We are very excited to have Courtney Brims as our new featured artist for the new Finders Keepers flyer artwork for our launch of the Spring/Summer Brisbane Markets. The talented artist from Brisbane shares with us about her work and world. We can’t wait to release the new flyer next month. Keep your eyes peeled!
How long have you been creating art and how did you get started?
I’ve been creating art since the good old days of playdough sculptures and handmade mother’s day presents but it’s really only been the last year or so that I’ve started to take my art seriously and sell my work. It all began two years ago when I drew a picture of a girl holding a giant goldfish for my friend’s birthday which I then entered into the annual all-female Curvy book. That was a great springboard for getting my artwork recognised and it gave me the confidence boost I needed to keep drawing and make a go of it.
What is the main inspiration for your work and how would you describe your style?
The most inspiring thing to me has always been nature. It’s something I will never grow tired of exploring as there’s always something new and incredible to discover. I like nature documentaries and remember being fascinated with the National Geographic magazines as a kid. The other big influence in my work is the fairytale aspect of the make believe and of things not being what they appear to be. I always struggle at defining my style but I guess it’s quite feminine, ethereal, detailed and delicate, folksy, dreamy and nostalgic.
When and how did you realise, this what you wanted to do with your life?
I’ve always dreamt of doing art full time but never thought it would be financially possible. I was working in a 9-5 job that was making me miserable. I knew there was something else I should be doing with my life so I took a risk and quit my job to pursue something that I really loved doing. At the time, drawing was kind of like therapy for me. It sounds a bit cheesy but it really changed my life around.
What other artists influence you?
Arthur Rackham, Norman Lindsay, James Jean, Kay Nielsen, Edgar Degas, Max Ernst, Henry Darger, Yoshitomo Nara, Tim Walker, Andy Goldsworthy, Ray Caesar…too many to name!
What other areas of life have shaped your work as an artist?
It’s always the simple things in life that are the most inspiring to me. Things like going for long walks, exploring rainforests and creek beds, cloud watching, storytelling, listening to music, stargazing, weekend roadtrips, visiting antique shops, staying up late and listening to the owls and crickets outside…It all influences my pictures in some way.
How would you describe the art & design scene in Brisbane?
It has really come out of its shell in the last few years. You used to have to know where to look for it and do a lot of digging around but I find that it’s much more accessible now. Brisbane has some really great galleries that promote young contemporary designers and artists.
What have you learnt most about establishing yourself as an artist?
You have to keep working at it every single day and constantly push yourself to get your artwork out there. You also realise very quickly that it’s not like a regular 9-5 job. You don’t leave the office in the afternoon and switch from work mode to play mode. You never really get a break from it. Ideas come at three in the morning, or on the train or when you’re cooking dinner, whenever and wherever. You have to really love it because it becomes your life.
Where would you like to take your art in the future?
To the Louvre! Ah just kidding. I would like to tackle a children’s book sometime in the future, make some kids toys, ceramics and jewellery, work with brilliant musicians and directors and exhibit my artwork all over the world!
What advice do you have for other artists hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Believe in yourself, be patient, be honest, be brave and be determined. Also, don’t be deterred by criticism.