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Art Is My Life

What is the thing that unites all human beings on the Earth?

We are all united by a need for aesthetics and by a need for the contemplation of Beauty.

Only Art can convey Beauty to the full extent.

But the purpose of Art is not to copy Beauty, is to express it. This can be perceived by the heart only.

Artists are a special type of people who are deep and meaningful. They light up the depths of the human soul and cause a storm of positive emotions.

Today I was really lucky to interview Brooke Cormier, a young but an incredibly gifted Canadian artist.

1. Hello, Brooke! Many of your beautiful paintings focus on flora and fauna.

Could you please tell me why you have chosen to paint Nature rather than people or surrealist objects?

Brooke Cormier: I often paint nature because it is the most inspiring subject to me. It has been a big part of my life from a very young age; it helps me stay grounded and expands my imagination all at the same time. I just think there is so much beauty to be found in the natural world and being able to translate that onto canvas and bring it into people’s homes is very fulfilling.

2. When I look at you, I see a person who is full of vital energy and motivation all the time. That’s really inspiring and contagious!

How do you get your inspirations? Does your creative energy come from internal or external sources?

Brooke Cormier: Thank you! Many people think that artists are struck by inspiration and something deeply rooted in their soul gives them the drive to create…though it may be like that for some artists, it’s generally not the case for me. My motivation comes from striving to fulfill my vision of success. This will look different for everyone, but for me success is waking up every morning and spending my day creating art that I love, consistently improving, and making a healthy living while doing it. Even if I feel like I don’t have a drop of inspiration left in me, I don’t wait around to get that magic jolt. I have quite a pragmatic approach to accomplishing my goals; I know that practice really does make perfect so sometimes I have to force myself to get behind the easel, but it’s never something I regret. I’m constantly learning every time I pick up a brush!

3. It is known that the majority of artists try to convey messages in their artworks as a form of self-expression. Does your art represent something about you?

Brooke Cormier: I’m glad you asked this question. I believe I’m still developing a voice in my art that reflects me, and this will be a life-long pursuit. There are two aspects to my profession, and I think that to be a successful artist you must learn to master both. The first is having a vision, and the second is your ability to execute that vision. I believe that the latter is what generally comes first, in my experience at least. I have been spending years developing my technical skills (i.e. sketching, brush control, colour theory, composition, etc.) so that I can create a painting with proficiency, but I am still in search of my vision and the message I want to convey with my art. Anyone can learn a skill if they are dedicated enough, knowing what to do with it is the hardest part!

4. Can you describe your state of mind when you are creating something? I am interested in what you usually feel when you are painting.

Brooke Cormier: My state of mind varies when I’m creating, but I’m always concentrated. Once my mentor, Tim Packer, and I were having a discussion and he pointed out that he thinks it is funny when people say “oh it must be so relaxing to paint all day long”, because in reality, it’s quite the contrary. It requires an insane amount of concentration; you’re premeditating every move, focusing on every stroke while simultaneously having the entire composition in mind. It can be really exhausting! But to answer your question, if I’m having a good painting day, the best way I can describe my state of mind would be in a state of excitement. Sometimes I’ll put two brushstrokes together and the colours feel like they were made for each other and it’s like something is buzzing inside me. It’s a beautiful mixture of satisfaction and determination. If it’s a bad painting day… well… let’s just say I keep an emergency chocolate stash beside my easel.

5. What advice could you give to someone starting out in your field?

Brooke Cormier : I’ve answered this question before and my answer is always the same, though it may be long-winded! But here are 5 pieces of advice I can give an aspiring artist:

a. Cultivate motivation and passion. I saw my art career as the only option for me; nothing else was going to be fulfilling enough, therefore I knew I had to made it happen. I was and am willing to do whatever it takes to execute this my professional goals.

b. Have discipline. You need a very strong work ethic to be your own boss. It can be difficult to get your work done when you don’t have anyone telling you what deadlines you have to meet and what time you need to start work by. You have to set yourself a standard of professionalism that you want everyone else to recognize. At the end of the day, you don’t have anyone else to blame but yourself, whether something goes extremely wrong or something goes extremely right, everything is your fault.

c. Recognize that being an artist is also being an entrepreneur. I had to learn this the hard way. I was under the impression that being a full-time painter meant that I would be painting all the time… which can’t be farther from the truth.

You’re creating art and you’re running a business!

d. Surround yourself with supportive people. During the time when you’re taking a big risk to pursue your dream, you need to make sure that you surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed.

e. Know when to take a break! Artist block is a real thing, and although you can benefit from forcing yourself to practice, it’s important to know when you need to take a step back and refill that creative well. Find things that make you feel inspired and do them. For me, it’s spending time in nature, looking at other artist’s work that I love (whether it’s in a gallery or even on Instagram!), reading and working on another no-stress creative project just for fun!

All in all, the most important thing, despite how cliché it may sound, is to believe in yourself and just go for it.

Thank you very much for such a captivating interview, Brooke!

I wish you a creative success and happy holidays!