Featured Artist Heidi Hooper

Heidi Hooper creates richly textured and intriguing art made with dryer lint. Learn more about this artist and her unique medium by visiting her website.

 

“Black Chicks” Dryer Lint, 14” x 11” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Black Chicks” Dryer Lint, 14” x 11”

 

Dryer lint?

 

“Dali” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dali” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24”

 

Yes, seriously. I make art out of dryer lint. I never expected to, but I ended up there after I had to find a new medium.

 

“Okoye” Dryer Lint, 16” x 20” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Okoye” Dryer Lint, 16” x 20”

 

I am a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s sculpture department, and studied for my Master’s degree at University of California Long Beach and then later at the Massachusetts College of Art (where I also taught for a while). Then, around 1999, I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor that eventually ate away my upper right arm muscle. After years of radiation treatments and numerous surgeries, I found myself handicapped to the point where I could hardly use my right arm.

 

“Abbey Road” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Abbey Road” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24”

 

I had to find a way to make art. The monster inside of me demanded it.

 

“Toulouse” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Toulouse” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24”

 

I tried many different media, and after trying various fabrics and paper, and in a move that surprised even me, ended up making art from dryer lint. I liked working with the textures, and had to teach myself the techniques needed to make it look great. As I progressed, my work became increasingly complicated and more detailed.

 

“Warhol” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Warhol” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24”

 

I have since become the world’s premier dryer lint artist. Consumer Reports calls me “The Andy Warhol of Dryer Lint.” Ripley’s Believe it or Not features my work in their museums and in their books. I’ve won two national Niche Awards for my portraits of famous artists.

 

Artist Heidi Hooper with Mel Brooks on "To Tell The Truth." See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

Artist Heidi Hooper with Mel Brooks on “To Tell The Truth”

 

And in just the past few months, I was a guest on ABC TV’s TV show “To Tell The Truth” where the panelists (including Mel Brooks) had to guess which one was the real dryer lint artist.

 

“Clive” Dryer Lint, 11” x 14” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Clive” Dryer Lint, 11” x 14”

 

My health is still poor. I can only work a few hours per day and then have to rest. My lymphedema requires me to get into a machine every once in a while to prevent the arm from swelling. And even then, it’s not always successful. I’ve had many hospital stays when the cellulitis acted up, causing an infection.

 

“Surely Bassett” Dryer Lint, 11” x 14” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Surely Bassett” Dryer Lint, 11” x 14”

 

A lot of my work is commissions. People like getting pictures of their pets in dryer lint, and the medium works well for fuzzy animals. I like to do themes for much of my work. I do tributes to artists I admire, which have sold for thousands of dollars each.

 

“Wonder Woman” Dryer Lint, 16” x 20” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Wonder Woman” Dryer Lint, 16” x 20”

 

I also like doing peacocks using real peacock feathers, and I recently completed a series of super hero women as cats. People often ask how I dye the lint, but I don’t. You really can’t dye what is essentially dust, and even if you did, it would smear onto the glass that covers the piece. I need lint to come out of the dryer that color.

 

“Van Gogh” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Van Gogh” Dryer Lint, 36” x 24”

 

Most of my best lint comes from people who mail it to me. I have costume designers who send me great lint in various colors, because most of mine comes out gray. I always thank those who send me lint with a signed print at the end of each year.

 

“Dahling” Dryer Lint, 11” x 14” by artist Heidi Hooper. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dahling” Dryer Lint, 11” x 14”

 

I have a huge walk-in closet with a very tall ceiling that stores the lint. I sort it by color, laying it out in flat sheets, and then keep it in plastic containers. The hard part is keeping the cats from jumping on the boxes and spilling the lint all over the floor.

 

Artist Heidi Hooper invites you to follow her on Facebook and Patreon.

 

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. I admire you as an artist, inventor and human being. Bravo and thank you Heidi, for the soul inspiration. Peace and health to you.

  2. It is so refreshing to see an artist in a completely new medium. Dryer lint, who knew? I also appreciate your down-to-earthness, especially in dealing with your health. And I admire your perseverance as an artist. What you create is beautiful and unique and extremely inspiring. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world!
    –Kelly

  3. Very unique and different. Love your work.

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