We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Weller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks has always been the heart of my career as an artist. It is my belief that artists (whether painters, writers, or musicians) should be a little afraid of their pursuits. Fear validates the importance of the craft and signifies the willingness of the artist to put everything on the line for improvement. I am always afraid to take risks but that does not stop me from making them because I know risk taking is potential growth. If we stay in our comfort zones forever, we can only define ourselves by those limitations. Yes, painting a landscape is comfortable, safe even, but where will that take me? What am I contributing to the genre of painting? I am interested in expanding my ideas and pushing my own boundaries as an artist. So, I start ambitious projects, use new materials, and look for subject matter that presents a challenge. I recognize failure as a frustrating possibility and a necessary lesson, but never as an inhibitor. Without failure there is no learning. An artist is always improving and learning new things. The pursuit of knowledge is my driving force. I do not strive to make perfect paintings because the pursuit will end the day I reach perfection. I want to keep failing, taking risks, and learning as much as I can.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career as an artist started as an accident. A school counselor placed me into an Intro to Art class and I have not stopped creating since. It has become my personal mission to be the best artist I can be. However, being an artist has not been easy and it is one of the biggest challenges I have undertaken in my life. It is not rainbows and perfect paintings all the time. Art is first and foremost work, and you have to be willing to do so even when you feel incapable. After almost five years of professional experience as an artist, I realized passion is not good fuel for creation. You have to work until it becomes a need like breathing. Build a routine and start working. Get up everyday and work because in the end the art is the only thing that matters. Giving up only guarantees an end to improvement but you will get better if you keep going and remove quitting as an option. I have used my art as my voice. It is my way of adding to the discussion on topics that I find interesting such as the human subconscious, controversy, and politics. Art is tied to my very being and I cannot envision a world where I am not creating.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would recommend the arts scene downtown, specifically, 9 The Gallery. They are welcoming to up and coming artists and they host an inclusive environment. 9 The Gallery was always my first stop on pre-pandemic First Fridays.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to dedicate my shoutout to my supportive family, and professors as well as 9 The Gallery who remains a constant support in my art career
Heather Gray Weller