Today we’d like to introduce you to Brie Walter.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Brie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I studied Art and creative writing at California State University Los Angeles. When I graduated college, it was during our last recession, and with the pandemic, it feels very reminiscent of the early days of the recession in 2009. I’ve taken this year to focus on my painting collections, releasing work in batches, and exploring some techniques in larger pieces that I haven’t always had time in recent years to experiment with, so it’s been a nice change of pace. When the pandemic hit, I set up a new website and did a slight rebrand of my work that launched this past summer, and it’s been a really positive response.
Social media is more of a thing now than it was back in 2009 when I was first starting out, and it has really helped my work be on more peoples’ radar, and has also allowed me to connect with people all over the globe. It has been such a lovely experience to just show up, share behind the scenes of my painting process, connect with other artists, and see people react so kindly to my current work. Back when I started, before IG was even a thing, I wouldn’t have imagined selling internationally, and now I am.
You never really know where your career is going to go, especially in recession periods of life. But somehow, in the recessions, during those quieter down times, that’s where I find my voice the most. And I think those are the times people want and need new art for inspiration and to cheer them up.
Has it been a smooth road?
It’s been a lot of hard work to build up to this point, but it has been relatively smooth. I run my business mostly based on connecting with people. So many of my past clients have become friends over the years. I try to really make sure that who is choosing to work with me is also someone I’m choosing to work with too. That we both are choosing to enter into this work agreement. It’s a trust. And that makes everything work much smoother as my business grows.
Please tell us more about your art.
I’m an abstract oil painter. My style is both impressionistic and expressionistic in nature. A lot of my work is following my instincts for color mixes I create, movement of brush strokes and the shapes I build up on the canvas.
I build up my paintings with a lot of layers and textures that help create pause to study the small detail moments within each piece. I think both in life and in music, the things I’m drawn to the most are the things that require a second look, or you need to listen to a song on repeat to appreciate the subtleties– that’s what I try to do in my paintings too. I want it to be pleasing to the eye on first sight, but hopefully the pieces make an onlooker want to stop and stare just a little bit longer to discover something.
I often paint over old work if it doesn’t sell, so sometimes those buried treasure moments are years old in the making of the finished product. I think that’s what people like about my work, but don’t know that’s why they like it. I also incorporate painting with beeswax in a lot of my work and use charcoal or oil pastel line work, and that mixed medium can be very alluring without realizing what exactly is drawing you in.
I’m really proud of the work I’ve been doing lately, and that I’ve started selling internationally. That was always a goal and dream to do so, but it’s so nice to actually see that come to fruition in such a short time since I only launched my new website of work less than six months ago. It’s honestly just so nice to hear that other people and other artists, who I respect greatly, are connecting with the pieces I’m making right now.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think Los Angeles is a great place for my business, personally. Many of my buyers are in the film and music industry or are other artists, so I think there is a natural appreciation for one another’s art forms in this city. That being said, if you are just starting out, now that so much is online, you could paint anywhere, and there are so many cheaper places to live outside of LA where you could stretch your budgets to grow in a less urgent way. Your buyers could even still be in LA, but you wouldn’t have to live here. I think it’s really tough to build a business as an artist with a high overhead. It compromises the integrity of your work. If you are just starting out, create in a space that allows you to just create without thinking about money. Sometimes people think when they are starting out that they need “all the things.” You don’t. You just need to create under the circumstances you have. If your work is good, the rest will come later in a natural way.
- Smaller original oil paintings range between $55-300
- Larger original oil paintings start range between $400-2,500
- Website: www.briewalterart.com
- Phone: 213-400-7192
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/briewalter
- Twitter: @briewalter
Sara Weir, Brie Walter