Today we’d like to introduce you to Bree Smith.
Bree, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My art career started in preschool when I started drawing Ninja Turtles and quickly found myself taking requests from my classmates to render their favorite character. I received my BFA in Studio Art in 2007, and the following year became an art teacher. Sadly, during my time teaching my own work became neglected and the longer I went without painting the louder and larger my creative demons became and I was too afraid to make art anymore. One day out of nowhere, the urge to paint hit me so strongly that it became all I could think about. I slowly started dipping my brush into paint again, and over the past few years have been able to grow into a daily art practice.
I recently completed a 9-month art fellowship through The Village Church where I developed and exhibited a collection of work called New Earth, which is now on display in the art gallery at The Village Flower Mound campus. I take commissions and am also working on developing my next body of work. Through my journey I have developed a passion for encouraging others to overcome their creative fears, so I just launched a podcast with a fellow artist addressing these fears called the Creative Bits Podcast. I also design amusing and artsy graphic tees (Bree’s Tees) that are available on Amazon Prime.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m a mixed media painter currently focusing on apocalyptic themes with a positive outlook. I give hints of the natural world in each piece, while allowing space for imagination and interpretation. My hope is that by looking at these works viewers will be inspired to imagine a new iteration of earth, as well as the transition from the old to the new. Conceptually, I draw a lot from my own struggles—loneliness, inadequacy, dealing with physical pain, loss of a parent, divorce, and shame. Although these are themes I frequently sit with during my creative process, I choose to use bright, saturated colors in my work to represent feelings of joy in the midst of these struggles versus transferring negative emotion directly into my work.
What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
It’s definitely lonely if you don’t make an effort to form relationships with similar-minded people. I won’t pretend to have this one completely figured out (anyone want to be art friends?!) But one thing for sure is that if you don’t put yourself out there or your work out there, you’ll remain alone.
I believe creative community is crucial for long term growth and success. Art friends will understand your struggles like no one else can, give you short cuts around things they had to learn the hard way, supplies recommendations, and more. It’s worth the effort to develop friendships with fellow artists who are serious about their goals. Go to art openings, search group meet ups on Facebook that fit your interests, or other creative events. If you’re going to a creative event that you’d enjoy, you’ll find people there who enjoy the same things you do. I go to Art House Dallas Exchange events, which are fantastic for connecting with creatives of all flavors, and another event series called Connecting Things which brings creatives together for a creative-themed lecture in a creative studio. So much creativity!
Also, always bring business cards! I had some made at the beginning of this year, and now I don’t go anywhere without them. They’re a great conversation piece and makes it easy for others to connect with you after an event.
I also don’t believe in complaining about something unless you’re going to do something to fix it, so I recently started a Slack group specifically for female creatives called Fēmakers. It’s in the very early stages still, but my vision for the group is to become an online place of creative discussion, support, collaboration, and encouragement.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can follow along with my most recent work on Instagram (@bree_smith_art), where I typically post what I’m working on daily. My current exhibition, New Earth, is on display in the gallery at The Village Church Flower Mound.
Supporting my work can come in many forms, big and small, and I appreciate them all so much! A follow, a like, or a subscribe are all wonderful small ways to show support, but if anyone would like to purchase my work you can see what’s available at bybreesmith.com. I also take commissions if you’d like a piece created just for you.
- Website: bybreesmith.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @bree_smith_art
- Twitter: @bree_smith_art
- Other: creativebitspodcast.com