Interview an artist
Fans' questions answered…
Do you have a question you'd like to ask your favourite surf artist? Or maybe you have a debate topic you'd like to put to all the artists?! Using the form at the foot of this page tell us what your question is, and if we like your suggestion we will put your question to the artist of your choice…
- Heather Brown talks about being a female artist in a male dominated industry
- Heather Brown shares insight into her green art & business practices
Samantha in Waikiki, Hawaii asks Heather Brown… Did you find it hard being a female coming into what was mostly a male dominated sector of the art world? I feel that you have opened the door for many other female surf artists, so how did you do it?
Heather Brown: I never thought it was an issue getting into the art field, I never really thought it mattered to people whether a girl or a guy made the art, so I never let it stand in my way. I feel there are many things that guys and girls can do, and do a great job at it. I feel that no matter what sex you are, being a professional artist takes a lot of creativity, work, time and energy. So whoever it is that puts forth everything they have will have an equal chance at success in the art world. Thanks for the compliment about "Opening the door for other female surf artists." Wow! I never really thought of it that way before so it makes it a bit harder to answer that question. Again though, like I said before, a lot of work, dedication, time, energy and most importantly trying to create not only pieces of art, but a full style that is my own. I focused on printmaking when I was at University of Hawai'i art school so my style in painting is really a mixed bag of printmaking styles and color blending. I suppose if I were to really have to answer simply, I was able to help carve a path in the art world by taking a fresh look at surf art and the many possibilities. Mahalo for the original question!
Chris in England asks Heather Brown… Can you tell the readers more about your work being "Green"? I have read a few snippets about how you have changed your procedures, I would love to know more?
Heather Brown: This is one that really started in my personal life and was easily transitioned to my work. At our home here on the North Shore of Oahu we have always tried to live simple, clean and do everything we could around our house to be more "green". I spent a couple years working with organizations like The Kokua Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation, which really helped open my eyes to some of the problems with the environment that are out there and more importantly, the small changes we could make in our everyday life to slow down the problem and even help stop some of the issues.
About 18 months ago I decided to see what changes I could make in my own business. A few of the things that I came up with automatically were the papers, inks and paints I used. I switched all of my paper prints to sugar cane paper. Sugar cane paper is basically a bi-product of the sugar industry. It is extremely sustainable and much more environmentally friendly than most other paper stocks out there for art production. The paper itself and the printing are bleach and chemical free. All of my paints and inks (for screen printing) are water based. I switched the stock on my greeting cards to 100% recycled fiber, which is a bleach free process. Even the envelopes are 100% recycled fibers!
My fiancé and I also started a new small project called "Green With Aloha". With this project we are just focusing on small steps of being more environmentally aware. We produce re-usable beverage bottles, shopping bags made from organic cotton's as well as tee's with the same great organic cotton and water based inks. These are not giant steps by any means, but if I am able to help people use a little less disposable plastic in their everyday lives because they enjoy my art, it seems to me that it is working out right.
Lastly, in the studio and workshop we re-use 100% of what we can. Boxes, packing materials, paper, we kind of could be mistaken for hoarders we have so many materials ready to be re-used, but these small changes help to keep these materials going a little longer. You can also check out my blog at www.heatherbrownsurfartblog.com where I post some other ideas and products for living a little more environmentally friendly life. Thanks for the great question!