Composing reality and escape, fantasy, mystery and fun into fine art with an array of magazines, scissors & glue.
Whitney shares her story with MUSE.TV
My work is somewhere between reality and escape, fantasy mystery and fun–I live for these things. I am a fine artist practicing in the mediums of hand cutout collage the past 2 years, acrylic painting the past 15 years and drawing since I was 3 years old. I believe what makes me a successful artist is often a paradox of mindsets: whimsical and free thinking with my ideas yet disciplined and commanding to execute those ideas. I spend countless hours on my art—from conception to completion my mind is always calculating the next move to bring everything I visualize to life. My creative mission is to consistently move towards new challenging work: I believe that is what enthralls the viewer to see beyond the art and into my soul as it in turn touches their own.
On a very rainy day back in ’91 I tagged along with my mother to her thrice annual hair-highlighting appointment at some posh salon in downtown Seattle. At that point I was still getting 10-minute bowl cuts in the ‘burbs. My little sister and I would play with our bag of dolls and giggle around underneath the salon chair, as the hairstylist would explain to my mom her latest plan of action. The smell of hairspray and perfume permeated the air as I tried to pretend bottle-feed Cabbage Patch dolls-–and my sister. Coloring books and blank paper spilled out onto the floor as my sister looked around for more toys. I grabbed the paper and a red (or Cadmium Medium Red as I would refer to it now) coloring pencil and just started drawing. A nose. Some eyes (two, to be exact). Heart-shaped lips. And the hair—with a few highlights inspired from being in the salon that day. That’s all I needed to make my day—a piece of paper and a pencil. I don’t think I ever touched coloring books when I was young. No, I was always a blank white slate kid.
Fast-forward to third grade and I was that girl that was always doodling on her notepaper as the math teacher was going over multiplication tables. And of course it was always the smart boy up front that was saving the girl’s butt as he unknowingly distracted the teacher from calling on her with his impressive multiplication recital. I did learn something in math, however, and ended up at Duke University 10 years later on a Track/XC scholarship. As an Art major, one of my professors let me substitute a 5-page Russian Art history assignment for a thematic art piece on the same topic…what a deal.
After I graduated college and entered the real world art became my center focus. I never had any lessons. Growing up, I gained a vivid imagination which was fostered from long boring hours in the classroom and commercial fishing in no-mans-land Alaska with my family. I’ve also traveled to many countries—45 so far—which has expanded my understanding of history, people and culture. I made sense of my life and the world through my art.
“BIG. Bold. Fierce.“
If you want to make it big in life its good to be bold, but you gotta be fierce.
Something hit my heart BIG time in the Summer of 2011 when I was walking the streets of New York. I had moved there for 7 months trying to make a dime on my art or just a little recognition for that matter. I did not like the art world around me and how art seemed so out of reach–so aristocratic. I‘ve just always wanted my life to touch the common people–the average Jane and Joe. I wanted fashion to be my catalyst to bring my art out into the world and visa versa. I’ve always described my art in these three words: its was big because I liked to paint big, it was bold in the colors that I used and it was fierce in concept. And there you have it, my street chic lifestyle brand was born…
I ran BBF from 2011-2016 until I decided to focus soley on my fine art career instead. I love and appreciate all my friends, fans, and customers who kept it going and fed me everyday with their excitement for the brand–thank you to all those who bought and supported the line all those years! xoxo
I want to say thank you God for all that has transpired with my art and fashion–I am truly blessed.