Artists ~ Heather Hawkins ~ Smithfield

Artist’s name: Heather Hawkins
Shop name: XHeatherLaceX (I came up with the name when I was 15, I know it's ridiculous!)
Twitter: @Hawkalyptica

1. Tell us about your work
In the past I've done custom paintings of creature silhouettes, and at one point I was framing skeleton keys. Neither garnered much attention despite how much fun I thought they were, so I kept trying new things.

My latest project is called "Home Is Where Your Collection Is." Originally the title was going to be "Home Is Where the Heart Is" which was the more obvious choice, but I was using my shop as a catch-all for selling my "Home Is.." project plus posters and comic books. Most people have an amount of love invested in their collections, thus the title. In any case, I basically paint a background onto an 8x10 canvas and add a silhouette of a state onto it. I mostly do Rhode Island, since it's my home, but I've done a couple of Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as the United States. Then I add a little heart on top of your hometown to complete the custom piece.

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I wouldn't call myself a professional just yet; I do still have a day job doing matting and framing to pay my bills. I've always been creative though, ever since I was a little kid. My mother could attest to that, coming into the living room with all of my craft supplies strewn across the entire carpet. My husband could tell you I still do that, except now it's at least on a table. I create art because it makes me happy, and if I can make other people happy and maybe eventually make a living out of it, all the better.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. I paint the backgrounds based on everything I see: nature, other art, license plates. But I guess the inspiration for my Rhode Island pieces is really just that it's a place that I love. I grew up in Tiverton, I've spent time in my husband's hometown of Wakefield. I've lived in Providence, Johnston, and Smithfield. It's such a diverse and beautiful place that I truly feel is my home. I feel that way and I want to share my art because I'm sure others do too.

4. What’s your favorite item to create?
My favorite changes every day. Some days all I want to do is create collage backgrounds, other time I just want to paint like Van Gogh for days. For a while though, it's always finished with a state on it!

5. What’s your best seller?
So far the Rhode Island painted with a ripple effect around it has been a favorite. If there isn't one in my etsy shop you can see it in my icon.

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
Born and raised, 25 years so far. At one point I was planning on moving down south. While I was there trying to find a job and an apartment I realized it could never be my home like Rhode Island is. So I stayed.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
How can you pick one thing?! The beaches in South County are the best. We've got Del's Lemonade and Autocrat coffee syrup. There is an amazing array of colleges to choose from. Restaurants here are amazing, like Loie Fuller's and the Red Fez in Providence. What's not to love?

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
Just a thanks for the opportunity to show people what I do, and I hope you love it as much as I do!


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