Houston, TX, USA
Heather Sportsman is a contemporary mixed media artist and art educator residing in Houston, Texas. After graduating with her BA in Art with honors from Southern University Agricultural & Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she pursued a career in education. She taught elementary school art for eight years & high school art for three years upon moving to Texas. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Heather’s creativity awakened from a ten-year creative hiatus. She began to create her drawings, paintings, and digital artwork and established her own company, H. Sportsman Art, in March 2021. Her ideals about safety, mental health, and the public education system changed drastically after undergoing a school shooting in October 2021. After much thought, Heather took the leap of faith and transitioned to a full-time artist in October 2022. In a world full of apathy, anxiety, and adversity, Heather always acknowledges her gifted abilities come from her loving Creator, Jehovah. Heather’s contemporary pieces contain the faces, figures, and objects in nature that highlight the spiritual connections she believes humankind needs in order to be fulfilled. As an artist, educator, Black woman, spiritual person, and survivor, Heather knows that life comes with many tribulations. Within her works of art, she reveals a path for her audience to follow from darkness to light, knowing that nothing bad remains forever.
My current series is autobiographical but prophetic in many ways. It came from a sudden force that I didn't quite understand at the moment, but life grew into each piece over time. Completely unplanned yet perfectly orchestrated. With spiritual growth comes the greatest refinement and responsibility. I walked through emotional fires, weathered physical storms, my emotional flaws magnified, and conformed to what my Creator wanted me to be, not man. You are no longer in control when you have a purpose greater than yourself. It's a setup for the next level. It is a privilege to be granted understanding, and it should be celebrated. Although, at times, you may feel unworthy, devalued, and overlooked. Rest assured. In those moments, the work unseen by human eyes is happening. After the refinement is over, you'll shine as bright as a diamond, reflect more light, and attract more light, but also those who may want to covet your light. Perceptive & discernment powers will be your guiding source. I want everyone to see how life's difficulties, pain, discipline, and self-control can truly turn into something beautiful with patience and without an entourage or applause. In a world where values have changed, and people are so desperately grasping for originality, relativity, and peace, I feel authorized to control the narrative of my art. As a Black woman, it is crucial for me to celebrate non-Eurocentric beauty norms, as representation is invaluable. I take pride in blending the melanated skin tones with colored pencils and gouache, reflecting light on a 2-dimensional surface with deep shadows and vibrant lights while highlighting with acrylic and pastels. Growing up without access to artists who looked like me, I am grateful to use my platform to inspire everyone, but mostly those of marginalized groups.