Name: Brandi Milne
Age: Old enough
Birthday: January 30, 1976
College: None to speak of
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Book: Frohlich by Brandi Milne
Favorite Movie: The Wizard of Oz
Favorite Food: French Fries
Favorite Quote: “There is no comfort in growth, and there is no growth in comfort”
Why are you an artist, and when did you first become one? I’m an artist because of the way my brain works. The way I see, hear and speak – the way I interpret the world around me as well as the world inside my head. I’ve been an artist all my life.
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start? There are a few different ways I conceive of a piece, sometimes it starts with a visual – something just pops in my mind or I see something that inspires me. Other times it starts by a lyric or mood of a song that inspires a visual or an. Sometimes it’s an emotion or idea turning around and around in my heart. From there I start sketching it out, studying it and building a story around it until I’m satisfied, then I start the final piece.
What’s the best advice anyone gave you? The best advice anyone ever gave me is to accept myself. Who I am, what I think and feel. To focus on that, to listen to my heart and be gentle with myself. To treat myself the way I want others to treat me (with forgiveness, empathy and love) and in turn, treat others the way I’d like to be treated.
Do you suffer for your art? I most certainly do.
How would you define yourself as an artist? Art takes a lot of head space. It’s a constant studying of self, listening and interpreting. I’d define myself as obsessed.
What inspires you to work? Everything and nothing, at all times. Color, music, conversations, books, movies, emotions, art, landscapes, interiors, outfits, photography, rain, wrapping paper, Christmas, Halloween, memories, heartache, Ted Talks, tricksters, life itself.
You seem to use a lot of symbols in your work. Do your works tell stories or are they simply decorative elements of the project? I try to have a story going in my head for each piece that I create. The story, even if I don’t fully understand it, is what keeps me interested in seeing an idea through. So yes, lots of symbols and hidden stories.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how? Lots of artists have influenced me through the years. Growing up I was on a steady diet of Charles Schultz (Peanuts) and Jim Davis (Garfield), I so badly wanted their simplicity and their lines made me go bananas. I was so drawn to their work and I was so jealous of their talent. But when I got older and started showing my own work, I was studying Alphonse Mucha, Erte, Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell and Camille Rose Garcia. Each of these artists inspired me and helped me explore what I wanted in my work, helped me create a language of my own.
What other interests do you have outside of art? These days I’m interested in being a better human being. Reaching my full potential in life. Overcoming obstacles and not hiding away the way I have been.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? Yipes, I’d go insane.
What are your next projects? I have a big solo show coming up in August at the Corey Helford Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles which I’m SUPER STOKED on. After that, I’d like to write and illustrate a book of short stories.