Heather Frietas states that she has been drawing ever since she could remember. It wasn't until Junior year of High School when she asked her parents to co-sign for a vehicle that she would end up taking art classes. Her parents told her that they would only co-sign for a car for her if she would sign up for classes in art at school....so she did. She states that many classes in High School bored her because they didn't challenge her enough, but that changed when she took her fist art class.
As a child she always loved drawing and even remembered when she was young saying that she wanted to be an artist when she grew up. When she took her first class she found an even greater passion than before within the arts and after her first "semester" she knew that art was something that would always be in her life.
She states this moment came after only her second art assignment. She remembers it vividly. It was a charcoal assignment ( not her favorite media she had ever used ) and while the teacher went to each student one by one handing out a white piece of paper and a black piece of charcoal when the teacher got to Freitas she handed her a black piece of paper and a white piece of charcoal. "Drawn in reverse" the teacher said. Freitas looked up at her so confused. "How am I supposed to do that?!" As Freitas stared blankly at the black piece of paper in front of her the teacher simply said "I don't know, figure it out" and walked away.
This was the moment that changed everything for her. It was the moment she was challenged not only with the task ahead of her, but challenged to look at art with a new set of eyes, and with those eyes, creation itself. As she worked her way through this piece she found a new passion that she had never explored before.
So for her two remaining years in High School she took as many art classes as she could and when time came to apply for college she looked back towards her childhood dreams and in front of her with her with a newly formed passion and decided to go to college for art. One thing that always stuck with her was her teachers thoughts on the art world. "You will never make it as an artist until you do something you have never done before." That very statement would stick with her forever. She thought, how is that possible? Everything has always been done, has already been created.
Not knowing or understanding this it only fueled her forward. With that her teacher told her in a serious manner. "If you have a collector, and they walk into a room where there are 100 different pieces of artwork by 100 different artists your collector should be able to walk into that room without ever having seen the piece you put into that room before and be able to pick it out instantly from the other 99 works." It was with these lessons Freitas would start her journey.
After being accepted into a few art colleges Freitas decided to take her journey back to Arizona and attend ASU's Herberger's Institute of art. As she turned 18 and graduated High School she traveled to Arizona with only $300 and a car that became inoperable on her journey south in Gallup New Mexico. She worked full time and went to college. Because Freitas was funding her own education she decided to start at a community college where she would obtain a General Associates and an Associates in Fine Arts.
It was at community college where she would be challenged by an instructor again. This time in her color theory course. She remembers the assignment clearly and the instructor was one of intimidation. The class was tasked with an assignment of creating a piece divided into 6 sections each with a different monochromatic color palette. Before starting the piece the instructor had to approve the image each student would be painting from. Freitas chose a Zebra.
Her instructor would not sign off on the image. "You can not do a monochromatic color palette from a black and white object" she stated" It will not work, you need to pick another image." At this point Freitas was always looking for ways to do things out of the box ( always with that message from her High School teacher in her head). "I don't care, i'm going to do it, I can do it. "Freitas said firmly. Her professor looked at her, not willing to argue and said "Fine, do it but you're going to fail the assignment." So she did it anyways.
When critique rolled around and the time came to present her piece to the class and her instructor Freitas was uncertain of the response she that she would get from her professor. For one thing many would never challenged or stand up to this professor as so many were intimidated by her. The first thing the professor said, to the class, to Freitas was "I hate to say it, but you were right, you did it." Freitas would receive an A on this project. Another moment that has always stuck with her.