We had the good fortune of connecting with Heidi Hogden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heidi, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“All good things are wild and free,” by Henry David Thoreau. I love this quote because it is grounded in an understanding of nature and a desire to figure out one’s place within it. It also reminds me to be wild and free in the truest sense: entirely who I am at my deepest, most authentic core.
How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
It took me a long time to find my creative voice. I had to overcome rejection and a serious lack of self-confidence. I spent many years in school honing my skills, but it really wasn’t until recently that I became more confident in my work and ideas. By being persistent, devoting myself to my creative practice, and finding an immense strength in my character, I was able to overcome these challenges. I now find success in my creative practice, and feel confident enough to validate the work through my own eyes.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
As a visual artist, my work looks to the natural world to understand the relationship between place and identity through drawing and painting. I use self-portraiture to look at how we encounter the world around us, and depict the struggles that circumscribe the idea of habitation. I am currently developing several paintings and am excited about their future. I am looking forward to a solo exhibition of my work at the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA) Museum in Gimpo, South Korea next summer.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others.
My recent body of work, (Un)natural depicts my personal encounters with extreme winter conditions in the Midwest through drawing. In 2019, I experienced an arctic blast from the polar vortex spreading a chill reaching -30° Fahrenheit throughout Wisconsin. By depicting the effects of survival in extreme arctic weather conditions—finding one’s own food, coveting warmth to avoid frostbite, and the inability to mobilize due to high snow levels—I show the viewer that climate change is creating havoc with people’s lives worldwide, and recent weather events are a prelude of what is to come.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would bring my friends to the Phoenix Art Museum, the Lisa Sette Gallery, and ASU’s Step Gallery. In the Phoenix area we would have delicious tacos at Mariscos Playa Hermosa or Barrio Cafe and some drinks at the Valley Bar. We would also get out into the natural world to explore the desert, and all of its strange and wonderful forms. Perhaps a little road trip up to Sedona? To end the week on a high note, we would drive out to watch the sunset fall on the Superstitions, and hit up my favorite local rodeo at the Hitching Post Saloon on the way back.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to thank all of the amazing mentors that I have had over the years, including Kristen Lowe, Ethan Murrow, Gerry Bergstein, Erika Daborn, Cory Knedler, and Eric Mantle. There are also so many other people that have supported me in my creative endeavors: from my family and friends to those who included me in shows and collaborative projects. Thank you!