This month, The Pony Club Gallery had the honor of interviewing Jon MacNair. Jon MacNair was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in the suburbs of Southeastern Michigan near Detroit. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005 with a BFA in Illustration. In addition to freelance illustration, he frequently exhibits his personal work in galleries around the U.S. Jon currently resides in the beautiful city of Portland where he continues to divide his time between freelance projects and exhibiting his personal work. Jon is part of the group show, “Preternatural”, that will be on display at the gallery throughout the month of August.

Your artwork has a very mysterious, magical dream-like quality to it. Is there a great deal of work behind the conceptual aspect of how these images are created, or do they come about with a significant degree of spontaneity?

Sometimes they are totally spontaneous, but more often than not I have to take some time to develop them. Usually the essence of the piece comes out in the thumbnail sketch and then all the details are developed on the final paper during the pencil stage. A lot of erasing takes place. Not having the entire piece planned out before I start the final drawing makes the process more interesting for me.

Is there a constant narrative that runs throughout your imagery?

I wouldn’t say there is a constant narrative, although one could easily think that due to the fact that certain characters I draw seem to reappear in a lot of my drawings. More than a constant narrative, I would say there are themes that one could say are constant or prevalent. Some of these themes would include things like man and beast, anxiety, journeys, isolation, night, communication, magic and rituals.

When did you decide to become a professional artist?

I originally went to art school with the intention of being a professional illustrator. While I still do some illustration here and there, gallery work and personal projects have definitely taken over my working life. It wasn’t a totally conscious decision transitioning into full time fine artist. I tried for many years to get enough illustration work to sustain myself, which, while not an impossible thing is a very difficult one. While I was sort of spinning my wheels trying to do that, I started to develop my personal work, first in sketchbooks and then into finished pieces. As it turned out, the world seemed a lot more interested in my personal work than commercial work and that just kind of took off around 2010. When I moved to Portland in the spring of 2012, It seemed almost certain that I would have to get a part-time job, but due to the artistic opportunities the city had to offer, it wasn’t necessary. My first year in Portland was my first year as a full-time working artist. It’s ironic that I’m doing this as a career now because it’s probably just as difficult to do as getting full-time illustration work, but somehow it has worked out so far.

Why do you prefer to work in strictly black and white?

I actually don’t think of it as “black and white” because to me that sounds exclusionary of the whole in-between spectrum of grays. I prefer the terms grayscale and/or monochromatic. The reason my work is grayscale is because india ink is my main medium. I love the way the inks dry and the luminous quality you can achieve using this medium. While my work is limited in terms of the colors, I have a multitude of tones I can utilize within that gray spectrum. That said, ink is definitely not a forgiving medium if you make a big mistake, so you have to be very careful about the process to prevent unintended drips and drops of ink on the paper. I’ve been doing it a pretty long time now so it’s not as stressful as it once was. I would say it’s fairly easy working in grayscale in that I don’t make decisions about color schemes or what hue will compliment another hue. However, because I don’t have colors to help define one element of the composition from another, I have to be particularly careful about having a variety of tones in the works (ranging from very dark to very light). In retrospect, I feel like the grayscale look has worked out pretty well for me. Many people have told me they feel it compliments my imagery, and although I would agree with that, it was never my reason for going that route. At the time, I was just experimenting with ink and did not foresee what was to come.

What are some influences and inspirations in and outside of the art world that have shaped your art?

Renaissance and Medieval art, Symbolism, prehistoric animals, Russian animation, Surrealism, old maps, Indian painting, ancient Greek and Roman art, German expressionism, Grimm’s fairy tales, Tarot, Russian folk-tales, Greek mythology, Edward Gorey, sea monsters, ghosts, botanical drawings, Gustaf Tenggren, sleep paralysis, anatomical engravings, picture books from childhood, Assyrian relief sculpture, Henry Fuseli, Wanda Gág, sketchbook collaborations, forests, magic, gothic architecture, the music of Igor Stravinsky, mythical creatures, ancient civilizations, childhood memories, alchemy, William Blake….

What current projects are you working on?

Working on a number of pieces for a group show at Pony Club Gallery and then it will be onto works for a solo show with Antler Gallery, both in Portland.

If you had to exist in the confines of imagery from one of your favorite classical painters, who would it be and why?

Hmmm…this is a hard question. I think maybe the world of Remedios Varo would be a fascinating one to exist in. Her work is pure magic, but with a very haunting quality. It seems like there would be so many places to explore and lots of surprises hidden within.

You can check out more of Jon MacNair’s work here-


This month, The Pony Club Gallery had the privilege of interviewing Johnny Acurso. Johnny is an artist and freelance illustrator who resides in Portland Oregon, where he spends his time making art and befriending stray cats. In July, he will be curating his first show at the gallery titled, “The Pony Club Sideshow”.

What attracted you to the field of illustration?

I’ve always enjoyed storytelling, and that’s really what illustration is: Visual storytelling. Whether it’s your own story or a client’s, illustration is about communicating ideas, and if I get to create an awesome piece of art at the same time…good stuff.

What facets of illustration do you prefer (editorial, advertising, conceptual, ect.)?

I’ve mostly done editorial in the past, but I’ve been toying with some children’s book ideas for a while. The field of illustrated storybooks has really opened up recently, especially with the advent of accessible self-publishing. With the “gate keepers” no longer solely in charge of the content being put out there, artists are creating some really amazing works. I would love to be a part of that movement.


Can you share your creative process, from initial concept to the finished product?

So, I wrote out my whole process and it was long and boring as hell, so I figured I’d just give two pieces of advice for people looking to paint in oils or gouache: Get good reference, and get a good drawing before you start. Even if you aren’t doing a realistic image, reference can help inform color and lighting, and as long as your drawing is solid, the painting will go ten times faster.

What are some influences and inspirations that have shaped your art?

I’ve always been drawn to heroic and character centered images; stuff like old propaganda posters and advertising illustration from the 50s and 60s. That sense of epic idealism always appealed to me. I’m also a rampant consumer of animation in all its forms.


What current projects are you working on?

Right now I’m getting ready for my first curated show ever, The Pony Club Sideshow (opening 7/2)! I’ve got over 20 artists doing their take on sideshow ads/banners and it’s going to be awesome! I’ve just got to finish up my own stuff before the opening…


What enticed you to become a member of the Pony Club gallery?

I’ve been going to the Pony Club on First Thursdays for years, and I’ve always loved the aesthetic of its members. When I got the offer to join, I knew it’d be a great fit.

Outside of the art field, what occupation would best suit you, Snake Milker or Professional Cuddler, and why?

Both terrify me, but at least I know the snake’s intentions, so I’ll go with that.


You can check out more of Johnny’s art at  and you can follow him on Instagram @JohnnyAcurso


This month, The Pony Club Gallery had the pleasure of interviewing local artist and current member Martin Ontiveros. Martin is a painter, illustrator and self-proclaimed werewolf. 

How long have you been a professional artist?

About 17 years, by my count. That I’ve been making (squeezing out) a living from it, anyway.

What media do you work in and what attracts you to working with these set of tools?

Brush and ink, primarily. I also paint or use paint in drawings, and like to dabble in papier mâché or cardboard structures/sculptures, but ink drawings are where it’s at for me. It’s not easy to put into words what attracts me to brush and ink. Maybe it’s the challenge of the line, but it’s also the state of mind it puts me in when I work–I mean once the foundation is set, I’m in there for hours and hours. It’s super high-focus. I’m ADD, and it sort of helps put all that noise in check for a while, like meditation, I suppose. Also, working in black and white means I have so much more detail and depth that I have to figure out how to cover using just the one color (black), so there’s a lot of textures and techniques to achieve this that I don’t really get to use when I paint with color–it’s actually something I’ve struggled with recently when I’ve made paintings–how much black line and texture should I use, how to balance this with the shading of the paintings and honestly, this is why I decided to set aside painting for this new show and stick to the medium I’m currently happiest with. I feel there’s a little bit of an evolution taking place with my inking and I would rather not stilt its growth for now.

Describe a typical day in the life of Martin Ontiveros?

My days are never typical, I can assure you. It’s a roller coaster of emotions and activity. The only typical thing is that I always end the day exhausted.

Is there a relationship in your creative process between your constructed objects, painting and illustration?

Kind of. No matter what the medium, I have to jot down a quick sketch as soon as I get the idea. And if I deem the idea too awesome to ignore, I’ll generally not do anything else until I get it done. Especially with sculpture–I’m not trained in any of it, so half the fun is just seeing if I can make it happen, if I can actually pull it off. So if there’s any common link between the process of all those mediums, I guess it’s that I can be obsessive.

Can you share your creative process, from the initial concept to the finished product?

I’ll try to keep this short: germ of an idea, quick sketch, proportions selection, loose pencil composition, hard pencil drawing, graphite transfer to bristol, ink applied, corrections made, signature. That’s for ink drawings. For paintings it’s the same except it would be watercolor paper instead of bristol and paint is applied first before the ink. This is the basic process, excluding the chaos I have to wrestle through just to sit down and get to work.

What/who are some influences and inspirations that have shaped your art?

I get a little weary of answering this question. Not because it’s dumb, but because I can never keep the list short. I guess we could narrow it down to Rock n’ Roll and other artists  I know now or grew up checking out. The influence is the energy those things/people give off. The inspiration is trying to become someone who can deliver that energy back.

Any projects that you’re currently working on?

Yeah, music related stuff–band shirts, album art. I don’t want to be specific because it’s more fun to announce stuff once it’s actually finished. Summer is almost here too, and that means it’s time to whip up a bunch of new material for myself.

Is there a different avenue of image-making you would like to branch out into?

I’d like to get more into 3D, sculptural stuff. Maybe some installation or immersive environments. Animation would be super, too–but it’s very time consuming so who knows if it will ever happen.

If you were to play a werewolf in an iconic werewolf horror film, what would it be and why?

I’m already a werewolf in real life.

You can check out more of Martin’s work at-

And you can follow him on Instagram @martinheadrocks


Amy Kuttab is a member of the Pony Club Gallery, a working painter, illustrator and animator living in Portland, OR. She is currently working on a graphic novel dealing with the myths of Ursa Major to be published by Teenage Dinosaur. 

What originally made you want to become an artist/ illustrator?

I think my love for this type of work started with the time my mother spent drawing with me as a very a young child. My parents were very encouraging of my creative endeavors. In middle school my class went to the Hirschhorn Museum and The National Gallery in DC, and I think that really solidified my urge to express ideas via artwork.

What media do you work in and what do you like about working with these set of tools?

I work with oil and gouache predominately but also digital media and video for animation. I like them each for different reasons, but I mostly use oil for pieces that are meant to last, and gouache for print media, as it dries much faster and is easy to document via scan or photograph.

What are your favorite brands/tools of the trade?

I’m pretty much a scavenger when it comes to materials, however I do love and mostly use Arches hot press paper.


Can you share your creative process, from initial concept to the finished product?

Wow. The concepts come from all over the place. I ruminate a bit on an idea, then do many concept development sketches, then on to the final piece.

What are some influences and inspirations that have shaped your art?

As a child I was fascinated by Bev Doolittle and Picasso. Both of them because of the hidden images I think. As an adult: Lucian Freud, Henry Darger, Yoko Ono, Duchamp, Brecht Vandenbrouke, Aidan Koch


What current projects are you working on?

I’m working on a long format comic about the universality of narrative.

How long have you been involved with Pony Club Gallery and what enticed you to becoming a member?

I have been there since 2008! I joined so that I could learn the ins and outs of running a gallery. I was excited to collaborate with other artists to create an awesome gallery and community space that encouraged beauty and creativity.

You create paintings, animation and sequential art. What motivates you to float through these three avenues of expression?

Different ways of interacting and expressing the experience of time


How would you define your social life, art-life balance in terms of ratio (50/50 70/30 etc) and do you consider it a healthy balance?

I think it’s mostly healthy, but sometimes I am more of a shut-in than others. I really value alone time, but also really value my friends and community. I’m trying to get out more lately and develop more positivity in my relationships.

Comic book or graphic novel, are they one and the same? If so, what term do you prefer?

I think they are the same. I think graphic novel sounds fancier, but it doesn’t matter to me.


All images art taken from Amy’s forthcoming graphic novel. Check out more of her work here-

Mark Rogers is a self-taught artist currently living in Portland, Oregon. Through his paintings he creates magical narratives by way of fantastic and surreal imagery. His solo show, “Power From Beyond” will be on display at the gallery throughout the month of March. Pony Club had the pleasure of interviewing Mark about his artistic endeavors.

How would you best describe you style of picture making?
I would describe my style as a weird mismatch of medieval Dutch,
fairytale illustration, and folk art.

What media do you work in and what attracts you to working with these set of tools?
I love oil painting, and it is my preferred media to work in!! I love it for many reasons. There is a smell associated with oil paints that I find comforting, it is a very old medium, and it seems to respond to what I am thinking and trying to achieve a lot more that other types of media. When you are working with oils it really feels like you are mixing potions and performing a magical ceremony.

What are your favorite brands/tools of the trade?
I paint on wood and I use Liquin Fine Detail for my painting medium.  I use pretty inexpensive brushes and paint, and my most important tool is my sketch book. My favorite paint is raw umber. When drawing I use 2H, HB, and 2B pencils as well as black and white charcoal.

Can you share your creative process, from the initial concept to the finished product?
Here is my process:
-I work out an idea in my sketch book, and create a thumbnail drawing.
-Then, I gather reference material and make a drawing that is roughly half the size of the painting that I will be working on.
-Next, I photograph the drawing, enlarge it in the computer, and made a large poster/print out that I can use to create a charcoal transfer to get my drawing onto the wood panel I will be painting on.
-I seal the drawing on the panel with spray fix, and I prime the panel with 3 coats of clear matte medium.
-Finally, I am ready to paint. I first create an under-painting with raw umber and titanium white, and then I follow that with a few color layers and glazing. Done!

What are some influences and inspirations that have shaped your art?
I have many influences. Some of my favorite artists are Albrecht Durer, Bosch, Van Eyck, James Gurney, Boris Vallejo, Mark Ryden, Arthur Rackham and Edward Gorey. There are tons of other artists whom I admire and am always learning from. I have countless art heroes. I take my inspiration from the paranormal, folklore, fantasy fiction, conspiracy theories, dreams, mysterious happenings, you name it! I always feel inspired.

The narrative seems to play a major role in your art making process. Is the narrative conceived well before the image is fleshed out or does it happen more spontaneously?
Yeah, narratives really do play a part in my art making process. Before I got serious about painting I wrote fiction. So I think that has had an impact with my art making. The narrative is conceived loosely while I am drawing in my sketchbook. I will usually know what I am going to draw before I begin, and while creating the thumbnail sketches, the story unfolds before my eyes. By the time I start painting, I already have almost every detail planned out.

Can you give us a little back story on the inspiration for
your show “Power From Beyond”?

Sure, I decided to paint about aliens because I feel that they are the modern folklore of this age. I have totally been interested and terrified of them since I was a little kid. I am big on UFOlogy and watch all the conspiracy theory documentaries. I totally love that stuff. I actually saw a UFO in 2009. Anyway, Power From Beyond was a series of paintings based on the loose idea of an alternative fictional history where the Puritans and Pilgrims were visited by the Gray race of aliens. …Both of these peoples being “aliens” from another land invading someone else’s world. I like the idea of pairing religious people with extraterrestrials. It’s a tiny bit humorous, a little creepy, and it indulges my need to explore Ancient Astronaut theory in a practical way.

I also want to say that this isn’t just a one off show about Aliens: it is just
the beginning…

If you were able to go on a date with Neytiri from Avatar or Leeloo From the Fifth Element, who would it be and why?
Most definitely Leeloo from the Fifth Element. She seems the most artsy of the two.

Check out more of Mark’s work at

Yuletide Cheer!- Thursday, December 4th from 6-9pm Pony Club Gallery will be hosting our annual Holiday Art Sale. There will be a great selection of affordable, local art of original works, prints and other items that you can purchase in time for your gift-giving events. Throughout the night there will also be a live 5ft by 13ft mural painting by Pony Club member Keith Carter which will be up all month long at the gallery.

So to kick off this event, I asked several Pony Club Members  questions pertaining to the holiday season … .

Keith Carter

Favorite Christmas movie?

Gremlins. One of my favorites since I was little kid.

Traveling for the holidays or staying at home?

Traveling. Nothing too intense though. My family lives in Tacoma, WA, which is only a 2 hour drive.

Most annoying thing that occurs this time of year?

That’s a tough one, there’s a lot to choose from. I work at a bar, and I tend to get pretty annoyed with drunk, obnoxious people wearing “ironic” cheesy holiday sweaters.

Martin Ontiveros

Favorite toy you’ve received for Christmas?

Maybe 1976, when I got Micronauts. I don’t mean a couple of
Micronauts, I mean ALL of the Micronauts. It was enough to keep me
busy until a year later, when Star Wars became a thing.     

Are you a proponent of regifting?

No, but it happens, to the shame of us all

Most annoying thing that occurs this time of year?

No one sings ‘Happy Birthday" to Jesus.

Amy Kuttab

If you could spend a holiday with any person (dead or alive) who would it be?

I would love to spend the holidays with so many people, I can’t pick one. I guess ideally there would be a room big enough for everyone I know and love, dead or living, to be together all at once.

Best holiday meal you’ve ever had?

There have been too many to choose the best, though childhood Arabic food Christmases with my aunts, uncles and cousin Amanda were especially nice. Anytime people cook together or potluck it’s going to be great.
Most annoying thing that occurs this time of year?
Not always getting to see my family and other loved ones that live elsewhere.
Jennifer Parks

What do you want most this year?

A new computer!

Wrapping paper, gift bags or newspaper?

Newspaper or brown craft paper.

Most annoying thing that occurs this time of year?

Christmas music.

Happy Holidays everyone! ~ The End


The month of October, Pony Club Gallery presents “Spirit Animal”, a group show celebrating the theme of Spirit Animals. One of the artists featured in this show is May Ann Licudine (she also goes by the nickname Mall). She is a visual artist, sculptor, painter and freelance illustrator living in La Union, Philippines. May Ann has been commissioned for a music album, paintings, murals and advertisements.


1. What attracted you to the field of illustration?

At first, I stopped enjoying doing semi-realistic oil paintings because there was a general lack of interest in them, which can be very disappointing for a struggling artist. So, a close friend – who is also a visual artist – suggested I would do some self-study on illustration. After that, I went to bookstores, and did some research on a lot of children illustration books. It was at that moment that I felt inspired by those utterly brilliant illustrators, and artwork. Since then, I have started creating my own style. At present, I feel blessed, and happy, to be an illustrator, and visual artist, and that it has attracted a new range of clients. 

2. What media do you work in and what do you like about working with these set of tools?

I normally use several mediums, from pencil and graphite to acrylic paints. However, I prefer to use pencil more than acrylic paints since it is easier and faster to make a drawing like this. Sometimes, I also make customized toys and sculptures which might require the use of different means. I rarely use watercolor though.


3. What are your favorite brands/tools of the trade?

For drawing, I use Blackwing, Staedtler, CretaColor and Mongol pencils. For painting, I use Golden and Liquitex acrylic paints. For custom toys, I use Magic Sculpt resin epoxy clay and other materials.

4. Can you share your creative process, from initial concept to the finished product? 

I would love to. When I am commissioned for a painting, I like to follow closely the clients’ requirements regarding the type of medium, concept/ theme and size they have in mind. Afterwards, I make a few rough sketches or thumbnails, and then show the drawings to the clients so they may tell me what they prefer for the final concept. I only start creating the artwork after that stage is completed. Usually, I finish it within a few days, depending on the complexity of the clients’ wishes. 

When I have exhibits with a particular theme or in fact any kind of themes for the paintings, I create personal artworks. However, there are times when I love to draw or paint my final artworks directly.



5. What are some influences and inspirations that have shaped your art?

I am inspired by several illustrators, like Hayao Miyazaki, Winsor McCay, Maurice Sendak, Helen Hyde, Mary Blair, Edward Gorey and Tatsuyuki Tanaka. But wonderful amazing people (family, relatives and friends) whom I love dearly, nature, music, nightmares, and of course God, are always my biggest sources of inspiration. 

6. What current projects are you working on?

At this moment, I am working on my custom toy, and small paintings for a client, after I finished creating 21 artworks for my upcoming solo and group exhibition.



7. your images provoke a whimsical, dreamlike atmosphere, is this intentional or a subconscious product of your imagination?

They meant whether the kind of playful and dreamlike atmosphere that I create in my paintings is something that I do on purpose, or without intention, if it just happens while I am painting. 

8. Do you have a spirit animal? If so, what is it and why?

Yes, I have, the fox spirit animal. According to, this symbol means that, “The solution to a problem is at hand. The Fox spirit is the grand problem solver. She will guide you to solitude and silence until the way out is shown. A healthy combination of persistence and patience will strike a balance that picks apart a problem until it is solved.” That is what has been happening to me for about many years, I have been dealing with some serious health issues, hearing problems, depression/anxiety, being bullied, and some other trials that sometimes we have to go through in life. My graphite drawings reflect these experiences that I have been through so far.


9. Are you superstitious, if so what are some of your superstitions?

No, I am not, actually. Even though my grandmothers, and aunties tell me about their superstitions, I find it hard to believe in these stories :)


You can check out more of May Ann Licudine’s art at

The month of September, Pony Club Gallery is displaying ‘Deep Black Sea", a series of new drawings by Jennifer Parks.

Jennifer Parks is an illustrator and cartoonist who believes in ghosts and magic. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon where she is co-owner of Pony Club Gallery. When she isn’t making a mess with charcoal or drawing tiny details in ink, she likes to take naps with her cats, go hiking, watch crime documentaries and horror flicks, and drink coffee. She especially loves sleeping (with the lights on) and has wildly vivid dreams about ghosts, giants, flying and often the end of the world.

What is the idea behind your new series of drawings for “Deep Black Sea”?
My idea was to create a large continuous charcoal landscape using smaller pieces. Kind of like a puzzle except I wanted the individual pieces to be able to stand on their own. The show is underwater themed, but that is only because I ran out of time. I wanted to have some above land illustrations as well.

Your body of work seems to blur the line between fine art and traditional illustration. What are your thoughts on illustration versus fine art?
I’m not really sure what the difference is. In my head I have an idea of what each are but its hard to put to words because the lines are definitely blurred. To try and simplify, I feel like illustration tells a story that happens in a made up world whereas fine art is more observational, abstract and conceptual.

What attracted you to the field of illustration?
Comics!! My art was always a little narrative but when I got into reading comics I realized that I could create my own world and tell a story within it, or draw a single image that would fit somewhere into that world. I love the idea of constantly building on a narrative through individual drawings.

What media do you work in and what do you like about working with these set of tools?
I work mainly in two mediums. Charcoal and pen and ink. I love pen and ink because I feel like I can just draw tiny little lines all day without really thinking about what image they are making. I love charcoal because it really does a perfect job of illustrating the dark, dreamy images I have in my head.

What are your favorite brands/tools of the trade?
icron pens and generals charcoal pencils.

Can you share your creative process, from initial concept to the finished product?
A lot of the process happens in my head. I do a lot of thinking until I settle on an idea. Then I like to do some online research to see whats been done before and get some reference photos if I need to. I’ll start with a light pencil sketch to make sure I like the composition. Each medium has a different process. Charcoal is more involved and It goes something like this: outline, smudge/shade, erase, spray fix, fill in the blacks, spray fix, use vine charcoal to achieve the different levels of gray, erasing and outlining to help define the shapes, add details and whites if necessary and spray fix one last time.

What are some influences and inspirations that have shaped your art?
Old nature illustration plates, Ernst Haeckel , Aubrey Beardsley, Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, ghosts, old photographs, dreams, nightmares, magic.

What projects are you currently working on?
Im working on an illustration for Antler Gallery’s “Unnatural History” Show, a birdhouse for the WeMake “Put a Bird in it” Art Auction, and a screen print for the ArtCrank bicycle poster show. All happening in October… haha. I gotta get to work.

How long have you been involved with Pony Club Gallery and what enticed you to becoming a member?
Ive been doing it for about 8 years now, I think. Me and Zack Soto got asked to do a collaboration piece for a wilderness show. The night of the opening was my first time stepping foot into the door. We met David Youngblood, one of the owners and founder, and got to talking. He asked us if we wanted to be a part of the collective. It was such a cool little gallery. I had never seen anything like and It felt special that he was even asking, so I said yes, with no hesitation.

You predominantly work in black and white (at times with sparse use of color), what attracts you to centering your artwork in back and white?                                                                                                          I do like color a lot and I have fun when I’m using it but there is just something about the simplicity of black and white that I’m drawn to. It reminds me of old photographs and things of the past.

There’s use of repetitive characters and a character that strikingly resembles you within your work. How intentional is this narrative that you’ve created in your art?                                                             Its part intentional and part accidental. I started drawing this character in my first ever comic that was somewhat autobiographical. I didn’t think of her as me until everyone started pointing it out.

You’re lost out at sea and you could only have one sea creature to keep you company, what would it be?                                          
hmmm… a merman!

Who would win in a fight: Creature from the Black Lagoon or the Fiji Mermaid?                                                                                         Creature from the Black Lagoon.

You can view more of Jennifer’s work at-      

Every month Pony Club will be showcasing artists that are affiliated with the gallery. To begin, we interviewed Portland artist Maryanna Hoggatt.

Maryanna is a painter, cartoonist, illustrator and sculptor.
She was born in the Philippines, raised in Arizona and now lives in Portland Oregon. Wife to graphic designer Jake Hollomon and mother to feline son Theodore. In 2013 Maryanna became a full-time freelance illustrator. She is the creator of the autobiographical comic Adult babysitting which depicts her life in the industry of bartending. Her current focus is on her Animal Battle creations and she is currently preparing for an upcoming show at Hellion Gallery in August 2014. Maryanna has worked with clients including Willamette Week, Nike, Microsoft and Amazon and has also exhibited her work in many places around Portland.

How long have you been a professional illustrator?

I’ve been taking money for my drawings since I was a kid, but let’s say since about 2008.  I’ve been full-time freelance for the last year.

What media do you work in and what attracts you to working with these tools?

I’ve become familiar with many mediums - oils, acrylics, charcoal, digital illustration, watercolors - and each have had a phase.  The medium of the moment is clay.  I never know how long a phase will last or when I will return to it.

What are your favorite brands/tools of the trade?

I can’t say I’m loyal to any one brand.  If I can afford the good stuff, I’ll take it, but I’ve learned to make do with what I’ve got.  Some paints have been in my possession for over a decade.  There are a few staples in my toolbox: a mechanical pencil, a kneaded eraser, a white “Gelly Roll” ink pen by Sakura, Microns, and lots of paint brushes, naturally.  The Kuretake brush pen was a big splurge but worth it, I use it all the time for my lettering.

Can you share your creative process, from the initial concept to the finished product?

I don’t do a lot of prep work.  Usually, an image fully forms in my head, I make a quick drawing in my sketchbook, and then I’ll redraw the image for the final piece onto watercolor paper or Bristol.  Sometimes, if the drawing in the book is really tight, I’ll scan it, print it out, and use my light table to transfer the image.  Personal work is almost always traditional medium.  Client work usually involves digital.

I have had the pleasure of perusing through some of your sketchbooks, they contain wonderful imagery. How much time is spent in your sketchbook working on an image for a final piece?

Just 2 - 15 minutes.  Too much more and some of the magic begins to fade and I’m ready to get started on the final work.

What are some influences and inspirations that have shaped your artwork?

Sure, I have favorite artists and films and I probably know too little about a lot, but I tend to think of life experiences as having a bigger impact on anyone’s work than their artistic influences.  Like, that brief period when I got really good at playing billiards, moving a lot as a kid and then growing stagnant in the desert, that one time when I was a raver and wore too-big pants, not seeing a single firefly since 1993, slogging too many years behind a bar.  I’m always learning: go bigger, and pursue the thing you’re meant to do.

Any current projects that you are working on?
Making sculptures from my Animal Battle series, probably my most favorite project yet.  I have a show coming up this August at Hellion Gallery.

What has inspired you to create your creatures in three dimensional form?

From the beginning of this series, I always thought about seeing these characters move.  I love stop-motion animation and dream of working for feature films, so a lot of my initial research was regarding armatures and puppets, but first I stumbled upon the maquette stage.  I fell head-first into Sculpey figures, and I’m running with it.  Bringing these animals to life in three dimensions has been immensely fun.

There is a common subject matter within your work, so what compels you to produce these creatures?

It’s really simple: the pursuit of dreams.

What do you feel is the main factor that makes a piece of art an illustration?

That’s a good question.  I think I blur that line often.  In terms of client work, I think illustration is used to convey a narrative or sell idea, and is usually used in print or reproduction - children’s books, editorials, comics.  Most of the illustrative work I do is for other people.  Art is the exploration of a concept that can cross many mediums and is a form of self-expression free from any boundaries.  I have no client to answer to but myself.

What’s your spirit animal?

A wolf.A little one.

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?

Are we talking food or ideas? Either way, I consider myself more of a cook.

You can view more of Maryanna’s work here: