Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Bittel.
Brooke, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Since an early age, I have drawn for fun, to bring to life stories and characters from my imagination and dreams. While I always loved to draw, I did not take any art classes until the end of high school, and they completely changed the trajectory of my life. I was so fortunate to have supportive people in my life that encouraged me to pursue a BFA in Fine Art from Adelphi University. I spent my four years working heavily on drawing and painting techniques, particularly focusing on portraiture and realism.
After completing my degree, I went on to work at an art gallery in NYC, where I was able to learn more about the business side of the industry. I then shifted my career into a more digital focus, working as a graphic designer, photographer, videographer and marketing professional. I spent several years working within the Skiing/Snowsports industry as a Marketing Designer and Social Media Manager, and I then went on to work for a charity called The Hometown Foundation. My work with this charity primarily involved their Dream Ride Experience event, a multi-million dollar fundraiser that raises money for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. I have since gone on to work in Marketing Design and Business Development for Kenneth Park Architects, a bicoastal architecture firm based out of NYC and LA.
While my career is not solely my artwork, it is something I am deeply passionate about. I love to show and sell my original pieces, as well as take on commissioned projects. Some of my most exciting commissions within the past few years have included murals, paintings, digital illustrations, album artwork and book illustrations/covers. I work within a wide variety of styles ranging from realism to more illustrative and surreal pieces. Commissioned projects are particularly fun for me because I love the challenge of bringing people’s visions to life and giving their ideas a visual identity.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
While there will always be obstacles in life, I feel very fortunate to always make time for my art. In college, I was a D2 athlete which proved to be the ultimate time-management challenge, as we traveled and practiced constantly, year round. As I was unable to bring my paintings on the road, I had to learn to work fast and budget my time diligently. These skills have allowed me to continue to make time for my art while still working full time in another discipline. In order to keep myself on track, I am always seeking to take on exciting projects that spark my creativity.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
While I love to work in a variety of styles, my specialty is surreal imagery with realistic details. I always have a human element to my artwork, whether it is directly a portrait or not. I am deeply fascinated with painting faces of both a realistic and imagined nature. I love to create characters that feel believable in their rendering but are unrealistic in their qualities.
By incorporating a human element in my work, all of my pieces contain a narrative element and a psychological depth. I find with my surreal work that I often discover the symbolism after I have already created the piece. I’ll realize upon completion that in some way, I have illustrated an obstacle or feeling that I am dealing with, and in this I find deep meaning in my artwork. I wholly believe that everything is a self-portrait (even my strangest paintings), whether in the symbolism, the narrative, or even just the expression of the subject.
Characteristics of my artwork include vivid colors, lush textures and sharp details. Within portraits specifically, I am fascinated by eyes, as they are such an incredibly complex form. There are so many technical elements to painting eyes that I enjoy, and I also love the challenge of expressing the mood or thought behind them.
My ability to work within both surrealism and realism sets my work apart because it is being able to not only replicate the perceived world but to conceptualize a new one and imagine all the details that would exist. I pride myself in my ability to transfer my understanding of form, light and shadow onto imagined subjects, rendering them in a realistic nature.
Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I am always looking for opportunities to create, collaborate, and connect with the art community! I am available for commissioned projects and would additionally love any opportunities to show my work and connect with other artists. If you have a project that you would like to discuss with me my best contact point is via email: email@example.com, or to message me on Instagram: @sketch.brooke.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: brookebittel.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/sketch.brooke
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brookebittelart
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnCdb7Q2-5IGK5Re0_gWQog