We had the good fortune of connecting with Annie Hejny and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annie, what inspires you?
As a visual artist and certified Forest Therapy Guide, I draw my inspiration from the earth. My lifelong connection with nature has developed into a visual language, expressed through abstract paintings and drawings. Working in several different mediums and styles, my creative process weaves together our stories of remembering and reconnecting with the natural world. While the earth speaks resoundingly, so many of us are not trained to listen, and so I’ve become a voice for and of the natural world through my art.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It’s both amazing and incredibly hard to be a full-time working artist. I balance the demands of running my own one-woman business with the joys of channeling inspiration from nature. What I love most about my work is collaborating with families and organizations on commissioned art projects that are a perfect fit for their space. Creating this customized work is such an honor because through our conversations, I hear their life stories about land, water and family. These memories become woven into the artwork and resonate through each piece. Even though I’ve worked this creative process for years, each commissioned project feels truly unique because of our shared storytelling. Along with spending time in nature, an important part of my creative practice is showing up to work in my art studio, even on the days when I don’t feel inspired. This act of showing up tells the universe that I am committed to my work and I am grateful for all that I have. I have to be an artist. It’s who I was born to be.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m from Minneapolis! If you visit the Twin Cities, I highly recommend spending some time walking along the bluffs of the Mississippi River. I love a good dinner at Tori Ramen and a waffle cone from Crepe & Spoon.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the love and support of my family, my partner, and my art community. Thank you, thank you.
Other: Patreon: www.patreon.com/annieirenehejny
Liam James Doyle, Jerry Mathiason, Jane Veitenheimer, Marko Zitzer