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Heather is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator.

I have my BFA in Fine Arts from North Central College and my AS in graphic design from College of DuPage. I do both fine art with drawing and painting and digital art with a Wacom. My digital art style is the same as my fine art style. I utilize a variety of colors and textures. Animals and portraits are my favorites!

Hi, Heather! Tell us a few words about yourself. What does a typical day look like? Do you just do art, or is art just part of the picture?

Heather: Hi! I am a full-time Graphic Designer for a small distribution company, so typically I am doing graphic design 8 am -5 pm for my company. Art unfortunately is just part of the picture at the moment. I am looking to do illustration work full-time though.

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You say you utilize a variety of colors and textures. Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter etc.

Heather: I typically do portraits, either of pets or people and people with their pets. I have a similar style both with painting by hand and digitally (using a Wacom). My style is indicative of the painterly style where I utilize a lot of colors to create texture and depth.

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You say animals and portraits are your favorites”. Tell us a bit more about that.


Heather: Those are the types of projects I gravitate towards–capturing a person or pet’s persona within a painting and giving the artwork “personality” by utilizing my style including optic colors.

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Who are a few artists/people that really inspire you right now, and why?

Heather: James Jean, Alice X Zhang, Kelogsloops, Sarah Joncas, to name a few. There is just so much conceptual emotion in these artists’ works, colors, texture, and skill! I could look at their work all day, truly visually stimulating and learning from their techniques.

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What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?

Heather: The composition sometimes if I don’t have a reference. I try to sketch out thumbnails or discuss ideas with other people I’m close to.

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You say digital art style is the same as your fine art style. But, is there a difference when it comes to the inspiration and experience with the process of making digital vs fine art style?

Heather:  I wouldn’t say there is too much of a difference with the inspiration…the experience is definitely different. Fine Art is more calculated and has actual texture and there are times when you may not be able
to go back and change things. Haha though I have done that with both fine art and digital art. I’m methodical with both and treat both very similarly.

What are you trying to communicate with your art?

Heather: Emotion and skill.

Share some interesting facts about your art with us.

Heather: I’ve been doing art since I was a kid, I majored in Fine Arts in College, and graphic design in college…but I never originally foresaw myself doing digital art. I absolutely love it though.

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What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Heather: Just the happiness from the person receiving the artwork.


What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?

Heather: I have my portfolio at https://harmstrong7.com as well as my IG heba_illustrations


What’s next for you?

Heather: Hopefully transitioning from being a graphic designer to an illustrator!

Thank you!

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