Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Hat?

Hi there!

My name is Heather, but my friends call me Hat.

I’m an artist, storyteller, songwriter… and creator of the illustrated book, “How Heather got her HAT’ness back”. I’m really passionate about a whole bunch of things… but, if I had to list some of the themes that resonate with my core values, it’s these:

  • BE YOU!  Be YOU!  Be YOU!!!
  • If you still don’t know who “you” are… (or if you’ve forgotten – as many people have)… I can help you re-find your YOU’ness!
  • I am a Lover of Diversity.  I don’t want people to be more like ME… I want people to be more like themselves!
  • As Shakespeare said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache”.  Liberate yourself from burdensome, draining expectations placed upon your life by all kinds of well-meaning people (including yourself).
  • Life is short and precious.   There’s SO much more to life than ‘surviving’, ‘existing’, ‘getting-by’ and ‘making-do’.  Enough of the hoop-jumping, brown-nosing, people-pleasing and trying so desperately hard to “fit-in” and “be-liked”.   Just be YOU… weaknesses, oddities, quirks, madness, MUCH’ness and all!  It’s deliciously liberating! 🙂
  • EVERYONE is talented.  EVERYONE has strengths.  EVERYONE has something of value to offer the world in the unique way that only *they* can offer it.

I guess, in a nutshell – this is my little Hattish message to the world:

  • Embrace your beautiful, messy unique’ness!
  • Free yourself from burdensome expectations and learn to love yourself – exactly as you are.
  • Celebrate your talents and your strengths!
  • Live deliberately and do the stuff you love – the stuff that excites you.
  • Live the example – and be brave with your life… so that others can be brave with theirs.
So, Hat... what do you DO?
  • I write and illustrate books.
  • I create messy art journals (lots and lots of ’em)…
  • I host art-journal-making workshops.
  • I write rhyming poems.
  • I blog.
  • I write, compose and sing songs (and I enjoy creating interesting vocal harmonies & arrangements).
  • I conceptualise musical theatre productions.
  • I give poetry readings (complete with props and slides).
  • I tell stories and create unique experiences for tribe’sters.
  • I chat to girls about self-esteem, eating disorders & body-positive stuff.
  • I work with my husband on film-scripts and movie stuff (he’s a filmmaker).
  • I host creative workshops – and demonstrate how art has a powerful role to play in everyone’s lives and emotional wellbeing (not just “artists”).
  • I speak at events.
  • I travel as much as my budget can possibly allow… (preferably with my family).

Professional dreams include: TED talks… quirky, independent films… musical theatre productions… more books / zines / online Hattish courses / crazy-irreverent-stationery & goodies… and some kind of kickass management / publishing / agency / whatever… to manage the lot – so I can just CREATE and CONNECT (and not market, manage, administrate or sell)…!!

Also…

  • I’m wife to Nick…
  • Mom to Morgan & Joah…
  • Semi-nomadic dual-citizen (South African & British)… with home-base in Joburg which we rent out on Air BnB when we’re in nomad-mode…
And... what can't you do?
Here’s a list (by no means exhaustive) of what I suck at:

 

  • Sales, marketing… or any kind of selling.
  • Asking… pitching… brown-nosing – of any kind.  And especially (cringe! cringe!)… trying to sell or pitch my own work!
  • Admin.  All admin.  Anything even remotely smacking of admin.
  • Getting organised.  Staying organised.
  • Neatness.
  • Hosting (I like having people in my home – and especially tribe’sters… however, guests will probably find that I’ve run out of milk, forgotten to buy loo paper… and I will usually forget to feed them or offer refreshments.  Guests will need to fend for themselves in our home.  I’m a useless hostess.  This is not an exaggeration).
  • Small talk.  I really suck at small talk.  I find it excruciating.
  • Money-management.  Money-anything.
  • Cooking.  I enjoy eating – but not cooking.  Never cooking. (I do, however, have a deep respect for foodies.  Deep, unwavering respect for the Kitchen Geniuses who churn out edible masterpieces.  In my ideal world – I would have my very own foodie… who works for our family… and churns out edible masterpieces – just for us.  Even better if they also buy the groceries).
  • Shopping.  Loathe it.  Especially grocery shopping.  Especially grocery shopping at malls!
  • Managing people.
  • Conflict.  Hate it, hate it, hate it… will go to great lengths to avoid it.
Would you draw something for me?
I don’t accept commissions (meaning that I don’t draw for clients, corporations or other authors).  I illustrate a lot of my own work – but no longer illustrate for other people. This may sound snooty – but there’s a long story behind why I’ve chosen this route. I know that there are artists out there who are able to maintain their creative integrity (when accepting commissions from clients).  They accept the work, but they know where to draw the line between their integrity as an artist – and what their client likes or wants… and they refuse to compromise. Unfortunately – as a prolific people-pleaser of the worst kind… I have never managed to get this right. For many years, I was a freelance graphic designer and, because  I didn’t want to disappoint my clients, I’d say “yes” to every suggestion they made.  Every horrible font… every awful colour choice… every enlarged logo… I submissively agreed to do their bidding. As a result, my love for graphic design lapsed into a deep coma (from which it has never recovered) after years and years of designing *for* clients… according to their standards, tastes and preferences (which were – most of the time – the antithesis of MY tastes, preferences and standards). I compromised my creative integrity for “the money” that the clients offered me. And, as a result, I shot myself squarely in the foot. I simply can’t afford to do the same with my illustration gift.  My art is precious to me.  I don’t want to fall out of love (with illustration) in the same way that I fell out of love with graphic design. So I keep my illustration – as “my” thing.  I draw for myself… my own books, art journals and projects. And I don’t accept commissions.  Sorry.  Hope you understand…(?)
Can we book you for a speaking engagement?
Yes. In fact, I really enjoy connecting… and would be happy to discuss different options with you. Over the years, I have given all kinds of talks, presentations, poetry readings, songs & stories evenings, creative workshops and what-not… Drop me an e-mail… tell me a bit more about your event and we can work something out. PS:  I am willing to travel (far and wide)… and if you can cover my travel costs and accommodation – I’m probably up for it.