Brandi Milne is a self thought artist born and raised in a small town in California. Influenced by the 70s and classic fairy tales Brandi develped a very distinguishing style, strongly emotional but also funny. She published her first book ”So good for little bunnies” in 2008.
1- What do you think we should know about you?
I enjoy old movies, classic rock and potatoes. I hate exercise and my right hand is my most important extremity. (And I love art.)
2- For the book ‘So good for little bunnies’, did you start from a text or an illustration that inspired you a story you wanted to tell?
When I started thinking about writing and illustrating So Good For Little Bunnies, I gathered up ALL the childrens books, illustrations, cards, magazines, art books and what not I could find that inspired me. I went through
them, making notes, little thumbnail sketches and building my story from there. In my mind, the illustrations were the beginning, and I wrote the story around them. I thought about what I’d like to say, and for me, in my gallery shows
I usually tell of what I’m experiencing at that particular point in time emotionally – it was the same for the book. I had gotten married and left home for the first time, I was missing my family and feeling disconnected, and so went the story of Be Be.
3- Your style passed from illustration to acrylic on wood painting. Do you think you’re going to experiment something else or are you sotisfied of this step, considering it your final stage of artistic evolution?
No, I will never be in my final stage, or at least I hope not! I think time will tell. With art, I feel as if I’m constantly chasing perfection and the next step ahead. I mostly never feel satisfied with where I’m at (work wise), I always
feel as if I could have done a little better. So in that, I will always be experimenting and chasing that next step.
4- What has contributed to build your dreamlike and surreal style with a vintage touch?
I remember seeing a Salvidor Dali painting at some point in my teenage years. I had never seen anything like it before – I always thought art (paintings) were boresville (probably because I grew up in Orange County). When I saw that, it
blew my mind. The thought of making a painting of something from your dreams, that really no one had ever seen before was very pivotal for me. The vintage aspect is from growing up with nic nacs and junk from the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s around
the house – it all had that weird innocent feel to it and that yellowed look.
5- How much your interest for the fashion world influence your work?
Gosh, you know, more than the fashion itself, I’m more influenced by fashion photography. Before I was doing anything with my art, in the 90′s, I was obsessed with fashion magazines and the artistic display of
fashion and models. If a stylist can create a world (just as artists do), it can be so magical and knocks me off my feet.
6- What are the clothes you feel more comfortable in?
Image for the most part is where my ideas begin. I’m a very visual person, so it really could be anything that sparks imagination. It could be a shadow on the wall, the corner of a desk,
a certain angle or position of someone’s body, fabric, or something literal like a poster or illustration somewhere. Then I build on that tiny spark, I think about it over and over, try to pull out
a story or emotion that initially haunts that image in my head. And then from there, it’s the actual work on wood or board or what have you.
8- Which is your most significant work of yours to you?
That’s a difficult question to answer…I feel that every piece of art I’ve made has been significant. Even the paintings that I’m not so thrilled with have been significant in my learning process and work structure. I can’t have one
without the other! Some paintings have gotten more attention than others in galleries or online with art fans, but usually for me, I like the pieces that are lesser known. My husband always says I have the worst taste in my own work, ha ha!!
9- Is there a toy or an object from your childhood you particularly care about? What is it?
I have a lot of stuff from my childhood that I’ve kept with me – I have a folder with all my creative writing assignments from 4th grade that really stink. I have a lot of my artwork from high school, and journals I used to keep. I have
a few stuffed animals from when I was way wee as well. And photographs. Those are the most precious.
10- We read, in an interview you made, your opinion about classic fables. You said they present very adult situations, sometimes too creepy for a child. Thinking about some Grimm’s or Hand Christian Andersen’s stories we totally agree with you. Do you remember one in particular you found very disturbing?
All of em! Hansel and Gretel?! Little Red Ridinghood?! They’re horrible!!! (in a good way!!) Even the little songs and rhymes – London Bridges Falling Down, Rockabye Baby?? What?? It’s all about scary death scenes and evil creeps. BUT, as a kid, they
made such an impact and sparked so much of (my) imagination.
11- Is there something you’d really want to do and you didn’t do yet?
I wanna travel. I want to go to Paris, Japan, Berlin, Amsterdam, Scotland, and New York.
12- Which song makes you in a good mood?
I love music, and a lot of songs put me in a good mood. Off the top of my head, recently – Gentle On My Mind from Dean Martin, You’re So Vain by Carly Simon and The Argus by Ween.
13- What are you really looking for?
Hmmm. I guess I’m looking for happiness and time. Time to do what I love to do, be with the people I love to be with, and to do it all right.
14- Next projects?
I’m working on a few books. I’ll be kicking my butt from here on out to get things done!! I’ll be working on my next big body of work for my solo show in 2012 at The Corey Helford Gallery, and will continue to chase perfection.