Hallie Heald Is Too Busy Playing With Paint Brushes To Play With Boys
“I Broke Up Like This” is a new bi-weekly series on Galore. Every other week, we’re sitting down with some of our favorite bombshells who we love, admire, and look up to so that we may ask them about their break ups. This week we sat down artist, stylist, and blogger Hallie Heald to talk about what it’s like to fall in love with your life path instead of thinking about boys.
Galore: You’re an illustrator and freelance stylist, do you think it’s hard to think about dating when life in New York kind of by design requires all of us to be immersed in our work and our own life paths?
“I’ve always been told that I need balance to accommodate someone else, but really I just need to be with someone who has or understands the mindset and working patterns of an artist.”
Hallie: YES. Even when I try to distance myself from my work, I can’t. My life and work are constantly overlapping. Painting in and of itself, is a personal act, you are expending and revealing parts of yourself. If I’m not careful, I’ll stay in my studio painting for week without seeing anyone. Everything in life is applied to my work. If I see a woman wearing a dusty orange trench and a faded blue slip, instantly I start thinking about what painting can use that color palette. I’ve always been told that I need balance to accommodate someone else, but really I just need to be with someone who has or understands the mindset and working patterns of an artist.
G: Maybe you need to find a yourself a muse.
Hallie: Haha! Yes, my own Dorian Gray. I always felt a kinship with Basal (the artist in that book).
G: Exactly, or flip the whole manic pixie dream girl scenario on its head. Find yourself a manic pixie dream boy.
Hallie: Yes! It’s weird because I’m attracted to hyper masculine men, like Tom Hardy. He’s more of a manic pixie primal caveman…what a strange combination that would be.
G: You mentioned your work can keep you from seeing people but has it provided you with space to sort take refuge in the time that you were dealing with a break up?
“As of right now, I tend to describe myself as a lone wolf mainly to fend off creeps and old men who are hitting on me. I’ve been in love before and it kind of wrecked me, so that has definitely made me more cagey around relationships. “
Hallie: It would have, if that break up had been devastating, but it wasn’t (that sounds heartless). It was a short, not meant to be relationship on both our ends really. Anyways, as of right now, I tend to describe myself as a lone wolf mainly to fend off creeps and old men who are hitting on me. I’ve been in love before and it kind of wrecked me, so that has definitely made me more cagey around relationships. I love being around people, but start to distance myself, when I think someone is interested in me.
G: Your art renders your subjects in high detail, which I especially love in the illustrations you’ve done with lingerie– did your interest in illustrating lingerie come the work you’ve done in fashion as a stylist?
“I love everything about lingerie (on or off the body). They have their own personality: sweet and sensitive with pastel lace and bows, or linear and bold with rows of black velvet straps and metal rings!”
Hallie: My lingerie paintings definitely coincide with the still life styling I do for Victoria’s Secret. I love everything about lingerie (on or off the body). They have their own personality: sweet and sensitive with pastel lace and bows, or linear and bold with rows of black velvet straps and metal rings! My favorite brands are Lonely and Valentine NYC. Oh– and La Perla!
G: I always have a hard time justifying spending money on lingerie because nobody gets to see it. Do you have any tips for incorporating lingerie into day wear?
Hallie: Valid point. I would have agreed with you a month ago, until I went into Azaleas (a lingerie store in east village) and basically spent an entire afternoon trying on lingerie. It was life changing. Even if you aren’t showing anyone, and maybe because of not showing anyone, you can feel powerful wearing something so beautiful. On the flip side, Ashley Glorioso (a stylist I follow on insta) wears bras in full view, flawlessly. She’s mastered the art of revealing without giving everything away- lot’s of low low scoop necks and low buttoned shirts.
G:Besides illustration and styling have you ever or do you ever delve into different mediums of art?
Hallie: In painting, I primarily work with gouache, but in the past I’ve worked with mediums such as ink, graphite, oil, and acrylic. I’ve been in the styling world for a year now, and have realized how many different types of styling there are. My goal has been focusing on those two areas, working different types of jobs, and assisting as many people as possible. My dream styling scenario would be conceptualizing and directing editorial shoots and short films. Think Tim Walker style: his ideas are fantastical, over the top, but his execution is straight-forward. Each shot gives you a peek inside his mind and the personality of his subject- he’s brilliant!
G: Yes, his work is really whimsical and playful but doesn’t lose its power in that whimsy.
Hallie: Exactly- the one of Gareth Pugh in a black blowup pillow, with stringy, twisted chicken legs is my favorite. I even painted the one he did of Gitte Lee in a furry monkey suit.
G: I love that thing. It’s crazy how he made her look so natural in it. It looks like she could roll out of bed and walk down the street in it and everyone would be like “Oh yes, makes sense”.
Hallie: I love it! I painted it on Halloween. It looks like she wants to eat you alive
G: Speaking of looking like you want to eat someone alive, when it comes to style, what are the best ways to boost your confidence with clothing?
“For a quick boost when you’re feeling low, strap on your combat boots. You’ll be walking around like ‘Oh yeah, I can stomp on anyone’s toes!'”
Hallie: The number one rule for me- don’t go shopping on a low self esteem day. Otherwise, I end up buying the first thing that looks good or hides whatever part of my body I’m annoyed with. Then when I wake up the next morning and look in my closet, it’s like having a hangover (but from too many bad clothes) nothing is as great as it seemed. The key is to not freak out and outsource- reimagine your closet. Instead of pairing the same pieces together, mix it up! And especially, try monochrome! Wearing all black or all white or all crazy floral patterns is exciting. For a quick boost when you’re feeling low, strap on your combat boots. You’ll be walking around like “oh yeah, I can stomp on anyone’s toes!”
G:What’s your favorite place in New York City that can turn a bad day into a better one?
Hallie: Go to any body of water. I went to school in California, so finding any view of the ocean became a habit when I got stressed out. In NY, my first choice would be walking along the West Side Highway starting in Battery Park. Take your music, and just walk til you drop. Also, it’s kind of entertaining after winter, to see so many pasty New Yorkers, smiling like fools just to be in shorts.
G: Do you have any words of encouragement for artists who are strapped for cash and out here trying to survive?
Hallie: Shop online for supplies (amazon has a good selection) and make investment purchases. A year ago, I made the best purchase of my life: a Epson Perfection V700 scanner. Since then, I’ve been scanning and editing all my work, and not having to pay someone else to do it.
G: Okay, it’s an “I Broke Up Like This” tradition to ask– what’s your best piece of advice for a girl going through a break up?
“Don’t give yourself the opportunity to sit and stew on ways you hate or miss your ex.”
Hallie: Don’t give yourself the opportunity to sit and stew on ways you hate or miss your ex. A lot of articles I’m reading always recommend spending more time on yourself, self love, etc. Though this is important in some respects, it can become very self involved, and slow the healing process. My best piece of advice would be to find a way to get outside of yourself and your head. Basically, love others- not always fun truthfully, but in many ways, it calls you back to being human, and gives you a sense of purpose.
Hallie Heald is a freelance illustrator and stylist who is based in New York. She’s worked on campaigns with brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Theory, and Freedom of Animals. You can see more of her work here.
Photos By: Lindsay Brown
Interview By: Victoria Durden