Creatively Speaking With: Eva Heinzen

She counts Frank O’Hara among her creative heroes and loves a well-placed F-bomb. Here’s a look inside this poetry-loving wordsmith’s creative world.

Who? Eva Heinzen, SVP Creative Director

Eva’s creative hero: Frank O'Hara. I first came across him during a literature lecture my freshman year of college, when my professor rattled off a list of ways different writers had described love. Alongside far more sober examples she included Frank’s: “I need you, you need me, yum, yum.” Talk about delicious! I immediately went back to my room and hit the library catalog, unearthing “Lunch Poems” and many more. It was a few layers in that I realized that I already knew his distinctive voice — his poem “My Heart” was a part of the NYC subway system’s brilliant Poetry in Motion program (I’ve been a commuter since I was 12).

Why? He made space for his own art while working as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art. And he embraced the transience of what he created; after he died young, some of the drafts and fragments of poems he dashed off and gave away to friends were compiled into the book “Poems Retrieved.” I strive to match the ease, lack of ego and generosity of his creativity. “Having a Coke with You” was even one of the readings at my wedding.  

Eva’s routine when starting a new project: Devour and dissect the brief first, and then find my own primary sources. Whitepapers, comments sections, all the weird stuff people say on the internet when and where they think no one’s watching. I jot down everything that occurs to me or makes me pause while researching (ALWAYS on paper, always with a Pilot Precise V5 black ink pen), and then go back through and circle what’s still interesting later. Works like a charm! Most of the time.

Her most treasured possession: Anything that bears the handwriting of those I have loved and lost.

Eva’s favorite curse word: Obviously it’s Versatile Queen, “fuck.” And if you still doubt the supremacy of this classic, please watch a few dozen of his “what the fuck” videos.