Influenced by her Canadian heritage and spiritual background, Indiana-based folk artist Jamie Homeister meticulously paints animal portraits on feathers, usually depicting the parrots from whom the feathers fell off. “Featherwork is an incredibly humbling media, as the feathers splice, buckle, splinter and shred under the weight of paint. Layering them in my multi-feather formations is even more difficult to execute, as you have layers of light, airy, thinly threaded buoyancy”, the artist explains. For more check out the interview and visit her website www.jamiehomeister.com.
Whom do you look up to?
I really love the humble respect Alexander Fjelnseth shows to his craft, his talent and his fans. His realism is off the chain and I think it’s incredible how he can merge it with conceptual imagery. I am constantly inspired by Andres Luevanos. His ability to switch medium and dominate them effortlessly beyond inspiring. Just like Alexander above, he’s incredibly humble about his talent and very interactive with those who comment and ask questions about his processes. I respect that.
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
I have definitely been pushed and inspired by many artists and companies. The support of Art Collective, Out of Step Books, and Trekell & Co. jumps to my mind in the forefront. The encouragement of megawatt talents like Mike Dunn, Georgina Kreutzer, Kit King, Ivan Hoo, Megan Buccuere (to only name a few) really kept me pushing to reach as far as I could go.
What made you want to become an artist?
I’ve always used art to express myself. It’s something I needed to do as a release to purge emotions and pressures. My career started with my first turkey feather painting. It wasn’t great, honestly. It looked pretty terrible. But I was encouraged and continued, refining my techniques until realism was achieved.
What was your favourite project and why?
I would have to say my peacock feather. It was this teeny-tiny feather and my second attempt at realism, which I nailed. It gave me so much confidence and I was so proud.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as an artist?
Keeping up with demand. My feathers take about nine hours to complete with a few for drying time in between. I can only do one or two at a time and they sell instantly. It’s a nice problem to have, but I wish I was able to produce more.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Pursuing any type of creative outlet requires practice and dedication. You must put forth effort every day to achieve results and growth. Saying things like, “I could never do that,” or “I’ll never be as good as you” because it’s both unnecessary and untrue. Just like anything with this life, you get what you put into it. Do the work to reap the reward.
All images © Jamie Homeister