Tell us a bit about your background and previous careers. Did you always want to be an artist?
At the age of 12 I was introduced to hand sewing by a friendly woman at the craft market across my back lane. I barely left her side for that entire market season. I’ve been a serious crafter ever since and was absolutely sideswiped with a passion for quilting after creating my first hand pieced quilt for my son in 2000. Throughout my 15-year career as a city firefighter I found that my studio often became a refuge to de-stress and explore my creativity. I quickly became engaged in machine quilting and then discovered fibre art and my passion exploded from there. I can’t say I remember always wanting to be an artist, but it has certainly grabbed me by the pants and won’t let go. My involvement with the Fibre Art Network over the last 3 years has lifted my spirit and inspired me in ways I could have never imagined. Surrounding myself with brilliant mentors and good people who just get what I’m all about has been the key to my success. Our move to the Okanagan Valley over the last year has opened so many doors for me as an artist and allowed me the freedom to follow my dreams.
"After the Fire" was featured in the IQA Houston Class catalogue
Tell us about your pattern business.
I started Brandy Lynn Designs in March 2012 with the launch of my first pattern in August - Inksations Table Runner and Silk Screen Kit. This kit is the first of 12 patterns in the Explore Fibre series with pattern number 2 slated to launch in November. These first 12 designs combine a traditional quilt pattern with a creative art technique and will be released quarterly. It’s a fun way to take those baby steps from traditional quilting to fibre art play. I teach over a dozen quilting and fibre art classes as well as a series of 4 lectures now with bookings throughout BC and across Canada. I am having the time of my life. My focus with students is to explore the joy of fibre and share my passion for creativity.
In a nutshell, social media is a free medium to connect with the public. Free marketing is so important in an emerging business. I can reach fans, customers and mentors in the quilting industry on a fun and engaging platform. There is no question that social media is here to stay. It may evolve, but it’s not going away. So I’ve embraced it and it has turned out to be so much fun! I find if I stay true to my character and just be myself I can really connect with people even though I can’t always meet them face to face.
And if you like to engage in the social media frenzy...
Twitter handle: @Brandywrites
Explore Fibre Blog: www.brandylynndesigns.blogspot.com
Do you have favourite art styles or techniques in your work?
My favorite way to create is abstract and freeform play. Most of my fibre art pieces are a result of experimenting with new techniques to me. Although I have avidly explored and been so inspired by styles and techniques of amazing fibre artists over the years I find it so necessary to follow your muse by writing and playing as freely as possibly so you come up with something exciting and unique to you. I am inspired by everything from a tearful child to a blooming flower. I can take a photo, hear a poem or even smell a pasture and I am thrown into a frenzy of ideas for fibre art. I never leave home without a sketchbook or a camera.
What is coming up in the future for you?My most recent happy dance moment was being chosen as the Artist in Residence at the Summerland Art Gallery for the 2013 season. This year long residency will allow me the space and freedom to create more fibre art and engage with the public to show how fibre art is quickly emerging as a fine art in galleries everywhere. My future plans for the next 3 years are to continue with the Explore Fibre series of patterns, publish my first pattern book, accomplish my first solo art exhibit and work hard to bring joy and inspiration to quilters with my classes and lectures across Canada.
I think you will agree that Brandy has an exciting career ahead of her as an artist and designer! Check out her blog at: www.brandylynndesigns.blogspot.com