Monday, August 6, 2012

A Conversation With HeatherRose

"Chilopodophilia" - 2011 - from the Phobophilia series

"Chilopodophilia" - 2011 - from the Phobophilia series.
HeatherRose, an artist from Massachusetts, takes the viewer into a world where beautiful and dark imagery collide. There is a dangerous and sexy quality to HeatherRose's artwork that is both stunning and disturbing at the same time; where lovely ladies coexist with creatures of nature. The artist spoke with ArtSeen about her creative process and artistic inspirations.

Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic background and artistic processes?

I graduated from Montserrat College of Art with a BFA in illustration, but it took me a while to decide on that major. First I studied graphic design, but realized quickly that it didn't allow the freedom and creativity that I desired. The art I craved to create was a bit too "low brow" for the fine art scene, so I ended up majoring in Illustration.
A lot of my art is greatly inspired by music. A certain song or record will give me a feeling that I am compelled to make into something visual, that others can see. This is how my process usually begins. From there I'll try to visualize a way to depict the emotion. I don't really sketch things out, but am more likely to actually enact them myself by putting myself in positions and trying to imagine how it would look as a figure in a painting. Then I take my own reference photographs, using other models when available. From there I study the photograph and do my best to capture the lighting and shadows, while adding all the surrealistic elements mostly from my imagination. 

"Apiphilia" - 2012 - from the Phobophilia series.

"Apiphilia" - 2012 - from the Phobophilia series.
What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?

Most often, its music, but I am often inspired by people in real life. I love to draw portraits. The human face is an amazing and beautiful thing. Sometimes upon seeing someone I instantly long to paint their portrait. And I create art because I can't imagine not doing it. Since childhood I've felt as if it was the only thing I was really meant to do.

What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?

I am very intrigued by the things that most would find to be unsettling.  I love to take things that others find unattractive, and show that they can be quite beautiful. I did a series of pin-up style portraits of side-show performers for this very reason. Fear is also something that I love to explore. My current series, Phobophilia, is about the excitement of fear. It's about that adrenaline rush we can't resist. I'm exaggerating the concept and turning it into a sort of fetish by taking common fears (and some not-so-common, as well) and putting them in a borderline erotic setting.

"Freshening up after dinner" - 2010

"Freshening up after dinner" - 2010

Are there any artists that inspire you? If so who would they be and why?

Oh gosh, there are hundreds! However, I am most inspired by classics such as Aubrey Beardsley and Alphonse Mucha, as well as many modern artists like Jason Levesque (Stuntkid), Ross Campbell, Charmaine Olivia, Sylvia Ji, Barnaby Whitfield, John Baizley, and Will Cullen Hart, just to name a few! I am drawn most to artists whose work really evokes emotion within my soul.

What do you think the role of the artist is?

Creating art is revealing a part of oneself to the world that is secret, and often magical. I think that is why art is so appealing. We are allowed to view tiny glimpses of a universe that only the artist can see. I believe that artists provide another world to escape into when this one becomes too much to handle.

"Chiroptophilia" - 2011 - from the Phobophilia series
"Chiroptophilia" - 2011 - from the Phobophilia series.
What other interests do you have outside of your artwork?

I really enjoy reading, mostly cult fiction and a few choice graphic novels. Chuck Palahniuk is my favorite author. His writing often inspires my paintings. And I watch entirely too much television, especially lowbrow comedy such as The Mighty Boosh and The Venture Bros. Also, I play banjo. I'm not very good at it, but its fun.

And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?

Don't ever give up. And take everything everyone says with a grain of salt. Some people will tell you they love your work when they don't mean it at all, and other people will tell you they hate it just because they're jealous. It's cliche, but really, just do what you love and do it with your whole heart. 

"Hematemesis" - 2010
"Hematemesis" - 2010

For more information about HeatherRose's artwork you can visit her website, Facebook page, Etsy shop and at the Bad Apple Artist Collective for more details. 

All photography provided by HeatherRose.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...