This week's AREtsy Featured Artist was a member of AREtsy before I was and so I have viewed her as kind of a Tribe Elder (if you will). Brandy of EkioArt is one of those artists who can create a lot of different things and do fabulous work with each thing. She's a blast to chat with and always seems to know someone or something going on when someone else brings it up. Yes - she is a HUGE asset to the AREtsy Team. I'm so excited to finally get to feature her.
Tell us a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff.
Welll...Lets see I’m never really good at these kind of things. My name is Brandy Davis and currently I’m a Little Rock gal. I’m momma to two rowdy boys and four pets. My husband is one of the biggest supporters I’ll ever have and I love him dearly for it.
I was a dancer for the majority of my youth. I danced my way through 12 years doing just about every form there is out there. Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Swing, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Pointe..you name it, I’ve tried it. I really enjoyed it and still do, I’d love to take up belly dancing as I hear it’s a lot of fun.
I also spend my “extra” time gardening, training my dogs, fishing, hunting, singing (and not just in the shower) and dreaming about travel. That and laying on beaches.
For my day job I’m a mom first and a toddler teacher at a local daycare second. I adore being so close to my boys all the time and at the same time I enjoy the fact that I get to teach a bit. Most of the teaching I get to do is craft related and colorful.
What first made you want to become an artist?
My mom mostly. She told me that when I was in pre-school I did a typical crayon and watercolor painting and it was part of a school show for the parents. (It was a pre-school I wish was still around for my boys.) A man came over and told her he was with a local small gallery and that he would like to purchase my painting. He said he loved the use of color. She of course told him no, but she says she always knew I’d be an artist. Now it hangs in my office, I had it framed a few years back.
She always got me supplies if I asked for them and she’s always been there when I’ve done a show.
I also had the immense luck of having some very challenging art teachers in my school days. One who made me do projects and styles I wasn’t that interested in (on which I learned so much) and One who gave us free reign on some projects that most jr high schools wouldn’t be allowing. (IE...we tore up part of the floor and made a mosaic....)
As for personally, I just love creating. I get an itch and I follow it. Granted, that means my house is amuck with supplies I purchased impulsively and sometimes I might seem a bit scattered art wise, but I love it.
Usually I just go with the flow. Most of my paintings are done when I get an itch to paint something, but I also have to have the ability to draw that day. Some days I feel that tingle to pick up a paintbrush but everything that comes out is muddy. It’s almost like my brain is on overdrive.
When I get an idea for a project and I have the ability, I have to get it done fast. I’m not a slow painter or crafter in general. I think that’s why knitting has been so hard for me. I cannot finish most projects in a sitting. Most of my paintings are done at once, there’s no coming back to it for me on average.
When it comes to trying something new, I’ll read tutorials, but I tend to just go for it. Yes the first few tries are sloppy and end up in my hidden box....but they are worth it.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My baby quilt my grandmother made me. There are two of them, one is a blue jean quilt that is favored on winter nights, but the other, the other is my absolute favorite. It’s a small quilt with the image of a clothesline on it. Hanging from the clothes line is a jumper and a few other baby things. Each item has a fact about my birth on it. Weight, length, date and time and so on. The white back drop has little patterns of clouds and horizon stitched in. It’s gentle and different and I love every stitch that she put in by hand sitting in her living room.
Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.
I tend to read the same types of books over and over, Stephen King and Dean Koontz being my favorites. King mostly because I love that things are all connected and hardly ever ended. It kind of creeps me out, but in a good way. As far as my favorites from him, Tommyknockers gets read over and over, and Shawshank Redemption.
As far as movies go, I love Wall E. Yes I know it’s a kids movie, but it’s a great piece. Well done. Just truly well done, I nearly cried in the first few minutes because of how easily true it was. (That’s part of why I love Stephen King so much, so many of the things he’s written as a horror are too easily true.) What Dreams May Come is another, it’s such an interesting concept and I love seeing Robin Williams in a non comedic role.
When it comes to music, I’m all over the board. Though I adore the Beatles and Elvis. Throw some Jack Johnson in there, a little Wolfs Rain background music, some Phantom of the Opera, a bit of Kenny Chesney and a dash of Jimmy Buffett and you’ve got a traveling mix cd. Because the mix tape is a lost art.
How do you promote your work?
At the moment on every forum that allows it, where ever I post, it’s in my signature. Family, Friends, Facebook, my blog and hopefully soon through my website. (Shhhhh! I’ll be telling Hubb about my need for tech help soon ^-~) basically anywhere I can plug it without seeming pushy or rude I will.
What are your favorite things about belonging to AREtsy?
Sometimes it easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking of shows, promotion, keeping up with what’s going on in the world of etsy, so it’s wonderful to have a group who’s so supportive.
On a beach sunning and not worrying about a thing.
That and being able to work on art full time again. I know that I’ll always be a mother first, but being able to devote my days while the boys are doing all those jr high things to creating at my every whim. It’s hard to be in the middle of making a watercolor painting with the kids in my class and get an itch to do some serious painting of my own. By the time I get home, that’s long gone.
So I’d love to be able to just jump up and go for it at any moment the urge strikes.