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Art & Life with Heather Coppinger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Coppinger.

Heather, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I fell in love with the process of making art when I was 19. Getting lost in drawing provided a much needed meditative state of mind for a troubled teen living in a city with not much to do. I grew up in metro Detroit and like many other Michiganders growing up in the 90’s, I spent most of my time outside. I developed a deep love for nature. As a young kid, I remember my grandma telling me stories of secret paths and majestic creatures as we’d walk through the park. Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved to look for evidence that the world is a magical place.

I became interested in pursuing an education in art shortly after starting college and switched my major from psychology to drawing. I’ve studied and practiced with every medium I could get my hands on. My artwork has evolved over time but the underlying themes of nature, otherworldly dimensions and the meditative creative process have remained.

In 2018, I loaded my car with my belongings and moved to Los Angeles to cash in on some sunshine and the lively art community I had heard of. The move brought both challenges and opportunities. While there were more opportunities for an artist here in LA than back home, I found myself face to face with the same underlying obstacles present back in Michigan: my introverted tendencies and reservation of not being enough. It was a difficult climb to start, but over the past two years I started attending art events, made friends in the creative community, participated in a non-profit project and group exhibition called The Perception Project, worked on a collaborative Mural at LA Grip in Burbank, and managed to sell a painting to Kyle Cease of Evolving Out Loud.

It’s hard to predict where this year will take me, but I know having faith in the creative process and a willingness to share myself honestly will lead to something worthwhile.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I paint otherworldly landscapes. I draw inspiration from nature, theories of quantum physics and alternate dimensions. For me, the act of trusting myself is key in creating. Unlike many other artists, I don’t have a plan when I start a painting. Instead, I focus on a feeling or thought I want to evoke, pick a color pallet and begin painting. It is a constant practice of following what I see as it emerges then letting go of my own expectations. Because most paintings change and evolve over the course of the paintings, there are often many details and layers to a painting. I love to hear the varying ways that others see and interpret in my work.

For my most recent body of work, I set out to illustrate a book that I haven’t yet written. I view many of my paintings as unwritten narratives. Sometimes creatures can be seen emerging out of the landscape as if to illustrate the liveliness present in nature. I am interested in the still, but present essence of plants and the natural world. I am captivated by the essence and liveliness of all that is. When painting a landscape, I strive to express this impermanence of things. How everything seems to be in a constant state of flux and chaos. Matter seems to be dissipating while simultaneously falling into place.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
As an artist new to a big city, I have come to learn first hand that community is key. As creatives, it’s easy to isolate ourselves with the intent to focus on creating, but the benefits of connecting with other artists cannot be overstated.

Advice I would give artists looking to connect with others would be to go to local art events and just talk to people. Go alone, or with someone who is comfortable talking with new people. If you meet someone you enjoy speaking with, ask for their social media info to check out some of their work and stay in touch. Then, sometime down the road, invite them to meet you at another art event, get coffee, or go to a museum. As an introvert myself, this was difficult, even painful to do at first, but after getting over the initial hump of talking to new people, it has gotten easier and more enjoyable.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I’d love to invite anyone interested to follow me on Instagram @heathercoppingerart or on my Facebook artist page @Heather Coppinger Artist. Those interested in learning more about purchasing an original painting or a commission can check out my website www.heathercoppinger.com or email me directly at coppinger.heather@yahoo.com.

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Image Credit:
Heather Coppinger

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