Heidi Hobbs plans to pursue an art career for two main reasons: to fulfill her need to be creative and to honor the memory of her younger sister.
The 24-year-old artist is showing her work for the first time ever at the Cartersville Library Art Gallery and celebrated with family and friends, including her proud parents, Regina Tatum and Curtis Hobbs, at an hourlong reception Tuesday evening.
Her collection of acrylic paintings — mostly portraits — and wire-wrapped jewelry will be on display through the end of November at the Cartersville branch at 429 W. Main St. Hobbs was beyond excited when she found out her fantasy artwork had been selected for the library exhibit.
“That was the best feeling ever,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, some people want to actually look at my art.’ It was awesome that people actually like it. It’s a great feeling.”
The Cartersville native, who wanted the exhibit mainly to “put my art out there,” said her mom contacted the library about displaying her work.
“My mother actually does all that stuff,” she said. “She’s a go-getter. She’s the business person. I’m just the artist.”
Adult services librarian Lindsay Harris, who is in charge of the art exhibits, said she really liked the fantasy theme that shows in Hobbs’ work.
“Her mother showed me a picture that she had on her phone of some of the recent art she had done, and I said, ‘Have her apply to be in our art gallery’ because it was just beautiful and a different perspective from what we normally have,” she said. “The fantasy landscapes are just something a little different. The portraits are really good, too, but I hadn’t seen those then.”
For Hobbs, painting is “kind of like reading a book,” she said.
“You can get lost in what you’re doing,” she said. “There’s just a different feeling knowing that you can create something from your head. I like the light and contrast to it, the shadows and how you can make a 2-D object look 3-D. I just think it’s awesome, just something I feel compelled to do, for some reason. I don’t
Part of that reason involves honoring the memory of her younger sister, Hilary, who died in a car accident two years ago at the age of 18.
“I want to actually do something with this,” Hobbs said. “At first, it was a hobby, and then I really wanted to start doing this, especially after my sister passed. This is something that she wanted to do, and I felt as though she would want me to go on with this.
“So I mainly do this for her and myself, but for her.”
Hobbs said she’s “always been into [art], probably always will be,” but she didn’t get serious about it until she was 12.
“I first started copying album art, like different CD covers, and I would just draw them,” Hobbs said, noting she took an art class in high school but is “pretty much” self-taught. “I started drawing, then I got into painting because I felt like it was easier for me to see how to do it better.”
Her favorite subject to paint is portraits, but she’s trying to move toward landscapes.
“I really like to paint the ocean and things like that in nature,” she said. “I would love to start looking at it in person instead of trying to take a picture of it and then paint it from there.”
For the portraits she’s commissioned to do for someone, Hobbs said she paints them from photos.
“But the ones that I do that are just for fun, I do it out of my head,” she said.
The Cartersville High graduate said she “definitely” wants to expand her work into other kinds of media.
“I know this might be backwards or whatever, but I really like colored pencil art,” she said. “I think that’s really cool. You get more shade options and stuff. And I want to go into airbrush [painting]. I love airbrush and murals. I love those. I like everything.”
For her jewelry line, Hobbs said she would “love to start actually being able to melt gold and silver to make actual rings” set with natural stones.
Hobbs said she’s working on her goal of being a full-time artist.
“I’d love to do that,” she said. “That’s my dream. I’m actually going to move out to California [in six months to a year] and try to pursue an art career out there. There’s more opportunity.”
If, for some reason, a career as an artist doesn’t work out, Hobbs has a backup plan. She’s studying computer science at Kennesaw State University with an eye on animation.
“I’ve always wanted to do animation and work for Pixar or Disney or something, being an animator,” she said. “So that’s where that would go in the professional world if I can’t do it with this type of medium. I can always do it with a computer.”