Gerald Heagney’s Risk Worth Taking
By Hayley Woodward
After 26 years of developing and programming computer software, 64-year-old Gerald Heagney from Arvada, Colo., discovered something new. Although satisfied with his profession, he wanted to try a hobby he never dreamed would be his much more exciting second job. It became his livelihood during retirement to live out his last days traveling, mingling, making money and having fun.
Heagney taught himself to make any photograph (personal or selected from many licensed photographs) into a near timeless creation and by doing so trademarked his own art-form. He does this through an image-process that uses dyed slates and glass panels of all shapes to transform initial photographs into newly designed works of art.
His work has been featured in several local festivals, craft and art shows, and most recently at the 2015 Colorado Garden and Home Show at the Colorado Convention Center. His photo glass art was selected as one of the nine hot items at the 2014 Denver Garden and Home Show.
Heagney aspires to one day have one of his murals featured in an upscale hotel. But for now, he keeps his work fresh by applying it to new forms. His newest work introduces the application to bathroom tiles and foldable slates for small dressing rooms for retail stores.
How did you start doing this?
I found somebody to help me, and figured that if I bought the equipment, made my own and didn’t like it, I could just sell the equipment and not spend any more money than if I had paid for something else. When I started this, though, everybody wanted me to do more so I just stayed with it.
What type of schooling or professional training did you do?
OJT. I learned it by reading and talking to people, contacting suppliers and asking questions when I had a problem.
How long have you ‘stuck with it’?
For the last six years. I became most proficient with it in the last two years though, after building up sales through my Etsy page (an e-commerce website).
What do you like and dislike about this type of photo processing?
It is really fun to do this for somebody and especially when you get the work finished and their enjoyment of it. The challenge is also the customer’s satisfaction with each creation.
What has been one of the most exciting moments for you so far?
Seeing my art work go outside the country, I have some of my work as far away as England. I sold something from one of the art shows here, and they wanted to take it home with them.
Where do you see your future going with this?
When I get ready to retire I would like to take this on the road and travel. I would like to do local shows, as well as, different areas. So that I can vacation and sell my art work at the same time.