Welcome to my Meet the Maker series where I get a chance to chat with makers who inspire me.
Today I’d like to introduce Heather Musingo of Artful Musings. Heather is a talented artist who works in watercolor and ink with a strong focus on nature. We met on Instagram sometime in 2018 and have supported and encouraged each other ever since.
What’s your why?
I create pieces to calm my soul and surround myself with beautiful shapes and colors that remind me of the rural landscapes where I spent most of my life. We moved from north central Pennsylvania to Florida in 2015 and while I LOVE the sun, the flat terrain leaves me yearning.
In the Early Days
How and when did you get started in your craft?
My creative outlet turned to paper and paint when I started homeschooling my boys in 2015. What started as an Instagram monthly challenge for the three of us developed into an almost daily practice for me – my boys didn’t take to it as I’d hoped.
“Lake View” is one of my favorite pieces as an early representative of this abstract neurographic style. I love the soft color palette.
What started as a fun meditation exercise in January of 2020 has developed into this new “neurographic” style. With a background in biology, (and a perfectionist mindset) I always struggled with making things look “right”. I stressed myself out on more than one occasion.
Experimenting with this style has allowed my mind to let go of that perfectionist science geek and see things in a more abstract fashion. Making art should not be stressful.
What does a typical creative session look like for you?
Most of my creative sessions (at least at the beginning of a project) start with stretching and meditation. I set Spotify to Solfeggio frequencies and can work for a couple of hours with a calm and relaxed mind. Once I start adding color, however, my sessions are much shorter. I paint in thin layers and build up color over time, so I usually work on one or two areas for 5-10 minutes and then do something else while the paper dries.
Describe your favorite place to work in while creating.
My art desk is located in a corner of our living space (open living/dining/kitchen) with large windows on 2 sides. The natural light is amazing to work in and the sunny view of the palm trees in the backyard is always a welcome distraction.
What advice would you give your younger self about your creative path?
I know it’s tough, but stop doubting yourself and your abilities. Just because you were not “trained” as an artist doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to create and be successful.
What kind of artistic challenges have you overcome or are working through now?
I have spent quite a bit of time trying out different avenues for my creativity. When you read about successful artists, they’ve usually found a niche, a style that is all their own. Trying to find my “style” has been difficult. I have spent too much time worrying that I’d never find “the thing” that set me apart from the millions of other creatives flooding social media.
What is your method for getting out of a creative rut?
Ruts breed self-doubt and require me to clear my mind and get out of my head. Usually if I’m feeling stuck I’ll take a few days to deep clean and organize my work area, which usually includes a large portion of the house. Once my space is clear, my mind tends to clear up. Then I spend some time browsing beautiful photos of nature and meditating about new pieces. The hardest part about getting out of a rut for me is pushing myself to just START SOMETHING.
This or That
Cats or Dogs? Definitely doggos
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Early Bird or Night Owl? Neither! I love sleep. My best “functional” time is mid-morning to mid-afternoon.
Messy or Tidy? Tidy to a fault – I can’t focus on being creative unless my surroundings are clean.
Tator Tots or French Fries? Fries – tots are overly processed.
Fast Food or Health Food? In between, although we’ve been ordering out more frequently this past year.
Calling or Texting? Texting
Couch Potato or Fitness Fiend? I have trouble sitting still for long periods, especially when there’s a to-do list in my head, but my “fitness plan” is mostly housework with a little yoga.
Candy Corn: Yes or No? It’s not the worst of all things, but I prefer chocolate.
Please share all the ways people can find and admire your work.
It was fun learning a little more about Heather. Be sure to check out her website and Instagram to see more of her amazing work.
If you like this Meet the Maker interview, you can read about LePunktNoir here and all about me here!