Heather Day

"I love to draw in sketchbooks and work on my computer in cafés. San Francisco is such a great city for people watching and I can’t help but get inspired by watching the way everyone interacts in various environments."

Places We Know #1 - #3, mixed media on paper, 18'' x 12'' by: Heather Day

INTRO: A typical morning for Heather Day starts at 7:00 a.m., and beginning with yoga establishes a sense of rhythm for her day. She spends a lot of time making work in the studio, but as a modern-day artist, she inevitably spends a significant amount of time emailing, blogging, documenting work and communicating with prospective galleries and clients. Her days wrap up with a checklist, which I can imagine is pretty lengthy. Creating a checklist late in the day ensures that she can spend the next morning wisely, working her way down the list of tasks that need to be accomplished. Bolts of inspiration typically hit her around 9:00 p.m. If she's not in the studio, she makes lists of ideas to think about later. If she's in the studio when this bolt hits, she can power her way through whatever work is at hand. "I've realized that the inspiration comes from moments I have collected throughout the day."

The Things You Told Me Today #1, mixed media on stretched canvas, 28'' x 44'' by: Heather Day

Heather was born in Ewa Beach, grew up in D.C., studied in Baltimore, and now lives and creates in San Francisco. While her paintings are unplanned, her expansive body of work possesses a clear thread of cohesion. "I am pretty disciplined with my studio practice and tend to stick to a routine. if I didn’t have a schedule to follow, nothing would ever get done."

She spends a lot of time with paint brushes in hand, but being an active professional artist requires that she look beyond the studio walls. "It’s about networking and educating yourself on a daily basis to continue to grow."

"I’m a strong believer in art therapy. Art helps me work through personal problems and get lost in the process."

We Were Sleeping #2 + Birthday Balloons #2, mixed media on paper, 30'' x 22'' by: Heather Day

When asked what resources and voices are currently missing from the art world, Heather provided really interesting insight:

"The art world can be a cold, scary place. It could use more friendly, open-minded people. I’ve had quite a few people guide me in the right direction just because I knew the right questions to ask. I don’t think art should feel this way. We can always use more people that are willing to share their experiences and this starts with the artists."

And It Rained for Days #3 + Upkeep #10, mixed media on paper, 30'' x 22'' by: Heather Day


Curious about what Heather listens to in her busy studio? Check out this playlist of tunes! "I tend to gravitate towards calm music which consists of indie folk and alternative rock. Although, once I start painting for about an hour, I usually forget that the music isn’t playing anymore!"

She's recently been reading a lot of biographies. Here are a few:

de Kooning: An American Master by: Mark Stevens Since her mom gave her the book in high school, she's read it three times.

Steve Jobs by: Walter Isaacson Heather listened to the audiobook version while driving cross country. So cool!

#GIRLBOSS by: Sophia Amoruso She's currently reading this one for the business perspective. 

For eye candy, Heather looks to the VSCO gridBooooooomDesign Milk and Apartment 34.

When she wants to flip through something in print, it's typically Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Kinfolk or Hearth.

For more of Heather's work and process, check out her website, Instagram and Twitter.

Photo by: Kathryn Rummel