Hi Brooke! Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
I’m originally from Kalamazoo Michigan, currently living in the woods of Bellaire in the northern lower peninsula. I recently moved ‘home’ after living in Colorado on and off for 11 years. If I am not doodling, designing, or wandering outside you can find me with my wife, Ashely, dog, Dan, and our family and friends. We love spending our time in the woods and water of Northern Michigan, there are lakes everywhere by us, and some of the most beautiful ones in the world. We paddle board several times a week, whether we break a sweat or crack a cold one, it’s always a magical experience. We also MTB, kayak, ski and snowboard in the area. Not only is the environment around us lush and full of life, but it’s also very quiet. Coming from the highly populated trails and natural spaces of Colorado it’s refreshing to experience outside in solitude. It’s a powerful and humbling feeling.
We’d love to hear more about your journey as an artist. How and when did you get started?
So, my grandpa was an artist actually, and I was always entranced by his abilities to capture and document the physical world. It wasn’t always easy for him in his career and if he struggled, there was no way I’d make it with my inferior skills, or so I thought. Instead, I got a degree in Industrial Design, and really identify myself as a designer and problem solver. I love all types of design, and solving problems feels like what my brain was made for, both a huge part of what I do in my business today. Although, I feel as if I’m just now coming into my own as an artist. It’s been a journey of self-discovery littered with imposter syndrome for a title I held in such high regard due to my grandfather. I’m still finding my style and medium as an artist, and what I want to say with my art. Art is inherently vulnerable and I think the more openness and presence the more profound the creation. This is why it is fundamental that I take the time to authentically harness my experience, skill, and passion as I grow into my own artist.
Can you explain what being an artist means to you? Where do you continue to find new and exciting inspiration? How does this help you stay connected with others?
My inspiration, it’s outside! Nature is my ‘religion’, at least that’s the most straightforward way I can think to define its level of meaning in my life. It is so full of wisdom, power, and connectedness, all areas in which we as people need continued growth. Nature is a teacher, a guide, a friend, and most importantly a provider - to our existence, our BEing. I am just so enamored by the natural world and grateful to experience it. It also has a way of bringing just together. Some of my most impactful moments and friendships have been formed outside. The opportunities that outdoor experiences give us to grow and connect are endless, I’m just happy to be out in it!
What inspired you to create your own business? What has it meant for you to take on this adventure?
I worked a lot of jobs throughout my life, some of which were during college as a freelancer or contractor. This experience really intrigued me. I never excelled at jobs you just punch the clock, but contracting opened up a really unique world. I enjoy the challenges of running the business, some parts not as much, but those are good lessons in asking for help. It has been more of an exercise in confidence and hard work, than anything else. Over the last seven years I’ve learned I’m highly capable and incredibly driven, which provides fuel to my confidence tank. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have an amazing network of what I would call friends, rather than clients. I have leaned into the direction and feedback from this network and it has helped pave my path forward.
Share with us the idea and meaning behind this collaboration/collection.
I’ve always found deep solace in nature, a true sense of peace in times of need. It really is an endless well of wonder, providing a constant flow of inspiration. You don’t even have to go to great lengths to get it either, it’s all around us, everywhere. This project, calls attention to that fact. It showcases elements of nature and a perspective on their adversity. Little lessons from nature, if you will. It’s important to challenge your own perspective on things and I hope these designs help people to see beauty, power, and respect in their surroundings. There is nothing wrong with a half-grown tree, in fact, it’s pretty remarkable! This goes for people too, we are all unique trees, just trying to survive, connect and grow.
How can people follow along with your work?
I would be so flattered and grateful if anyone wants to follow along! My website(S'ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre) is a great place to check out all past, present, and future collaborations and art. LinkedIn(S'ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre) is the spot for launches, connections and any potential job openings. Instagram(S'ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre) is the spot for updates and behind-the-scenes content.