Sunday, June 1, 2014

Brande Barrett

Name: Brande Barrett

What do you do?
I work primarily in Photography; alternative process and mixed media. I have recently begun to integrate encaustics and poetry into my pieces. I also create abstract chalk and oil pastel drawings.

Where can we find your work?
Fine Art America has a few of my images available for sale I am currently looking to expand my web presence and find other outlets for my work.

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
To me the creative process is what motivates me. I love to play and experiment. Discoveries made serendipitously are exciting. I think because I play so much I don’t get frustrated…

What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
I used to be anxious about the finished product. I am a bit of a perfectionist and this often put me at odds with making art. As a child I loved making art but since I couldn’t draw well I didn’t pursue art until I got beyond the narrow definition of what an artist is. Art is not about whether or not you can draw or what medium you use but rather art is a way of thinking.

Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
I don’t really have influences in art. I am usually drawn to work I could never create like paintings by Camille Rose Garcia, Broken Toyland, and Herakut. I once stood in front of a Kandinsky painting and wept…I am truly inspired by strong women like artist activist Favianna Rodrigues, writer Maya Angelou, Amanda Palmer, activist Malala Yousafzai to name a few.

What is the most incredible art moment for you so far?
Recently during a gallery opening I overheard a young woman reading my poem to her friend and when she finished they were expressing their feelings about the despondency of the narrative in the poem. I realized I had made a connection that transcended generations and the integration of poetry resulted in the viewer connecting to the photography in a deeper more profound and meaningful way.

When do you get your best ideas?
My best ideas come in the shower! I also tend to think freely as I fall asleep so many ideas come from those quiet moments before a night of dreams. I sometimes dream ideas too!

What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
I miss the darkroom terribly but these days I am almost exclusively digital. Although there are many processes that are easier to do in Photoshop some things just lack the richness produced in a darkroom especially black and white solarizations.

Are you self-taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I went to San Jose State University and earned my Bachelor’s in Fine Art Photography. I cannot imagine my life without the experience and exposure to not only the instructors like Brian Taylor, Robert Dawson and Keay Edwards and but my colleagues as well.

Who would you most like to meet living or dead and why?
This is hard to choose only one so ultimately I think I would have to say Adelaide Crapsey. She is the poet who invented the American Cinquain, a class of poetic forms that employs a 5 line pattern. Crapsey was an unfortunate soul who was a sickly woman who died without ever knowing her impact in poetry. I would like to be able to share with her the legacy of her poetry and her innovation’s success inspiring modern poets to create variations.   

When you are not creating what do you like to do?
I can’t think of anything I like to do that is not creating. I love to write; poetry and prose mostly but I do have a screenplay I am currently working on. I love movies, music and I never miss the most trusted sources for news the Daily Show and Colbert Report!

How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
It is still very difficult to “put it out there” I feel like an awkward adolescent girl going to her first dance every time I show my work. Over the years I have developed confidence in my photography however, every time I challenge myself to work in a new medium it is nerve wracking but also exhilarating. It is the push that makes you develop as an artist.

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures?
Find what you love and find a way to do it every day!

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