Celebrating Anne Anderson and Cochrane diversity with new designs: interview with artist Heather Tubwon

Heather drawing

Interview with Heather Tubwon, the artist that created the new limited edition designs in the Cochrane store celebrating Anne Anderson and our diverse community.

The global Cochrane community are participating in a virtual walk and raising money for the annual Anne Anderson Award, which is given to a Cochrane member who has contributed meaningfully to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to the organization. To mark this occasion, we have added limited editions designs to the Cochrane store, with sales going to the Anne Anderson Award We caught up with the artist, Heather Tubwon, to learn more about her and new designs. 

Hi Heather! Our Cochrane Community always finds it interesting to learn the backstory to things and learn more about people. Could you tell us a bit more about yourself? 
Sure! I'm from the Midwest in the United States. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I have a background in Graphic Design, Illustration, and Textile/Surface Design. Some of my favorite jobs have included creating artwork for toys, children’s clothes, and stationery products  - and now for Cochrane!

Was art something you always were interested in?
Yes - When I was around 10, my classmates noticed some of my drawings and told me I was really good at it. That’s when I first considered art as a career. However, life had a lot of twists and turns for me, and I ended up working in the airline industry. One of my tasks in that role was writing, creating diagrams, and laying out an FAA approved manual to teach Flight Operations personnel new software. I really enjoyed this work, and thought I might enjoy being a Graphic Designer professionally. After taking some design classes in art school, I realized my real passion was illustration.Limited edition items in the Cochrane Store

These designs were a bit different for us. They are centered around our Cochrane Community event, the Anne Anderson Walk. While we knew we wanted to incorporate our brand colours, we were looking for something  playful. How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as colorful, whimsical, and fun. I feel like I create my best work when I’m having fun, and I hope this joy comes across in my work. If I can make someone smile through my work, then I feel like I have accomplished my goal.

We launched the Anne Anderson Walk on International Woman's Day and are highlighting all the virtual walk pictures on a global map. Diversity is a core value to the Cochrane Community and one of our strengths too - so  we really wanted celebrate that. Why do you think showing diversity is important in visual arts? 
I think that showing diversity is important in visual arts. I am multiracial myself - my primarily ethnically is Ashkenazi Jewish and Black. There have been many times where I was not able to see other people that looked like me in media, especially as a child. Growing up, my local library only had two books showing biracial or multiracial families. This made me feel othered, or like I was different from everyone else. That’s why I always strive to show diversity in my own work. Cochrane shows diversity not only in it's member make-up but also in it's methods and the contributions people make - I created the design to represent that. 

 Anne Anderson is a beloved person in the Cochrane Community. Can you tell us a bit about working on that artwork?
After reading about Anne Anderson, I was impressed with all that she was able to accomplish in her short life. She seemed like a very ambitious and driven woman, someone who was a role model for many. I was honored to be asked to create a portrait of her. In creating her portrait, I wanted to be respectful and honor her legacy, while at the same time creating a work that was playful and engaging. 


Tuesday, April 6, 2021