We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittany Ciauri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittany, why did you pursue a creative career?
From childhood to now, art has consistently been the aspect of my life that makes me feel undeniably worthy and whole. When I create something, it feels like a return to my authenticity, like I’m at home within myself. It’s allowed to me to stand out, to feel different, and most importantly to recognize “different” is a good thing. Art has pulled me from the bottom of extreme lows and allowed me to channel and express feelings where words would fail. I’ve dealt with anxiety through the larger portion of my adult life and using creativity as an outlet has changed the way I handle what feels like chaos. It is genuine, it is unique to me, and every piece I work on captures a bit of what I was going through during the time. Although the style and subject matter may differ wildly, I want my brand to inspire others to create and to serve as a reminder that they are never alone.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As an artist I specialize in detail-oriented work, whether its pointillism, pencil, or paint. I draw most of my inspiration from my fascination with the interaction between life and death, as well as that between organic and inorganic elements. I think what sets me apart in this industry is the same thing that I am most proud of, the diversity in my work. I love stippling small, intricate objects as much as I love painting large, vibrant sunsets. One of the greatest feelings is being approached by someone for a commission and feeling confident in being able to make their vision become a reality. Admittedly, this diversity also leads me to feel self-conscious when displaying my work. I often feel like my social media and portfolio are lacking cohesion, and that they are so different that it distracts from the art. I’ve been working to accept the variety of pieces I produce as a style in itself, as opposed to the lack of one altogether. Growing up, whenever I’d achieve some sort of goal, my Dad would always recite the Zig Ziglar quote “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation”. Its true, you could apply this quote to almost any scenario, but it sticks out to me when I think about the development of my art career. I’ve filled the better part of my free time with creating, so that when a show or sale presented itself, I was always able to participate and begin networking. I embraced the value, and felt the genuine fear, of putting myself out there. Now, as I’m trying to grow my passion, I’m getting a little deeper into the branding and marketing of my business. I’ve recently changed website platforms so that I now have a shop to sell prints online, which I am thrilled about! I’m also very excited to announce that I’ll be back showing work through the month of November at Culture Brewing Company in Solana Beach. I have many aspirations for what I’d like my business and brand to look like one day, but I also recognize that I’ve progressed quite a bit from where I used to be. And while getting to this point was challenging, it felt natural. Choosing to spend time on the things you’re most passionate about is easy, finding that time to spend seems to only be getting increasingly difficult. I’ve also spoken about the difficulties I’ve had balancing my full-time job as a Civil Engineer and keeping up with art in my free time. I’ve learned a lot about harmony, and that “burn out” is no joke. Resting is never something I’ve been great at, but I’m beginning to realize how crucial it is for long-term productivity to have intermittent periods of relaxation. I put so much of myself into each piece, and I want people to know how important that is to me. I mentioned before that I get caught up with the presentation of my social media and portfolio, that they may be lacking in stylistic consistency. But I create what I’m feeling, and I create for other people, so I guess that’s where the disordered appearance comes in. I’m learning to love my collection of art for what is it, diverse and honest, instead of creating solely to produce an aesthetic. I hope that this helps you to understand me and my work a bit better.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I grew up in LaVerne, California and while I love and appreciate the role it played in my life, I don’t think I would intentionally make anyone stay there for longer than necessary. Out of respect and my fondness of nostalgia, there are a couple pitstops that are absolutely necessary when passing through. You must get a donut from Donut Man in Glendora, definitely call ahead to see when the Tiger Tails will be fresh, that step is imperative . The second would be getting Mexican food at either El Merendero or El Patio, both are in Pomona, and both are amazing. If I were to show someone around Los Angeles, I’d take them to the Getty Villa during the day for a stroll around the gardens. For dinner, I’d take them to the alley entrance of Far Bar for sushi, because what’s better than perishable food in sketchy locations? Next up on the tour is the The Edison for drinks, a gorgeous speakeasy-themed bar housed in the sub-basement of an old power house. With copper walls and old-fashioned film projections, you feel like you’ve been catapulted back to 1910. After listening to a few songs by the live swing band, I’d end the tour at Beetle House, a Tim-Burton themed bar for another drink (huge Tim Burton fan here.) Now I live in North County San Diego, and anyone that knows me will tell you that before it has even occurred to you to ask me where we should eat, we will already be eating Thai Food at Bangkok Bay in Solana Beach.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout all of the fabulous ladies I lived with in college. We went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and it was undoubtedly the most inspiring period of my life so far. There were always at least eight of us, some moved in while others left. We lived in a huge (haunted) blue house overlooking the most gorgeous hills you’ve ever seen. I have never been surrounded by a more supportive, accepting group of people and I think that was where I gained the confidence to start producing more work. When I was young, I had a really hard time with people watching me paint or draw. I would become so self-conscious, so worried I would mess up that I usually ended up doing just that. But when you live in one house with eight people, boundaries cease to exist, and there were rarely moments of privacy, let alone space to create by myself. So I got used to being observed, to answering questions about what I was doing, and to blocking out the fear that I would do something wrong in front of another person. It wasn’t that I knew I wouldn’t make a mistake, more than I knew they wouldn’t think any less of me if I did. This was the period in my life where I started to identify with being an artist. Taking on this role felt like becoming more comfortable in my own skin, like returning home. Kelso, Jules, Lo, SheShe, Mad Dawg, Samuel, Linds, Kourt, (and Colleen!!), you made me better, love you all. And another shout out to Natalie Wharton who made me promise to never stop creating art, I won’t.