Anyone well versed in Twilight Zone canon remembers Talky Tina, the creepy doll who made Telly Savalas sorry he ever stuffed her in a trash can. But for Tanya Hoggard, creepy dolls are more intriguing than scary, more inspiring than sinister. The Norfolk-born photographer and flight attendant combines her multiple interests with Pretty Creepy Doll, a line of goods printed with her photographs of dolls and scenes of the Queen City.
Pretty Creepy Doll is a pretty interesting concept! How did you get started with doll photography?
I’ve been photographing dolls for years, ever since I started shooting in 1994. I think they have their own stories to tell. In the beginning I sold portraits of dolls as decorative art for walls. As photography evolved, I had to reinvent myself, so I started putting them on luggage tags. People either love them or find them “creepy,” so I started to combine a doll with a place and print [the photos] on bags. That way they got a combo of my work.
You’ve created styles printed with everything from Paul Brown Stadium to the Roebling Bridge. How did the bags and dresses come about?
These days you can print on pretty much anything! So I’ve been printing on mugs, tags, bags, and now clothes. The process is all digital and images are heat transferred instead of chemically done in a dark room.
Do you have any favorites from the current line?
My favorites are always the dolls because they inspire conversation. However, the city scenes make me happy because I think our city is so interesting.
Our city IS interesting! What do you like most about Cincinnati?
Our vibe is so cool. Cincinnati has a lot to offer: good food, history, sports, museums, nightlife. We have a bit of everything! We have been rejuvenated and it feels great. At the end of a three-day trip I always look forward to our Cincinnati passengers because they’re chill and that’s what I need after a super long day.
I first came across your work at Morrison & Me in Hyde Park; where can people find Pretty Creepy Doll?
I’ve really enjoyed working with Amy Morrison at Morrison & Me; we work very well together. We both want to promote Cincinnati and how cool it is. But we also want people to feel like they have something unique when they go out. Every dress is a little bit different and she’s the only one who will be carrying them.