The Art Spot: Brittany Brooks

The Art Spot: Brittany Brooks

For a special Art Spot this issue, we caught up with our cover artist Brittany Brooks. The cover image is actually the art from the poster for the Full Circle Festival happening in Newport on June 22-24. We loved it so much that we knew it would make for a great Festival Guide cover — and we wanted to know more about Brittany.

WHO: I’m an illustrator and musician based in Toronto, ON. My work is influenced by folk art, mid-century illustration, classic country music, and cowboys.

WHAT: For visual arts, my go-to medium is gouache on watercolour paper. However, for this project I drew the artwork digitally in Photoshop, so we could separate the layers of colour for screen printing.

WHERE: By day, I work at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto doing graphic design but I strive to maintain an illustration and music practice outside of my desk job. I often do illustrations for gig posters, wedding invites, and other special events and projects. I also have my folk music project Creature Speak, for which I create all of the artwork and promotional designs. You can find my illustration work on my website and my Instagram: @creature_speak. You can also see Creature Speak perform at this year’s Full Circle Festival!

WHEN: I was one of those kids that was singing as soon as I could speak, and drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. I went to university for visual arts, but always found myself working on creative projects outside of school. That time allowed me to discover what style of art I really enjoyed making, and it just so happened to be a style that paired well with my folk music style. I now have a small apartment in Toronto, which doubles as my ‘studio’ (I say that loosely since it is really just my kitchen table). I like to slowly start my day, and have a coffee and play a bit of guitar before I began drawing. I’m most productive in the afternoon when the sun is shining through my window and I always work with music playing.

WHY: I was lucky to be a ‘rabbit’ during the White Rabbit Artist residency at Red Clay Farm in 2015. I went there, hoping to work on a music project that explored some traditional Canadian and American folk/country music. It was such a magical place, and I made some life-long friends and memories. This also got me in touch with the folks who run Full Circle Festival, where Creature Speak then performed in the summer of 2016. I was thrilled when they asked me to design the poster this year and I really wanted to capture just how special this festival and these people are. The image is pretty much an exact memory from the festival during one of the amazing bonfires by the wharf. Everyone from the festival was around the fire jamming, dancing, swimming, and so full of joy. It’s a dream for an artist coming from such a busy and big city. I cannot wait to return to Annapolis Valley this June!