Heather Vaughan

Featured Artist

Heather grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania and currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. Her work encompasses both commercial illustration and fine art and has been displayed in numerous galleries and juried exhibitions through out the city. In addition to her work, Heather has also been the recipient of awards and recognition from The Plastic Club, The Ted Carey Prize (nominee), and the The William H. Ely Award for Excellence in Illustration. She holds a BFA from The University of the Arts, Illustration program.

What stands out for you as one of your favourite career highlights so far?

  This past summer I was able to act as an assistant art director for Silverclutch Games LLC. Working with our illustration interns was amazing, and it felt wonderful to give students experience in creative business, making actual art for a real product. Their excitement and drive was infectious!

What are you currently working on?

I have a few gallery pieces I am working on, in addition to finalizing the last few bits of card art for the RPG I am working on with Silverclutch Games LLC. Their first game, Beneath Nexus (and my first foray into game art) launches in early 2017.

How’d you get started as an artist?

My father was a landscape and wildlife painter. Between him and early morning binge sessions of Bob Ross, going into art was a foregone conclusion. I’ve wanted to draw for a living since I can remember.

Who or what influences your art?

 Some of my biggest influences are vaudeville films, Stuff from the Marx Bros, or Buster Keaton. The physical comedy really makes a wonderful environment to study exaggeration in pose, which I feel is important for an illustrator. Stylistically, I am drawn to print making so I try to explore texture and imperfection in my work. I really love off register screen prints!

What is your creative process like?

I am a procrastinator. If I have too much time to work, or an open ended, soft deadline, I am terrible at getting started, and finishing up. I need the pressure of a deadline to push me and make it so I don’t get caught up in messing around with tiny details or over working a piece. When I’ve hit my stride, I can be pretty quick. I prefer sketching digitally as it’s faster and it frees me up from the fear of messing up. From then, it’s just a matter of not messing it up by trying to hard to “finish” the piece. I try to stay loose and sketchy when I can. There is a lot of coffee breaks and leafing through reference material.

How do you feel our Art + Brewing initiative can benefit emerging artists?

I think it’s a really neat opportunity. Often, an open call can be predatory. It’s a shame that a lot of businesses will solicit free work to sell a product which they will make money on but not share with the creative professional.

The Art + Brewing Initiative is really nice because you are not asking for free work. The artists are compensated for their work and Collective Arts really makes the work centre stage. I think it takes the idea of a juried exhibition to a really interesting level.

 

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