Maaike Canne Hutspot

The striking, yet playful illustrations by Maaike Canne


Interviews

The playful illustrations by Maaike Canne can be described as slightly weird (in a good way!) and often striking. Her work seems to represent a moment after a moment, resulting in a certain tension because the character is not in the frame. The Breda based artist is currently on display at Hutspot Rotterdam with a series inspired by surprising and/or mysterious advertisement cards written by customers at her local Albert Heijn. We asked Maaike about her inspiration and how she translated her findings into a refreshing series of posters and cards.

Hi Maaike. What is keeping you busy at the moment?
Art is a big part of my life and I am doing something around illustration everyday. However, I also love to look for strange and interesting objects in thrift stores and flea markets. Furthermore, I love to get lost in Google Maps for inspiration. I can easily spend an hour taking print-screens of Japanese houses, mysterious alleys or weird situations. 

Where did your creative journey start?
My father is a graphic designer and my grandmother a painter. I was always surrounded with art when I was younger. As a child, I took my pencils in my little red suitcase with me and painted together with my grandmother in her studio.

I already knew from an early age that I wanted to do something with art, but did not yet know how it would take form. After my Media & Design studies, I was still missing a challenge. This is why I moved to Breda to study Illustration at the AKV St. Joost.

Can you tell us a bit about the Albert Heijn advertisement project and how it started?
It all started 2 years ago in my former student home. We started to collect surprising and/or mysterious Albert Heijn advertisement cards and hung them on the wall in our toilet. Each card had its own story and message. Some were mysterious, full of spelling mistakes or written in self made words. I loved it, but also felt guilty for taking away those cards from the Albert Heijn. I decided to select the best and give the people who wrote the cards something in return by translating them into illustrations.

Maaike Canne Hutspot

What were some of the most memorable notes you saw?
Some memorable cards were: ‘Who wants to search online for an address of someone who can make an animal suit for me for carnival?’ or ‘Leeraarcess Russchisch’. That last one only had misspelled words and showed no other information on the card. Later on, I heard from a former teacher that ‘Leeraarcess Russchisch’ had a double meaning and also indicates a request for SM/bondage sex haha!

How did you translate your findings into the final illustrations?
Per card, I imagined the living environment of the writer. What are they like? What does their interior look like? I purposely chose to not represent any character or person; I leave this to the imagination. For example, the Russian teacher illustration I imagined in a basement where she would lock her students in a cage. She would hit them whit a whip when they would do something wrong and even has a tiger to ensure that no one will ever escape.

What is your favorite from the series?
If I have to choose, I will go for the illustration with the red lining and the two tiger heads on a shelf. The inspiration was taken from a card that said: ‘Who wants to search online for an address of someone who can make an animal suit for me for carnival?’. I imagined a lonely old lady who wants to join the carnival, but does not have many people around her that can help her find and animal suit. I do not think that the lady succeeded in finding someone who could help her, because I removed her card from the wall (I still feel guilty!). This is why, in the illustration, she made her own party with confetti and ticker tape.

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