Arizona based artist Heather Freitas developed her well known and instantly recognizable style in 2016. She states that " I always knew I wanted to be an artist, but I didn't know how. I spent much of my life trying to paint as realistically as possible until one day, for the millionth time, I just didn't have words for what I was going through. What I was feeling. So I just picked up a canvas and painted from emotion. I didn’t think about making it as realistic as possible, I only thought about how I was feeling and what I wanted to speak about where words could not. I remember finishing that piece of work, standing over it and being like THIS IS IT. It felt like a child was born to me. From that moment forward I worked to replicate the process in all my works moving forward, because the process itself was healing."
Freitas went full time in 2019 and has not looked back. She has sold over 1,300+ original paintings since 2016, has had her work in the Tucson Museum of Art store twice, an exhibition at the Roswell Museum of art, worked on many public and commercial art projects and even more to come.
For Freitas her work is about communication. About connection. It is about the impact it can have on people. A means to inspire and heal. She firmly believes in the power of art and states that " For much of my life I have been sick without answers. Many doctors even telling me it was in my head. No one believed me and in my mid to late 20's I became so ill that I couldn't leave my house. I thought it was in my head and had no one to turn to. So I turned to art. I tried to heal myself through art. When that didn’t work I became obsessed with trying to help heal others with my work. Healing through impact, connection, humor, beauty and inspiration. That is the foundation of my work and will always be why I create."
In 2020 Freitas was finally diagnosed with Idiopathic Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. A progressive condition in which her mast cells ( cells responsible for allergic reactions ) are over reactive and or overabundant. Freitas would have allergic and anaphylactic responses to environmental triggers such as the sun, heat & cold, biological reactions to exercise, injury or hormonal changers and countless reactions to random foods.
She is finally under the care of a specialist in her condition and leads a close to normal life. " The first time I got super ill was when I was 11. This was a 20 year journey to finally get the answers and help I needed. It's unfortunately the foundation of my life and has greatly shaped who I am today, BUT with that it also lead me to where I am today. It gave me the gift of art & It's my mission to use that gift to help others in one way or another."