[The Uncommon Creatives] Interview with visual artist, Bri.
I met Bri a while back at a local art museum in downtown Baltimore. When we met, she definitely was a great vibe to be around. Fast forward to 2018 and she has been able to maintain that same charm. We met on Federal Hill the day of the interview and caught up on one another’s lives as good girlfriends do. We did this after pacing around the park trying to find a place to converse. It was a pretty decent day, so the park was filled with jubilant children and heavily observant parents. I’m super surprised that we even achieved this interview with the amount of calamity in the background. Bri talked about the creative life along with some miscellaneous details that you may not have been able to find out during casual conversation.
Interview with Bri conducted by Shae McCoy
S.M: So, just start off with your name, age, and where you’re from.
B: My name is Bri. I’m from Baltimore, MD and I’m 24.
S.M: Alright and what is it that you do creatively?
B: I am a visual artist and a writer.
S.M: Is that your passion?
B: Yes, especially visual art. Painting is my passion. I wanna inspire people, you know, give them something…how can I put this? I don’t want my answer to be too long but—
S.M: You good, you good.
B: I just wanna inspire people. That’s my passion right there, inspiring people, giving them, especially the youth, giving them something to look at, and you know, being their kind of inspiration where they can be like, I can do this too!
S.M: Okay, so how did you discover that this is your passion and what were the determining factors?
B: Well I started drawing as a kid, when I probably was around ten years old and I stopped drawing in high school all because of, you know, as a child, I heard “You shouldn’t do that”, “You should pick something more stable” etc., but I picked up drawing again in 2015 which evolved into me painting . I realized I needed to add some color to my artwork, and when I did my first painting, I just…I just felt it, you know? It was something in my intuition that was telling me “This is what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re SUPPOSED to be doing this.”
S.M: Alright. What are some hardships that you experienced as you developed in your creative niche?
B: Uhh, mental health. (laughs). Mental health is the hardship that I deal with in my creativity. Some days I just, like any other artist, I don’t feel like it. I have these moments of depression or I’m too caught up in my anxiety. I have these low self-esteem days where I don’t feel like I can do it. And then I have these random spurts of days where I feel like I can do anything. I would say that’s my, you know, the hardest part about my creativity.
S.M: Alright, and how did you overcome those hardships? Or how are you overcoming those hardships, while developing as an artist?
B: Meditation. Meditation is the key, like, when I started my spiritual journey and I started aligning myself more, I realized that every day is not going to be an easy day, and you know, your depression or your anxiety or whatever you are dealing with as a creator is not going to disappear overnight. But having meditation and being spiritually aligned, it helps you deal with it. It helps you balance life out more.
S.M: Okay. How do you help others with your craft?
B: Well, I teach currently. I’m a teacher. I’m actually a middle school art teacher, so that’s how I help others. I teach them what I know. And I feel that, as long as I am giving my knowledge to other kids, not even kids, just other people in general, then I’m doing the right thing.
S.M: What makes you stand out in your creative field? What unique thing do people know you for?
B: Oh my god, uhhh…My Kanye West stance! (laughs). Sike nah, for real though, I feel like I can do anything. If I say Imma do something, I go for it. I don’t have one field of art and I feel like that’s one unique thing about me, you know. Like Picasso, he had like a contemporary style or Basquiat, for example, he had an abstract Neo-Expression style. With my style, I’m an illustrator, abstract artist, and I include words into my artwork. So, I feel like that’s what makes me unique. I can adapt. I’m pretty much adaptable to every field. Once I’m inspired by a certain type of art, I’m like hmmm, Imma take this inspiration, no matter how hard it is, and I’m gonna work on it and I’m gonna put that into my own artwork.
S.M: Cool, alright. If you could do anything else other than what you’re currently doing, what would it be?
B: I would probably be making clothes. I would probably be a fashion designer, designing clothes to sell to people who can’t afford that Velour Sweat suit, or you know, those uhh, Off White Nikes. That’s what I would be doing. I would be designing clothes. I would also be a chef. I can cook (laughs).
S.M: Oh okay. I need dinner on site then! Alright, who or what are your creative inspirations?
B: Hmm, that’s a good one. Umm, I would say Faith Ringgold. She’s one of my main creative inspirations and that’s because my mom always had her huge paintings in our house from the time that I was four until now, we still have some of her artwork. I would also say Kanye West. I would say Kanye because he’s not just a writer or a rapper, he’s a visual artist, he’s a producer, he’s…he’s timeless. And I feel like my, you know, I don’t wanna be arrogant or anything like that, but I feel like my personality and my creativity is just as timeless. I have another favorite creator, umm, James Baldwin. He’s not a visual artist but he’s a writer and I love what he says and how he carried himself. He’s timeless as well.
S.M: Okay, ummm, alright. Have you met any of these people who are your creative inspiration? I’m guessing not (laughs).
B: (laughs) Yeah, I met Kanye the other day (laughs). Speak it into existence. Nah, I haven’t met them yet.
S.M: (laughs) Okay, you would like to meet them.
B: Yeah, I would like to meet them. I WILL meet them.
S.M: Yup! That’s exactly what you say. Yup! Umm, what is the most rewarding thing that has happened in your career so far?
B: The most rewarding thing that has happened in my career so far…being able to teach this art to kids. You know I…I use to look down on visual artists, as a writer. I’m not gonna lie, (laughs), especially local visual artists because I was like, “how are they making it?” But once I put my foot into the water, it didn’t matter how they made it, or you know, how they are making a living. Just being able to do something different, like I said earlier in the interview, inspiring others. I teach art to kids and they love my artwork. They think it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen since I don’t know when. So, I would say teaching.
S.M: What do you think you can do a better job at as a creative?
B: (brief pause) Stop procrastinating (laughs).
S.M: (laughs) Same.
B: Stop procrastinating. I know all my creatives can relate. We will wait to the last minute, to like the day before or a couple of hours before to put our artwork in or to do our submissions. We might work on it, but you know, when it comes to submitting projects, I will literally wait until the last minute.
S.M: Okay and what do you see yourself doing in the next five years?
B: In the next five years, I see myself owning a few businesses and…can I tell you what those businesses are?
B: Alright, Imma just say one of them. Umm, in the next five years, I see myself owning my own Sip-and-Paint lounge here in Baltimore. And I also see myself being an international visual artist, having gallery exhibitions all over the world. That’s it.
S.M: Okay. Alright and we’re gonna wrap it up. Where can we find your art and how can we keep up with you? Give us your social media handles.
B: I’m on social media. My twitter and my Instagram are @_supremetacos. Like if you go to Taco Bell and order a supreme taco. @_supremetacos is where you can find all of my artwork, and Twitter, you can find my artwork on there as well. I do have Facebook, but it’s not for y’all, it’s for my family, and I don’t have a website yet. Coming Soon! It’s where you can purchase my artwork from.
S.M: Alright. Thanks for coming!
B: No problem! Thanks for having me!