October 27, 2017

Five Questions with Heather Day: Artist

Heather Day’s art is a form of visual storytelling conveying moments of interactions, movement, and ideas through seams, lines, and layers of paint and nontraditional materials. Her work is included in national and international collections, including Facebook, Warner Brothers, The Ritz-Carlton, Snapchat, and Airbnb. She recently completed a solo exhibit in Downtown San Francisco with over 100 paintings.

Heather will be joining us at the InVisible Talks conference in January 2018 as a panelist exploring the intersection of design and art. Read some of her thoughts about the creative process below, then be a fly on the wall as you watch her at work in her studio at HeatherDay.com.

What is your relationship to the creative process?

“My creative process is complex in that it’s intertwined with living, working, and playing. I’ve let my process become who I am so that my work can grow with me.”

How or where to you find inspiration?

“Lately I’ve been musing on the idea of flow state and working to identify the triggers that lead to that creative high. Often it’s the result of a series of events: listening to a new album or podcast, or maybe it’s raining outside and I am revisiting a poignant conversation with a friend from the night before. These sequential moments lead up to a heightened awareness, and it’s important to continue feeding that creative appetite and recognizing when there’s a shift. That’s why I seek out opportunities to travel. I crave perspective. Experiences become textures in my paintings, and the paintings act as documents of how events transpired.”

What was one of your biggest creative challenges?

“Most of my creative challenges have to do with efforts to make my work more of an experience by breaking the confines of the canvas. I recently worked with Facebook to create an augmented reality work of art for Facebook Camera. Not only was I challenged to learn an entirely new sector of technology, I was also forced to think about painting from all angles. I created a moving mural that started off as a puddle of paint under your feet and evolved into rapid marks climbing the walls of the Facebook campus and spilling into a waterfall. I was asking questions like How does this make art more approachable? What does the backside of a brush mark actually look like? How can the viewer interact with the art?”

When did you first realize you needed to be in a creative field?

“I’d like to say it started when I went to an arts college [Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)] to pursue painting, but I wasn’t entirely sure painting was sustainable. In general, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to find a job that wasn’t creative. It’s so much part of who I am.”

Who is one of your heroes and why?

“I’m currently readying Maggie Nelson’s book, Bluets, and I think it’s wonderful. I admire her courage to take an obsession to another level. She loved blue so much, she wrote a collection of poems and thoughts about the color. I admire artists who feed their creative appetites and embrace emotions that we often hold down.”

BONUS ROUND: What was your first job?

“I started a pet-sitting business that I called Paws and Claws when I was 10, and I continued walking dogs through my college years.”

In January, as part of the awesome speaker lineup at In/Visible Talks 2018, Heather will share her perspective as a panelist on the “Intersection of Art & Design.” You don’t want to miss this, get your ticket today!