Host Spotlight: Brenda Harris

Since March is #MarchMeettheMaker over on Insta, we thought it would be nice to share more about who we are by sharing a few "Host Spotlights". Next up, is the very talented Brenda Harris aka @creativebrenda !

Please can you give us a brief little introduction about yourself?

Hello! I’m Brenda! I’m a cheerful artist living next to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, USA with my incredibly supportive husband and adorable two kiddos. When I was young, I could sit for hours and draw (or read). Thanks to the encouragement of my family and friends, I went on to study fine art at Colorado State University. I adored every second of it! Not knowing exactly what to do with my love of art and wanting a job that seemed safe, I graduated with a focus in graphic design. I have been a graphic designer for the past 16 years now and I have had some really great experiences. Plus, I was very thankful when I became a mom and I was able to work from home. However, I never felt completely fulfilled. So, a couple years ago, I finally decided to “throw caution to the wind” and listen to my heart…which was telling me to pursue illustration. So, I dipped my toe in. Then the pandemic encouraged (or maybe pushed) me to jump in head first. Being home this past year allowed me more time to create and seek an art community online. I found my “place” and friends to collaborate with! I'm so excited to have started Friday Doodle Club with a few of those art buddies. The transition so far has been liberating and thrilling! It was so fun to create this website and use my design skills to contribute to the creative community. 🙂 I forgot this was supposed to be brief! Ha!

What inspires you?

My family is a huge source of inspiration and joy for me! Spending time with those I love fills my cup! I also enjoy being in nature, discovering textures and I LOVE hearing stories, whether that’s through reading, movies or just getting to know other people on a more personal level. I think connecting with others and being able to share my joy is fuel for me and charges my creative energy!

What is your favourite thing to draw?

That’s a hard question for me because I love drawing in general! I think I get into a delightful flow when I draw more detailed things. I enjoy getting into small textures, playing with color and shading. As far as subject matter….I do really like drawing nature – like plants and animals.

What art goals do you have for this year?

I guess, my biggest goal is to draw everyday! That’s why I am so excited about Friday Doodle Club and my other art projects: @Editartz and @Illustration_Nest. I plan on rounding out my portfolio and also completing a Skillshare class about the “Artist Journey”. At the end of the year, I’d like to be illustrating a children’s book and ideally be working on some editorial or surface pattern gigs.

What techniques/supplies do you use?

I FINALLY purchased an iPad about 6months ago and jumped head first into digital art. It was a long time coming! I have two small kiddos and not a ton of art space…pulling out my paints and supplies always became too stressful and chaotic. So, I had basically limited myself to ink pen drawings that I would later color in Adobe Illustrator. It wasn’t a very graceful or fast process. I wasn’t achieving the look I really wanted. I found myself drooling over digital art and the detail/textures you can achieve without the mess! Since I have the design background, it was an easy transition…I just needed to invest and take that leap. So, if you’re in the same boat! Do it!! Invest in yourself and just do it! You won’t regret it! 

What advice would you give to another doodler/artist?

Don’t be afraid to share your work and heart! Find your supportive art community –people you can turn to creatively and collaborate with. My family and friends have always been supportive, however, it made all the difference to find other ARTISTS that understood me. For me that meant joining MakeArtThatSells (illustration courses by Lilla Rogers). It changed my life and perspective. I highly recommend checking it out! Although, you don’t have to take classes to find your “people” and to practice your art every day! Join a ton of free prompt challenges like Friday Doodle Club, comment, share other’s artwork you like, and don’t be afraid to reach out to other artists. You’d be surprised how willing people are to connect and to answer questions...or team up!

Also, (I have to throw this in) if you find yourself feeling a little lost on what your voice is…simply follow your joy like little bread crumbs! Literally draw the things you like. What excites you? What make your heart happy? Be observant and notice your feelings when you’re creating something. Keep in mind, not everything will be a masterpiece. Some things are just an experiment. And that’s okay. Be curious, be open minded…and most of all… follow your joy!

Where can people go to learn more about you or see more of your work?

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