Brett Manning

Q1. In your own words, how would you describe your art form and style?

Most of my work is figurative, but I enjoy patterns, geometrics, textures and apparent symbolism, so the outcome may seem surreal but I like to consider it more autobiographical… Mere glimpses into my head, untampered, abstaining from outside influences. My work is a visual diary, thus very emotional and sentimental. So, ultimately it’s not about the ‘style,’ rather the content and suggested stories are what should be recognised.

Q2. What inspired your passion for the arts and who has been supporting you from the beginning?

I don’t know really. I was born longing to make things. Anything really, but mostly things that I intend for others to enjoy. True, I am gratified by the act of creation and finishing a piece, but I also love sharing and teaching and helping others.
My mom always encouraged me to keep doing what I love, and she still does… along with my very talented, wonderful husband and lovely friends!

Q3. What would you say is the best support out there for artists like yourself?

Your own drive to continue doing what you feel is right to do.

Q4. Have you always aspired to be artist, or did you ever dream of following a different path?

I feel as though I’ve always been an artist, I did not ‘become’ one. And really, just nurturing my work and being persistent and patient kept me on track.

Q5. What process do you use to create you work?

Typically my work is derived from my own day dreams and night dreams, so I keep a little journal and write down things and make sketches when something comes to mind. I take those ideas and turn them into larger, more detailed artworks.

Q6. Is there anything you are currently working on that you would like to tell us about?

The biggest piece I’ve ever created is about half way finished!

Q7. What other artists have influenced your style of work?

I admire many artists, some in particular would be Egon Schiele, Beatrix Potter, Elizabeth Peyton, Cindy Sherman, Tara Dougans, and Frida Kahlo.

Q8. Who have you always dreamt of working with/for and why? How would you go about accomplishing this?

I’d like to work on a film set, maybe working on concept art for costumes and sets… For a Ridley Scott movie… Or Wes Anderson maybe… I’d also like to develop my photography hobby a little further and take pictures of people. David Lynch would make a nice subject.
But I also just want to keep doing what I’m doing now, perhaps continue bridging the gap between fine art and illustration, because it can be a sensitive subject for some people…

Q9. What are the hardships that come with being a full-time artist?


Q10. What is the greatest thing about working in the your industry?

Usually clients come to me because they want me to create something completely in my own style, so lots of my projects are fun and harbor very few rules.

Q11. If you could ask anyone for advice;

Who would you like to ask?

Frida Kahlo I guess..

What would you like to ask?

Where are you and your artworks in relation to the universe and it’s drama?

What would be your answer if asked the same question?

I am at peace with the complexities which accompany life. Yes, I get anxious, but I’ve learned to use this anxiety to fuel my work. Some times I get sad, other times overwhelmed with joy and passion. Being as sensitive as I am, and living in a world which can be cruel at times, but infinitely lovely, I just have to stay aware and not lose sight of the most important things; never drama, but family, friends, nature, sincerity, unconditional love, etc…

Q12. From your experience in the arts, what advice could you offer people looking to get to succeed in a similar field as yourself?

Never sell yourself short, and i don’t mean in monetary terms… basically, stay true to yourself and never create anything that you think people will like… because who cares if they like it or not!

Q13. What courses/classes would you recommend someone take if they want to be a professional in the same industry as yourself?

I’m not sure, I didn’t go to school for art. I have a degree in fashion design, haha! Maybe, if I had to guess, I’d recommend life-drawing classes…

Q14. How many years have you been working on your skill?


Q15. From your experience, what have you found to be most challenging? And how have you dealt with it?

Sometimes there will be a nasty client who doesn’t like anything you create for them even though they sought you out in the first place and told you how much they adore you work. When this happens, I really REALLY try to please the client. Sometimes that means starting over several times, which is very annoying, but oh well.

Q16. What career opportunities are there for artists like yourself?

I don’t really know… Illustrating for people/companies… Commissioned drawings and paintings if you find the right person…

Q17. What are you doing to get yourself noticed and make yourself stand out from the many other artists around the world?

As I’ve been saying, ‘just be yourself!’… That’s the main thing… but also having places online to share my work seem to help because sooo many people everywhere use the internet and you never know who will randomly find your art!

Q18. What’s the dream?

I’d like to write a book someday. And draw pictures for it… And make it into a movie.

Q19. Share with us your proudest moment in your career so far?

I just finished a drawing that I really like.

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