Name: Bree Brooks Age: 24 Occupation: Artist Location: California at the moment Social Media: @breebrookz
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. I’m Bree; I am known as an international artist as I am permanently travelling. For me, my biggest inspiration with my art is the variety of different coastlines and colours I see around the world. I spend most of my time in the water, id like to say its always for gathering inspiration for my art but sometimes I like to hang out with dolphins. My favourite places to be and paint are places where the jungle meets the ocean. I grew up a lot in Hawaii, so for me, islands have my heart and also the mindset of conservation from the people.
Do you surf yourself? Yes! I usually surf at least once a day. What types of boards do you like surfing? Everything! If its small I love riding mid-lengths and twin fins. I was riding a bonzer in Indonesia for a bit, and that was pretty fun. Right now I have a flat rocker epoxy thruster so sick for all conditions. Super light and fast so get to grovel the 1ft as well. I’m always open to trying new boards!
How did you get into surfing? I started skateboarding when I was young, after a few injuries I decided to stick to just surfing. So put down the skate for good and been surfing every day since. Where’s your favourite place to surf? Hmm, that’s a tough one. Because I learned to surf in Hawaii, I’ve always been a bit spoiled with the conditions. I love anywhere with clear and warm water. Hawaii, Indonesia and Australia have to be my favourite. Oh and one secret spot in Sri Lanka, a whole six months to ourselves.
When did you first pick up a paintbrush? I started doing art around 4 and did sketching, colour pencil and watercolours for many years. Just two years ago I began experimenting with acrylic paint and loved it! How long have you painted for? About two years now with acrylic.
Have you been trained in this form of art, or was it a natural talent that has developed over time? Never been trained. I always used to pride myself on the fact I never went to an art class…now some years later I wish I had! Self-taught is amazing but man if classes could have given me some tips it would have saved a lot of frustrated nights.
When you’re not painting, how do you like to spend your time? Surfing! I’m a nature freak so love anything outdoors.. especially anything in the water. Do you get to travel much? Yes! If I’m not travelling, I’m often researching the next place I want to go.
It’s clear to see the ocean influences you. What is it about the ocean that inspires you so much? I love being able to paint the ocean from an aerial view. It appeals to me to paint what people see on the surface but also include what is going on underneath. It’s like having a whole new vision. I love to surf, and my passion is as well with animals and conservation. Being able to include all those elements in a single painting is something I love. The ocean as well is so dynamic. The colours change dramatically from continent to continent, so for me, I feel like painting will never get stale as long as I travel.
Do you draw inspiration from your travels? My paintings are solely a reflection of my travels. Even if I am not currently somewhere I will paint somewhere I want to be. Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Talk to people and make connections, really put yourself out there. This day and age we rely so much on online media we forget to talk to the people around us. I do love social media as it connects us all from around the world but face to face interactions is still the most important thing to me and also my art. How many times I have talked to someone online and walked right past them in person. A little interaction can go a long way!
Has surfing helped you develop your artwork and keep inspired? Definitely! I wouldn’t have the understanding of painting elements in the ocean unless I have immersed myself in surfing for so long. Especially when painting from my head. Knowing what sharks are shallow water sharks vs deep water, what animals are most likely found in what region and also how different all waves are. How whitewash hits the rocks as it rolls down a point. Reefs, sandbanks, spits and all different types of wave related scenes come from spending so much time in the water. Also, I often draw little surfers surfing a wave and try to give them a nice stance or doing a powerful turn; it’s nice already knowing the movements to paint. Surfing has opened a lot when it comes to my art. What dreams do you have for the future? I hope to make a difference with my art globally. I have a goal to try to spread my art in every country, even if it means just one piece in each place. I’m still trying to sort out what direction to take, but I would love to help raise awareness for our oceans through my art. I’ve lived a lot of places with language barriers, and for me, I think art is one of the most prominent universal languages.