Creative Conversations: Emily Hoy x Teva
You may have seen Emily Hoy’s excellent collage skills in RANGE Magazine Issue Four accompanying the article “Going It Alone: Finding Solace in Solitary Hiking.” Not surprisingly, we aren’t the only folks who admire her work, which also consists of jewelry, graphics and textiles. Emily has created designs for Volcom and Manhattan Beachwear, and most recently, she was recruited by Teva to be a part of their Spring ’16 Artist Series, which the brand describes as their chance to honor the creative minds bringing their products to life through design. We recently chatted with Emily to find out more about her experience working with Teva, the design she created for their sandal webbing, and where she finds inspiration.
Q. How did you become a part of the Teva collaboration? How was your experience working with them?
A. I’ve been friends with Steve Hoskins, the Art Director of Teva, and he knows my work, so he reached out to me thinking it would be a good fit for their Artist Series. I jumped at the opportunity since it was right up my alley, so that’s how it all came together. It’s been super fun working on the project.
Q. What were Teva’s guidelines for what they wanted, and how were you able to work within those while still having some creative freedom in the process?
A. They were actually very open. They showed me the designs past artists had done, but said there were no rules at all. Do what you want. Total freedom. They gave us a template with tiny circles that create the webbing, so you have to fill in each of those circles with color to make your pattern. It’s kind of like math applied to art, and it was tricky because you had to fit your design in those circles and work with the webbing repeat. It needed to repeat every 4.5 inches, so we had to fit our design within that and then still make it repeat to complete the sandal webbing. It was definitely like playing Tetris with color, no doubt. It was challenging. I think I gave them maybe four or five different options, and they chose their favorite one. It was one of my top two favorites that I had designed.
Q. You do jewelry and graphic design in addition to collage and textiles. Out of all of those different art forms, which is your favorite?
A. It kind of changes based on the mood I’m in, but right now, I’m really into jewelry. I do love collage, but I’ve done so much of it, and now I’ve discovered the bead loom. That’s taken over my hobbies for the moment. The bead loom is very reflective of my Teva designs. It kind of inspired me actually. I usually do my designs in Illustrator, and with the bead loom, I create more modern designs.
Q. Your work is really inspired by Native American designs. How did that come about?
A. I was born and raised in Ohio by my parents who were hippies, and my dad had gone to a lot of Indian reservations and sat with Native Americans. He kind of raised us with the Native American spirituality, and when I was born, I was raised on a farm for 4-H camp, so it was kind of an educational farm. My dad always put on skits for the campers and would tell us stories about the Native Americans like how they sewed their clothes and used every part of the animal. It was such a cool childhood, and that always resonated with me my whole life. It’s kind of my religion actually, believing in respecting the land that we walk on and giving thanks for everything that comes from the Earth and not take it for granted.
I just moved from California to Bend, Oregon and I feel like I’ve gotten back to my roots, just being surrounded by Mother Nature, my favorite all-time artist. No doubt about it. She inspires me everyday, even just color and painting a new picture in the sky to look at everyday. It’s roots for me.
Q. Have you noticed any changes in your work that might be attributed to your new surroundings?
Most definitely. My collages are more mountaincentric. Less city, more nature-oriented. I started the bead looming and getting back to the Native American vibe more. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my art since I moved up here.
Q. What prompted your relocation?
I just wanted to change my life. I lived in Southern California for 11 years and had a great experience. I was the Art Director for Volcom pretty much the whole time I was down there, but I was craving new insight and a new experience. As an artist, I like to shake it up a little bit and wanted to open my eyes to new inspiration. I wanted to slow down a little bit. I was really fast down there and I wasn’t really enjoying my corporate job, so I wanted to have more time and freelance, and the opportunity to explore my jewelry-making.
Q. How do the outdoors and nature inspire your work?
A. Just the colors alone. I swear, the sky out here and the sunsets are just glowing. I’ll go to Rite Aid to run errands, I walk out, and I see the Cascade Mountains right in front of me. I’m doing the simplest thing, and then I get to see these beautiful snowy mountains, the Three Sisters Mountains, Mount Bachelor and Broken Top, and it’s just absolutely gorgeous. I look out my window right now and you can see the piercing blue sky through the tree branches. It is just beautiful. I’ve never had a yard and now I do, so it gives me more room to breathe and think differently about my art. I recently did a bunch of white fringe jewelry after I was inspired by the snowfall. I did earrings and keychains, all inspired by this huge snowfall when we had 14 inches in one night. It was pretty cool. I’ve been kayaking and you can drive 20 minutes away to go camping for one night. It’s absolutely amazing.
Q. You did a great collage for Issue Four of RANGE Magazine. How do you typically create your collages? Are you physically cutting things out and pasting them together, or is it more computer-based?
A. About 90% of the time, it’s analog collage. I cut out, paste and glue. Sometimes I take those cutouts, scan them in the computer, and then arrange them digitally. The one I did for RANGE is half analog, half digital. I cut out all the pieces, but then I scanned them because I wanted some symmetry so it looked kind of like a kaleidoscope. I used the computer as another tool to create the finished artwork.
Q. What do you like about that tactile work rather than being on the computer?
A. The computer is definitely easier and it’s more controlled. With the analog method, I like having not as much control and the pieces just kind of fall where they may rather than me forcing it. It’s kind of like the universe saying, “Hey, this piece should go here and this looks better here.” There’s something unpredictable about just cutting it out and hoping the shapes all fit together. It’s more of a challenge actually and I like the challenge that it brings.
Images courtesy of Teva.