Today we’d like to introduce you to Brynn Brdar.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
No fairy tales here! I’m a city girl. I was born in Los Angeles to a couple of creative parents who instilled in me the idea of being active with your ideas, so that they are no longer merely ideas. I spent my early years learning all of the local bus routes, and finding ways to get out of school early to get down to museums, parks, parties, and venues. I lingered in Los Angeles for two decades, until a willful excavation to greener, far greener pastures. I moved to the sweet, dank forests of central Oregon, where I resided in a cabin for a few years, with nothing but a town 40 minutes to the east, and a couple of pesky felines. Quite the cliché! I moved to study aviation, and was able to find a small airport with one 1000 ft. runway and cheap aircraft rental. From the skies was the first time I saw lives being lived sustainably, more quietly. None of the frantic city chatter and over-the-shoulder glances.
Here is where I became a sculptor. I had dabbled with the idea and a few different types of clay before, but being so isolated, with so many natural resources at my disposal, my curiosity within the medium turned to ferocious passion. I was sculpting giant octopi on the weekends, and Yokai (Japanese supernatural figments) throughout the week. I was exploring the forest, the old train tracks, the local flora and fungi, and using art as both a form of expression, and a way to stay connected amidst the solitary fir trees.
Now, I’m in San Diego, a place I moved for a change of scenery, for the transience of it, for the beaches. I spend my days planning for my next worldly adventure, and using my hands as tools for creation. I look forward to finding a way to create sustainable art that serves a greater function; perhaps in combination with engineering, architecture, and agriculture/permaculture. I have met some wonderful people, but am looking to find the artists in town. They always have a way of hiding in the nooks and crannies.
Please tell us about your art.
Sculpture wasn’t something I considered until a few years ago. I had always been infatuated with creation, but my calling was toward 2d visual artistry. I sustained a physical injury which has left me in a pretty consistent state of chronic pain over the last few years, and the circumstance brought my awareness to form. From here, my awareness was carried to the way our bodies are designed, shaped, and how slight changes or manipulations in our form can drastically alter our function, and our perception of form and function in terms of personal identity.
My identity has always stemmed from a combination of what I’m attracted to, how I cope and problem solve, and the places in the world I find myself settling (if only for a few months). From conifer forests, to big cities, to coastal regions, my adaptability has always been on my side, and I think working with mixed media is a testament to that adaptability. Different materials and their varying properties are always attempting an artistic battle amongst themselves, and having found myself so driven by sculpture, it appears to be my job to orchestrate a balance among them.
I derive influence from the renegades. The individuals who have found ways to master the most temperamental of materials. Silicones, epoxies, porcelain, botanicals, wood, you name it. Though my time with sculpture has been short-lived in a chronological sense, it’s all that I do in my free time. I breathe, sleep, and eat clay. My immediate goals are to find the innovators and risk-takers in my neck of the woods, and initiate collaboration, conversation, and the circulation of artistic knowledge. I’d also like to occupy a few artist residencies in the coming years, both domestically and internationally.
Dissecting and coming to terms with the way a small, yet powerful alteration in my body could produce such a dramatic shift of lifestyle, lead me to contemplate how the subtle changes in 3d form can communicate completely different messages. The way the clay eye lid falls over the eye, if adjusted a centimeter, can exude exhaust rather than complacency. Through the replication of natural figures, I’ve come to explore the nuances of body language. Furthermore, through the exploration of the countenance of various animals, I’ve been able to explore the way other species can wear a human emotion on their face.
Furthermore, I love the interplay of different mediums and resources. To take botanicals from my community, paint from a craft store, lakeside clay; to take synthetics and organics, and create a symbiosis…to me that’s the future, not just of art, but of human thought.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
The financial aspect of art is always going to be one of the greatest deterrents, but there are ways! Don’t get discouraged! First off, get on the internet. The web is such a useful tool to find other local artists, and supply-swaps are a great perk of the artistic community. Perhaps you have some paint you’re not using, and another artist has some clay, or an old canvas to swap for. We NEED to be each other’s’ allies right now. Despite the fact that media makes it easier for artists to put their work out there, it’s still a huge feat to get the ball-rolling and to procure a following and start making some bones off of your work.
Furthermore, chances are, you probably have a “day job.” Times are tough and rent isn’t cheap, but make it a point to set aside a bit of income every month for supplies. Maybe this means eating out one or two less times a month. It’s a valid sacrifice for your work!
To end on an idealistic note, I think San Diego artists could have a field day with pop-up shops. Not everyone is going to like what you make (and that’s cool by the way, it means you’re doing something right), so why not get together with some other artists to broaden the spectrum of appeal and set up a kiosk at local markets? I’ve found that tactile and concrete ways of seeing your art displayed, received, interacted with, etc. creates inspiration and energy within the artist, thus pushing their boundaries to produce more explorative work. Being a “closet-artist” can sometimes mean falling into a cycle of discouragement, but egging yourself out of the house, into spaces asking for artists, builds confidence and initiative.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Currently, I am revamping my website, but my work can be found on Instagram via @brynnto.beans Because I’m still new to San Diego, I’m networking for gallery affiliation, and vending at local markets such as Barrio Logan’s monthly market, San Diego Vintage Flea Market, and some pop-up events in town.
- Email: Bbrdar92@gmail.com
- Instagram: brynnto.beans