Brittney Leigh Ann | Artist Highlight

I believe that every artist is like a raw diamond. Even though some remain hiding, and some shine like no other, they are all beautiful and unique in its own way; this is why i believe they all need exposure. I've decided to make a contribution to our community and expose as many artist as I can. This week's highlight belongs to my dear friend Brittney LeighAnn. I met this sweet lady at a 2D class in Mississippi, and since then I've admired not only her work, but her capacity to be everything she can and want to be. Her inspirations go wider than the sea and her creativity runs wild. I love seeing all the ways she expresses her art, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for her. I asked her three questions about her work and creative process and here it is what she had for us. 

1.  What do you enjoy most about creating a piece of art?

I love that I can start with or without an idea of what the end result will look like. It is both a conscious and serendipitous process simultaneously for me. Whether its a color palette on a page made with acrylic paint one day, and the next day on the adjacent page a collage with bits of fabric and paper; then the discovery that certain elements compliment and harmonize with each other on both pages and inspire a new piece of color-paint-collage bliss; this is why I keep creating. It is experimentation, discovery, and perfect happiness tied into one. It may be a photographic frame one day, and a video composition the next. So many things to create, and always so little time. Just like any day-to-day routine, there is this literal need to create something. To evoke or express something as vague as a concept or an emotion. I actually keep a notebook in every drawer in the house for when ideas come (I have tallied 6 notebooks thus far, not quite every drawer but I daresay I have run out of notebooks). There has always been this urgency to record thoughts, ideas, and feelings; oh the joys of creativity!

2.  What inspires you?

I could probably rant on for hours. It sounds cliché to say the “world around me” but this is rather relevant; colors, textures, lines; all of the proper design elements I suppose. But mostly, I am obsessively nostalgic. I had a girl tell me, “Brittney, I feel like you should have been born in another time” and this rang so true to my essence. I immerse myself in museums and antique shops, I read history articles and historic costume books and fictions for the thrill, and cannot find enough BBC period dramas to watch. Although I like to pull inspiration from all different eras, I would most certainly go back to the Edwardian/Ragtime era (1910ish-1920's) art noveau/joy epoch art movements. I would definitely put my hair into the Gibson Girl bun and drink coca cola from a soda fountain if this was acceptable . I cry every time I watch Titanic because the colors and details of the garments are so beautiful, and I watch behind the scenes videos about the cast and hair of Mr. Selfridge, and have watched pretty much every directors commentary for my favorite films to gain insight into the spirit of the times. I am somewhat of a nerd I suppose.

3. What is your advice for every raw diamond out there?

Start Somewhere; give yourself time to create. As I am sure any creative would agree, there have been weeks, even months where I felt I was creatively stagnant and uninspired, and had this anxiety hanging above me like a dreary raincloud preventing me from trying something new; fearing it would not turn out the way I anticipated ( if I even had the faintest of ideas in the first place). It was not until I began creating this routine; waking up at 5am every morning, before the sun, before the majority of the world was awake-before school and work, and life really. And I would get up and make a cup of coffee (or a soup bowl of coffee for that matter, I drink more than I should) and block off just 1 hour to create something. Weather it was tearing up scraps of water color painted paper and ink markings and collaging them, cutting a linoleum block to print make, or merely dreaming up ideas with a pen and paper, gathering inspirations for a photography project, or trying a new process like embroidery or beading unlikely materials; such as paper. This creative “play” and mental reflection and time, forced me to try something, whatever it was. To create for the sake of creating. No pressure. No anxiety. Sometimes I absolutely loved what I created. Other times I hated what I created. And most surprising, and yet usually most of the time-something that I thought I hated ended up being a piece that I loved months, even years later; incorporated into another project, with a revised color palette or composition, or even just left as is. The important thing is to simply give yourself time. If you are not much of a morning person, be a night owl and give yourself this creative time. The worst that can happen is 1 hour turning into 2, or 3, and you miss class because you are too deep into your project. (and yet this has happened multiple times.)