We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamie Heraver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I saw a need that needed to be addressed. There is so much suffering going on in the exotic animal tourism industry (including petting zoos and the like). I realized most people have no idea the realities of all of it. With good intentions, the masses are supporting things that cause suffering behind the scenes, and I wanted to do something special that would educate people in an inviting and colorful way.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art and illustrations are mostly done in watercolor and mixed media. The purpose is to evoke emotion and tell a story in each piece. Some images may be uncomfortable to look at, but I feel that is the heart of what I do- exposing things that people may want to look away from. The most important lessons I have learned along the way are to stay true to my vision and to allow freedom in my paintings. I’ve also learned how important it is not to compare myself to other creatives. I believe we all have something valuable to share with the world, and we all have a specific purpose that no one else could bring forth.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m somewhat of a homebody, but I enjoy anything simple near the water. I spend a lot of my time doing early morning or evening beach walks when I’m not able to surf. I love taking walks at low tide anywhere from Huntington State Beach all the way down to Crystal Cove! I love eating out with close friends at places near the water. Ola in Pacific City is a go to as well as Malibu Farm in Newport Beach. I also love The Beach Comber restaurant at Crystal Cove! Dukes dining room in Huntington Beach is also the go to spot for special occasions! I also support local vegan & plant based restaurants whenever possible, because they’re doing amazing things for animals and the environment- I love Nirvana in Huntington Beach and Meet the Source in Costa Mesa for desserts!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Matt Shapira is an abstract wildlife artist in L.A. who helped me a lot in the early stages of finding my creative voice and purpose. I’d like to thank him for taking the time to mentor me as an artist and voice for the animals when I began carving out my creative path.
Joseph Barber Studios