An interview with Doha based Artist – Pip Hoy

Funky was very happy to interview another talented Doha Artist! Find out more about Pip’s colourful, striking artwork below!

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1. Some of your artwork uses similar patterns and shapes to those found in nature. How much do you feel that the environment influences your work?

I believe my surrounding environment heavily influences my work. In particular, the narrow colour palette of the Qatari landscape drives me to maximize the use of colour in my paintings. My exposure to the strong cultural and religious norms of my adopted home has enriched my collage work.

2. Are you open to undertaking commission pieces (completing artwork to a specific requirement)

Yes. I have completed many commissioned pieces and thoroughly enjoy working with my clients. My clients always offer a fresh perspective and I enjoy drawing on their ideas to form a collaborative experience. Having said that, this year I have had to reduce my commission work so that I can focus on preparing for my first solo exhibition in October.

3. Is there anywhere in Doha would you like to see your work? Hotels restaurants, offices, homes perhaps…

My focus tends to be more on my art and on the people with whom I’m working. Experience tells me that when I work with people with whom I have a positive connection, it then follows that my work finds a physical space in which it “belongs”.

4. What stimulates your creativity?

Inspiration can be found in an infinite variety of ways. For me, it generally comes from within. I find I am most happy when I am expressing myself creatively, when left alone to explore, when tapping into my inner self. It’s a meditative experience for me. However, it’s important to maintain balance. It’s important for me to get out of the studio and spend time with my family and friends. I find balance in time spent with people whose company I enjoy. I need to exercise regularly. And I find balance in the small things…. a nice meal, a good sleep, a sunny day, a hearty laugh, a fabulous book.

5. Is there anything that inhibits your creativity?

There’s not much that stops me from wanting to do my work. I’m happy when I’m working. However, there’s always something that could slow me down and my list is probably the same as most people who are focused on their goals….. lack of sleep, illness, negative emotions, draining people, etc. These things can divert my energies so I try to minimize my exposure to them.

6. The colour combinations that you use in your artwork are often really striking! Are they affected by your mood?

Most artists have “signature style”. It’s in the creative DNA of that person. It happens to be that my creative DNA errs towards striking colour combinations. My mood may determine which colour combination I choose for a particular piece, however, in the end, it still always looks like my work. By way of example, I may wear a blue jumpsuit today and a pink dress tomorrow. I may look slightly different but, today or tomorrow, I still look like me.

7. Do you have any favourite artists or artists from whom you draw inspiration?

My favourite big name artists are Abie Loy Kemarre (Australia), Beatriz Milhazes (Brazil) and Yayoi Kusama (Japan). Closer to Qatar, Catherine Delmas Lett (France). I’m a huge fan of Mariana Heilmann (Columbia) and Ebtisam Al Saffar (Qatar).

8. I find it very interesting that you discovered your artistic skills almost by accident when you wanted to fill your own walls with artwork, how has this creative realisation affected your life?

The creative realisation has affected my life quite dramatically. I had a fabulous creative outlet at school when I studied Textiles & Design (for which I won the top honours upon graduating from school.) However, for various reasons, I ignored my heart, pursued a corporate career. Whilst happy enough, I never felt fully satisfied. When I left my corporate life to start a family, this was the perfect opportunity for me to reconnect with my creative self. Through a long process of exploring many different options, I finally discovered painting…. and then I was hooked!

9. You are hosting your first solo exhibition in October 2014. What can people expect to see there?

This exhibition is a fabulous opportunity for me and I am grateful to the Grand Hyatt Doha for their support. At the exhibition, I hope to demonstrate the best of my current work, in particular my work with dots and dashes. I will also be introducing a new style of work that uses circles. This work has proven to be an extraordinary vehicle for me to communicate colour in a unique and striking manner. My work with collage is less about the visual experience of colour and more about ideas. In the collage work I will explore the themes of life in Doha in a fun yet stylishly contemporary way.

10. What advice can you give to other artists in Qatar looking to sell their work?

Creating art is one thing. Selling art is another.

The ability to sell art is more about business skills than creative talent.

If an artist wants to sell their work, they need to consider their target market and produce a style of work for a price that the target market will accept. In refining that equation, the artist must then promote themselves to that target market. Don’t take negative feedback personally but never-the-less, listen to what your market is trying to tell you.

Finally, it’s important to believe in yourself and believe in your product.

11. What advice can you give to people who are interested in tapping into their creativity but are not sure where to start?

Try everything! Talk to people. Ask questions. Be inquisitive. Qatar is now offering more and more opportunities for those wanting to explore their creativity via classes, craft groups, exhibitions, competitions, community activities, etc. It’s a really exciting time for the arts in this country. Just start one thing, keep an open mind and the doors will begin to open. Keep trying different things until you come across “the thing” that works best for you.

12. Are you interested in collaborative opportunities with other experienced creatives in Qatar? 

Yes, I would be interested in collaborating with other experienced creatives in Qatar and have already had a small number of positive experiences in this regard. When there is a genuine compatibility of personalities as well as a desire to see each other learn and grow from the collaboration, then wonderful things can happen. I am drawn to the idea of working with creatives who work in different mediums from myself ie music, photography, textiles, illustration, film making, sculpture, writing, design, fashion, print and so on. The options are wide open!

13. Describe your art in 3 words…

Unique, eye-catching, timeless.

14. Where can people see your work and how can people get in touch with you?

My first solo exhibition will be opening on Wednesday15 October at the Grand Hyatt Doha. This will offer a unique opportunity for art-lovers to view my work. In the meantime, my work can also be seen at my website and my contact details can be found there. I am also active on social media and would encourage people to follow my progress on facebook or twitter.

Find out more!

Visit Philippas website:
Visit and Like! –  Pip’s Facebook page
Follow Pip on Twitter: @PipsContempArt