Maxine Hoover

by Nisha Btesh July 15, 2020

Maxine Hoover

Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most?

While I mainly grew up in Southern New Jersey, my family and I moved around a bit and we spent 5 years living in Portland Oregon. Growing up and experiencing the contrast of the East and West coast became a big influence on me as an artist. In Portland, everyone seemed to be a creative in their own right, and the arts were strongly encouraged. I went to an arts-based middle school where students would paint their own lockers and take dance class instead of PE. Many of my classmates were into punk fashion and sewed patches onto their clothing, which inspired me early on to experiment with my own creative style.

My family eventually moved back to the East coast when I was a high school student. I tried out my experimental style in my new town and had a lot of fun expressing myself through art and clothing. Those years of travel, encouragement and experimentation really shaped me as the artist I am today.

Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.

It was a series of moments, but the first one I remember was at about 5 years old. I had always loved drawing, and one day walked in on my mom painting a wall mural of cartoon characters in our house. I couldn’t believe that someone I knew could create something so big, and so exciting. It was in that moment that I decided that I want to create for the rest of my life.

Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with said medium or did it choose you?

A little bit of both. I was exposed to many creative outlets growing up, and among those outlets I always naturally gravitated towards combining artwork and clothing.

A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have a formal education or are you self taught?

While I’ve always had a natural interest and skill, I took art classes through out my life and went on to study Fashion Design at FIT. I love the school for the networking aspect as well as the tough curriculum that pushed my limits as a creative. It was also a great way for me to get acquainted to NYC as a young artist (I’ve been living and working there ever since!).

While I value my education and how it has helped me get ahead in many ways, I don’t believe that every artist needs a formal education to be successful. I am constantly learning every day through my own art practice, and there are plenty of successful artists out there who are self taught too!

What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about said message?

I suppose I want to inspire mystery as well as possibility. My personal aesthetic leans towards a celestial vibe with mysterious moons, stars and mandalas.

I also have an apparel service where I work with clients who lend me their blank clothing and I collaborate with them on a custom design to embellish onto it. I love working with private clients especially since most have been sentimental gifts, or for big events like weddings. It’s my chance to play a role in making an event even more special- and that’s priceless to me!

What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a female artist?

Pricing work at the very beginning was a challenge. When your work is out there for everyone to see, it can attract clients with varying budgets which can be confusing for a new business.

After working with many clients, I now have a clearer sense of how much a client is willing to pay on average and how long it takes to produce the work.

How do you stay motivated? What does your daily routine look like?

I stay motivated purely by the love of what I do and the desire to make the world more beautiful! Sometimes when I feel uninspired I take a break to exercise, go for a walk or meditate. Creative block is a very real thing, and taking time out to do these activities have really helped especially when I’m feeling stagnant.

Big or small, what’s the single best money making tip or piece of advice you can share with up and coming artists?

Start where you are, even if its a small space and work with materials you can afford. You don’t need loads of fancy equipment to get started, just creativity. I believe I was able to save a lot of money by creating in my apartment at first, rather than looking for a secondary space. I would paint on my bed instead of at at easel, and move things around to create a clean backdrop for photos. Sometimes being strapped for money or for space, forces you to get even more creative.

What tools, apps, websites, blogs, books, or podcasts help you the most when it comes to financials?

I will teach you to be rich by Ramit Sethi is a really great book to read for personal finance!

What do you know for sure?

That the creative process is never ending, so its important to have a balanced relationship with it as well as with yourself. Artists typically spend a lot of time alone creating, so its important that your own head space is a nice place to be too!

Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. It could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.

Through out my travels I have always been inspired by big open spaces. The ocean, a large field or a clear sky for example. I’m often inspired by the moon and outer space in general as it shows in my work. Maybe it’s because I’m a city dweller and crave open space, or maybe I’m just enamored by vastness and mystery in nature.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

To stay true to your self no matter what it takes. Embrace yourself at every stage, as you are.

Finish this sentence. I never leave home without my...

Notebook & pen. You never know when inspiration will strike!

Finish this sentence. I find myself most inspired to create when I am...

returning home after visiting a new place, or just waking up in the morning after a long, vivid dream.



Nisha Btesh
Nisha Btesh

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