1. What elements of growing up in TN that have influenced your work as an artist and musician?
Beginning in high school, I started to get involved with The Arts Center of Cannon County
in any way I could– whether it be performing arts camper, craft fair vendor, graphic design intern, or eventually board member. Specifically, my time there helping Evan Hatch design elements for Spring Fed Records, as well as exhibits for the Cannon Cultural Museum helped me discover so much art, music, and local culture that I love and am proud to claim. Around the same time, I was able to attend the Southern Girls Rock and Roll camp
– it’s where I wrote/performed my first original tunes, and also the place I realized that printmaking was a viable career option. I volunteered for many years after that, met a lot of friends, and learned a lot of lessons along the way.
2: Where do you find inspiration for your art work?
I love folk art, and while going to art school has probably demolished my chances at making true folk art, I really support visuals that anyone can relate to. Yard sale signs, hand painted window advertisements, and craft fair trinkets are just as appealing to me as things on the fine art side of the spectrum.
3: Who are your most influential musicians that have impacted your songwriting and performance?
Mississippi John Hurt and The Fairfield Four are a couple of the musicians I discovered through Spring Fed Records that really stuck with me– I think of them both as pioneers of their genres. Other favorites (old and contemporary) are Hank Williams, Fats Waller, Gillian Welch and CW Stoneking. I love anyone that can tell a good story, and I these folks do that well. They clearly care deeply for their craft as well, and I like to note how that comes through in their performances and songwriting.
4: What are you working on now in your printmaking and music projects?
I’m still spending most of my days at Hatch Show Print printing show/event posters, with an occasional art show to push me towards new work. In a couple weeks I’m taking on a challenge that lies in both the music and printmaking realm, where I will attempt to write music to go along with the sounds of running presses as part of Firecracker Press
‘s Manual Feed event on June 22. I think the music will be just planned enough, but will unfold a bit organically as pieces are printed. All the while, the Firecracker team will be performing a letterpress-inspired dance called the “Work and Turn.” Other than that, I’ve spent a good deal of time touring with Reed Turchi and the Caterwauls, as well as trying to wrap up my first full length album with Rhythm Kitchen.
5: You work on many projects at one time, what advice do you have for creative people struggling to keep up with multiple gigs/jobs and not get burnt out?
Having a couple interests to flip between has really saved me from burnout– just when I think I’ve had enough printing, I get (or create) a more music-heavy stretch of projects. I am also a big fan of using ANY spare time– whether it be a day or just a couple of hours– to travel somewhere, or do something unusual, even if it has nothing to do with your job/hobbies. Any time I can manage to create a break in my routine and gather input from something new, I get a nice perspective adjustment.
Heather’s fingers ‘a jumpin’ can be found here with Rhythm Kitchen: https://www.facebook.com/rhythmkitchen/