Our Collaboration with Ethiopian-based Artist, Heidi Hart

Our Collaboration with Ethiopian-based Artist, Heidi Hart

We recently connected with Ethiopia-based artist, Heidi Hart (thank you, Instagram, for making the world a smaller place), and were honored to serve as inspiration for a beautiful series she created. We caught up with Heidi to learn about her career and what drives her. 
Heidi Hart 1

"I really love Ocean and Main, the style is so elegant, and designed in a way to fit every woman. The fabric was really an eye-catcher with its wonderful flow and class. I especially love that you’re a company that focuses on ethical production while at the same time creating a beautiful product. "

o+m: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became interested in illustrating.

HH: I grew up in a small town called Balestrand in western Norway. It is a beautiful area surrounded by mountains, fjords, and forests. As a child, my family moved to Tanzania and I can remember this being a time of creative inspiration, I loved to draw and use what was around me to create, second-hand shopping in the markets of Iringa and sewing clothes for my dolls. Though it always remained a hobby over the years, I recently have begun to invest more time and effort into becoming a free-lance artist. 

o+m: Who are your biggest influences, and what is your creative process like?

HH: I look up to people who dare to follow what they believe in. Having said that, something I really admire within the art community here in Addis, is how supportive artists are of each other. And that is something I look up to and hope will influence me the most. I have always tried to set aside time to do art. I believe in practice. However, this last year I have made a greater effort to commit more time to growing my skills. So most of my art comes out of setting aside a dedicated time, which then drives my inspiration. If I know I have the time, the inspiration will build as I create and I can sit for hours nonstop.
Heidi Hart Ocean and Main

o+m: How have you developed your career? 

HH: My career as an illustrator/artist was mostly just a side hustle that developed through relationships, family and friends, which then grew through word-of-mouth, and now recently through social media, mostly Instagram.

o+m: How do you spend your free time? 

HH: My hobbies are hiking, gardening, drinking specialty coffees with friends and teaching art and creativity to the younger generation. Aside from developing my technique and skill as an artist, I also am learning Amharic, one of the many Ethiopian languages.


o+m: Tell us about your favorite place you've visited! What art destination are you dying to visit? 

HH: Ethiopia. Since I’ve now been living in Ethiopia for some time, I would really recommend traveling here. This country has an amazingly rich culture, delicious food, and several hidden galleries and jazz clubs. I would love to visit Japan one day. Everything they create is beautiful, from their food to their ceramics, traditional architecture, and art. Japanese aesthetic has a simplicity that inspires me.

o+m: Sounds like we need to visit Ethiopia!  How do you unwind? 

HH: I am refreshed by walking in the mountains, cleaning my work desk, being around creative and encouraging people as well as the occasional trip to somewhere new. I'm currently reading Lemn Sissay's Gold From The Stone, and am listening to Josh Garells, Hilma Nikolaisen, Leon Bridges and Ethiopian jazz like Mulatu Astatke.

o+m: Finally, what is your dream project?

HH: My dream is to someday build up a name by working with ethical and sustainable companies. I also dream of one day have a creative studio here in Addis Ababa where I can work alongside Ethiopian artists.

Heidi Hart Ocean and MainA huge thank you to Heidi for creating such special pieces and taking the time to chat with us. You can see more of her work here and follow her on Instagram here.

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