WOMAN WEDNESDAY With Heidi Denessan
Today's feature is Heidi Denessan, the woman behind @heiditheartist.
Heidi is a local Artist, Designer, and Teacher working and living on the unceded traditional territory of the Lil’wat Nation.
She received her BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design and her Teaching Certificate from Simon Fraser University and then pursued a career as a high school art teacher until she started her family, which is when she decided to leap into the world of running her own business from home and never looked back.
Heidi is passionate about offering original art, designs, and art classes to people on her recently launched online art studio and online store, where folks can also sign up for an Art Studio membership and take her art classes and learn to paint from their own schedule and from home. Heidi also LOVES to give back artfully. 1% of all Heidi The Artist sales are given 50/50 to POW (Protect Our Winters
) & the SLCC (Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
). Her online shop and art studio membership can be found at www.heiditheartist.ca
Here's our chat with her.
1. Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I grew up in Vancouver and I now live in Pemberton. I have lived on Bowen Island, White Rock, The North Shore, Whistler and now I am settled back in Pemberton.
2.What is your definition of strength?
Wow, that is a good question, and different for everyone for sure. A few things come to mind right away. The first is, growing up my mom had a little cross-stitch frame that said ‘Let gentleness by thy strength’. I always liked how that flipped the idea of in-your-face-bombastic strength on its head a bit, and showed how strength can be returning to gentleness even in the most challenging situations. I also think of Pippi Longstocking, who is one of my all-time favourite characters, and who can lift her own horse. I also think of strength as being able to identify and face your innermost fears and challenge them.
3. What is something that’s important to you now that never used to be?
Something that is very important to me now is freedom. Freedom to be myself, have adventures and be creative. I think I have always sought this, but couldn’t name it so clearly when I was younger.
4. How would you describe your style?
My style is casual, colourful, comfy, fun, creative. I like clean lines in clothing but with fun pops of colour and print. I also love jewellery. More and more I am stepping into my personal style. Local stylist @jessiemcnaught has been so fun to work with over the last few years. If you are struggling to identify your personal style, call Jessie for sure! Funny, I think we all kind of know our personal style when we are kids, then we are taught to move away from that, then we spend our adult life returning to it! At least that is true for me.
5. What is your favourite food to cook at home?
Pancakes for my kids with real maple syrup and berries. Plus I love making a good strong coffee in my stove-top perk and I also love making different smoothie creations. My blender is by far my most used kitchen appliance.
6. Name 3 books on your bookshelf.
‘Iris Apfel - Accidental Icon - Musings of a Geriatric Starlet’ by Iris Apfel‘A Big Important Artist - A Womanual’ by Danielle Krysa‘Ten Tiny Truths - Principles For Living a Big Life’ by Whistler’s own Erin Anderson
7. What is something you'd like to accomplish in the next year?
In the next year I want to paint almost every day, release some new limited-edition clothing and houseware items printed with my art, and hike the West Coast trail with my friends.
8. What would people find surprising about you?
Hmmmmm what would people find surprising about me… I don’t know actually! Maybe that I love sports and fitness. I go to my Richlife Bootcamp classes religiously (they have been outside during covid which has been amazing for mental health!) and I love to ski, bike and hike. Also, I am a mom of two teenage boys who are amazing!
9. What's your favourite movie?
I don’t know if I have a favourite movie but I ADORE The Sound of Music, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Bridesmaids.
10. How do you want people to remember you?
I would like to be remembered as happy, loving and true to myself.