While balancing a full-time job as a lawyer, Heidi Nielson runs two part-time businesses on nights and weekends. The first is Desert 2 District, where she creates desert-inspired illustrations and celebrates lawyers of color. The second is her mixed media art business. She is creating a body of work that is a meditation on the things we carry from generation to generation, reflecting and celebrating her fourth-generation Japanese American heritage. Using found and discarded materials, she promotes healing, repair, and sustainability through her art while also keeping it real with whimsy and weirdness.
In this episode, Heidi discusses why she chose to be a lawyer by day and an artist during her “off” hours. We discuss how the 100 Day Project gave her momentum, the importance of being intentional with your business, and why setting clear goals are important. We also chat about how she’s been able to use her art to celebrate and support lawyers of color, to include partnering with others to support funds for future attorneys. Additionally, we discuss the impact of COVID on her business and how this mental health advocate took the time to slow down.