We had the good fortune of connecting with Heike Blakley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Heike, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist from a very young age. I chose to pursue it as a career because it’s always felt right. Freedom of expression through creativity is something that’s important to me and I can’t imagine doing anything else. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work is a collection of paintings, illustrations, sculptures, wall hangings, jewelry, I also work with resin and write poetry. I’m most proud and excited about how I have progressed over the years as an artist, the meaningful connections I have made through the process and being able to share my inspirations with others. I got to where I am today through faith, lots of determination, sleepless nights, stress but most importantly, the encouragement of friends and family! I’ve learned that if you follow the path of your heart and maintain a positive outlook, anything is possible. I was raised in the south, to a single mother of three. Our mom worked a lot so we were mostly raised by my Oma (grandmother). Being the only mixed race family in town back then, I was insanely shy and had a learning disability. Making friends was next to impossible so, I spent a lot of time drawing ”pretend friends”, and houses with, “perfect families”. My true love for art and learning was solidified. The women in my family are pretty blunt and would always remind us to “never depend on anyone for anything in life.” So, at a young age I taught myself to read and write. Eventually I decided to go offer raking leaves for a small fee to neighbors and with the money I could purchase paints, canvases etc. moving forward Ive been lucky enough to gain recognition through awards, prizes, traveling and commissions through my art. I’m proud to say I used to write for the school paper, attained a small scholarship to art programs, won 2019’s best poets of the year award (under an anonymous name) and being able to be published in literary journals! I’d like to share with the world the importance of learning, determination and that through every downfall, is the golden opportunity for growth! I truly believe, the possibility of everything is endless!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take my friend to lake Travis and go boating, hike the green belt areas, the Laguna Gloria museum, Zilker park, ride scooters downtown, if the weather was nice, I would take them to Barton Springs and hopefully find a live music venue! For food, I would take them to as many food trucks as possible, taco deli, moonies burgers and the oasis! Walk around on 6th for a night out and then watch the sun set at Mount Bonnell.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Biggest thanks/ shoutout to my family and friends for their love, the motivation to “shoot for the moon,” in my pursuit of happiness and for reminding me, that nothing worth doing will ever be easy.

Website: Www.rottenbanana.net/
Instagram: @hblkly
Facebook: Heike Blakley
Other: http://intuitive-creative5.site Etsy- hblkly

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