21 SECRETS Spotlight :: Petra Hrziwnatzki


Every Wednesday at Dirty Footprints Studio Tonia Jenny, the 21 SECRETS Creative Director & Course Manager,  is interviewing one of the talented teachers in our program.  Be sure to sign up for blog notifications below to never miss a spotlight — and CLICK HERE to check out past interviews. 

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Greetings, Love Bird!

This week, the spotlight shines on Petra Hrziwnatzki and her very uplifting spirit! I adore Petra’s adventurous spirit when it comes to trying things outside of her comfort zone and I think it’s really awesome she aims to instill such positive energy into the art she creates for others. Petra has learned for herself, firsthand, that creating art is a form of self-care and in her 21 SECRETS Paper, Glue, Scissors workshop—The Gentle Wildflower—she shares how to create work that is layered with this same positivity. If you’re like me, you’re going to have one big smile on your face by the time you finish reading what she shares here.

From what era of your life up to this point would you say you learned the most about your authentic artistic voice?

I actually never created any art up until I decided to give it a go and take a year-long online class similar to this one, with many teachers sharing their love and light! I loved it so much that it just took off from there. I had just had my third son and was just feeling so empty. I was searching for that thing to bring into my life with ease that would insert some joy because I felt so lost in motherhood. Well, art has been that thing and then some!

I started out creating from the lessons I was learning online and then my creative voice just started to shine and morph. It is constantly shifting and changing because that’s just how I am; I truly follow my joy and wherever it leads me, I am perfectly happy to go.

Is there a certain new-to-you material that you just can’t get enough of?

I must say that my favorite material to work with is encaustic wax. It is so dreamy and adds a depth and mood that really speaks to me. I love it SO much!

Is there a “secret message” you often want your work to convey?

My work is always about layering uplifting energy into every single piece I make. I think about it like this: I want people to hang something up in their home that is not only beautiful to them but also contributes to their home in a positive way.

What is the one thing you hope we remember from your workshop?

I really hope you create something that is truly from your depths. I want people to maybe dig into themselves and find what inspires them, then pour it all out onto the page. It’s more than simply learning my process, it’s about finding your own joy on the page.

When are you most courageous?

I am most courageous when I am doing something new. I know that if I stay in my safe little bubble, I won’t experience life in an exciting way. I am a mama to four small children whom I love very much, but I learned years ago that I need to look after myself and part of that is constantly trying new things. A huge part of that is following my curiosity, getting out of my brain and going for it!

Don’t you just love her gentle spirit and enthusiasm? I also love that she came to art making a little later in life than many artists. I think this contributes to her nurturing approach as an instructor. You can learn more about Petra on her website and follow along with the good vibes through her social media accounts.

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About Petra Hrziwnatzki

Petra-Hrziwnatzki_headshotI can absolutely say that art was not in my life until about five years ago. If you asked me before that if I was into art I would have laughed and said I couldn’t even draw a line. But, I dabbled in scrapbooking, collaging and photography, so I was creative without even knowing it!  A few years ago, I had just had my third child and I was feeling utterly lost. I was giving so much of myself to my family that I had lost my connection with Me and was searching for something to do to bridge the gap. That was when I stumbled across mixed media. I took a few online classes and that was it—I was hooked! For me, the hardest part was letting go of the idea that everything needed to be perfect. Once I get out of my head and allow the creativity to come on its own, that’s when the magic happens. There is something special that happens when you bring creativity in.  Using that part of your brain on a regular basis does something incredible to your life.

“It is not about creativity, it is about the person you are becoming while you are creating”
—Charlie Peacock


Petra teaches The Gentle Wildflower in 21 SECRETS Paper, Glue, Scissors

There is something magical about nature and all it has to offer. In this lesson, we will be exploring flowers and the gentle but strong energy they bring to the world. There is something so sweet and fascinating about wildflowers in particular because they grow even in harsh conditions as if saying “I am here. I am here. I am here.”

“What we put our attention on Grows” is the theme of my life so I want mimic that sentiment in this project—the growth of the flower. We will be infusing our journal page with words/quotes that truly uplift and inspire us. We will use paint, pens, paper, glue, pieces of fabric, photography or magazine images and we will pour ourselves in our journal pages. I cannot wait for you to join me!

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