New Artist Showcase: Heather Sisson

Heather Sisson

Blog: http://heatherinasuitcase.blogspot.com/

Website: http://heathersisson.carbonmade.com/

What interested you in doing artwork for TheyDrawAndCook? Do you cook as well as you draw?

Well when I first discovered theydrawandcook I thought the idea of an illustrated cookbook was very cute and unique. It was a great way to get my work looked at and see other illustrators that really inspired me. (The recipes were also very cute and I did try some!)

Im not the greatest cook but I am a very good baker. My last two years of Pratt I used baking as a stress relief from art. I didn’t realize how much I really enjoyed it until recently. I suppose art and baking have always been a large part of my life. When I was growing up my mom taught me how to bake and every night she would read a Golden book to my sister and I. What I would really like is to figure out a way to combine them. I am currently looking into Johnson & Wales cooking school to take a baking class for next January. (Earlier if I can!) I would love to build sets out of baked goods for my children’s books. I’m still working out the kinks but eventually I will find a way to make things work.

What do you use to work with? What tools/materials can you not live without?

Now this is a question I have been trying to figure out for a while now. In the past year I have tried watercolor, collage, acrylic, gouache, ink, etc. Watercolor is my favorite but recently I have been very successful with collage. Two years ago my professor (Rudy Gutierrez) assigned a project that frustrated me to no end. Somehow I ended up with a beautiful mixed media collage of a wolf. I have never been a fan of collage so I stopped only to recently make a few new ones. Katelan Foisey and David Hollenbach have been great inspirations for me in the last few weeks. They do amazing collages that are unlike anything I have ever seen. I don’t feel like I have found what makes me, me yet but I am on my way.

No matter what paper or medium I work with I always feel the need to incorporate watercolor somehow. (It’s not a Heather painting unless there’s transparency!)

What’s your ideal studio environment?

At first I thought it would be at my desk with a pair of headphones and an ipod but now I would say I prefer to be near other people. There is nothing better then working at a table with a group of your friends. Listening to everyone’s stories and corny jokes somehow makes me much more productive.

What kind of volunteer work do you do? How does it inspire you creatively?

During my sophomore year at Prattmwp I was a mentor. I have always stressed about loans, dorms, and everything that comes with college. By sharing my own experiences with others it helped me overcome my own fears and worries. At the moment I am trying to get involved with a volunteer program that helps children during tough times. (It’s called Cross Roads) I will basically read children’s books to kids while their parents try to find jobs or get more work hours.

The one thing I have always loved about children literature is that sometimes the stories have adult themes with a simple concept and conclusion. Children look at the world so simply and straight to the point. You’d be surprised by how a kid can make more sense than an adult. That inspires me, the simple responses of a child towards difficult problems.

What kind of freelance jobs are you looking to pursue in the future?

I would really love to have my books published or even illustrate for someone else’s story. I might do a editorial here or there but I feel like the subject will always be child oriented.

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