10 Questions with Heidi Hundseth Hart
Love the delicate works of Norwegian-born Ethiopian-based freelance illustrator Heidi Hundseth Hart.
Hi Heidi, great to have you here!
1 Could you tell us something about yourself & your background? You live in Norway and Ethiopia? How does the cultures of both countries inspire you and your work?
Hi, my name is Heidi Hundseth Hart, I’m a Norwegian freelance Illustrator from a small beautiful town called Balestrand. For the last couple of years, me and my husband have been living in the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. I came here for the first time 10 years ago, working as an art teacher, and have been in love ever since. I have always been a creative soul, and remembering designing cloths for my dolls at age of six, and I loved looking through my dad’s drawing lessens and do the drawing assignments, just for fun.
I find inspiration in the surroundings, so for instance in Norway I get inspired by the light on the fjord, mountains and the local plants, as in Ethiopia, I get inspired by the amazing music, colors in the fabrics, African furniture, beautiful women and the more exotic plant life.
2 How did you get started as an illustrator & did you go to art school?
Other that one year of art school and plenty of drawing courses I’m self touth.
Six years ago I started as a self employed but it was more just for fun at that time, and never thought I could actually make a living out of it, as for now this in my full time job, and I usually get contacted on Instagram or word of mouth.
3 How would you describe your style & what is your technical proces?
I usually work in ink, graphite and monotype. My style is simple, elegant and with a modern touch. I like clean lines, and few colors, specially the deep color effect I get from using ink. I want the viewer to get a sense of strength, peacefulness and an escape from the chaos that life can bring at times.
I usually always think about creative ideas and try to draw or write them down as soon as I get them. I like to start early in the morning, as I am most creative and productive then. For me it’s always helpful to start with a quick 30 – 1 minute ink- drawings of people or things that I find inspiring. Living in Ethiopia limits your resources, so the key is to lower the expectations that you need a bunch of different equipment to be able to create.
4 What do you love most about your job & what not?
I love that I can work in the environment that I choose for myself, the freedom of being freelance is amazing, it can be a lot of work at times, but I am able to work creatively every day.
Yet, as a freelance Illustrator it can be challenging to make long term plans and it can be hard to put a price on your work at times.
5 Who or what inspires you & your work?
Nature, moving bodies, women, elegance and minimalistic design.
6 Which clients do you work for & what is your dream project?
Abate Oslo, Some local companies. As well as Ocean & Main Los Angeles.
I have tons of dream projects, but I would love to work more for ethical companies, do a mural collaboration and work for an illustration company together with talented artists.
7 What is your favorite color & why?
I love forest green.
8 Name 3 things you can’t live without...
Sleep is so important for me, and coffee (so Ethiopia is perfect for me) and creating.
9 What illustrators / artists are you following and why?
I love to follow artists that have such an unique style, that when you see their work, you can mediately tell that it’s their work. Abstract art from artist like Heather Day to the modern Ethiopian Artists Tadesse Mesfin I admire.
10 Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists?
Adore but not compare. Limitations can sometimes be freeing and practice everyday, but remember to rest.