Heather Mulligan from Madison, Wisconsin is the winner of the Miracle Lourdes FluevogCreative contest with her winning submission "Lourdes L'Amour." Heather has done a little bit of everything from being a burlesque performer to a caricaturist, and is a self-professed "Fluevog-Nerd."
I've worked as a caricature artist for the past 8 years or so, and supplement that with a mundane day job. Art school seemed too expensive, so I went the community college route. I'm currently taking art classes at Madison Area Technical College, and have some great teachers who I admire and respect.
However, I need to challenge myself more if I want to make a life out of art, so I'm taking more steps to get there. I briefly had a job inking a graphic novel, but it didn't pan out due to funding reasons. I may start a tattooing apprenticeship soon. I am also a burlesque performer, and it's been a wonderful creative outlet, as it forces me out of my introverted hermit shell, and lets me unleash my inner bombshell/drag queen. I am also a writer, photographer, daydreamer, space cadet...
On her first pair of Fluevogs:
I have been Fluevogin' for about 7 years or so. The first pair I saw, which I regretfully didn't buy, was a pair of chartreuse and pink open-toe minis. They were only $30 at the Buffalo Exchange, they were my size, and I was smitten with how quirky and comfy they were. I was unfamiliar with the brand at the time though, so I had no idea what a treasure I had stumbled upon. I passed them up because I was too cheap and never wore heels. Then I discovered the Fluevog store while shopping in LA, and saw the same exact shoes. Needless to say I kinda beat myself up for not getting them. Now I've amassed a bit of a collection.
On entering the FluevogCreative contest:
It seemed like the perfect opportunity. I've been quietly making art for years, but haven't really put much out where people can see it. I'm a huge Fluevog nerd and have been wanting to do this contest for a while, but was holding out for a shoe that really inspired me. When I saw the Lourdes it was love at first sight, and I decided this was the one I was waiting for. Which also inspired my drawing: girl swoons over fabulous shoes; she has found her sole mate. I knew I had a fair chance if I really tried, so I just had to make the effort to see what happened. Also, I'm really broke and wanted some kickass new boots, and would love the chance to have art published in some of my favorite magazines.
On the inspiration behind her winning ad Lourdes L'Amour:
I felt that the boots had kind of a vampy Victorian feel to them, and as I was swooning over these boots, a fainting Victorian woman came to mind. I wanted the design to capture the spirit of the shoe, and I wanted it to be nostalgic, lighthearted, and whimsical. The tagline "Miracles are surprises of the Soul" really resonated with me.
It took about a month of doodling half-baked ideas, a couple weeks slaving away on a previous Victorian-styled drawing which I wasn't in love with, and then 3 days before the deadline, on the verge of giving up entirely, I decided to start from scratch. Trying to get out of the frustrated mindset, I did a spontaneous, cartoony sketch, and actually really liked it. I did the final drawing in a couple hours that night, stayed up til 4 am the next day coloring it, made final adjustments, and voila!
On what the dreams and future hold for Heather Mulligan:
My dreams are vast and myriad. I want to make illustrated stories, children's books, and graphic novels. I want to be a great painter. I want to do more burlesque and performance art, and use my notoriety as a performer to help advance my art career. I want to put together ridiculous outfits and be a fashion photographer, and I want to be a fashion designer without having to learn how to sew. I want to make videos that use music, dance, set design, fashion, puppetry, and storytelling in perfect harmony. I want to put on puppet shows that are dark and perverted, yet deep and profound. I want to throw crazy costumed dance parties. I want to find the magic in everyday life, and tap into my shamanistic powers. I want to travel the world, and surround myself with creative geniuses. And so I would have time to do all this, immortality would be nice.
Keep an eye out in Bust, Juxtapoz, UTNE and Wax Poetic magazines for Heather's winning design in print.