100 Creatives 2012: Heather Rainwater, a.k.a. The Lady Spleen

Categories: 100 Creatives

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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."

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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


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