Meet the Artist: Amanda Hope Cook

The Book Loft Columbus
Interpreting the subtleties of neon.

By Kelli Comer

When you wish upon a star, you might look toward the sky and find yourself dreaming in neon—and painting for Disney. Painter Amanda Cook found her inspiration in the form of vibrant neon signage in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. All it takes is a walk down Broadway on the famous “Honky Tonk Highway” to see where her influence comes from.

“My father, artist Marion B. Cook, began his art career as a sign painter in Nashville, Tennessee, during the 1950s. Thirty years later, my dad would point out the signs to me that he had worked on,” Amanda reminisces. 

“I naturally developed an admiration for flawless hand-lettering, typography and graphic design, and got in the habit of looking up at signs of all kinds.”

Amanda moved from Nashville to Columbus, Ohio, to attend the Columbus College of Art & Design, where she received her bachelor of fine arts degree. She worked several odd jobs for years, painting now and then. The subject matter of her work ranged from figurative to still-life, without much focus or discipline. 

“About 10 years ago, I started painting skies. After many trials, my frame of reference would focus more on the objects below,” explains Amanda. “Tops of buildings made their way into may paintings, along with signs of businesses.”

Already having an innate love of signage passed down from her father, Amanda found much inspiration in signs as her subject matter, particularly neon signs, which are now the heart of her artwork. She says that neon, depicted in day, has many subtleties such as shadow and glimmer. However, at night, the light from a neon sign floods and touches all things around it.

In 2015, Amanda signed as an artist with Disney/Pixar to create a series of oil paintings. These original oil paintings and limited-edition reproductions depict the neon signs of the town Radiator Springs from the movie “Cars.”

“I am very lucky to be able to work for myself and paint every day,” Amanda smiles. “It is my passion, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

To reach Amanda, you can email her at Amanda is represented by Sharon Weiss Gallery of Columbus, Ohio; Haynes Galleries of Nashville, Tennessee; Beverly McNeil Gallery of Birmingham, Alabama; and The Bonfoey Gallery of Cleveland, Ohio. Visit to learn more about the artist and her work.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment