JUNE ARTIST & EDUCATOR OF THE MONTH: HEATHER MADER
by Tiffa Rex
We are very excited to bring attention to a new artist every month. Each Artist we highlight also teaches their craft in some way so we can all benefit from it. This month we interviewed Heather Mader. Let's dive in!
1) What kind of alcohol ink artist are you?
I would say I'm an "experimental" artist in general. I don't stick to one style, but I DO seem to put my own spin on everything I do. Most people who are familiar with my work can recognize my style no matter what medium its in. My alcohol inks tend to include flowers of some kind, even if the background is abstract. I love white gel pens for line work, and I add depth and textures in my paintings using various techniques.
2) What would you say are your specialties as an alcohol ink artist? What sets you apart?
What sets me apart? I'd like to humbly say that there is nothing new under the sun first of all. :) But I do have a specific look that I achieve by creating depth and almost a striped look in the inks using strokes with an airbrush. I also like to outline my blossoms in white gel pen to achieve a stained-glass effect. I haven't really seen any paintings on social media that look exactly like mine - so I guess that would be my little "contribution" in the alcohol ink world!
3) Do you teach how to do this at all? How can we learn from you?
Oh yes - I am a natural-born teacher! It brings me so much joy to inspire others and it is the most deeply satisfying part of my artistic life. Fear of failure holds many people back from pursuing their art dreams, so if I can empower and inspire just one person to find their creative voice and express it, it brings me so much joy. I have hundreds of free painting tutorials on YouTube, lots of little snippets of my process on Instagram and Facebook, but also offer a class on my "specialty" look through Thinkific platform. I have Zoom classes and Zoom teaching collaborations coming up - as well as teaching one on one and in person.
4) What advice for new alcohol ink artists would you offer?
GO WITH THE FLOW! :) I think this is true with ANY fluid art medium, but especially alcohol inks! We all have specific ideas of what we want the outcome of our painting to be so we cling to these expectations. Instead, just allow yourself to just play, explore, and create without an outcome attached. I know its hard!! :) lol . Some of my most beautiful creations came from stepping back from what I thought the painting was SUPPOSED to be and just let it be WHAT IT WAS. There is magic in that space between expectation and reality. And just like any other artform, once you understand your medium better, the control over it will come later. So never worry about that part. Try to feel and express joy in the simple act of creation and the rest will naturally occur.
5) What have you enjoyed most about using T-Rex Inks? Do you have any in-depth review videos / posts about our inks we can link to?
Oh my gosh, I didn't expect to love the inks, because they aren't well-known as the BIG NAME brands. But what I found is that these inks are incredibly underrated! The colors are rich and vibrant, and when used with the clear blender, I find I can achieve totally smooth and delicate effects. When used alone or with alcohol, I love the textures that can be created and some of the secondary colors endlessly intrigue me. I tell everyone taking my classes - buy the T-Rex Earthtone Warm and Cool packs. There really isn't any color there you won't be excited by. They are all gorgeous and rich. Thank you for offering REAL sizes in the blender and the inks too. That's a huge bonus.
6) Where can we find your videos?
Here is my Instagram. And here are just a FEW of my videos using T-Rex inks: Enjoy!