Daina Heeter


student bio

Daina Heeter is a freelance illustrator and multimedia artist based in Denver, Colorado. She focuses on imagery involving animals, plants, and vast landscapes with mythological or otherworldly themes using various multimedia techniques.

She is currently developing digital painting skills and pursuing paper cut techniques for her B.F.A. thesis. She received her Associate degree in Fine Art from Central New Mexico Community College in 2013 with honors and will receive her B.F.A. with an illustration emphasis in May 2017.

artist statement

The term “Cryptozoology” literally refers to the study of “hidden animals”. Cryptids, as these creatures are called, are often said to have magical powers, may or may not be malicious and are always elusive. Every culture has myths and legends regarding local cryptids, including such creatures as pixies, dragons, or unicorns. North American cryptid legends are interesting in that they are the culmination of indigenous cultures’ and European beliefs, but unique in themselves.

I will create eight separate illustrations depicting cryptid legends from different locales around North America using a papercut technique called “tunnel-booking”. Each tunnel book will use layers of cut paper set apart about a quarter inch with its own internal light source. As the light travels through the layers of paper it will create a sense of depth and space by illuminating silhouetted shapes also giving each scene and eerie or unnatural feel.

Sketches are composed using the “golden ratio”, a mathematical ratio of 1:1.618 that is said to produce the most aesthetically pleasing shapes in nature and geometry. Using this ratio, I can break up the space on a page into a sort of grid that allows me to strategically place focal points and lines to lead the eye around the page in a spiral pattern. This is a method that has been used by artists, architects, and mathematicians for millennia.