After much back and forth it was great to finally connect with Heidi. She has been an extremely positive and encouraging energy for this project. She is not only an extremely talented artist, but is supportive and upbeat about other artists, breweries, beers and the 16oz. Canvas. One of the words that she embodies is collaboration - it is her fuel and she loves it and we do too since we get to benefit from the output she works to create for all. We look forward to connecting upon our return to Maine this summer and see what comes of it. Will have to make sure to bring a few bottles to the hang as her beer game is on par with her art - no joke.

AJ:                 I’m really excited to have with us Maine Artist, Heidi Geist, who is joining us from the Portland area.  Hi, Heidi, how are you today?

Heidi:              I’m doing pretty good, AJ how are you?

AJ:                  I’m psyched.  I mean I really appreciate it.  I’ve been trying -- when I first started the idea of the project I  had seen online some of your work had been kind of credited and so -- Heidi was one of the first people I reached out to that didn’t tell me the idea was crazy, and so we’ve been try to juggle schedules for little while and finally we get to connect.  So, I’m -- I’ve been looking forward to it, yeah, so thank you.

Heidi:              Yeah, it’s exciting.  It’s definitely a while back and forth, but yeah it’s good to finally make it happen, exciting.

AJ:                  Yeah, exactly.  And how I found Heidi and we’ll, you know, get there later.  She had done some work for Bissell Brothers in Maine, if you haven’t heard of them, you might not -- you probably not listening to the Podcast, but they are a great brewery out of the Maine area and every summer we go up to Maine -- Harrison, Maine.  So, we’re a little a ways from you but it’s a special place for us every year to go, so we’ll have to crack a few when I come up there.

Heidi:             Heck yea.  It is vacation land.  I mean, it’s the land of beer and camping.

AJ:                  Yeah, it’s pretty -- it’s great. 

Heidi:              Good stuff.

AJ:                  Yeah, they’re good.  It’s a lake town and we have to kind of just be -- you know, just taking -- you know, slow things down a little bit for the better and it’s much appreciated and the beer -- yeah, the beer just keeps getting better.  If that’s -- it wasn’t like that.  I mean it was growing but every year it just gets better and better.

Heidi:              Oh, yeah, absolutely.  There is always -- there is definitely a growing -- I don’t think the demand is getting any less and, you know, so it’s pushing everyone a little bit harder to create a better product and definitely in Maine that’s kind of exploding.  So, it’s good stuff.  Everywhere where you turn there is something new and exciting to try out.

AJ:                  Yeah.  One Industrial Way is kind of like the minor leagues, so to speak, that everyone kind of starts from there.  The story of that is pretty cool and talking to the folks in Allagash and we first went up there, you know, Bissell had just kind of started, their pretty early infancy.  I think I went there one weekend and it just, it’s like we had Baby Genius.  They really-really were known for substance at the time and I think there was a big beer event there and they were pretty small output at the time and they had just run out of beer for the weekend.  And so people were saying you should go check these guys out and there was -- it’s like, well, we have this new beer we’re going to be putting out Baby Genius if you want to try that one.  And I was like “Oh, no substance huh?” and I’m like oh, wow, this beer is amazing too.  So, yeah, it was awesome.

Heidi:              Yeah, it’s pretty great.  Yeah, and there is like -- it’s funny there is a lot of beers and they have a lot of breweries in Maine that are kind of all the same age; they are all around three years old.  And it’s pretty incredible to watch what they’ve done just a small amount of time.  I mean, yeah, few years ago word was just on street and they are just as popular today, but they’ve all kind of been able to expand and expand their reach a little bit and, yeah, it’s good.  I mean easier to get your hands on a little bit for sure.

AJ:                  Yeah, definitely, the new facility is awesome too.  I think it’s very complementary to their style and, you know, it’s very industrial which is really great.

Heidi:              Oh, yeah.  Yeah, they pulled in a lot of other artists to kind of, you know, contrast the old industrial park with some really cool sort of urban colorful artwork and its great; definitely, they’ve done a good job for sure.

AJ:                  Excellent, yeah.  Now, like I said folks should know about Bissell, but the reason we’re here today is to talk about you Heidi, so that might be a little different, but can you give a little background of yourself as an artist or just kind of the Heidi long-elevator trip?

Heidi:              It’s a very long trip.  It goes up and down too..

AJ:                  Yeah, when I was -- the elevator that’s 10 seconds, so I don’t want -- I kind of want a little more than that.

Heidi:              Yeah, I won’t give you my life story.  I’ve always been an artist just sort of taken off since I moved to Maine from the West and I really -- the people around me and the people I live near and my friends who really inspire the most.  So, it’s a really creative scene here and not just art and music and, but you know food and drinks and -- yeah, it’s basically it’s a lot of collaborating and feeding off of each other.  So, how long of an elevator ride was that?

AJ:                  Couple of floors, I’ll ask some questions on that.

Heidi:              Okay, fine.

AJ:                  You said you came from out West.  Where did you come from and how did you end up in Maine?

Heidi:              Yeah -- oh God.  I’m from Arizona and Idaho, so grew up in a desert and spent a lot of time outside and we have quite a bit of family out here.  So, just sort of change the scenery and to kind of -- I guess ust landed in the Portland area 10 years ago and started meeting people and the scene grew and so did my art I guess with that.  I mean I guess I sort of evolved with the area that I was living in, so yeah.  I mean the connections here.

AJ:                  Were you always -- yeah were you always an artist?  I mean did you -- was it always more of a hobby.  When did that kind of --

Heidi:              I was -- I was but not -- I was always in the arts -- music and art and theater growing up and, you know, like I guess sort of did the adult thing early on and left it all behind and for maybe nine or ten years I really didn’t do any art at all and moved here and just decided to throw some paintings up in a cafe and sold a bunch and it sort of took off from there, so it’s great.  I mean sort of the re-connecting with the passions I had when I was younger and just taking them and sort of developing them and learning with them and definitely a different style than I did earlier and -- yeah, I mean -- I think creativity never dies, so just sort of letting it spawn and grow and fueling it from early on.

AJ:                  Well, yeah, I think your style is pretty eclectic.  It’s all over the -- we’ll take a step back. If you go to Heidi’s Instagram (DiegeistArt) it’s really nice because like I've said we've never met, but your -- there is a good energy to it.  I think that it shows the diversity of the work you’re doing, you know, all the different types of styles and I’m not an art moderator or have a studio but I know what I like and I know that its unique and different and it’s -- you kind of put yourself out there and it’s a -- I don’t know, it’s a nice kind of glimpse without being creepy into the artist which is cool.

Heidi:              Yeah, I know, totally and I guess in a way that’s -- I don’t really have people asking about my style and I don’t really have a specific theme or subject matter whatever, but maybe that’s what it is.  It’s just that I’m always kind of trying to push it.  I’m trying to collaborate.  I’m trying to think outside the box and do something a little more unique and innovative and captivating.  And like I don’t know if I found any of those things yet but the journey of just sort of developing yourself and your skills and being willing to open up and try different stuff and, you know.  I think some people find it awkward.  They can’t quite put their finger on it when they look at my art, you know, there is no room for like cohesiveness I guess to some of it but, yeah, I find it -- I mean that kind of fits my personality pretty well, so.

AJ:                  Yeah, I think that there is almost like almost a set of themes, like there’s -- they’re not all at one style but I think that there is a lot of similar pieces that if you I guess had to which again if you’re doing art why would you kind of limit yourself but that you just kind of put them in -- I really like the black and white work and there is a lot of -- some of it is quite trippy you know, and I think there is lot of depths and kind of levels to it.  You can kind of get lost into it when you -- you know, you keep finding out how many layers to the art there are and then there are some abstract stuff.  So, yeah, maybe you’re right, there isn’t a really one way to put it in there which is great.

Heidi:              Yeah, be a little awkward; I like that.

AJ:                  All right.  So, yeah, that you -- so you stole next question of this, of how would you describe your aesthetic which is the one question when I have to ask people I cringe because I’m like “Uhh”.  It’s like the classic but -- because it’s like I don’t really -- yeah, and no one’s like “Oh, I get that all the time”.  I’m like that was -- that sounds like a good idea, you know, a couple of months ago to ask that question but I still ask it; just the cringe factor can be shared across all the artists.

Heidi:              No, it’s funny.  I mean I saw that question and at first I think I did cringe because of kind of what you just said.  I like -- my style is sort of come and go and it change with my -- what’s currently happening in my life and my experience, my mood and everything, but at the same time I do sort of have this maybe unintentional sort of -- right, especially when I paint, I do a lot of contrast with -- people refer to my art often times as dark art which is sort of funny but at the same time I see why, but I use a lot of fluorescent, so a lot of UV-reactive paint and in combination with sort of dark -- I guess subject matter dark in the eyes of the viewer whoever I’ve been told this before.   Sometimes scary or ominous or just sort of melancholy and so when I paint that’s kind of I guess my usual thing, I mean not that I stick to.

So, if I had to really like explain and describe to people, you know, that would probably be the best I could give, and using a lot of texture and what not.  I also do pen and ink work which you kind of brought up earlier which is a little bit different in sort of using like the total opposite side of my brain.  A whole different focus technique and its -- well, it’s more focus, it’s more therapeutic and maybe not planned out but there’s a lot of geometric shapes in sort of -- yeah, because I can see why people cringe trying to describe it especially when you don’t often have to describe it.  It’s kind of funny, but yeah they are more structured.

AJ:                  Yeah, because I think the -- yeah, I think that’s the part of it.  The reason I like art and I mean even just music in general is the fact that it doesn’t have to say “Okay, I am this or this is what this is”

That is the speaking, and so when you have to kind of like take a step back and -- I don’t know, in a way it’s -- it can be limiting because you know, well then your art is subjective and you go into -- yeah, you look at your pictures or you go into the studio or you go into the museum and we don’t see the same thing.  So, if you’re telling me that you might plant a pretense and maybe like make me to try see through that kind of filter so to speak. 

Heidi:              Yeah, exactly.

You don’t want to plant seeds in their minds and the eye of your viewer either, like you don’t want to lead them to see something that maybe they wouldn’t otherwise see unless it’s something you want them to see.  Like you want it to be a -- you know, you want them to feel it and to take from it from it what they want to or what they do and so, yeah but -- yeah, I guess that’s far as I can go with that one.

AJ:                  Yeah, that was -- hopefully, it wasn’t too painful.   Now, with the ink work -- and as you said it was painful I’ll just edit that one out and you -- and cut you saying like that was great from another part of the interview.  Now, with the ink work, were you -- I get the vision you was like when you were younger doodling a lot in your books or you know, just kind of just seeing where it goes or you know.

Were you -- you know younger when you were big doodler?

Heidi:              Oh, yeah -- oh yeah, very much so and even now like I took college classes a few years ago and I was like uncontrollable and actually when I was younger I didn’t paint.  I never really painted until maybe nine or 10 years ago.  I -- it was all drawing, it was more still-life and realistic stuff and a lot of like, you know, pencil and pen and -- but, yeah, the -- ink work is fun.  Actually, the first Bissell can I did was, was that.  It was for the Diavoletto which was there under 3% session beer and that was a great one.

AJ:                  Oh, I didn’t -- I wasn’t -- yeah, I didn’t know that was you.  Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.  Yeah, that beer is always like magic to me because it says it’s like 3% but it doesn’t taste like it’s like drowned in water.  I don’t know how it works, but I don’t question it.

Heidi:              Well, that’s been -- yeah that’s the idea behind the name of the Diavoletto means little devil and they were like play on that.  That was kind of the idea with the art too.  It’s just like sort of being maybe sarcastic way like little alcohol content, huge flavor, just -- yeah, it’s a pretty tasty beer.  You wouldn’t even know.  It tastes more like, you know, 4 or 5% but they did a good job with that one for sure.

AJ:                  Yeah, definitely.  Yeah, I think that the lower ABV’s beers, I think that’s an art in and of them itself because it’s, you know, the -- I think the session phenomenon is kind of -- that’s another cringe -- beer cringe worthy term but I think it’s been kind of -- but that's beer is amazing to me.  I think I had it first on site and I was like there is no -- like okay I love this beer.

Heidi:              I know -- I know it’s funny.  It’s not usually the go-to for people but you know, you don’t always need a really high alcohol beer and that’s -- they did a good job, so I agree.

AJ:                  I’ve definitely evolved.  I think the 9 or 10% those are not as frequent as they used to be.  They kind of just jump right out at you and kind of -- they can kick your ass.  So, how did you come to work with them?  You said you -- that was the first can you had done for them?

Heidi:              Yeah, so trying to remember, I -- a new tiki lounge opened up in town.  The owners of -- there's some restaurants in Portland here that are pretty popular, Nosh Food Bar, Bramhall, now Big J's, Slab; those are collaborations between some of those guys -- opened a tiki lounge; that’s about a year ago -- year and a half ago and they brought me in to do the artwork to hang up in there hanging up in there sort of permanently, but also some like custom bar tops.  And I think Peter Bissell, he’s good friends with those guys and has been there and seen some of the work in there which is funny because what I had done for that place is the opposite of kind of what I ended up doing for him the first time, so.  You know, giant oversized paintings that were highly textured and very vivid and then the Diavoletto canjust simple white can with a black-ink design and that was it, so quite a difference.  But, yeah, I mean I had never met them before that.  He reached out to me after seeing some of the work there and some of the work on my Instagram and, yeah, from there.

AJ:                  So, here we are.  Now, we are here today.  So, this comes full circle.  So that's great.

Heidi:              Absolutely.

AJ:                  And how was the process since you really didn’t have a -- you guys didn’t really know each other, was -- did they give you some insight?  Did they just tell you about the beer?  How was that process?  I always find that interesting.

Heidi:              Yeah, there wasn’t much of it on the first time.  With Diavoletto -- he gave me the basic idea of what he wanted which was, you know, to represent like we said a large flavor and a small alcohol content in art, and I did a few versions of that and we just ended up going with something totally different but basically it was totally in my court to come up with.  And, yeah, I don’t know, I had -- what I started out with was -- I’m trying to remember.

I was doing it from like actual, you know, images of a devil and with -- I don’t know, sort of really scary looking face and big scary dude and it ended up being nothing like that, just this whole awful geometric shape that sort of I guess -- in his mind when he saw, it represented kind of like a parasite or some sort of like really small microscopic but really dangerous organism and so anyway we went with that.  The second time though with Angels with Filthy Souls, which just came out again, it will be opposite like Peter knew exactly what he wanted.  We sat down and had like a two-hour conversation where he showed me a million photos that he was inspired by and that came out pretty cool.  That -- you know, he really wanted to go with sort of a medieval feel and it’s interesting.  It’s hard sometimes, it’s hard to be in the middle, you know, and not really know exactly how to please the customer, but I think all in all things worked out pretty well.

AJ:                  I think that’s great too, like we’re saying before if you put those two cans together and they said “oh, these are a part of our artist series, then some would say who are those -- who are the two artists”, so I think that’s pretty interesting that you have that kind of -- the black and white which is one of your traditional’s and then angels which is more in line with like with your painting style.

Heidi:              Yeah, totally different and actually an Angel with Filthy Soul did end up being a painting that they they’re planning I think to auction off, so that will be interesting but, yeah.

AJ:                  That’s pretty cool.

Heidi:              Yeah, that’s -- yeah totally, super fun -- super fun unexpected job.

AJ:                  Now, I mean the canvas -- the size of the can I mean how was that experience for you as an artist to be -- your pieces look like they’re normally a little bit larger.  I know that folks find it interesting kind of utilizing the wrap of the can and how was that for you?

Heidi:              Yeah.  So, the first time I was -- I’d never done anything quite like that before so it’s a little nerve-racking and I think I put more thought into it than I needed to but, you know, because of technology and software like editing software for art and photography and you’re able to resize that and, you know, it’s not have -- there is not much pressure on the artist to come up with a specific size that would be good for that. However, considering the wrap of the can and wanting to place stuff so it’s not just in, you know, this tiny little spot on the front is a little more challenging but I think that the style that we came up with, for Angels with Filthy Souls worked out pretty well.

Other than that, like Peter -- Peter does most of the art, Peter Bissell.  So, he already has -- oh, my gosh, I’m struggling to think of the name of the very common -- oh, Photoshop.  He already has a background in all that and so he basically took the artwork that I did and put it in there and fixed the size and, you know, made sure that it would fit well on the can.  So, as soon as I did the art, it was out of my hands.  I was able just to hand it over and let him figure out all that stuff.  So, that actually wasn’t really a consideration too much.  So, yeah, like I -- the second one it was just -- it was literally a painting that was maybe like -- I don’t know, 12 inches by 18 inches or something, and he just got a really good high-res shot of it and threw it in the computer and now it’s on can, so modern age.

AJ:                  That’s pretty -- yeah, it’s been interesting.  Some folks are traditional and then they scan it in.  I’ve spoken to others who work just straight in the illustrator.  It’s pretty amazing.  I mean it’s crazy.

Heidi:              It is interesting and it is interesting all the different -- like I feel like it would probably be different if it wasn’t a label, if it was printed directly on the can.  So, you know, I’ve only done can labels so far.  I’m not sure what it would be like to work with something different.  It might alter the way that I would do the art but, yeah, I don’t know.  I mean honestly like technology really takes care of a lot of that which is pretty great.

AJ:                  I like the fact that it’s also a painting that’s going to be auctioned off, so we’ll definitely look for that.  That’s pretty cool.

Heidi:              Yeah, totally.

AJ:                  And that’s one of the things I like about that brewery.  I mean, I think Maine and -- like I’m in Connecticut which is New England, but like -- I think like Northern New England, it has just a -- even stronger sense of community, if that makes sense.  You know, I feel that’s really --

I mean it may be because it’s sometimes difficult to get around, you know, some of the smaller towns but Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, I think that kind of trifecta has a really tight kind of community using locally grown products, the food that -- even the food trucks and kind of where they put on these events.  It’s not self serving; it’s really nice to see.

Heidi:              It is really cool.  You know, I think what brings that -- two areas is that -- and specifically Maine but I think this true of a lot of the New England states is that -- all the people I’ve met here, are from here.  They don’t really leave.  If they leave they come back.  It’s really like a family in Maine and no matter where in Maine they’re from it’s like all these people know each other.  All the brewers support the other breweries.  They’re all friends.  They all network.

They all -- you know, they do events where there are several breweries helping each other out and they’re collaborating and it’s a pretty cool scene and that carries over into other parts creatively in businesses and stuff here locally, but yeah in terms of beer and the craft-beer scene, it’s a pretty big thing here.  So, it’s great; there is really no one brewery that’s just out for themselves; it’s -- you know, everyone kind of marketing each other and working with each other.


AJ:                  Yeah, like I said, I think our first year up there we went to Allagash because that was the one we knew and spoke to them and they directed us to the ones across the street and spoke to Foundation and Austin Street and Bissell, and they were -- and you know they all said “Well, Allagash got started over here; you know, they helped us with this or this setup or this drainage, this advice”.  And one of them said the other one, you know, had given them hops -- a certain type of hops that they were trying to work on and then you see now the beer collaborations are, you know, more common across the industry.  So, it’s really nice but like I said I’m a big fan of Maine and we look forward -- I mean I go for about a week to 10 days every year, but it’s definitely -- we definitely look forward to it.

Heidi:              Oh, yeah, totally; it’s a big family.  It’s a big creative family up here, no doubt.

AJ:                  Excellent.  Now, as I said, if you haven’t got a chance to see Heidi’s Instagram, it’s really great to see all the work that she’s doing and she is drinking some good beers too so that’s awesome. You just opened up your own studio, so that’s pretty exciting.

Heidi:              Yeah, I’m sitting here right now.  It’s about time.  I’ve had a couple of places outside of home and they weren’t really -- you know, they weren’t this.  This is a really nicely side and nicely inspiring place right on the water and I’m hoping to make it more of a collaborative space, just kind of what we’re talking about where people can come, whether the breweries I’m working with or other artists and sit down and brainstorm and come up with some really cool creative ideas to share with the community and so it’s exciting.  I’m excited to actually get some art pumping out of here for sure, it’s been a while, been a while.

AJ:                  So have you started dressing the walls yet or what’s the plan there, maybe paint the walls --

Heidi:              Have I started doing what?

AJ:                  Like dressing the walls, getting stuff up.

Heidi:              Yeah, I’ve really -- so I pretty much just got to the point where I can start hanging stuff and I am planning on doing open house.  So, for whoever is around the area, I think I’m -- you know, actually I have one local brewery scheduled to come in and serve and food from Nosh and artwork to hang and I have a lot of art to start making for it but yeah it’ll be good, it’s been a while.  It’s been a long time coming.  I’ve got a lot of merchandise I’m sitting on, and t-shirts and what not.  So, it’ll be good to get those out and share and -- to see some people coming in the door.

AJ:                  Excellent.  Now, with these other breweries you probably are -- you know, you probably got some good friends up there in the beer-scene area. Has the idea of doing other label-art work, is it that something that you can see yourself doing again?

Heidi:              Absolutely, it’s the direction I’d love to go and I’ve definitely been approached by a lot of different people not just in Maine but, you know, always planting seeds and talking about doing some future collaborations.  Currently, I’ve got a local guy who’s sort of just getting up and running and -- Baby Puppet Brewing.  So, I’ll be doing a little bit of work for him.  I did -- you know, sometimes I collaborate in not just labels but various other things like there’s a couple of great breweries, Banded Horn and Barreled Souls that do a -- well, they do their New Year’s Eve parties together and I did the artwork for that.

Limited run of this IPA, a collaborative brew for the  Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens .. releases mid-June (2017)!

Limited run of this IPA, a collaborative brew for the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.. releases mid-June (2017)!

So, it’s just a really sort of -- you know, kind of fusing two passions together, art and beer and food.  And so, yeah, I’m hoping to get some future projects locally and there are some new breweries opening up and I’ll be working with a couple of them.  So, I guess, everyone will have to stay tuned for that artwork when they come.

AJ:                  Yeah, we’ll definitely -- we’ll follow along and we’ll -- yeah, hopefully, maybe some of the artists will get turned on from each other just from the site and learn about each other, about some cool folks and it’s cool because some of the art that you’re doing, you know, I can see with other folks you’re not the same but just kind of the same style and then some of the beers that you’re a big fan of, we’ve got a couple of those folks who’ve talked to.  So it’s really kind of nice to see.

Heidi:              Oh, yeah, absolutely and you know it’s kind of a crazy -- I mean there’s always been craft beer out there and there’s always been beer out there, you know, breweries using really cool artwork and -- but I feel like it’s definitely like the floodgates have opened and I’m seeing some really cool work right now and even, you know, there are a couple of artists that came before me for Bissell  that each did a can and -- I mean everyone have their unique style and -- but there’s some really creative stuff going on and it’s cool to see for sure.

AJ:                  Yeah, I definitely agree.  I mean the reason we’re doing it is we are beer agnostic, so I mean we hope that the beer -- that artwork -- yeah, the beer is as good as the artwork but it’s really just trying to focus on the artist.  I think it’s unique and I think it’s a really integral piece, you know.  I know marketing -- I have a background in marketing.  I’ve done some work in music and I just know how important, you know, that extra next level is and I think that the art is getting its niche in the industry and that’s been pretty -- it’s been pretty supportive and I think craft beer in general is pretty supportive just -- you know, it’s kind of a different community.  So, I think it’s perfect -- to complement artists and I think that you’re doing some great stuff.

Heidi:              Yeah, thank you, and I totally agree.  I mean -- and it doesn’t have to be, you know, like there’s some really simple artwork out there right now and it’s great and in terms of marketing -- in terms of marketing endpoint, you know, I wouldn’t say the market is saturated in the way that it’s -- I don’t know.  It’s -- I guess what I’m saying is, it's good some time to cut some of the really brewery stuff with some of the super-simple stuff and yet some of the simple art out there is just for good and it’s just kind of cool to see.  Somehow just walking around the beer store and looking at bottles and cans and it’s just as fun as drinking.  I mean it’s pretty interesting and then, you know, all the collaborating on stuff and all the supporting of each other is pretty cool too for sure.

AJ:                  Yeah, I mean because -- yeah, some of them are just really nice topography, other ones just with the -- you know, some of the breweries are just kind of up and coming, they are using canning stations.  So, it’s been more of that, you know, a lot -- you see the kind of an infancy, that circular label, you know, with Bissell for awhile they had the same label and then they had the sticker to differentiate which different, what it was.  And then they, you know, started branching out with unique labels for each can and -- yeah.  I see a lot of breweries that still do that. You know they have one or two that signatures, that have got a unique label and you kind of -- once you know that beer is going to be a more regular rotation and you see okay now that has a label for that.  So, I think it’s yeah -- it’s really cool.  I think technology allows for that.  You know, canning stations and -- yeah, it’s really cool.  I mean it’s -- I think the last five years just really just kind of taken off.

Heidi:              Oh, yeah, totally, and it’s interesting because sometimes I feel like I’m involved in such a small world here in Maine where I forget that this is the only really great collaborative and like you are saying there’s a big focus on, you know, buying local and farming and even farmers collaborating and have friends who make mead and I have farmer culturist who consults with them and gives them different, you know, whatever for their mead and you know it’s -- but it’s outside of that.  That’s kind of everywhere right now which is really awesome and in a way it’s like it’s created this whole new -- it’s not even just a beer culture, it’s just kind of like a whole new culture in general, of just creative, likeminded people who are enjoying something really positive and definitely awesome to see and awesome to be a part of and, you know, I’m looking forward to being part of it for a while.

AJ:                  Well, I think that your humility and your support of others, you know, I think is really great.  I think that’s -- that does -- you know, it’s -- that’s not always easy for folks to do, you know, to -- but I think that you’re -- you have a good energy and good outlook on things and I think that -- you know, I think that.  And you should also probably get a job working for the Maine Board of Tourism because  you’re just dropping names all over the place, breweries, restaurants and everything in between artists.  So, if the tourism board is listening I think that Heidi should work there part time.

Heidi:              Sure.  I’ll let them know.

AJ:                  Right, yeah, just show up a couple -- you know, just show up tomorrow and tell them you're going to do a couple of murals and work in a moose

Heidi:              Yeah, I don’t know.  Our Governor isn’t really into that, so I’ll kind of have to wait. 

AJ:                  I would have the same, unfortunately that might be the one less-than-shiny moment in the Maine story.

Heidi:              Yeah, well open for business isn’t exactly the model I’m going for, but I mean we can change that -- we’ll change that.  We’re good.

AJ:                  Yeah, right.  Yeah, because we came up there --

Heidi:              Well we are Vacation land.

AJ:                  Yeah, but we come up there and like everything’s great and then like we’re in the cabin which is like three channels and he’s on there.  You know, he’s like oh, I’m going to not watch TV.   You know, this is why I should not be watching TV 

Heidi:              No.  No reason to turn it on.  Just enjoy yourself.

AJ:                  I think that’s what it is because folks who are in Maine and they are not connected, that’s the whole point.  You know, you’re trying to get back to nature and then you -- I think that’s why he gets away with so much because most folks are just out on the lake or fishing, or doing something and they’re like “oh, I guess, somebody is kind of running things and setting stuff --

Heidi:              Out on the lake.  Yeah, I mean it’s a great state to be ignorant in the way that you’re ignoring your governor.  I mean -- and just enjoying your life.  What else is there to do here, you know.  That’s funny.

AJ:                  Yeah, I will definitely -- so, Maine gets a 9.5/10 because you have a governor who is -- yeah.

Heidi:              Considering I’m not from here I’ll accept that.  I think that’s great.

AJ:                  Yeah, that’s all great.  So, when you’re creating, you know, especially now with your studio, is there music you’re listening to, or is there -- paint the scene for us.  Sorry, terrible pun.  But, you know when you’re creating, do you have -- is there a band you go to, is there a style, or is it just kind of -- yeah, set the picture for us.

Heidi:              Yes, and the -- yes, there has to be music, and -- totally, the outcome -- I don’t really like try a style of music on to create a certain artwork.  Usually I turn music on and the artwork is just created by the music, and it’s not really intentional.  So, I listen to everything.  I mean, I listen to metal.  I listen -- you know, I have danced and painted to reggae music and electronic.  You know, I listen to pretty much anything.  I mean, definitely really feeling the noise, rock bands and for example, like My Bloody Valentine and -- but yeah it’s interesting to -- I don’t know if any of the other artists have talked about that but I feel like for me, the art that I make is definitely, largely produced by the music that I’m listening to, which is interesting.  It would actually make a pretty cool study if somebody ever wanted to take that over.

AJ:                  Yeah, that’s our next project.  You know, in my previous life I was a -- I did radio -- a radio host and so I find it interesting, and one of the ideas was to take some of the artists that people mentioned and almost make like a radio channel, Pandora or Spotify and just have a beacon of the different --


Heidi:              Oh, yeah.


AJ:                  Of the different things.  Yeah, it’s interesting.  A lot of folks come from musical backgrounds so they are coming from a start, getting into art because you’re trying to promote yourself and so you make your posters and you kind of go from there.

Heidi:              Oh, yeah, totally.

AJ:                  Music definitely is the underlying theme with lot of folks.  They kind of -- which is -- which makes me so happy.  You know that’s -- that question I was definitely would kind of be lead down that path.  A lot of times it’s like, how’d you get started, “Well, I was in a band and we had no money, and I needed to make sure posters.” And I was like, “Alright, cool.”

Heidi:              You know, I’m not sure that’s like the true crossover, like I actually was a musician before I was an artist.  I performed -- I got to perform, like I was always a musician, and I was always in bands and I was always practicing the piano or whatever instrument and I always felt more comfortable sharing visual art with people than music and it's true, like I have a ton of friends around here who are both.  And some are just more one than the other and it’s interesting, it’s definitely a lot of crossover, that creativity just kind of is always there and comes out in different forms but, yeah, that’s cool.

AJ:                  Yeah.  I think that you’d been an artist who -- if you haven’t done it, do like a live painting like a -- I’ve seen -- I saw -- the one time I saw, I was in a Jazz fest but, you know, a live painting to the music.  You’re saying the music would influence you.  I think that’d be the kind of the physical embodiment of your theory right there, you know, one of your friends shows.


Heidi:              Oh, yeah.  Yeah, totally, and I have actually -- you know, I’ve been part of that niche.  I’ve witnessed that at different types of festivals and whatnot, and it’s interesting.  It’s definitely -- I’d be curious to take that same person who’s creating art at a specific type of festival or event, or concert, and put them in a whole different genre of music and see what they do but -- yeah, I mean it’s pretty crazy.  Especially something like -- you know somer really old, early jazz or something and, I don’t know, that’s -- one inspires the other for sure.  I agree.

AJ:                  Yeah, and one of my favorites is, you have a couple of pictures of it is the drum, you know, the drumhead piece --

Heidi:              Yeah.

AJ:                  Which I think is just really cool.  I think, you know, it just -- yeah, it makes a killer of the other -- yeah, you show it and this -- you know just kind of as a still and you kind of get it on the stage and just -- and really add something to it.  Yeah, I don’t know the band, I don’t know what they’re playing but it makes me want to go.  I’m curious but that’s all though and it’s pretty -- it’s pretty awesome, to see.

Heidi:              Yeah.  Again, it’s like with the beer thing.  It’s -- should be because I’m -- I don’t know how it is for real.  I have lived here for long now.  It’s like there is so much crossover, people -- it’s all the artists and musicians are working in the food industry or they are brewing, or they are working in tap rooms and so there is just a lot of interconnectedness.  And so, to fuse all of those interests into one is freaking awesome, and -- yeah, that particular one, I’ve done a few drumheads and guitars.  The one that you’re talking about was for -- actually for one of the local metal band’s, Sylvia, and they’re actually probably one of the better brands in Maine but, yeah, it’s a pretty fun project and it’s pretty fulfilling to see your stuff on the stage when you’re at the show and -- I don’t know, just sort of you getting away, breathe life into it.

AJ:                  Yeah, exactly.  That’s it --

Heidi:              Taking a sip of this beer.

AJ:                  Yeah.  I didn’t get what you’re having?

Heidi:              I’m having something that I’ve never had before.  It’s some brewery in Connecticut.  I actually have to look at the can.  I just bought today, Stony Creek.

  Lisa Sotero who does the artwork for Stony Creek will be featured         on a future episode of the 16oz. Canvas - STAY TUNED

  Lisa Sotero who does the artwork for Stony Creek will be featured         on a future episode of the 16oz. Canvas - STAY TUNED

AJ:                  Okay.  So, maybe Big Cranky or something?

Heidi:              Yeah, actually.  That’s funny.  I think they’re new names.

AJ:                  Yeah, they’re -- you know, they--

Heidi:              I have worked with breweries there before and never seen them before, so I’m assuming --

AJ:                  Yeah, they’ve a -- I’m not sure how old they are but they definitely -- I think the distribution has increased and they -- most of their artwork is beer -- you know, is bird focused.

Heidi:              Yeah.  Yeah, that’s what I’m looking at right now.  It’s like a stork.

AJ:                  Yeah.

Heidi:              But it’s pretty cool; it’s almost like tribal or something.  That’s pretty neat.  Yeah, I’ve never heard of these guys; I’ll have to look them up.  Connecticut doesn’t have a ton of beer, but there’s a few pretty decent breweries.  I’m definitely a Black Hog fan.


AJ:                  Nice.  That's near me. If you're into sour -  there is you know OEC, New England Brewing Company is really great.  There is some others too, Gandhi-Bot and you know Fuzzy Baby Ducks is from there; yeah, we’ve got some goodies.  It’s definitely -- it’s a good place.

Heidi:               Yeah, the -- it’s interesting because I feel like being in Maine it’s -- we don’t see as much.  We cover so much here, I feel like it’s harder for some of these little breweries that are in the surrounding states to get in maybe.

AJ:                  Oh, yeah.  I have to --

Heidi:              I may be wrong about that one but, you know --

AJ:                  No, I have to -- to imagine.  Yeah, I think that that’s the thing.  You know, they expand and there’s not as many like tap houses.  It’s, you know, they’ll be at the local food and restaurants and stuff like that.  So, it’s -- the good food and good beer places and restaurants and, you know, different stops has definitely increase over the last few years.  So, that’s always cool to see.  But there’s definitely a few on the risers, you know, some old folks and, yeah, it’s a good spot to be.  We get a good kind of up and down -- you know, we are not too far from everybody else either but, yeah, there’s -- it’s Stony Creek is not too far for me down here, so.

Heidi:               Yeah, I forgot you’re -- are you in Connecticut?

AJ:                  Yes.

Heidi:              Okay.

AJ:                  I’m not from Connecticut originally, but I’ve been here a long time so kind of like you, except Connecticut.

Heidi:              Right.  Yeah, you know, so basically -- honestly though I would rather get in my car and tour around and actually visit some of these places than, you know, like it would be great to have some of them up here but it’s fun to actually go be a part of a place and the process and meet the people and have everything fresh, so.

AJ:                  Oh, yeah.

Heidi:              Connecticut will be my next stop.


AJ:                  Thank you -- yeah, it’s just thank you for making the time.  I’m really excited to have you part of it.  You know, like I said Maine is a special place for us and I’m excited to -- you know just kind of learn more about your story.  Keep us updated on the studio

Heidi:              Awesome, sounds good. 

AJ:                  All right.  Well, thanks for what you do.  I mean I admire and I really dig your style and your -- like I said your energy, so am glad we’re able to connect.

Heidi:              No, thank you; it’s pretty exciting and I can’t wait to see what comes of the whole project

AJ:                  All right.  Go rock that studio.  I look forward to seeing how it goes.

Heidi:              Absolutely.  Thank you.  Thank you, AJ.