River + Sky Muse:
Marnie Herald: Model, Musician, and Hark Ceramics founder
Every River+Sky piece is made by creative souls, for creative souls—and there’s nothing that inspires us more than the visionary women who wear our clothes.
That’s why we’re starting a new series spotlighting the artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and changemakers within our community. We hope they spark something within you, just like they do with us!
Keep reading to learn more about Marnie’s unique creative process, as well as her advice for other women on finding their creative passion. (And don't miss her River + Sky style edit below this Q&A!)
How would you describe your personal style - and how has it evolved over the years?
I have always had a distinct personal style. While visiting my Dad recently, I went through some old photo boxes (when I grew up we still used film cameras) and wow I made some interesting fashion choices! To try and make this answer on the shorter side, I would say that I went through a lot of hairstyles before settling into what has been my go to style that I currently have give or take a few inches. Now that I am older, I am trying to embrace the wrinkles and fine lines and although my style has generally leaned towards that bohemian beachy California girl vibe, I am currently finding myself choosing more classic fits. I love a neutral color palette and classic straighter hair. I add a few new items into my wardrobe each year, but as I have always had a penchant for vintage pieces, I have kept items from as far back as my young teenage years or items from my Mom’s closet so I am able to put older items back into my wardrobe rotation. When I do make purchases, I try to invest in well made sustainable items or vintage as often as possible.
Tell us about your work as a musician and ceramicist.
For me personally, both my music and my ceramics are my therapy. I was actually resistant for many years for some reason to have a voice and to share my opinion. I wanted to blend in and move through life in the background which is funny to me because the modeling and the music are the opposite of that. However the modeling allows me to get into a character, the music allows me to be vulnerable and honest and the ceramics just allow me to be calm and quiet. They are how I cope, deal, live and move through life and I don’t have any idea where or what I would be doing had I not made the time to pursue them. I also feel grateful that I have been able to continue to have made a career for myself in all of them.
How would you describe your point of view as an artist - is your creative perspective the same across different mediums or does it vary?
My point of view as an artist and my creative perspective in general is the same across most mediums. Although my ceramics videos seem to bring out the lighter, more fun side of me- I make a lot of videos for my social media and tend to allow my silly side to come out in those, my ceramics practice in general and my music and songwriting caters to the more solemn and quiet part of my personality. That said- I listen to a lot of music while throwing pots and I sometimes have to stop the wheel and write a song idea or a line down and then return to my work. I suppose one might think this is erratic and a lack of focus on the present medium, but I am an artist and everyone works in their own ways. Both tend to lean towards simplicity and solitude. I enjoy being with my own thoughts and creating both mediums alone in my own environment and personal space.
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I try to take my inspiration from everything around me. I find that the inspiration for both my ceramics and my music is inspired by the past and that in some ways my music and my ceramics inspire each other. I am inspired by the singer songwriters of the early 60’s and 70’s and in my ceramics I am currently being inspired by Design and Architecture books.
What’s the next big project on your radar?
I have always lived by the premise of wanting or trying to make everything I need at least once. There has always been a desire of mine to create the perfect mood lighting for my songwriting and so, I am currently working on a limited run of ceramic lighting designs.
With my music, I have been going back through old recordings and journals to source my inspiration for this next collection of songs. I lost my Mom at the end of 2021 to ALS and that has had a large impact on my writing recently.
I think it would be exciting if I could release both in 2024, so stay tuned.
What advice do you have for women who want to bring a creative passion to life?
Ooh I like this question. When I was younger I was conscious about what others thought of me. In modeling it was if I was skinny enough, pretty enough or cool enough. In the corporate world in Fashion Marketing and PR it was if I would be able to support my own ideas and follow through better than was expected of me. In music it was about if I was good enough on guitar to play a solo show or to sing without any reverb or effects on my voice.
By the time I really dove into ceramics during 2020 with a year long apprenticeship in New Mexico, I had been through so much in my life with my health, relationships, career shifts, and a challenging bout with Covid Pneumonia and organ damage that the last thing I worried about was what anyone thought of both me as a person and my art. It has been an interesting study into both my own choices in life and the ebb and flow of how others have played a role in some of my past decisions. Art is personal. If it makes me happy it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks of it ultimately.
My advice to other women is to always make the time for yourself and your dreams. These days it is really easy to get caught up in what others are doing. Scrolling through social posts can take you down a rabbit hole of other peoples stories and posts when you could have spent that time doing something for you. Although I have definitely spent my share of those ‘rabbit hole’ hours watching everyone else living and in many cases being inspired by them, I have had to consciously take my time back to unplug and disconnect. For me that is how I ensure that I am pursuing both my creative interests and creating the life that I want to live. Everyone is different of course but for me I need to disconnect to reconnect.