pieces for purchase!

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