Art Whore

Art Talk – Amy ‘Bean’ Hanks

Amy Bean - Logo - 001

Australian artist Amy Bean first came to the attention of Art Whore thanks to the ‘Any Thing Goes‘ group show from early 2015 and has been wowing our eyes ever since.

Amy gained her initial formal art experience working as a screen printer in her late teens, and today creates vibrant works with a tongue in cheek feminine attitude – weird eyes, pastel colours, gore and lots of swears.

(Picture below of some art by Amy)

Amy Bean - Art - 013

With a recent move from Sydney to Melbourne helping Amy blossom artistically – with a new job at ‘Too Far Gone Screen Printing‘ and a co-sign by ‘Black Lake Studio‘ – now is the perfect time to get to know Amy and her art, by reading the Art Talk below…

Basics/Getting to Know

Name + D.O.B?

Amy ‘Bean’ Hanks
29 July 1987

City, State n Country you currently call home?

Brunswick, Victoria, Australia

City, State n Country you’re from?

Enmore, Sydney, Australia

(Picture below of some art by Amy)

Amy Bean - Art - 003

Describe a memory from some stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Ms. Jean’s pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, boys, school, crime… ANYTHING ma’am.

* age 5 – beginnings:

I don’t really remember a lot from this age hey.. uhhh. Ummm… I don’t remember drawing a whole lot.. but my mum was super crafty and always made things like paper mache or costumes.. and I remember watching her draw things with pencil on paper..

* age 10 – continuations:

Pivotal moments for a 10y.o… Again, there weren’t really any. hahah.
There was a point when we didn’t have a car when I was real young.. both my parents rode motorcycles and my brother and I used to ride in the sidecar, and then on the back once we got a bit bigger. I loved it and was also terrified at times.
It was pretty fun, we would go on rides with huge crews of people on bikes and go camping. Good times.

(Picture below of Amy as a child)

Amy - As a child

* age 15 – getting serious:

Uhhhh serious? Not really.. I think this was the point when I lost interest in high school and wanted to quit and get a job doing something, anything.
I can’t really tell you why I wanted to bail on high school – the exact reason isn’t super clear anymore, but I think I just totally lost interest and didn’t see the point.
I left at the start of year 11 and then got a job as a screen printer. It was a fucking awesome job.
Now I realise how important screen printing has been in my life – it taught me so much. I’ve worked as a printer on and off since then. I kinda stopped drawing a lot through this period though – I’d just doodle now and then, but didn’t take it as seriously as I wish I had.

* age 20 – young adult:

Sooo in my early 20’s (I think about 21) I studied graphic design.
It taught me I didn’t really want to be a graphic designer – and definitely not for an ad agency or something. But it did spark my creative spirit again and I got way more into drawing again.

* age 25 – adult mode:

Hmmmm… Adult Mode sucks. I definitely fell into that trap of “real job. pay rent. eat food. repeat.” – although there were loads of good times too, I kinda lost focus of things I really wanted to do.
I’m now 28 and have spent this year really reflecting on things and paying more attention to what actually makes me happy. Moving to a new city and meeting a bunch of like minded awesome people has made that really easy, too.
I’ve been super lucky this year.

(A recent picture of Amy below)

Amy Bean - Portrait Pic - 001

Personal motto?

I don’t really have one.
But every so often I say to myself “Be more like Homer.” Homer pretty much has a good time all the time. He’s always living in the now.
I’m planning a little tattoo of Homer’s head so that I never forget.

(Pictures below of some art by Amy)

Amy Bean - Art - 007


Favorite band(s)?

Tough one.. Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sonic Youth, Faith No more..
They are all up in the top for sure.
But lately on high rotation has been Run The Jewels… Fuck they’re good.

Favorite TV show(s)?

The Simpsons (S1-9ish) & Seinfeld. Hands down.
They’re easily the best shows ever written and if you disagree you’re wrong.
The Simpsons always makes me feel like I’m home, no matter where I am.

Favorite sport(s) + teams?

I don’t really follow any sports..
But I did kinda get into the tennis a few years ago. Just big tournaments though.

(Pictures below of some art by Amy)




Favorite movie(s)?

The Royal Tenenbaums (pretty much anything Wes Anderson).
Goodfellas is up there, too.

Favorite books and comics?

Black Hole by Charles Burns. Hnnnggggg.

Art Questions

Favorite other artist(s)?

I’m super into black and white works.. Aubrey Beardsley and Alphonse Mucha are heroes.
And there’s loads of artists working in black and white now who I love to follow for their weirdness, like Tina Lugo. She rules.

Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?


Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?


Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?

Heavy! Hmmm some of it is definitely re-hashed shit that I’ve drawn before.
When I go through depressed times where I’m feeling generally awful, I sometimes find it hard to draw and come up with concepts (concepts are always tough for me)… so I probably re-hash faces and characters and ideas I’ve had before because it’s easy. Sometimes this helps get through an art block, because I just draw and don’t think about it too much.

(Picture below of Amy’s submission to Mike Watt‘s Tattoo Me project)

Amy Bean - Art - 006 - Mike Watt Tattoo Me Project

When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, paintings, anything)?

I always just remember drawing for fun… there was no other reason.
I definitely stopped drawing for a number of years though through my teens though. I went though this silly idea of like “I can’t make money from drawing derrrrr.”
I’ve learned now that researching other artists and hanging out with other artists helps motivate one to make more art – and you realise the money doesn’t really matter.

What did you draw as a pre-teen child?

Faces and people.. I think…. I also remember always doing loads of writing and font styles.
Remember doing title pages in your books in primary school? Everyone always asked me to write their title pages.. I guess I was good at letters. Wish I kept that up. Hahaha.

What did you draw as a teen?

Probably heaps moody dark shit like eyes and aliens and weird characters.
I don’t really remember hey, and sadly I threw out all those old sketch books/scraps of paper.
I also used to draw portraits of people I admired.

(Picture below of Amy working on some art)

Amy Bean - Portrait Pic - 002

Any pivotal artistic moment/influence?

Not really that I can recall.. I guess the biggest one was Alphonse Mucha.
He’s influenced so many people even now.
I feel like he’s the king of beautiful and simple line work.

Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?

I don’t think of it as a hustle.. and that’s a problem, because all the successful artists whom I admire definitely hustle hard.
I guess this year has been my real leap into it. Moving to Melbourne to study Illustration was a good move. Although the course hasn’t been the best part of it, meeting artists and moving into a studio down here with some crazy talented artists is pushing me to come out of my shell and make more work.

Describe the method of making an Amy Bean piece? (dot point all o.k.)

With drawing faces, I usually base them on people I’ve seen throughout the day.

* your sketches and illustrations?

Sketch with pencil.
Ink with brush and ink (or sometimes fine liners).
I kinda stick to black and white a lot lately.

(Pictures below of some art by Amy)



* your digital work?

Scan pencil sketches.
Take into Adobe Illustrator.
Digitally ink the entire piece.
Then colour.

(Pictures below showing the stages of one of Amy’s digital works)

Amy Bean - Sketch to Digital - 001

Amy Bean - Sketch to Digital - 002

* your stickers?

I’ve only ever done home made stickers.
I bought that sticker paper from Officeworks, printed them at home, and hand cut them.

* your prints?

Since I’ve had so many years screen printing, I used to screen them myself.
But lately I’ve used a great digital printer here in Melbourne. I’m hoping to build a relationship with a screen printer down here though and get back into that.
There are a lot of great screen printers here.

(Picture below of some prints by Amy)

Amy Bean - Prints - Cupco Art Wank - 001

What are the best and worst parts of living and being an artist in Melbourne, Australia?

Living in Melbourne has been amazing, I don’t have anything bad to say about it really.
I guess the worst part is I’ve been drinking a lot because there’s an art opening on every week – but that is also the best part.
There’s a real sense of community among the artists down here.
It’s nice.

(Portrait below of Melbourne artist Pigeonboy by Amy + also a photo of Amy + Pigeonboy cold chilling)

Amy - Pigeon Boy

Amy + Pigeonboy

What role has your friend and cousin Alex Plota played in your personal and artistic life?

So Alex is actually my nephew… but we say cousin because we’re so close in age. Hahah.
I like to think of him as my brother and best mate, though. Alex is a super fucking legend.
He used to write music and poetry a lot, and I was always drawing. We’d share our work with each other and always support each other, but I remember a time when Alex told me he wished he could draw. I just told him to go for it – everyone can draw.. you just have to practice and do whatever.
Since then he’s been killing it.
He always tells me how much I inspire him to make art.. but I don’t think he realises how much he inspires me too.
It makes me feel so good to see people enjoying making art just for the sake of making art.

Please explain the who, what and why of your involvement in the upcoming group zine ‘Collected Works’?

This was soooo fun!
So I know local legend Qwux, from Sydney times. He hit me up and asked if I wanted to be involved in curating the book, and I couldn’t say no to that.
Basically it was our job to go through all of the amazing entries and discuss which pieces we wanted to have in the book and why.
It was so tough – all of the entries were super varied and amazing. I also chased a couple of artists that I was really into and got them involved as well.
The other curators were Kamini Mountford from Sydney and Johnny Duncan (@jenkins2d) from Texas.

(Picture below of a digital mock up of Issue 1 of ‘Collected Works’)

Amy - Collected Works

Odds n Ends

What role did toys play in your childhood?

Hmm.. not much really.
I remember having a Polly Pocket and being fascinated by this tiny world.
I bet that shit wouldn’t fly these days. I’d be like, gimme that iPad.
I also really loved the old etch-a-sketch.

Who was your 1st crush and why?

John Connor in Terminator 2.
I mean come on, he’s a fucking badass.
He rides that dirt bike without a helmet and steals money from an ATM. I so wanted to be his girlfriend.

Which 1990’s era cartoon, would you most like to see in a tribute sex toy, and why? (Feel free to sketch a prototype as well.)

Hmm. I don’t know man. I feel like something from Ren and Stimpy could be great because it could be super gross, like one of those intense close-ups.
But the concept of this still kinda weirds me out.

Who would win in a fight and why: an outer suburbs lad in town for the weekend beering it up Vs. an inner-city-takes-no-shit art chick? (Once again, feel free to draw the battle in all it’s violent beauty!)

Uhhh.. I guess I have to say the art chick, right?

Does sex change everything?

Depends on the people involved though.

(Picture below of some art by Amy)

Amy Bean - Art - 010

Please describe your latest dream in detail…

Dude I honestly can’t remember the one I had this morning..
The last one I remember was kind of fucked though – this guy shot himself in the head, but didn’t die, so he did it again.. then he was dead.
But he was totally peaceful so maybe it was a happy dream.
I really think the dream I had this morning was just one of those lame dreams that could be real life, like, you go our and buy bread or something boring.

If you were going to offer a crash course in the female body, to classes of 12-13 year old boys, what would it involve?

* silence *

Have you ever tried psychedelics of any sort? And what was the experience like?

I have, yeah. Acid, but never mushrooms. I’d probably try them.
Acid was always good, I didn’t have it a lot but the first time was pretty intense visuals for a while.
The times after that were just always really funny and spent with people I love.
I don’t think I’d do it again, though. I’m a bit too anxious lately.

Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?

Definitely not a waste of time for me, but everyone’s different.
I’m glad I’ve tried things – but people should always do what they feel comfortable with and not be pressured.

(Picture below of some art by Amy)

Amy Bean - Art - 008

Please describe what you think the Australian Psyche/Zeitgeist is today?

Ugh I dunno man, that’s a heavy question.

The Future

Any collaborations on the horizon?

I’m collaborating a bit with Vilify Apparel right now.
We’re working on some rad ideas for a t-shirt print. Stay tuned.

Any major projects you want to hype ma’am?

Right now I’m working slowly on some pieces for a joint show I’m having with a friend here in Melbourne.
But it’s still in super early stages.
It’ll be creepy music and creepy art combined into one space.

(Picture below of a self portrait by Amy)

Amy - Self Portrait


Amy Bean - Logo - 002

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