We were stoked to team up with the super talented artist, Brooke Kelley. Her awesome designs are all over our Watershed & Lawn Legend apparel. Hanging out with her and checking out her art was seriously epic, and we had a rad chat about what inspires her and how she got started in the art world.
Art was always present in my life. My mom is very creative and she had started and ran many successful businesses as I was growing up, so it was very normal for me to be around that sort of life style. I started intentionally pursuing art when I was in high school, classmates would ask if they could buy my school art projects from me. Nothing felt better to me or made as much sense as a life of pursuing art. I decided to move to California from Missouri to go to art school. The more I said yes and committed myself to art the more it provided for me. It has been nothing short of an adventure sense saying yes to this journey. It makes life really fun and I am so grateful for it.
My mom put my brother and I into art lessons when we were young. My high school art teacher had a major influence on me as well. I went to the art institute of Orange County for a few years but I'm not sure how much learning I did there lol, maybe more learning of what I didn’t want to do or be like. I think a lot of my training came from just trying and failing at a lot of different things and seeing what stuck. I continue to learn so much.
When I was young I had my eyes set on this California surf dream. I would order surf magazines to my house in Missouri lol far away from any ocean. I remember seeing Andy Davis’s art in some of the magazines and that really lit me up. There are so many amazing artists that have inspired me along the way. Recently, when I look at what consistently inspires me, it is not necessarily the artists work but more so the time, dedication, and discipline that they put into their art. I remember the first time I met Bon Moore, a local artist here on Kauai. I cried hahaha. These days everything is so fast. Seeing her put so much time and love into her art gave me permission and inspiration to do the same. My best friend, Jordan Wilk is a major influence on my work. He’s helped me stay focused, learn, grow and push me in ways I could not have done by myself.
More consistently than not, I lean more towards illustration art. I tend to look at something in real life and turn it into a playful drawing or painting. It’s really fun pulling things from inside your brain that don’t necessarily exist in real life and bringing those things to life in a new fun way. That being said it’s so fun challenging myself with a more realistic style too. I think my style has evolved over the years by becoming more confident.
I work with a lot of different mediums. As of right now I am doing a lot of acrylic paintings and block printing. But my favorite medium is always the one that I have not done in a while or not done at all. If I get time to sew or carve a spoon out of wood, it always refreshes me. There is just so much to learn about each medium, it is endless inspiration.
Playful is the first thought that comes to my mind. It always feels best when I don’t take art too seriously and just keep things light and fun. Especially if it is something that I am doing every single day all day, why not try and make it fun and playful for myself and others haha.
Just keep going. Just keep making things and say yes to where ever it leads you. Also to be aware of what is working and what is not working and pivot when things are not working. Show up and follow all the way through with your art. Making it is not good enough haha there is much more work to be done after making the thing. Learn how to sell the thing.
Oh man, free time is harder and harder to find these days haha but it is all the more sweet when I do get it. I love to surf and skate.
Kauai has influenced my art more than I could have ever imagined and in a way that I never would have guessed. Being here has allowed me the opportunity to be able to actually hear myself think. I feel like I have learned so much from Kauai and it has helped me grow as an individual. Which in turn has majorly influenced my art. Sense living here, It has been such a gift to be able to discover what matters most and to spend more time and energy on those things. One of those things being developing my art career into something more sustainable. This place really is such a magical and thriving place and if it were not for the amazing local business such as yourselves I would not be able to do what I do. A lot of what I do is create with people. I am so grateful for the community here and to be able to create with so many amazing local business.
Oh that’s a great question haha they are both so amazing. I go through seasons where I am more excited about one over the other, it always changes. As of right now I am more excited about skating. It blows my mind. It’s so inspiring and I just love everything about it. Im terrible lol but it doesn’t even matter. Just being around it is so cool.