A writer, illustrator and designer specialising in nature and narrative adventures
From the mysterious land of Cornwall on the south-west edge of England, my name is Heidi and I live there with a husband and a gathering of feline friends. I love to write, create designs and generally turn the house untidy. I like to make lots of lists and although I am a grown-up I do still have a My Little Pony. I probably watch way too many movies which may well be an addiction. I also worry about the deteriorating state of the planet, but then maybe the zombie apocalypse will sort out the over-population, so things will be all right in the end.
I have a fictional life wish-list (bet you have one too!): many years ago I wanted to be a St Trinian’s, but now I think I’d rather be an astronaut, as long as I can get my very own custom built spaceship filled with luxuries and an entertainment system. I also dream that my house will one day slip into the hillside and become a proper Hobbit-hole – that would be really cool. If I had any super-powers, they would have to include telepathy and
2016 IWR Writing Competition (winner), Iceland Writers Retreat
2014 Graphic Literature Prize (winner), Atlantic Press
2012 Word Art Competition (highly commended), Arvon Foundation
2011 Design Competition (finalist), Stack Magazines
2017 Writing: Of Morgawr and Mawnan by Heidi Ball, Tribe Media, online
2017 Writing: A Calculated Wish by Heidi Ball, The Drabble, online
2016 Writing: White Light by Heidi Ball, Iceland Writers Retreat, online
2015 Illustration: The Dreamcatcher's Apprentice by Fiona Egglestone, online
2014 Illustration: The Element in the Room by Matt Harvey, Regen South West ISBN: 978-0-9927482-1-0
2014 Writing and illustration: The Devil's Noose by Heidi Ball, Atlantic Press ISBN: 978-0-9571549-4-0
2013 Writing and illustration: The Singularity by Heidi Ball, self-published
2012 Illustration: Ways to hide a Ragfief by MAAP, self-published
2011 Illustration: The Progeny of Pegasus by Heidi Ball, self-published
2011 Illustration: Tipsy Children by Heidi Ball, self-published
2010 Writing and illustration: Memories of Mabel by Heidi Ball, self-published
Courses and Qualifications
2017 Writing Romance, Professional Writing Academy
2017 Hypatia: Her Story writers research group, Hypatia Trust
2016 Writing Short Fiction course, Professional Writing Academy
2016 Short Story Writing /Advanced Creative Writing courses, Free Writers Centre
2016 Marketing Writing, Professional Writing Academy
2013 MA Illustration: Authorial Practice (Distinction), Falmouth University
2010 Foundation Diploma (Distinction), Falmouth University
2008 City & Guilds in Life Drawing, Truro College
2008 AS-Level in Photography / Fine Art, Truro College
2007 A-Level in Illustration, Truro College
1999 BSc(Hons) Industrial Management (2:1), Nottingham Trent University
I’m interested in researching environmental factors and how they intersect with narrative drives, in both written and visual forms. Considering subjects as disturbing as the extinction of species and the effects of human destructiveness on the natural world (an extensive topic I know), through to creating fictional feasts with a dystopian outlook. It is a serious subject, but one that I often portray in a less serious way, however never
I enjoy portraying fictional narratives based in part on factual evidence. Here are some my favourite sources of information and inspiration:
- Ernest Griset: Fantasies of a Victorian Illustrator
- Inventing the 19th century
- Playing with pictures: Victorian
- Tree Talk: memories, myths and timeless customs
- When Elephants Weep: the emotional life of animals
- Wicked Plants: plants that kill, maim, intoxicate and otherwise offend
- Zoo: a history of zoological gardens in the west
My research has increased my interest in creating alternative future scenarios but keeping a foothold in the past, linking the stories with a nostalgic edge, often via the use of appropriated imagery as well as by choice of language and terminology.
Here are a few examples of my projects:
Project 1: The Extinction Collector
This tale looks at the extinction of animals by human kind. Using appropriated imagery to connect to the Victorian era as a setting, whilst constructing fictional creations to inform a lost alternate future. Using a straightforward and informative writing style to add plausibility to the unfortunate incidents of human error that rid the world of those (slightly) unfamiliar beasts.
The ethos behind this project considers that of the Victorian collector, during the so-called heydey of taxidermy and species collections.
With rather quirky characters and a plotline filled with a catalogue of errors, I incorporate humour and story-telling to underpin the fragility of life, in the construct of fictional extinction scenarios.
Project 2: The Devil’s Noose
My written style encompassed the journal as a form of the first-person narrative, to aid the audience a closer empathy for the protagonist, even though he often behaved in a seemingly compassionless manner towards his love interest.
I added a second layer of narration to the format, accompanying his words in the main body of the text, but also adding handwritten notations and drawings supposedly from his own hand, to portray his sub-conscious thoughts within the story.
Looking again at the Victorian era but at the phenomena of plant hunting. With research into grand expeditions that took individuals around the world to collect and return with exotic flora to dazzle and amaze high society on home shores.
I created another alternate future reality, in which we would all be under threat of extinction due to blind human endeavours, as plant life takes over and consumes the animal and human world.
Using some degree of factual evidence to add a little plausibility to the narrative, but also touching on the absurd for audience entertainment but still putting across a serious topic of the threats to our very existence.
Project 3: The Singularity
Consideration of the continued existence of human kind through an artificial machine environment. The Singularity is a theory based on technological advances that allow an intelligent connection between man and computer.
Told in the style of stream of consciousness, to give a more emotional viewpoint of the bodiless experience. Creating snapshots of human memories in opposition to their electronic environment, which in itself has a voice played out as clinically written dictionary descriptions. The plot considers how emotional memories and human senses can be misinterpreted by a non-emotive entity, a study of ontological ideas.
Also for interest, here are a few pages from my journals, so you can see a little of my thought process and background context to some of my authorial work: