My name is Heather Cathleen Dunaway Smith.
I’m an interdisciplinary, interactive artist. My work takes many forms: illustration, animation, music, interactive design, mobile games, and, most recently, augmented reality artwork. This site features my personal work. If you’re interested in my interactive design or animation, check out Clockworkbird.
I’m an interdisciplinary artist and storyteller that combines illustration, music, movement, and branching narratives into interactive experiences that explore existence – what it is to “be.” In short, I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that I “am.” Just like you, I am a cognizant being, inside of a human body, on the surface of a small planet, that is part of a solar system, that is part of a galaxy, that is part of a universe, that is (most likely) part of a multiverse. In my work, I explore this scale- micro to macro.
I spent my early years in the woods of Poetry, Texas (yes, that’s a real place) with my hippyish parents, two older brothers, a couple of dozen chickens, three geese, two cats, and a dog. My parents moved out to the woods with hopes of being as self-sufficient as possible. We had a huge garden, a double-decker chicken coup, a bunny hutch, a composter nicknamed “J.T. Rotter”, an art studio (for my father) and a brown-on-beige mobile home. The latter came with wall-to-wall wood paneling and a built-in owl painting (whose eyes followed you around the room.) I still have an affinity for fake wood patterns and vaguely unsettling images.
Those years in the woods were truly formative for me. I loved nothing more than exploring the surrounding forest, ponds, and underbrush. I was (am) curious about absolutely everything and was mesmerized by the beautiful forms I found in nature. Everything from seed pods to snakeskin fascinated me. Not much has changed since then. I can still be found wandering around the woods, picking up weirdly shaped stones, hunting for mushrooms and staring deeply into the faces of flowers.
Art + Technology
After pursuing theater during my teen and early college years, I decided to change my major from Playwriting to Interactive Multimedia so that I could create dialogs between art and audience, rather than one-sided monologues. For me, the point of art is human connection and involving the audience creates opportunities for deeper and more meaningful experiences.
My career has encompassed a diverse scale of clients (from Fortune 100 companies to individuals) and work environments (from global advertising agencies to startups). Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to create a wide range of interesting and innovative interactive experiences: mobile games (using responsive art and audio), global cross-media campaigns (including virtual worlds), interactive museum exhibits, dynamic visuals for AI-generated experiences, and, most recently, mixed reality artwork.
Some better known organizations that I’ve worked with include Northwestern Unversity’s Intelligent Information Laboratory, The Art Institute of Chicago, Allstate, Harley Davidson, Norton, Mini and Highlights for Children. In the spring of 2020, I was selected to be an augmented reality artist-in-resident at Adobe.