100 Creatives 2012: Heather Rainwater, a.k.a. The Lady Spleen
What She Does: Rainwater's talent is multifaceted. She began work in Houston as a comic artist on the awesome indie goth book Polyglot & Spleen, and also plays various instruments and sings in musical projects with her husband, Larry Rainwater of Ex-Voto. Spleen's current focus is a jewelry line of spooky, kitschy necklaces. Rainwater got into jewelry making when she went on hiatus from illustrating in 2007, and was looking for something to keep herself occupied.
The resulting line is similar to Jennifer Chen's, but more overtly goth with its spiders, vampire bats and skulls. Nonetheless, they are adorable, resplendent in bright primary colors and soft cartoonish edges. All of her sculpted pieces are made entirely by hand, and aim toward smooth as silk finishes that give them a candy-like appearance. Appropriate for someone whose technical training is actually in cooking and baking.
Why She Likes It: "The solitude, for one thing. Every step is done entirely by myself and often in complete silence. With every other activity I do, that's pretty much impossible. Even when I'm songwriting by myself, my voice makes me feel like I'm not alone. Also how tactile it is. Working with my hands is very satisfying and so is ending up with a piece of art you can hold and touch. To me, it's a bonus that people want to buy and wear my work, because I'd keep making them even if they didn't."
What Inspires Her: "Cakes, candies and pastries! I have a whole folder on my computer that is just pictures of petit fours and macaroons. Tattoos are also a big inspiration -- although I don't have any myself. My entire series of one-of-a-kind winged heart necklaces was inspired by one of my husband's tattoos. Also makeup. I have a cosmetics obsession and I just love looking at a fresh, brand-new lipstick or pristine eye shadow palette. The bright, garish colors in my jewelry remind me of that."
If Not This, Then What: Finding yet another creative outlet for someone as prolific as Spleen seems impossible, but she has the dream of crafting and hand-painting custom ukuleles.
If Not Here, Then Where: Rainwater likes to create in solitude, and she and her husband own a spot of land in the quiet hills of Arkansas. That's a home away from home, but she loves Houston and has no intention of leaving.
What's Next: There haven't been many new developments in Spleen's line since she became pregnant with her first child, but after the baby comes in 2013, she plans on adding quite a bit to her established products, incorporating fabrics, beading and metalwork.
More Creatives for 2012 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Detria Ward, actress and entrepreneur Justin Cronin, book author Mark Ivy, actor Lauren Luna, painter and shoe designer Sarah Cortez, writer Kent Dorn, drawer, painter, artist Lillian Warren, painter Carl Lindahl, folklorist, UH professor Sutapa Ghosh, film producer and Indian Film Festival of Houston organizer Tom Stell, actor, writer, director Gregory Oaks, teacher and Poison Pen co-founder Oliver Halkowich, dancer and performer Lupe Mendez, poet and poem pusher Jason Nodler, artistic director, playwright, director Ana Treviño-Godfrey, musician Matthew Detrick, classical musician Travis Ammons, filmmaker Florence Garvey, actress Julia Gabriel, artist, designer and backpack maker Rebecca French, choreographer and FrenetiCore co-founder Kiki Neumann, found object folk artist Flynn Prejean, Poster Artist JoDee Engle, dancer David Rainey, actor, artistic director and teacher Geoff Hippenstiel, painter, art instructor Jessica Janes, actress and musician Dennis Draper, actor and director Mat Johnson, novelist and tweeter Orna Feinstein, printmaker and installation artist Adriana Soto, jewelry designer Domokos Benczédi, Noise and Collage Artist Robert Boswell, Book Author, UH Prof Patrick Turk, visual artist Elizabeth Keel, playwright Bob Martin, designer Mary Lampe, short film promoter and developer Nisha Gosar, Indian classical dancer Jeremy Wells, painter George Brock, theater teacher Radu Runcanu, painter Ariane Roesch, Mixed-Media Sandie Zilker, art jewelry maker Philip Hayes, actor Patrick Palmer, painter Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer John Tyson, actor Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music Laura Burlton, photographer David Peck, fashion designer Rebecca Udden, theater director Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer Paul Fredric, author John Sparagana, photographer Damon Smith, musician and visual artist Geoff Winningham, photographer Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor Katya Horner, photographer Johnathan Felton, artist Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer Carol Simmons, hair stylist Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet Greg Carter, director Kenn McLaughlin, theater director Justin Whitney, musician Antone Pham, tattoo artist Susie Silbert, crafts Lauralee Capelo, hair designer Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director J.J. Johnston, theater director Mary Margaret Hansen, artist Richard Tallent, photographer Viswa Subbaraman, opera director Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist Sonja Roesch, gallery owner Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor Sandy Ewen, musician Camella Clements, puppeteer Wade Wilson, gallery owner Magid Salmi, photographer Carl Williams, playwright
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.