Recently, I’ve started saving people in my phone with emojis instead of names; now my list of contacts looks like a digital jumble sale, full of vegetables, coffee mugs and national flags. It is not surprising that my friend, the photographer Connie Hoole, is saved as nothing but candy icons: a lollypop, a swirly mint, and a chocolate bar.
Hoole, or, as her four and a half thousand Instagram followers know her, @missconniehoole, specializes in photographing hyper-hued confectionary. Her photos come off like a psychedelic case of the munchies, all bright colours and hypnotic patterns, and will be on display this month at Brainstation in Yaletown.
When we meet up for coffee to discuss her upcoming show, Hoole is a perfect embodiment of her brand; she’s wearing several shades of neon, polka dot jeans and a bright pink mesh backpack, best of all, she’s fresh from a shift at Sugarfina, the haute candy store on the main floor of Nordstrom’s. Connie’s always been my comrade when it comes to the ups and downs of a creative career, so we slip naturally into a discussion of her (increasingly successful) brand.
After earning a degree in communication design in 2014, Hoole found herself gravitating towards photo based projects. “I did some art direction courses at Emily Carr and I knew that was my niche, but I didn’t know how to break into it,” she says. Instagram was the perfect test kitchen for Hoole’s candy themed photo projects. Less than a year ago she posted an image of colour-blocked marshmallows, the first taste of what would become an (aptly named) feed devoted entirely to stylized treats. “I decided to just make a go of it and see what I could do on my own and use Instagram as the platform,” she remembers.
Very quickly, her work started to garner notice online, and Hoole began parlaying her signature look into other projects. Recently, she produced exclusive digital wallpapers for Studio DIY, and this past December she crafted a digital advent calendar for her followers, with a new festive photograph every day until Christmas. Hoole’s following keeps growing online, but seeing her work framed and hung on a gallery wall is a sweet next step. “It’s been really exciting to see those vivid colours in print,” she says.
I love the idea of an Instagram account come to life, given how the platform seems to exist to make life seem artful. Hoole’s show will be just that, and I can’t wait to scroll, oops, stroll through the gallery IRL.
On Friday, June 24th, Connie’s photographs will be featured at Brainstation’s monthly Block Party in Yaletown. The eye candy starts at 6:30, entry is $20 and includes drink tickets. Expect sweet treats, both two and three-dimensional.
To find out more, or reserve tickets, click here.