Today we’d like to introduce you to Brise Birdsong.
Brise, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It began when I took to painting regularly in college in 2011. I started receiving requests for commissions from classmates that saw my work from assignments. This was a great practice for me, taking on clients and varying types of projects. From college onward countless utility boxes in San Diego, murals and portraits. I love to work with acrylics on wood and working large scale on murals and live paintings.
Derpy Pet Portraits began gifting small paintings to family and friends, usually of their favorite animals and pets. I practiced and found a style I enjoyed, which is very dorky and cartoon-like. After college, I had more time to focus on commissions and realized that San Diego was full of pet lovers.
I created Derpy Pet Portraits as a way to help my community through custom painting pets of all kinds! I wanted to create a system where I could do what I love and help animals at the same time, so I started donating 10% of my earnings to local animal shelters.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been a challenge, but I have enjoyed the journey so far. It helped that from a very early age, I knew I would be an artist, so I was determined to make it happen no matter what. I am so grateful and feel incredibly lucky for my family, friends, and teachers to support and encourage me. I also have to give credit to my husband has been my cheerleader and a huge help with events and moral support.
One of the challenges for me was finding my style and then managing my art as a business. Art school doesn’t teach you how to handle clients, contracts, or budgets, so there was a lot of learning on the job. Each project is a lesson and you have to be comfortable with learning on the job. Sometimes, you have to take risks on projects, but those are the ones that make you grow the most.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Derpy Pet Portraits started in 2017. I am the owner and sole artist, creating custom pet portraits in my unique “derpy” style. I donate 10% of my proceeds to local animal rescues such as Second Chance Dog Rescue, Baja Dog Rescue, The Rescued Dog and Helen Woodward Animal Center. My goal was to find a way to help my community through art. I want to help as many animals in need while doing what I love, which is painting.
My pet portraits are very different from the typical ones you may be used to. They are not realistic, but very goofy and dorky. Part of my ordering process is submitting a summary of your pet’s unique personality or quirks because I want to highlight their individuality. Growing up with animals of all kinds has taught me that they all have their personalities. I love to learn about each pet and make people smile with my art. If I can brighten someone’s day, whether it be helping a shelter animal or via a ridiculous painting.
I love what I do and take pride in each piece. Every painting starts off hand sanded, primed and painted on a wood canvas. On occasion, I design the pets in Photoshop and tweak it until the design is extra goofy before I take it to the canvas. My most common commissions are of dogs, but I welcome all pets like cats, chinchillas and chickens!
What were you like growing up?
I grew up in the Imperial Valley, visiting San Diego often to go to the beach. I have been drawing ever since I can remember. I used to take a sketchpad EVERYWHERE; cars, restaurants, doctor’s offices, class, you name it! I was always a quiet kid and kept to myself most of the time. I got lost in my art and still do! I feel that art has helped me get out of my shell.
I was inspired by my parents who ran a pharmacy for about 35 years in Holtville, CA. My dad was the pharmacist and my mom was a pharmacy technician who spent long hours working supporting me and my sisters. Parker’s Pharmacy was a staple in the community and employees became like family.
I admire them for their hard work and dedication to run the family business. I give them a lot of credit for supporting me and being an example of what hard work can result in. Because of the sacrifices, my family made to run their successful pharmacy, I respect and love to support local businesses.
- 1 pet 8″x/8″ $99
- 1 pet 12″x12″ $135
- 2 pets 6″x12″ $120
- 2 pets 11″x14″ $165
- Custom sizes and prices available
- Website: www.brisebirdsong.com
- Phone: (858)529-5463
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/derpypetportraits/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/derpypetportraits/
- Other: https://www.brisebirdsong.com/derpy-pet-portraits
Images of myself have been taken by my husband, Joel Yanez.