Interviewee: Heather Maes (she/her)
In your words… Tell us about your organization, business, initiative.
I am a North Shore artist who loves painting wild and weird watercolor and mixed media creations. My work is inspired by nature, science fiction and Salem’s Halloween/horror spirit, but I’m always open to new areas of inspiration. I’ve also contributed to public works of art, such as the Salem utility box project, the Punto Urban Art Museum on Peabody Street, and the Salem DrainSmart Mural Project.
Tell us a bit about you and why you do what you do? Share your passions for your business, initiative, organization.
I always loved doodling and creating artwork. I illustrated a literary magazine in college, and when I moved to Salem, I participated in a few public art opportunities. I kept my art mostly to myself though, except for illustrating cards for friends, family, and coworkers. However, over time, I built my confidence and reached out to Silver Moon Comics & Collectibles about selling prints. Then, in October 2020, I was given the opportunity to table my art pieces as part of their Halloween artist series. I loved how my art made people feel and brought back memories, so at that point, I decided to invest more into my creative business.
What role do you think your business plays in supporting a more creative community? OR your community in general. (Bonus! Why do you think a more creative community is important?)
My business contributes to the North Shore’s creative atmosphere, which is so important as creative communities are spaces for imagination and well-being.
What was the last book you read OR What was the last video you watched that made an impact on you?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a zoologist and I still have an interest in animals as artwork subjects. For studying and drawing animal anatomy, I recommend: “Drawing Animals 101: How to Draw with a Veterinarian’s Eye” by Mari Suzuki. I also recommend “Science of Creature Design: Understanding Animal Anatomy” by Terryl Whitlatch.
What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you our your business?
I do not have an art degree and I used to fence in college!
What is Creative Collective?
Creative Collective is a group of economic development strategists, small business supporters, activation specialists, and believers in the importance of the creative workforce. We foster growth, sustainability, and scalability for small businesses, creative thinkers, organizations, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Learn more and join Creative Collective at www.creativecollectivema.com/join