Art and ambition are often one-in-the-same. Art and business savvy is, without question, the California Condor of the creative realm (I am watching The Tudors currently, the the world realm holds true.) Through the course of my daily Twitter discourse, I meet an array of talented, passionate people… cue Brandy Saturley. Her paintings rich with imagery, ranging from sexual to fantasy to pop, Brandy is an artist with a clarity of vision – a drive to create and promote.
Here is a full interview with Canada’s aspiring Rockstar Artist.
For those who don’t know Brandy Saturley, how about a brief introduction?
A full-time professional artist building a name as ‘Canada’s Rockstar Artist’.
You are a professional artist residing in Canada… what is the Canadian art scene like?
Vast. We are a large country with a lot of wide open spaces and this is reflected in the work of Canada’s most recognizable artists such as Robert Bateman, Emily Carr, Alex Colville and The Group of Seven. There is a great deal of art that expresses the relationship between humans and the natural world. I live on a small island in the Western-most part of Canada, Vancouver Island, it’s kind of our ‘California’ we are on the coast – mild weather, lots of beaches, lots of hippies…it’s a beautiful place and the Hippy lifestyle is still strong here…which is reflected in the art of this area – vibrant colors, nature, abstracts, landscapes, driftwood…are all present in the art here…the Contemporary art scene has yet to truly emerge in this area and as a contemporary artist living in this area I find it is my job to help usher it in…
How long have you been an artist?
Since my artist Mom put a crayon in my hand.
What is your painting process?
My inspiration comes from everywhere, but mostly from my obsession with music, film, photography and advertising. My process begins by taking my Nikon D300 for a walk…going to a movie and listening to songs until they all come together, creating a direction from which a new theme will emerge. I work from many photos – some of my paintings are a compilation of over 30 photos…I have about 36,000 photos on my computer right now (all my own.) I sort through images while listening to music until I feel I have a match (I have about 30,000 songs on my computer and still counting.) Next, I compile images to tell a story inspired by the music or the moment. I transfer my ‘collage’ of photos to the canvas and from there film takes over; I carefully select a film from my collection of over 700 DVD’s ( yes, it is a true obsession) and I paint while listening to the film, taking breaks to view specific frames that I have memorized. Once a piece is halfway along I dispose of the original photo collage and allow the film and the music to guide me to completion. My process is continually transforming based on the stimuli surrounding me…I love it.
If you could spend three hours in the studio with any three artists, whom would they be?
This is tough…only three? Tamara de Lempicka, Andy Warhol and Gustav Klimt. If you had asked what three artists would I want to invite over for a glass of wine for three hours…I would add Damien Hirst, Picasso and Frida Kahlo.
You seem to have a strong understanding of the business of art, what are the three most important pieces of advice you would offer any artist?
1. Never sell yourself short – better to make them want it and talk about how much they want it then sell it to everyone so that everyone has one so it’s no longer special to own one of your original pieces of art.
2. Don’t Give Away all Your Secrets – the trend today seems to be to show your process to the world…a little mystery is what keeps things interesting, don’t show all your tricks, much like a magician, keep them in awe and guessing. (Editor’s Note: I am clearly bucking this trend.)
3. Work your craft every single moment, especially in the early years; being a great artist is like being a great athlete, you were born with a gift, but if you do not work that gift every day, refine, explore, expand…you will never evolve and become the artist you were meant to be…
And if I can offer a fourth and very important piece….art can exist without marketing, but without marketing art cannot transcend. Either you understand the marketing of art or not and if you don’t find someone who does, and even if you do at some point, you will need someone else to market your work so that you can truly concentrate on the most important thing…your art.
Can you write a brief poem describing your thought process as you create?
Filtering through stimuli of my mind and media,
The jumbled cow was drawn aloft.
Funny Clown, bunch a balloons,
I pulled back the hammer; the trigger was soft, so soft.
What do you have scheduled for the rest of 2010 in terms of exhibitions?
ISAP International Open Exhibition New Mexico, Federation of Canadian Artist Abstract Show Vancouver, Sidney Fine Arts Exhibition, Sooke Fine Arts Exhibition, TD Canada Trust Moss Street Paint-In, Various solo exhibitions and private in-home showings in Palm Springs, Victoria and Vancouver.
If you were writing a three sentence recap of your past ten years in 2020, how would it read?
Over the past decade, ‘Canada’s Rockstar Artist-’ Brandy Saturley, has become the artist to collect with originals now selling for upwards of $100,000. During this time Brandy has collaborated with many mentors and legends of the art world including Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin, Terry Rodgers, Spencer Tunick and Tim Okamura. Thanks to a Private Art Patron, who wishes to stay anonymous, Brandy’s work was launched into the stratosphere and is now collected by some esteemed as well as notorious art aficionados including Charles Saatchi, Quentin Tarantino, François Pinault and Paul McCartney.
Thank you for a terrific interview Brandy, I wish you all the best in 2010 and beyond.