Paranormal Artist Profile: Heather Gorell
27-year-old Heather Gorell is a fortean artist out of the DC metropolitan area who graduated with a BA in Studio Art from the University of Mary Washington. Her digital artwork combines elements of anime and manga in a style reminiscent of our favorite graphic novels, focusing on fortean subject matter.
"[Forteana has] always been a major interest of mine," Heather said. "Growing up, The X-Files and the Unsolved Mysteries television series fascinated me and kickstarted my interest in the genre. I’d spend hours trawling early internet sites for paranormal themed content, and from an early age one of my life goals was to witness a UFO or cryptid someday. I find the unknowable nature of the paranormal and its related fields to be incredibly inspiring."
Hey, so do we! No wonder we get along.
Heather hasn’t had any paranormal experiences herself yet, but it seems like it could be only a matter of time.
“I haven’t [had a paranormal experience]! At least not yet. Many people around me have had incredible experiences, though. Sometimes I suspect I might repel the paranormal," she said.
Considering her interests, maybe she’ll encounter one cryptid or another for her first experience; because we certainly hope she avoids any NDEs.
"Cryptozoology [is] for sure [my favorite]. I’m also a big fan of near death experience or out of body experience stories," said Heather.
Heather told us she absolutely loves the Flatwoods Monster—another of our favorites—and her list of top encounters reads like the syllabus to a college course we’d teach.
"I love any paranormal experience with multiple witnesses. The witness descriptions of the [Flatwoods Monster] are just incredible too. It’s such a bizarre visual description which makes it really fun to imagine and illustrate," she said. "Any stories with multiple witnesses absolutely fascinate me. Stories where witnesses have no discernible reason to lie, too. It just adds more credibility to the account. Things like Mothman, Flatwoods Monster, the Hopkinsville Goblins, or the O’Hare Airport UFO Sighting are some of my favorites for this reason."
According to Heather, one of the most flattering milestones in her career so far was someone having her illustration of the Flatwoods Monster tattooed on themselves.
"I’m still shocked when I remember it," she said. "It’s so cool that someone liked my work enough to get it as a tattoo."
Heather's advice for aspiring artists is to "Put yourself out there and share your work! Even if you don’t think you’re talented enough, there will always be someone who enjoys what you’re making. If you’re feeling uninspired read some books on the subject—they’re a great source of inspiration, even if you’re already familiar with the story."
Good advice from a great artist.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to support the Singular Fortean Society, please consider becoming an official member by signing up through our Patreon page—membership includes a ton of extra content and behind-the-scenes access to the Society’s inner workings.