Standard Goods Featured Artist: Natalia Heiser

Meet Natalia Heiser, the Seattle based artist using wood as her canvas. She combines the warmth of a natural element with geomettic fractals. Her beautiful nature inspired home decor & wood wall art will be showcased at Standard Goods for the month of September! Come by for Capitol hill Art Walk on Thursday September 14th to see more and hear live music from Reposado. 

Natalia Heiser, Standard Goods Featured Artist, Capitol hill art walk

 

Can you tell me a little about your process when starting a new piece?  

When I feel inspired to make a new piece of art I go straight for my sketchbook.  It wasn't always that way.  I actually used to hate taking the time to sketch.  I remember my professors always instructing us to sketch it out, asking if I sketched and telling me to go back to the sketch book and I would get so frustrated.  Now however I see such value in it.  I love the time spent just sitting and sketching ideas. I feel like I can really see if something is going to work or not based on my sketches where before I would just jump in and 9 times out of 10 I would wind up with a wasted canvas.

Where did you grow up? What do you love most about living in Seattle?

I grew up in Wauconda, IL.  It is a small country town in the Midwest.  Growing up I didn't think it was a small town but it is.  Especially comparing it to Seattle it would be like a neighborhood here.  What I love about Seattle is that there is so much around us as far as nature goes.  We have the mountains, the forests and the ocean.  It's so beautiful and very inspiring!

Natalia Heiser, Standard Goods Featured Artist, Capitol hill art walk

When did you first discover your love of art?

I remember in grade school always being really excited for art class.  As time went on I started realizing that it wasn't just a hobby.  Art was becoming part of who I was.  It made me think in a different way and I realized there was a chance that I could really be an artist. 

What is your artistic background? Did you study art?

I went to community college for a couple years where I got my Associates Degree then I transferred to Illinois State University where I got a BA in Science with a Fine Art emphasis in 2005. The reason it was a BA of science instead of a BA of Fine Art is because I didn't know what I was doing.  Not that I didn't have the skills it was that I felt so stuck.  I really struggled making art that was original and that I really liked.  I didn't have the right inspiration nor the drive at that time to figure it out. It wasn't till August of 2016 that I really felt like I was onto something good with my work. That's a good chunk of time to not do anything with something that defines you.  I feel in some ways I'm making up for lost time. I don't want to waste my abilities anymore.

Natalia Heiser, Standard Goods Featured Artist, Capitol hill art walk, Seattle art

What inspired you to work with wood? 

I love wood.  That is actually a hashtag I found and use on Instagram.   Using wood started when we took our fence down and were left with a bunch of wood.  I told my husband to save it and that I would figure out something to do with it.  I thought of a bunch of ideas and then one day I actually had painted a few pieces with a chevron pattern and when I saw them put together it's like my mind exploded.  I really think that was the start of an artistic breakthrough for me. From there I started my Chevron Series which is made from the reclaimed fencing.  We cut the panels into square tiles and then I paint or stain them using a chevron pattern so when they are assembled together it creates a lot of movement in the piece.

How do you go about developing your geometric patterns?

When I was looking for inspiration for my Chevron Series I looked at a lot of quilt patterns which can be very geometric.  This inspired me to do some sketches of things in nature like trees and mountains so as I was figuring those sketches out I found a groove to the way I draw that I love.  I look at nature photography a lot to get ideas for compositions so when I find one I like I'll sketch it using geometric lines.  Sometimes from there I might develop a pattern that is more non representational which is how a lot of my pieces have come to be.

Natalia Heiser, Standard Goods Featured Artist, Capitol hill art walk

What sort of home do you envision your wood wall art hanging?

I love modern design so I can see it fitting right into that mid century modern home.  With that said I can also see it being displayed in a gallery wall next to paintings and photography or showcased in a rustic farmhouse setting.  I think it's pretty universal.  

Who or what are you biggest influences?

I love nature photography but one of my favorites is Ansel Adams.  I have had a couple prints of his in my home for 10 years now and I never tire of looking at them.  I also love M.C. Escher.  He is a master of geometry and actually got a lot of his inspiration from nature early on so I feel like he is someone I can really learn from.  Plus his work is incredible.  I love that you can get lost in his drawings and that your eyes move throughout the whole piece.   

Natalia Heiser, Standard Goods Featured Artist, Artist Interview Seattle, Capitol hill art walk

What is your work space like?  

I work a lot in my dining room because it has good space and good lighting.  It also allows me to still parent since I do stay home with my kids.  If there is something I want to work on I'll set it out on my table so that way when the Barbie dream house calls my girls imagination I can sneak in some drawing time!  I also use my garage in the warmer months too.   

Do you ever find yourself uninspired to create, and if so, how do you get inspired again?

Yes I do and I've learned that feeling uninspired and procrastinating go hand in hand for me.  I have a quote that I say to myself in these moments which is "the only cure for procrastination is productivity."  If I'm uninspired then I need to start looking at my inspiration sources or find something new.  I can't just be uninspired and do nothing.  I need to go after what I want and move forward and if that means looking on Instagram at all my nature photographers that I follow or getting outside and going on a hike I need to do it.  I need to be productive in order to make progress. 

Natalia Heiser, Standard Goods Featured Artist, Capitol hill art walk

Anything else you'd like to share? 

For anyone reading this that is just starting out in art or in any career really I'd encourage you to ask questions if you don't know what you are doing.  I had no clue what to do to launch my art business so I reached out to friends and a lot of people on Instagram actually.  Some don't respond but others do and they really have valuable information that they want to share.  It can make the difference in feeling confident that you can move forward with your vision.  So to all those people who gave me advice thank you!  I'm grateful for your words and wisdom. 

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