Heike has been painting for years in San Francisco and has grown to love the city with a contagious passion. On Krrb, Heike’s corner is filled with beautiful pieces with vibrant colors, bold brush strokes and an earthy, honest feel. We got a chance to chat with Heike amidst her crazy schedule, and learned a great deal about the German-born artist!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Originally from Germany, I left for my favorite place, San Francisco, in 2004. After High School and an apprenticeship as a carpenter I moved from my hometown Braunschweig to Dresden in 1995 to study Theater Arts/Fine Arts at the College for the Arts in Dresden. Since I’ve been painting backgrounds for a variety of theaters in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA, either as a full-time, part-time and/or freelance artist. While I enjoy the challenge of translating small-scale designs into the real scenery size, it’s been always an urge for me to also create my own art. Expressing myself artistically is an important part of my life. Like exercising (running, surfing, biking) it keeps me sane especially during stressful times. It can be just as recreational and relaxing.
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m originally from Braunschweig, Germany and I now live in San Francisco, USA.
What is the most awesome thing in or about your neighborhood?
Having lived in the vibrant San Francisco Mission District for about 6 years I’m now appreciating the mellow quietness in Noe Valley. It’s very close to the Mission District so I don’t miss out on that at all. I love all the great food stores and restaurants in walking distance in both area, the whimsical stores, cool second hand shops and the art studios that are spread out all over the place. In my eyes San Francisco is one of the best places to live in anyway offering nature, urban city and lots of cultural events all together.
List the top 5 places you go locally to discover hidden treasures. OR Favorite place you go locally to discover hidden treasures.
There are a bunch of cool places here: As to 2nd hand places I found my best clothes cool brands at Crossroads (Market & Church) and at Buffalo Exchange (Valencia &23rd). For furniture my husband and I got cool and really fair prized pieces at the Candlestick Park Antique and Collectibles Faire which is unfortunately no longer happening anymore. The little garage store Décor Galore (Sanchez & 24th) is great for little treasure picks as well as ‘The Apartment’ (18th & Lexington). Last year I discovered the best handmade X-mas gifts on the artsy Bazaar Bizarre in the Concourse Exhibition Center (8th & Brannan)
As a kid, were any of your toys and clothes hand-me-downs? Stories please!
Yep, I’m the 3rd of three girls. Some ‘big girl’ clothes I was anxiously waiting for to grow into while others I secretly pushed to the very back corner of the dresser hopeful they would be forgotten until I grew out of it anyway. Was a super happy 70’s girl when I finally fit into my sister’s bell-bottom leather pants with their x-large belt buckles!
Have you ever taken home an object you found in the street or dumpster? If so, what was it? And where is it now?
Oh yes, I have… Back in Germany and Switzerland I furnished my entire room(s) almost with found pieces only, like a cool 50’s kitchen cabinet! Also a set of 4 matching(!) chairs I discovered once and upcycled them with fancy cow- and leopard-patterned upholstery. There was also that 50’s baby-blue couch which I loved and that found a new home at a friend’s house in Switzerland now. Also the kitchen cabinet traveled with me from my hometown Braunschweig to Dresden and then to Luzern in Switzerland. Since I left for San Francisco a good friend appreciates it now back in Germany, Hamburg.
Are you a hoarder or a minimalist?
Minimalist. Moving a lot means downsizing a lot of times. Though I certainly keep pieces I am emotionally attached to and like most, ..if possible.
What is your most cherished thrifted, secondhand, vintage, upcycled object you possess? What’s the story behind it?
For X-mas I was lucky to win a cool lamp on ‘Krrb’. It’s an upcycled old black dial up phone with its spiral court holding up a light bulb on the one side and a black pencil holder (mug) on the other side. It was exciting to receive such a surprise package from NYC exactly on Dec 24th, the German X-mas day. Thanks again to Tyagi from Dog Tag Designs!
Do you create/make things? What are you working on these days?
As of scenic art I’ve just done the last brush strokes for ‘Jesus in India, the recent show of the Magic Theater in San Francisco. At the same time I was working on the sets for ‘Food Stories’ at the Z-Space and ‘Don Quixote’ at the SFU High School. Hope to find some more time for my own art soon again. I’ve built a few more wood boards a while ago, which are just waiting to be painted! I enjoy abstract painting as much as figurative painting. While the last years were rather determined by expressing feelings related to my immigration experiences I now feel anxious again to also pick up the im- and expressionistic style again.
By the way, what’s your day job?
I’m a professional scenic artist. I work together with set designers and translate their small-scale designs into the real theater stage size. You can get an idea about my work and artwork on my website www.pintofpaint.com.
The Short List
Crossroads Trading, 2123 Market Street, San Francisco, CA.
Buffalo Exchange, 1210 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA.
Décor Galore, 1104 Sanchez St. (between 24th St & Jersey St), San Francisco, CA.
The Apartment, 3469 18th St. (between Lexington St & Valencia St), San Francisco, CA.
Pint of Paint