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Check out Brianna Bruderlin’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brianna Bruderlin.

Brianna, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Up until three and a half years ago, I was an Executive Producer of reality TV. It was the only job I’d ever had apart from a few part-time, odd jobs in college. For a long time, it was great, although it was never my passion. I got to travel, meet interesting people, work on interesting, creative projects, and I was well-compensated. But after 18 years of it, I started to become more and more unhappy, stressed and exhausted.

As long as I can remember, I dreamed of starting my own company, but invariably it was something I planned to do “later” and had no actual course of action to make it happen. My passion has always been travel, combined with a love for beautiful artwork and textiles from the countries I traveled to, but it really never occurred to me that I could turn that passion into a career.

One day, after a particularly tough and unfulfilling project, I had an epiphany. I decided that rather than continuing to wait for the perfect moment to pursue my dream–because let’s face it, if the perfect moment hadn’t happened already it probably was never just going to “just happen” — I was going to just go for it even though I didn’t have a “perfect” plan. I quit my job and started brainstorming company names, a brand identity, arranging meetings with people who were already going after their dreams and who might have some insight to offer and soon enough I was on my way.

I found a person in India who was willing to collaborate and make a few products for me in small numbers and I started testing them out online. And sure enough, there was an audience. The Fox and the Mermaid was born.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My products are an ever-changing mix of clothing, bags, home decor, jewelry, and other accessories. Absolutely everything is handmade and mostly one-of-a-kind, from dresses and kimonos made from vintage silk sarees to jackets embroidered with antique textiles from the Kuchi tribe in Afghanistan, to camera straps fashioned out of vintage Guatemalan belts, or purses made with re-purposed traditional Guatemalan blouses.

The fabrics are all either vintage, or they are carefully printed by hand with carved wood-blocks, a process that can take weeks. Absolutely nothing is mass produced and you won’t find the exact same items anywhere else. I think of my designs as a mix of traditional, old-world style with a modern spin.

Perhaps because I grew up in the melting pot of Los Angeles, I have always felt strongly that cultural diversity enriches us, inspires us, makes society stronger, and makes life more interesting and full. I think that is why I am so attracted to the artistry of other cultures, whether it’s that of our neighbors across our southern border who keep the rich, historical and artistic traditions of their Mayan ancestors alive through weaving or the artisans in India who painstakingly hand stamp their gorgeous fabrics with wood blocks when it would so much cheaper and faster to resort to mass-producible screen printing. My hope is that people who purchase a Fox and the Mermaid original walk away with an appreciation for the artists and the cultures they come from as well as the process and the traditions. Many of these historic art forms are dying in this age of fast fashion. This is one way to keep these beautiful traditions alive.

This is what I believe makes The Fox and the Mermaid special. All of the products have a unique history and a meaningful connection to the past which in turn makes those products much more than just another bag, dress, or necklace. The colors, historical symbolism, and centuries-old techniques passed down by the artisans’ ancestors, as well as the love put into them, are what makes each item unique and special.

Additionally, almost all of my products are made with re-purposed vintage textiles so, in addition to their beautiful history, they create little to no waste which is very important to me.

What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Get to know other artists and entrepreneurs who are currently pursuing their dreams. Let them be your cheerleaders and inspiration. That could mean joining a co-working space, making friends with other artists at local craft fairs, or finding meet-up groups for entrepreneurs. These people will likely be your greatest support and resource.

Equally important, don’t wait for the perfect time to start because there will never be one, just commit to doing it and do it NOW. Don’t let fear to prevent you from taking risks. Looking back, I wish I had started even sooner. Waiting to be inspired is really just a form of procrastination.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Purchases can be made through the website, I occasionally participate in local craft fairs and festivals. Anyone who is interested in being notified can join the mailing list via the website.

Other ways to support The Fox and the Mermaid include:
* Following on Instagram @thefoxandthemermaid
* Following on Facebook @thefoxandthemermaid
* Spreading the word to friends and family who might like the products
* Sharing the website on social media

I will be at the Abbot Kinney Festival on September 29th.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Jaida Bentley, Errisson Lawrence, Light and Mood

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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