Last year we introduced the Artist to Watch series that began with Jodie Muir, since then we have debuted five more artists. Our first Artist to Watch of the year is Heather Nunnelly originally from Houston, Texas.
Hi Heather, thank you for chatting with The Game Fanatics. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What makes you tick and turn?
What makes me tick and turn? That’s a good question. I’d have to say being a part of a creative atmosphere like being surrounded by other artists, reading, writing, and being a part of the gaming community.
Is your desire to be around other artists one of the reasons you left to New York from Texas?
Actually, yes it is. As much as I love my friends back home at Texas I didn’t know a lot of people that were into the same things I was. Especially drawing comics. New York had a lot better schools and programs to make connections and get out there. Even in high school we didn’t get as many resources as sports or other electives.
I definitely understand I work for a non-profit that works to get students into and through college. Texas doesn’t match up for students with specialized interests, especially the creative ones.
So who is Heather Nunnelly?
I am a strange little lady who lives in a small apartment in New York trying to make rent. Recently I graduated SVA majoring in cartooning (comics) and I am now trying to find work as in freelance, which I am having a hard time doing.Other than that there’s not a lot to me besides my like for video games and critiquing bad movies.
How did you get started creating art?
I took art class in elementary school and my teacher thought I had talent. My sister, Michelle, actually was better at it, so she taught me how to draw. She’s been the one to really inspire me to get into the field. If she wasn’t there I would probably be doing something else. We sort of fueled each other during out childhood.
That’s really awesome. I think art is something that kids have to be introduced to early and given encouragement for or else we may lose their creativity. I truly believe art saves so I am glad you have your sister.
Speaking of the motivation you received from your sister, do you have any inspirations or role models?
I agree. I think art saves, too. It’s a great way of expressing yourself.
As for role models, I don’t have a lot of them. The closest thing I have to a role model is Ross Campbell (the creator of Wet Moon and Glory), a friend of mine, because he really helped me put my foot through the door. He helped me a great deal with getting exposure and making connections. If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have succeeded in a lot of things that I’ve done like a Kickstarter I did 6 months ago.He has a lot more experience than me so when it comes to guidance he’s the best thing I have.
Awesome. I like seeing artists support each other. Wisdom should be shared more often.
I think art saves, too. It’s a great way of expressing yourself.
We touched on this a bit already but when did you discover your passion for art?
I’d have to say when I was a kid, but I didn’t really take it seriously until high school. Before that I was leaning more towards writing since that’s what i thought I was better at. This was until I drew my first comic, Before I Sleep. That did very well as a webcomic, so I decided to push that success further and become a professional. Art has always been a part of my life though for as long as I can remember.
I see. Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Well, first I go online so that I can put on pandora. Then I just kind of sit in my room with pens, pencils, and paper and draw what needs to be done that day. That or I open Microsoft word when I feel like writing instead.
I don’t do a whole lot more than that. Sometimes I’ll put on Netflix, but that’s about it. I’m sort of boring in that region.
You pretty much answered my next two questions. But just in case I will ask anyway. You’ve gotten inspired, you know what you want to create, what’s the first tool you reach for?
Probably a pencil. A number 2 one. Nothing fancy. I used to use mechanical pencils, but sometimes I draw too hard with those. That and, in my opinion, they can stiffen the drawing if it’s the first thing I draw with, so I save them for down the road when more of the drawing is finished for details and such.
I knew I couldn’t trust mechanical pencils.
Hahaha! Yeah they’re not the best for me.
Let’s say for some, totally hypothetical reason zombies are about to take over the earth. You have to escape your home so you don’t get eaten or turned into a zombie! But you can only save two pieces, what will those two be?
Touche and Crimson Sheets. Mainly because Touche took me a month to finish, and Crimson Sheets is the most personal piece I’ve painted yet. That and I have Crimson Sheets framed so I could always use it as a weapon if I have to.
I like how you think. Multi-purpose items. Since you’ve mentioned being a gamer I am going to focus the next few questions on games and because we are The Game Fanatics.
Your guilty pleasure video game, that one game you can play for hours on end and tune everything out, what is it?
Fall Out 3 and Half Life 2. Both games are my all time favorites. I like Fall Out 3 because you never really beat it. You can play it for years.
Let’s dig into your pile of shame for a minute. Tell us one game you haven’t played, that you’re ashamed you haven’t played yet.
I have no idea, actually. I’ve played everything that I’ve wanted to play. There might be something on Xbox that I can’t play on the PS3, but I don’t remember.
Ok. Do you remember the first video game you ever played?
Sonic, but I don’t remember which one it was. That or Mario since that was my Dad’s favorite video game.
Classics! What is your dream job?
To work for gaming. Either I create my own games or I do character design work for someone else. Valve would be my dream company. I have always wanted to work with them since forever. If that ever happened, I would die a happy woman.
Nice. We have some friends over at Valve! Hopefully we will be able to see your work in some games soon.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on my science fiction webcomic, VACANT. For the past year and a half I’ve been posting it up online
It is Friday and you’re about to get off work for the weekend, what song are you listening to?
Whenever I am working or am getting off work I usually listen to pop music. I have drawn or written pretty dramatic scenes to songs like “When I Grow Up” by the Pussy Cat Dolls or Katy Perry. Most people think I listen to very serious music, but I only do that for emergencies like if I need to be inspired.
Anything with a good beat that can put you in a good mood, I like your style. Where can we find more of your work?
Thank you very much for your time.