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Life & Work with Joseph Brandon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Brandon.

Hi Joseph, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
The first time I discovered my creative potential, I was six-years-old playing with action figures modeled after the “He Man” cartoon show. I would routinely recreate everything I saw in the episodes while watching, but as soon as an episode ended, I felt unfulfilled. I conceived my own story, in which the toys were supposed to behave in accordance with what I had in my head. My intent was to develop my own narrative with the action figures and showcase it to an audience – my mom. I managed to keep her attention, as any child would, by utilizing the power of imagination, creativity, and storytelling. Using those same tools, I have been manifesting my destiny and carving out my own lane ever since.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it has not been a smooth road but each obstacle I encounter, I envision as a series of ladders – when you get to the top of one, you realize there’s another one to climb and hopefully you learn along the way to improve the journey.

For instance, I used my scholarship to OTIS College of Art and Design to travel to Los Angeles following Hurricane Katrina. After a year of study, I made the decision to return to New Orleans to my wife and son whom I missed dearly at the time. When I got back home (Louisiana), I tried my hand at a variety of vocations and endeavors. But prior to relocating to Los Angeles permanently, my final occupation was a firefighter in a racist town in Louisiana.

I learned how to face my fears as a fireman – I have claustrophobia and a fear of heights. I also learned how to get along with and work alongside people who hold different opinions than my own. Rather than adopting their perspective and despising them for it, I learned the importance of agreeing to disagree while remaining cordial and focused on the task at hand. I also knew that I had no interest in being a racist, so I discovered a way to channel that negativity into something constructive – ART!

After acquiring those abilities, I felt more confident to pursue my aspirations. When I made the decision to move back to Los Angeles in 2015, OTIS College of Art and Design honored my scholarship and I continued my studies. I came to the realization that the toy business was not what I had anticipated. My expectations were not met, and I did not fit in. In terms of art, I made the decision to return to my roots, but I also aspired to carve my own niche and express myself freely. It was crucial that I first produce work for myself before sharing it with an audience as opposed to working for a machine and having my ideas diluted to fit a budget.

Since then, I have been creating art on my own terms, and I can attest to the fact that doing so has been even more meaningful and fulfilling.

Although it has not been simple, the journey has been FUN!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I consider myself to be a multidisciplinary artist and designer, which means I am able to break down every element of design while disciplining myself to develop and produce. I adopt that guise. I do it for my own self-expression or, if I choose, from my own perspective. Consequently, I blend the artist and the designer disciplines.

I specialize in applying genuine creativity to a project’s current stage. In my opinion, if I am going to receive a commission for something, it is my responsibility to provide exactly what the customer requests. First, because they believe in me and, second, they pay me for it. When I receive a commission, I commit my craft to carry out that design. I’d want to think of myself as someone who can actually fulfill people’s dreams.

People will tell me, “So you are a true artist,” which is one of the compliments I frequently receive when I meet them. I am known for being a real artist, for being upfront and honest about who I am, what I do, and what I am capable of, according to the strategy previously described.

I’ll keep it in the realm of art, but I am proud of my perseverance. As I reflect on all the steps when things do not go as planned, I am MOST proud of myself for not giving up. Even though I am in the middle of my career as an artist, I still have the same level of hunger as if I’m just beginning. I take pride in the fact that I have devoted my life to developing myself (which is never easy).

I take pride in being unique, and what sets me apart from others is that I celebrate my individuality. I am aware of my uniqueness. I am aware of my shortcomings. I am aware of how to conduct myself and how to always be myself. I frequently see artists who are brilliant at what they do but who have meltdowns when things don’t go their way. This makes me want to help them by describing how they can move past it. I make a consistent effort to assist others in discovering that side of themselves. As an artist, it is my responsibility to help solve problems.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
The inclusion of technology in art; is being introduced into every industry and I see the creative space being no different. I have discovered that technology enables me to more clearly convey my artistic self. In future years, I intend to increase the utilization of technology in my artwork, which will result in a significant transformation. For instance, handheld devices will improve the accessibility of my work and the work of others.

Pricing:

  • The price ranges from US$50 to US$15,000. Since my work uses a variety of mediums, there is a wide pricing range. As a result, each item has a reasonable price when the components for materials, time, and labor are taken into account.
  • From the grocery store employee to the grocery store owner, my aim is to provide for everyone in my community (there is something for everyone).

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Matthew Parham https://www.maathewjamesphotos.com

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