Selective Focus: Heidi Feroe
Heidi Feroe is a multimedia artist and member of the band Babie Eyes. In both her visual art and music, Feroe uses art as a vehicle to explore her identity and connect with community.
You are a multimedia artist. What mediums do you use?
I like to get into collage, acrylic painting, markers, and watercolor for the most part. I just like to make a giant mess I think.
When did you start creating?
I’ve always liked to make things and come from a family that valued and encouraged creativity.
How has your art evolved over time?
It has evolved as I have evolved! I learned to love myself through creating and I think my art reflects that inner joy I have found now. Five years ago, I had so many more reservations about putting myself out there. It takes perseverance and resilience to break free in your own mind and allow yourself the grace to be.
Have you always been a musician as well?
Yes, I did a lot of musical theater and choir growing up. I also took voice lessons to expand my range. I started playing guitar at 21 and taught myself enough to write songs to begin with. I played in bands in town for a few years but I lacked the intention and discipline I have now.
What does your creative process look like? Is it different for visual art versus music?
When I paint or draw I just trust my hand to guide me to get started then I get lost in it. When I emerge from the place one goes, I start to see things I’d like to articulate and then I get lost in that. Sometimes It’s easier than other times to get in “the zone” but it’s always worthwhile to make that connection with yourself.
I tend to write songs when I feel like I learned an important life lesson or come to a kind of conclusion about something. A song then comes out in a melody or I will write it like a poem and then start to hear the melody. Babie Eyes has allowed me the opportunity to collaborate on songs and sometimes we write songs together as a band! It’s pretty sweet.
What themes does your visual art explore? Does that extend to your music?
The art and music I have made in recent years reflect the process of a kind of awakening I’ve experienced in my 30s. I took many years off from playing music with people. During that time, art got me through and taught me to value myself and my talents. It teaches you how to enjoy your own company. I was ready for music again when I achieved a certain level of love for myself which I lacked previously.
Babie Eyes came to be over this past year (like a dream) and we explore those same themes of gratitude, unconditional love and forgiveness. We are all on the same spiritual path and I think that is kind of our theme, spreading that love around and being a part of this extraordinary community!
Explain a little more about this “awakening” you’ve experienced in your 30s.
I went through some challenging times in my 20s and it seemed I was just stagnant or stuck for a number or years. I stopped playing music for the most part, I really didn’t have many friends and I didn’t socialize much at all.
When I got pregnant with my daughter, Norah, I began treating myself with more love and respect. I quit unhealthy habits and gained new healthy ones. After experiencing the process of having a baby, I turned a corner in my mind and kept building momentum.
I was at home with my daughter for her first two years and did a lot of art at night when she would go to bed. I took a chance one day and went down to the Ripple Bar to reconnect with my friend, Maggie Bowman. I met Owen and Jacob Mahon that day and they were looking for an artist to do their album art. I showed them some stuff I had on my phone and they asked me to do it!
I started going out to the Ripple Bar on Tuesdays to see New Salty Dog and I decided to do live drawings and give them away as part of the experience. This allowed me to be social when I hadn’t been for years. I was able to sneak away into my art if I felt socially overwhelmed. I did this for over a year and really sharpened my art skills.
I was asked to do an art show at Wussow’s Concert Cafe last January with only two weeks to get it accomplished (someone had backed out at the last minute). I had more than enough pieces but had to scramble to figure out frames and whatnot. It was a success, and such perfect timing.
At the reception, New Salty Dog played and I thought it really couldn’t get much better than that! At the reception for the art show, I ran into drummer and an old friend Curtis Bellows who I hadn’t seen in years. He was really encouraging of me getting back into music — when I knew him ten years earlier that was all I was doing. He got me a case for my acoustic guitar and I started going to open mics again. I had been playing music alone in my bathroom for many years so it was a challenging transition to play in front of people again.
I started playing with Curtis at his house and decided we needed a bass player! Ian Alexy wanted the job and turned out to be a perfect fit. In March last year we named ourselves, Babie Eyes, themed on seeing every day with new eyes and a fresh perspective of non judgment. We got social media going and started taking gigs in April! We added Kenneth Bressler on synth and Jacob Mahon on keys and vocals.
I knew after our first full band practice that this was the band. We all get along so well and are on similar spiritual paths. We just want to share the love and have a really good time doing it! I think about how lucky I am every day to be able to play music again and share my/our songs. Babie Eyes now has over 25 original songs and I play bass on some songs which is thrilling!
The five of us have put so many hours into this by now and we just keep moving forward. We recorded our first album at Sparta Sound and couldn’t be happier about the progress! I’m able to do the art for Babie Eyes when needed and I also do commissions here and there. Music certainly takes most of my time and energy these days and I’m very okay with that!
Where can folks keep up with your work?
You can purchase my prints at Annex Novelty Shop! You could also view my work on Instagram @h.m.feroe or email me feroeheidi @ gmail.com! Babie Eyes just recorded our first album at Sparta Sound and we are so excited to share it soon! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram @babieeyesmusic. We will be playing New Years at Sir Ben’s!
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