Who are you, where you from,
& what’s your deal?
My name is Brae and I’m a 22 year old genderqueer multidisciplinary artist from Dallas, TX, living in Austin, TX! When I’m not creating, you can find me fighting for liberation for all & preachin the gospel of mutual aid, or back porch barefoot hangin, hiking through the woods behind my house, learning about the world, and consuming every ounce of folk art I can.
What kind of art do you make?
These days I find myself frequently creating digital collages made with my photography that I shoot every day, of scenes and details of things that move me. I combine mediums often, including my drag, drawings, paintings, writing, and sculpture.
No medium or combination is off-limits for me though, I have a pretty insatiable lust for growth & experimentation. I’m very inspired to make art that reflects how mystic this world can be that takes you to the place where the feeling I’m exploring lives. The medium really depends on what kind of emotion I am excavating, sometimes I need to go slow & other times it’s this explosive expression.
What are you listening to this very moment?
“The Hall of Mirrors” by Kraftwerk, totally fitting as I’m writing this.. “The artist is living in the mirror, with the echoes of himself”, I <3 serendipity!
Where does your art exist or intend to take viewers?
Definitely a realm of my own, my work is very personal & full of big, heavy, recurring themes. I like to call it my dreamscape, made up of all the things in my head that beg to be brought into the world!
I learned from a young age how to confront the heaviness of love and loss and it eventually taught me not to fear confrontation when I can help it. This carries over into my work where I am constantly confronting my deepest fears, desires, & shame.
What was the catalyst for your creative beginnings?
My mom was a painter and my big cousin (who I idolized growing up) illustrated the best creatures & made these great collages. However, I think grief was the ultimate beginning for me as a person and artist. After losing my dad when I was 7, I began exploring art as an outlet for the immense feelings I felt then and feel today, life sort of ended and started for me that day, trauma can be like that. Now, creation is a matter of survival for me, keeping me questioning, growing, & changing.
What is the strongest force that compels you to create?
I think my deep desire to be better & confront difficult things courageously; I learned from a young age how to confront the heaviness of love and loss and it eventually taught me not to fear confrontation when I can help it. This carries over into my work where I am constantly confronting my deepest fears, desires, & shame.
Through creating, I explore concepts that arise on my journey coping with & healing from post-traumatic stress, I painstakingly craft these opportunities to look for the subtle details twinkling in the dust of these big ideas I try to communicate, & I try to contribute to building a new future by being openly vulnerable and radically healing.
What is most difficult about art for you right now?
I think lately I’ve had this weird battle in my head about how much I want to explain my work and what kind of context I should give, if any at all. Part of it is, I want my work to speak for itself, & the other part is that I have a lot to say. More & more I’m opening myself up to saying those things.
What inspires your creative process?
My creative process is very instinctual, echoing the way my experiences have shaped my mind and habits with highs and lows, pushing versus organic, synthetic and raw. Archiving is a major moving force for my creative process. Having trauma degrades my memory, so when I create each day, I have a record of these sacred experiences that for me, make life beautiful and worth living. I just love seeing, experiencing, & making magic. I think there’s also an element of really wanting to share all the beauty I see & try to document in the world, because I know what it’s like to exist in a state where everything gets sort of greyscale. All of my art comes from a very raw place and I think that is the ultimate inspiration for my creative process.
If you could be any inanimate object what would you be?
Plastic pink flamingo or the gaudiest fake flower in the dollar store!
Favorite junk food?
Little Debbies (cue “(If Loving You is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right” by Luther Vandross)
Favorite medium you haven’t worked in for a while?
Floral design! One of the best experiences in my continuous pursuit for new means of self-expression, was learning all about floral design at DIRT Flowers in Dallas, TX. Something about tenderly arranging them & calling them by their names is so sweet.
Quick: Favorite musician, album, color, film!
Betty Davis, Safe as Milk by Captain Beefheart, Green, & Polyester by John Waters!
A friend once told me that greatness interferes with our pleasure in art, be kind to yourself!