Today we’d like to introduce you to Brigette Kozash and Britt Mitchell.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Brigette: I began writing poetry when I was in middle school. I have always, and continue to feel sort of… misunderstood? It sounds pretty angsty, but I’ve learned to cope with that feeling by writing. Sometimes, my poetry seems to be the only way I can come to realizations or feel closure when dealing with mind spaces and personal situations. I think without poetry, I would have a very difficult time opening up and being vulnerable with my peers, friends, and loved ones. I’m so thankful for my friends and the people around me who enjoy and relate to my poetry. When I read for others, that’s when I feel the most understood.
Britt: My dad was a killer artist who could do anything. He drew, painted, did woodwork; there was nothing he couldn’t do. As a kid, I looked up to him and wanted to be just like him, so I stuck by his side and copied what he did. He passed away when I was a teenager, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been interested in other hobbies, but I always end up coming back to art. It feels right to create, not only to feel connected to myself and others, but also as a way to remember my dad.
Please tell us about your art.
CONSCIOUS is a monthly, independent “zine” that incorporates local art along with poetry and literature. It was created in August 2018, and it started as a personal passion project that I (Brigette Kozash) could invest time into and also enjoy doing. Writing and reading poetry has always been a central part of my life, and I wanted to find a way to bring that passion of mine to others. I approached Tim Bryant at the Bosslight Bookstore in Downtown Nacogdoches about beginning a Poetry Night once a month. CONSCIOUS came out of that because I wanted to start compiling this amazing local poetry into one small publication.
CONSCIOUS comprises of cut-out poetry pasted on homemade collages created by producers Britt Mitchell, Brittney Holden and myself. We scan these images, and with the help of producer Jaycee Darden, we arrange the images into an Excel document that is formatted specifically for the zine. We print close to 100 copies every month for distribution.
CONSCIOUS is really meant to make every reader/contributor feel valued. Everyone has something to say, whether it be through writing or any art medium, and everyone deserves to have a chance to share that. CONSCIOUS doesn’t judge poetry or art; we put everything in as it comes. There’s never a “bad” submission because every submission depicts a vulnerable and brave artist who is willing to share their piece with us. We want every single artist to know that they are heard and that they can be a part of the community of artists. CONSCIOUS’ goal is to enrich the Nacogdoches community and to allow everyone to be a part of this community project.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Collaboration is important. CONSCIOUS has four producers, and we do for a reason. Each of us (Brigette, Britt, Brittney, and Jaycee) has a special talent that we offer and several skills that we bring to the table. It’s so important to get input from each person in order to make a quality piece. We are also super conscious of making the community feel involved and promoting inclusiveness. Exclusivity is not the way to create and showcase art.
Also, don’t be afraid to mess up! Learn by doing it!
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can pick up a physical copy of CONSCIOUS in Nacogdoches at Vagabond Vintage, Casey’s Tattoo and The Bosslight Bookstore. We also frequent a lot of art festivals, shows and zine fests around Texas. If you want to follow us, you can visit fb.com/consciousthezine or follow us on Instagram @consciousthezine. We always post the most recent zine on our social media. We also have a Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/consciousthezine) as well, where if you donate any amount to us, we will send you a copy of them in the mail. Our Patreon and our sponsorships are how we are able to afford toner to print the zines. We want to keep them free, so we rely heavily on our supporters.
- Address: 122 A Wettermark, Nacogdoches TX 75965 (mailing only)
- Website: patreon.com/consciousthezine
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/consciousthezine/
- Facebook: facebook.com/consciousthezine