Sally: What brought you to Etsy?
Brooke: Back in 2006, I read an article on the start up of Etsy and its founder Rob Kalin. I had previously been selling on eBay as a self-representing artist and was very intrigued by the idea of translating the traditional craft fair into an online shopping venue. Needless to say, it was love and first site! Immediately I realized that Etsy was a great site in dozens of respects- well designed and it had a good sense of community. I signed up right away and started shopping! It wasn’t until 2007 that I opened my own shop.
Sally: Who or what inspires your creations?
Brooke: I have many inspirations that influence my art but music is what sets the tone. When I hear lyrics I see visions painted before me. I feel colors as if they are pigmented by emotion. I experience melodies set to rhythmic tones of nature and I imagine the result of poetry poured onto paper. Such experiences influence my creations so strongly that the titles of my work are derived from the lyrics of a song that I had been listening to at the time.
Sally: What time of day do you work best and why?
Brooke: I’m a night owl; as I assume you are too! See, I’m a full-time graphic designer, I freelance projects on the side and I’m a single mom. So, the only time I get to really indulge in my passion for music and art is after all has been settled and quiet around my house.
Sally: Who do you market to? Who do you see buying your work?
Brooke: My audience is very broad when you consider the diversity of music. But, I find other artists, crafters, musicians, designers and usually eccentric people with a strong appreciation for the arts are the ones who purchase my work. There is a definite cross-pollination between music and visual art so I believe the connection is natural when people with these interests come across what I do.
Sally: What item do you like to work on the most and why?
Brooke: My most favorite aspect of creating art inspired by music is being asked to create a custom design. Not only do I love the challenge of a song someone else has selected, as I have to go purposely looking for a vision that represents that song but also I really enjoy the stories of connection to the music. Many commissioned works I create are for weddings or anniversaries, some for birthdays or special occasions and every now and then I get asked to create a design in hopes of providing a source of inspiration to someone going through a rough time in life. It really is an honor.
Sally: What are your 3 favorite books?
Brooke: The Giving Tree is hands down my favorite book. I have a piece inspired by Ray LaMontange’s song Shelter titled I Give to You. The visual for the song was pulled from the giving tree. I’m also really attached to Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book and The Day the Babies Crawled Away by author/illustrator Peggy Rathmann. The illustrations in these books are just awesome.
Sally: What is something that you don’t do well that you’d like to do better?
Brooke: Play music. I love and feel music so bad it hurts inside. I’m just not good at playing it. Believe me, I’ve tried! I guess that’s why I make art about it!
Sally: If you could interview your main influence who would it be and what would you ask?
Brooke: Wow! What I loaded question! In looking at my body of work, The Beatles seem to be my main influence but actually the Counting Crows is my favorite band so I would choose front man Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows. His lyrics hit home, song after song, album after album. I’ve been listening to him hone his lyrical craft for 17yrs now and my question would be, “Who’s Maria?” (If you’re a Counting Crows fan, you know what I mean!)
Sally: What do you listen to while you work? While you don’t work?
Brooke: Well, I’m a BIG fan of Pandora.com. I have around 27 radio stations setup including everyone from Michael Franti, a hybrid of dub-infused reggae with some hard-hitting rock to the smooth foxy blues and jazz of Nina Simone. It’s all about what inspires me at the moment.
Sally: Do you have any deals or promos to share?
Brooke: Sure. I’d like to announce two promotions:
- I welcome suggestions! If anyone has a suggestion for a song I should use as inspiration, contact me either through Etsy convo or my website. If/when I use the suggestion, I offer a free 5x7 of the print to the person who had the idea!
- I’d like to offer your readers 15% off anything they’d like to purchase with the keyword “NightOwl”. Stop by my Etsy shop, http://www.bjwcreative.etsy.com and have a look at what is currently listed or if you’d like to see the full body of my work, please visit http://www.jukebox-art.com and click on the Gallery. All designs are available at any time so if you don’t see it on Etsy, contact me!
Brooke, Thank you so much for doing this feature! Your work is fun & meaningful. It's been great getting to know you!
Readers, I'd jump on that offer while it's still fresh in everyone's mind! Suggest away! (Brooke, I think you're in trouble now ;) What's your favorite song or artist. I'd love to see what you love in the comments below!