‘I was born in the small town of Fernie British Columbia nestled in the Rockie Mountains. At the age of 4, my family moved to the beautiful Okanagan valley in the interior British Columbia. There, surrounded by gorgeous lakes and orchards, I first started to enjoy the beauty that was my natural surroundings. At the age of 14, with the help of a close family friend, the artist Sveva Di Caetani first introduced me to the many rich, and saturated colours available with the use of watercolours paints.
With this initial inspiration, I continued to draw and paint all throughout high school and participated in every creative outlet that was available to me. Once graduated, I enrolled in the local community college to begin to learn all the fundamental techniques of art creation and Art History that were being offered. After two years at the college, I transferred to the faculty of fine arts at University of Victoria on Vancouver Island.
After receiving my degree in Fine arts, I decided to set my sights elsewhere and moved to Toronto, as along with Montreal, it was one of the largest art centers in Canada. For the past 17 years, I have lived and worked in Toronto and the greater Toronto Area. During that time, I was either surrounded by, or entrenched in the ‘art world’ working as both picture framer/designer and as a resident artist for a local gallery. Amongst the many magnificent things that happened during that time, I was blessed to have two beautiful children (My daughter Emma and my son Ciaran.)
After the breakdown of my relationship with the children’s mother, I focused most of my attention on my children and trying to find a sense of stability for them and myself. I continued to work, and use the emotional dynamics of those situations to motivate and inspire me to continue to create. During that time, I had the privilege to meet a lovely woman while researching different types of meditation techniques I use to focus my thinking process. It was through knowing her that I was re-inspired to create. She started as a friend, then became a mentor, and soon will be my wife. Above all else though, she is my muse. So armed with these wonderful gifts, I have acquired enough inspiration to last 3 lifetimes.’
Name: Brannan Robinson
Birthday: September 27
College: Okanagan University College/ University of Victoria (BFA)
Colours: I am a huge fan of any colour juxtaposed with their own complimentary colour, allowing each colour to sing at its highest level.
Books: I am a fan of escapism. I have devoured many of the popular novels, from Anne Rice to Dan Brown, but I have recently just reread ‘The Winter King’ by Bernard Cornwell and currently working on Paul Selig’s “The Book of Mastery”.
Movie: For entertainment, I thoroughly enjoyed the John Wick movies. However, if I wish to be visually inspired or moved, I adore anything by Guillermo del Toro. His attention to aesthetics are truly spectacular.
Food: I love so many types of food. I thoroughly enjoy the experience of new flavours and combinations. However, I crave authentic Mexican food constantly.
“The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.”
“Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses- especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” Leonardo da Vinci
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
– Frank Herbert
For how long have been in art? How did you start? In truth, I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I have always been driven to create. After high school, I entered the fine art faculty at the local college, moving finally to the University of Victoria where I received my bachelor degree in fine arts (Visual Arts Major). With my formal training completed, I spent the next few years trying to unlearn the traditional uses of the various mediums and experiment with unconventional parings and applications of traditional art materials. From there, I chose to expand my skill set and trained as a picture framer and then moved into working both for myself and for established art galleries as their master framer and resident artist. So, to answer in short, I have been in art my entire life.
How would you define yourself as an artist? I am adaptive and versatile. I enjoy working with multiple mediums and various styles of work simultaneously. I feel that only through trying new things can one open themselves to new avenues of exploration. I enjoy something called ‘the magic accident.’ The idea that when something doesn’t go as you had planned but the outcome is far more exciting than the original idea. These are the moments I long for.
Would you tell us some things about yourself? Please include a few little known facts about you as well. A little known fact about me is that I come from a very long line of Anglican priests. Everyone from my father to my great great grandfather were priests. I was raised around the Church, but it never really resonated with me. I was lucky in that my family didn’t actively force religion on me, and permitted me to come to my own opinions on things such as spirituality and morality. Even though I do not ascribe to any particular religion, I do enjoy studying and learning about all the different faiths and their structure, their imagery and motivations. In truth, I thoroughly enjoy learning and absorbing new information of any sort. I feel that any information one can have is simply another tool in one’s tool box for creating art.
Where do you find inspiration? I think the surrounding environment is where I draw most of my inspiration. Anything from the way light falls at a certain angle on a building to the colour combinations found in the urban and natural world. If you can strip away your preconceived understanding of you environment, you can find beauty even in the mundane.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? Sometimes I start out trying to convey certain ideas through my art, but usually I let the piece grow and it then starts to dictate what is to be done next and what it is that it conveys. My work evolves as it is being made. Above all else, I find the common themes in my works are that I am bound to create or attempt to create things of beauty in their structure and composition.
What art do you most identify with? I identify most with colour field works. Using colour and its juxtaposition with another colour field to draw the eye and/or structure to define the work.
Why do you do … what you do? For lack of a better way to describe it, I am compelled and driven to create. It gives me great joy to make beautiful things. I love how I have been given the ability to create pieces which can stir moments of emotional responses in others. This is the secondary level of fulfillment which is an amazing by product of creating.
What does “being creative” mean to you? Commonly people have always said being creative is a gift, and I agree with this statement completely. It is a Gift, and one that can and should be shared. I love that I can make things that I can share with others and hopefully bring them an emotional connection.
Any shows, galleries, or publications where our readers can find your work? Yes, I had a solo exhibition a few years ago and currently still have pieces for sale at Liss Gallery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. www.lissgallery.com. I also have a Facebook art page: Ani-mo arts: https://www.facebook.com/BrannanRobinsonART/
How do you cultivate a collector base? I started working at self promotion right out of university, and from there, it spread originally through word of mouth. I also had my own website for quite some time. In order to simplify these processes, I decided to create and pare back my pieces to a Facebook page which would have the most current and relevant pieces I have created. I also worked as the resident artist for Liss Gallery which has allowed me to break into the corporate art scene. Through commissions and site specific creations, this has permitted me to be able to sell pieces for the art collections of many large multinational corporations and other businesses.
Which is your most cherished piece? My most cherished piece is called “Emma’s Flowers”. I created it after the birth of my daughter. It was the best example of the ‘magical mistake’ and turned out better than I could have ever hoped for.
If you had an exclusive collective exhibition with other artists work, who would you choose? I would choose artists that have stirred in me emotional responses. I would say:
Photographer -Simeon Posen, Painter- Johnathan Ball, Painter- David Vegt, and if I could move mountains, I would love to be part of a show with Francesco Clemente.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? Without a doubt, my pieces are visual pieces. I like to create pieces that you don’t need to know my motivations, but rather have the ability to have the viewer insert their own into them.
What aspect of your work do you pay particular attention to? Colour and composition ….those are the two pillars that prop up my work.
What Role does the artist have in society? What a great question! I feel the artist can assume many different roles. One can become an advocate, a leader, a motivator, a challenger of society or one can choose to simply be the bringer of joy and beauty to people. All of which are noble; it ultimately depends on which role you are driven to take up.
What is your most treasured memory? My favorite memory was the ‘world stopping’ moment when I knew and truly understood that I was truly and completely in love….and I was loved back equally. There is nothing more pure and true than this understanding. It creates an amazing realistic foundation on which you can base your life and build off of.
What for you is the most enjoyable part of your art? The happy accidents which bring about a new and amazing areas of investigation.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how? Francesco Clemente for drawing, Mark Rothko for colour field, Van Gogh for his compelling eye to create as he sees in his mind, Egon Shiele who showed me that even the unappealing when seen and represented differently can be truly beautiful.
What other interests do you have outside of art? I am a big fan of meditation, reiki, music, camping/being in nature , and learning about the universe.
Some short questions now:
more Colours: Pthalo Blue, Indigo, royal purple and hunter green
Textures: Organic textures found in nature….from water to tree bark and stone.
Define your art: When attempting to create something from nothing, I choose to strip away all preconceived ideas of what has been done previously. Only by removing all external limitations, can you create the environment for truly organic creation. I love to create things of beauty. My pieces are usually a marriage of colour balance and composition. The structures and subjects change but the aesthetic of the image is the defining principle
Describe your style: “Define yourself”… I like to think that I define my style as comfort and practical, and at times, touches of class.
Prizes: I had a few in and just out of Unversity, but have not made that my interest in many, many years.
Art Fairs: I have participated in one art fair, but would rather wander and look at the art than participate in a booth.
Museums: I do love them, but alas, I have never received the honour of having any of my work in a museum’s collection
Travels: As much as possible. I love to see new things!
Artists: Favorite at the moment is actually an old friend of mine: David Vegt. His portraits in oils are truly breathtaking.
Music: I am very into listening to anything by Odesza at the moment, and generally have been drawn to EDM and chillstep music lately.
Cars: I do have a car, funny enough it is currently getting a new engine!
Mobile App: I don’t use many other than chatting platforms to speak with people in other countries
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today? I am lucky that I live near Toronto. I have access to amazing museums, galleries, and performance venues. I have the ability to access national galleries, as well as small neighborhood galleries and venues. I am blessed in that regards
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? Well my life would change dramatically. Honestly, I can’t fathom my life without some level of creative outlet. If not through visual art, I would most likely turn to music or writing. As I said earlier, I am compelled to create.
What do you think about the art community and market? I think honestly that the art world is a double edged sword. On one side, it provides a venue for even the least known artist to start to build and gain exposure for their works, but on the other, it does at times over inflate the value of certain works over others, to the point where it becomes unreachable to the greater art loving community.
Should art be funded? Why? I do believe that the arts should be funded, I am firm believer in this. With proper funding, artists and creators are given the freedom, time and funds to create so many new, exciting and beautiful creations that wouldn’t be possible if the artist had to split their time working in other fields to earn enough money to create.
Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction? I did a large project many years ago where I was tasked to create the new aesthetic for a large department stores jewelry departments. I was able to travel all over the country and see my artwork in the various stores. Aside from the pride of having been able to do that, I thoroughly enjoyed the inclusion of art in sometimes bland commercial settings.
Who are the writer’s you admire the most? I am rather eclectic in my likes: I enjoy the poetry of W.H.Auden and Maureen Harris. I also love the passion of the writing process and the escapism of Anne Rice and Bernard Cornwell.
What about architects and designers? Oh, I do love the curva-linear designs of Frank Gehry. But I have always had a fond place in my heart for Frank Lloyd Wright.
What else are you working on at the moment? Next projects? At the moment, I am in a collection stage for my art work. My pieces are combinations of layers of overlaid imagery and structure. As a result, it takes time to collect raw elements and images with which I then can create. Once I have enough raw materials, I will start the creation of my next series of images.
Share something you would like the world to know about you? I will never claim to be an authority on anything. I firmly believe that life is for learning, so I can only claim that I am forever a student.
Define “Klassik Magazine International ” for the audience? I believe that the medium of “Klassik Magazine International” is a true venue for the Artist. With an international reach, it permits artworks a much greater exposure then could be aquired by traditional means of the working artist. This international news media PR with an online Art Gallery permits Artists of every medium to stretch further and share their creations with the world.