Beth Hoeckel

Beth Hoeckel creates wonderfully artistic collages, and her pieces combine a healthy dose of fantasy with a touch of nostalgia. One of her artworks, ‘Horticulture’ was featured in a previous edition of Dutch Flow. Here’s a short interview with the Baltimore-based artist.

Beth Hoeckel is an artist working primarily in collage and mixed media. She studied painting, photography and printmaking at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Beth started dabbling in collage as a teenager, but it became her main medium in 2010. For the past few years, she’s been doing freelance illustration and design work for a wide variety of clients.

What are you doing at the moment?
“Right now, I’m working on a series of large mixed-media prints that employ different paint and ink techniques, abstract shapes and collage elements. I’ve been drawn to a more open and airy feel in my current work. I’m also doing an assignment for House & Garden UK, but I’m making sure I try to schedule in more time for my own stuff.”

When do you feel that a collage or illustration is finished?
“I always base the completion of a piece on pure feeling. I instinctively know when it’s done. Sometimes I have to step away and revisit it after a few days, however, just to see if I want to edit anything.”

What would you like to achieve with your work?
“I feel there is often a dual nature in my work and I would like to achieve harmony between these elements. For example, I might use nostalgic, childlike images with something harsh, morose or subtly sexy. I also want to create work that feels both carefree and deliberate at the same time.”

What are your plans for the near future?
“I’ll be traveling to Chicago and Los Angeles in the coming months. I’m currently in a sort of ‘searching’ phase of my life; I’ve travelled quite a bit and am experiencing life in the moment and enjoying the fruits of my labor. I don’t know where this will take me, but I love keeping my options open.”

How important is your work to you?
“Very important. It’s my bread and butter. My schedule depends on the illustration assignments I have and the corresponding deadlines. I go through phases where I am overwhelmingly busy, but they alternate with much quieter times.”

  • You can see Beth’s work and find out more about her, on her website or follow her on Instagram.

Photography and illustrations: Beth Hoeckel