Featured Artist Interview: Peggy Heitmann
What inspires you to create?
I am always on a quest for more time. I always strive for enough time so that the creative process takes over and the ideas and the art produce itself. I enjoy reading, re-reading, and looking at pictures in art books. I enjoy workshops and the camaraderie of fellow artists. I get a lot of ideas from YouTube. Most of all, I love color. I look for color combinations in every aspect of life. And, guess what? I am not disappointed. I find color everywhere.
When did you decide to pursue art or did it pursue you? I often think of cutting pictures out of the Sears Roebuck catalogue as a young girl. By the time I was in the first grade, I was cutting out for me and the left-handed boy who sat next to me. Today, a majority of my altered book work involves cutting out. I guess, I would say I have been preparing all my life for a chance to work every day; to be able to say I am an artist.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? I would continue to pursue my interest in writing. Right now, I divide my time rather unequally between writing and mixed media. The majority of my time is spent on my visual art. However, if that were not an option, I would submerge myself in my love for language.
What other jobs have you had which aided you on your artistic path? Let's see, when I sold city directories for R. L. Polk and Company, I designed print advertising. I worked for about a year as an outside sales rep for a company that sold scrapbooking materials, stationery and fine gifts. I represented a variety of individual companies. Just to name a few: Hampton Stamps, Lacey Leaves, Golden Oak Papers, Fiskars, Emagination Punches, and more. I still have products including papers from those companies. I went to Los Angeles to a trade show in 2000. I got to see product demonstrations, got free samples, “make and takes”, bought products and half off at the end of the show. The other jobs have simply supplied money to feed my addiction for more beautiful papers and pretties.
At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Oh-la-la, my head spins in the paper section. So many colors and designs waiting for me to select, to manipulate, to layer, to stamp, paint, to glue to make into my own art.
What new techniques or art form would you like to learn?
I would like to learn how to use watercolor with ease. I would like to capture flowers, birds, landscapes. Like renowned artists before me, I would like to capture nature with my brush and transform the image into something that lives and breathes on the page. I am considering taking classes in the near future—maybe an Art of the Carolinas workshop.
If you could do anything and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do? In a fantasy world, I would own a large art studio, with my sister, Pamela Susan Land, which I would rent to other artists. The studio would be funky, bohemian, and creatively energized. Of course, Pamela and I would have studios for ourselves. The studio would be just down the street from great little restaurants that specialize in gluten-free food, a quaint tea shop, and a spa that specializes in yoga, meditation, and massage. I would occasionally teach classes, but otherwise just make altered books and watercolors paintings. In addition to the art studio to produce art, I would have a shop next door like Bluebells in Columbus, Georgia, where each artist pays for their space to display and sell their art. I would have my best work made into mugs, aprons, placemats, Christmas ornaments, mouse-pads, note cards, coasters, shower curtains, trivets, pillows, blankets, framed pictures, prints, shadow boxes, t-shirts. I could go on and on. My business manager would take care of all the financial aspects of the business so I could create.
I think we'd all like to visit and shop in your "fantasy world"!
Thanks for the interview, Peggy.