I purchased one of her prints (there was a snapshot of it in last Tuesday’s blog post) and snagged one of her cute perfectly square business cards. I sent an email and in a matter of days we were sitting by the window at Starbucks in Rittenhouse talking about natural hair, how her mother would describe her as “snappy” in one word, and how she didn’t start out as a graphic design major. Below are a few other things I got to phind out about this week’s creative independent, Brandi Goldsborough.
Phreedum: When did you first fall in love with art?
BG: At a pretty young age. My mom is a seamstress so when I was little I started sewing. I had a mini sewing machine. My mom also sent me to art camp which I really liked. In middle school I kinda shied away from all things art. I don't really no why, but I did. I still liked it but just didn’t do as many artsy things. Then, in high school, painting brought my heart back. Painting eventually morphed into graphic design.
Phreedum: So, as a woman of many talents and artistic interests, what exactly is your degree in from Moore?
BG: My degree is in graphic design. But, you’re right. I really enjoy art in its various forms. Right now I am learning about the screen printing process. I’m determined to conquer screen printing this summer.
As I’m writing Brandi’s response I hear someone say “Hey.”. I turn around and it’s a friend of Brandi’s. Brandi’ shares she is in an interview and her friend becomes embarrassingly apologetic. To which I tell her “It’s cool, no worries.” The young lady says “I just thought you guys were friends.” And I think to myself, Brandi is cool enough, we definitely could be. Her friend takes her iced drink and leaves and heads in the direction of the art institute which begs me to ask the following.
Phreedum: Why Moore College of Art for Women and not the Art Institute?
BG: Actually, I started as chemistry major at a school in Connecticut. However, I was pretty miserable there. I really missed art as a full time thing and not something to do if I finished studying chemistry. I decided art is what I wanted to go to school for. In my process of finding a school I did visit the Art Institute. I just found Moore to not only be great in terms of the art I wanted to create, but very empowering for women. Not that you can’t be empowered at the Art Institute, but as a woman, going to a college for women, it was particularly empowering.
Phreedum: What has been a highlight for you so far as a creative independent?
BG: Just meeting different people and learning about the different aspects of design. I really enjoy learning. When I meet people ad just see their style and what they are really into its inspiring. I’m always reminded that no two people are exactly the same just like no two artistic processes are exactly the same.
Phreedum: I met you when viewing your Going Natural collection. What has been your greatest piece or collection so far and what was the process for creating it?
BG: I think my favorite collection is the Going Natural collection. It started as a class project. We were asked to pretty much create anything we wanted based upon something we wanted. So, yeah, not very specific. In thinking about the project I wanted something different yet reflective of me. I thought about when I first started to grow my hair out and go natural. During the process I came across a lot of various terms. I decided to create a book of the more interesting terms and illustrate them. The collection (the prints at the showcase and the print I purchased) was really an expansion of the book.
Phreedum: What would you consider one of your greatest resources?
BG: I’d say people. I am really observant and so I like to people watch and be social. The energy gives me inspiration for my work or engages my curiosity enough to try something new.
Phreedum: What is one of the biggest sacrifices you have had to make?
BG: Steady income and abundance of job opportunities. Granted I know the market is tough for everyone. However, steady work in this field is not easy to come by. You work really hard to maintain what you need to be a creative person, but also to do what you need so you can live.
Phreedum: What is some helpful advice that you carry with you?
BG: Don’t be afraid to start over COMPLETELY. Sometimes you have to scratch everything. No saving a little bit or starting from point c, start completely anew. Also, read and research. There are tons to learn. Oh, and try, even if you fail.
Phreedum: How does your art change the lives of others?
BG: At the showcase I had a guest book. Various people just shared how informative the project was. One person wrote “My big Black nappy headed ass loves this book.” A couple of my aunts have actually started their journey to natural hair and we’ve had some really good conversations just about hair and culture. I guess I would say that at least with the Going Natural collection I’ve helped people have a sense of pride in who they are and for others just providing opportunities for meaningful conversation.
Phreedum: What don’t people get about being an artist?
BG: That we actually do care about things like a steady income. We aren’t these absent minded super ideal people; we just tend to forego what most would consider practical in order to pour our hearts into something we love.
Phreedum: Where can we hope to see you in 5 years?
BG: If I’m not working for an awesome design firm, you will see me and my friends having started an awesome design firm. We have been talking about it more frequently recently.
Phreedum: Will we see you in Philly?
BG: Maybe. But I have a soft spot for Brooklyn, especially Dumbo. Or Europe. I’ve never been but I want to travel.
For more information about Brandi Goldsborough visit www.brandigoldsborough.com