Short Answer is I’m Still Standing, Creating and Inspired. Longer answer is it’s been an undulation of emotions and experiences over the past 12 months. After all these years and what had been accomplished, working for some of the biggest brands in the world, in one moment I was quarentined, my studio closed and my work poof gone! Without the attention span to update my website or blog I stayed connected through the 10 second FB Stories or the weekly IG Post (@BrandiCArt) I spent those early months focused on my family. Supporting my kids into Virtual classrooms (nightmare), stocking the pantry, emotionally charging myself to keep everyone grounded and peaceful. The occasional tear I allowed to be shed for the lose of freedom to do what I love and connect and share my artist wisdom with both groups, individuals and my heart-work through the Non Profit BeArtSee and the young people served.
I turned to feeding the crows, gardening, baking, exploring french wine, all the normal pandemic house projects while the studio doors remained locked, lights out for what was first planned as only days became months. I found myself right back to where it all began crafting at home with whatever material I could invent from the recycle bin or left over projects of the past. Beer cans became my favorite material as empty ones seemed to be multiplying before my very eyes. Cards, yard ornaments, jewelry. Whatever to keep the creative engine burning! As the days turned into months clients and friends reached out and the commission projects began. I took them all, anything from a $15 pair of custom earrings to digital art of one of our favorite friends mom or the local dermatologist needs of 100 logo make-up bags. From the same spirit I started this madness…saying YES! In the beginning, which is now years ago, I might be in someones back yard hired for a 3 year old birthday party and the next job might take me to California to work with 300 corporate sales folks. As time grew me older my focus had become on BIG jobs without time and energy to do much else. I’ve always felt that all the work big jobs and small affairs are equally important to keep my artist wisdom fully charged learning how to be with all people; big, small, young, old, open or closed.
As the year moved I physically moved the closed studio to another location (2952 Crockett Row, FortWorth, TX 76107) as we slowly started to welcome the community back into our space. 1 day a week! We remain at 1 day a week and are blessed to report we have 1 day when the community is free to come to us and find a space where the easels, materials and support are open to you to come and find your artist for a moment.
Reservations can be made 317-339-7718 Saturdays 1-9PM.
My Non Profit BeArtSee shifted it’s outreach from being the summer camp for young people living in the local shelters to building free libraries for those underserved communities, supporting our local living artist, sharing studio space for artist to give workshops and have space to work, getting free materials to children with desire. And being here for when the “need” comes in to find a way our resources can support our communities thriving once again. Raising awareness and funds to prepare for the work which will come in the days as we move back into our social spaces.
As I write these words I’m mostly working at my home studio these days, the work is trickling in on any given day you might find me building resin “Janky Jewelry”, cutting on my Cricut, firing up my heat press for funky T’s “Boogie Dog Production”, custom greeting cards, acrylic combs, up-cycled beer can frames, vintage jewelry wooden crosses or deeper in thought as I sketch out a local law firms Board Room piece or those dear friends 50th birthday mantel work. Whatever it takes to move through this and into the next expression being without arrogance the work has to be packed with the life blood of being original, unique and a true expression of my heart. Everything that comes out of this space is just as the same as it was before, one-of-a-kind, handmade, infused with love, original and unique. This moment has urged me to design lines that fit everyone’s budget, this moment has caused me to go back in and pull out every technique and material I discovered along the way and meld them into each other. Mixed media is now ALL media! The blending, merging and honoring of it all. The only path I see is worth traveling with everything this last year has taught me! Being open to it all!
Recently I posted on FB @BrandiCottinghamArt “I Promise when You’re ready I’ll be here!” I made that promise to myself first and quickly realized I must again get back into the business of sharing that which was blessed onto me with All-Others!
You have been missed I look forward to seeing you again! Always Expressing Brandi C.
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I have been blessed to acquire several items from amazing tye-die and flowy clothing pieces to original ear bobs in support of BArtsee this past year. I have also been a part of an awesome class that the studio opened up during all the craziness we have all been in the midst of to create a Vision Board that brought inspiration for my heart. I am grateful there is such a place for all of us to support and for the drive and inspiration and vision that Brandi has blessed us all with. Thank you my frister for the determination it takes to keep this all going and for the God inspired giftings you have for all of us to share.
I was blessed to visit the studio recently and found quirky fun items I was inspired to purchase to support local artist and very important contributions to locally owned female business. Love watching &participating in your journey!! You are a wonderful friend, mother, daughter & sister!! Xoxo Mom😘
It’s good to know you’re still creating, however you do it. It’s so easy to become withdrawn in these times. It’s been a year, it’s springtime, and I feel optimistic that our old lives are about to be reborn.
I have to admit their where those days some linked together for long stretches where I avoided my studio space. However I found myself working in other medians; food, gardening, my I-Phone camera! Yes! Spring is coming and rebirth is starting for me… the butterfly is again pushing through the cocoon! Thank you for commenting! Let’d do this!