We had the good fortune of connecting with Brie Walter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think as an artist there are a lot of risks to assess. It’s such a subjective process. I’ve found I just have to create what resonates with me, and hope that it also creates a reaction in someone else who sees the work. There are never any guarantees in Art. So trying to guess what someone might like or what will be popular to sell probably wouldn’t feel as authentic if you chase hypotheticals. I try to stay grounded in my process by reading biographies about other artists who lived in the Renaissance period. So many aspects of life in the late 1400’s and early 1500’s compared to today still parallel one another in the struggles and the risk assessment. When to scale, when to take a commission, what type of advertising you need to do to get your work in front of people, which jobs boost your portfolio but end up at a loss financially– if you read about the artists in past centuries, you can see modern day has ultimately just repackaged the struggles, so there is a lot of wisdom to glean from dead artists.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a painter and mostly work with oil paints these days. I think my color palettes and textures are what set my work apart in some way. I do a lot of layered work in my abstract pieces.
I think I blend the ideas of modern and classic as I approach my pieces, which is probably a niche interest. I’m excited to have some of my work used in set designs for a TV show this year. I think being in a niche category is nice in that, you don’t have to have a huge base who loves your work. Just a dedicated small amount of collectors who appreciate what I’m doing.
I really love drawing on old world inspiration, but I also love clean modern line work, and I think if you love that combination too, then you’ll find something to connect to in my work.
My latest Verte Collection is a group of paintings I’m really proud of, and I hope to continue expanding all the collections later this year, including a new floral collection that draws on the classic Dutch still life approach, mixed with abstract elements and oil stick line textures.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Griffith Park is a favorite of ours. I’d probably start with breakfast at The Trails Cafe, then hike up to the observatory. Walk around a bit, then hike down the trail and eat at Figaro Bistrot at the bottom of the hill in Los Feliz. I used to live over there, and it’s a perfect combination of city living and nature at your fingertips to escape from the noise. It feels like 2 separate worlds collided and you can straddle the border in a beautiful way. I’d probably do that on repeat because I’m a creature of habit in that way once I find a place I love.
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?
One of my first jobs out of college was working for a couple who were both artists, collaborating on a solo gallery exhibit at the Pacific Design Center. Their names are Sarah Rossiter, a photographer, and Dorsey Dunn, a sound design artist, and they really were a daily reminder of what life can look as a working artist, including taking on jobs we don’t always like because they aren’t our true passion, but they help fund the art that is our passion. And the point of our lives is to make the art, regardless of how we get that done. They funded their exhibits in Germany and India, and I was so impressed by their dedication and how they just always showed up for their art even if they weren’t preparing for an exhibit. They made me feel like it was ok to not take the safe routes in life. And not only was that ok, but you could still be successful doing the non-tradition work path. And you can redefine what success means for you.
Photos by Brie Walter