GIRL CRUSH; Bree Brooks
We have been following Bree on social media for a while now, mesmerised by her watercolour paintings of the ocean and all things nature. Her artwork truly transports us to the place in the painting and we just adore her artistic flair, her personal style and her outlook on life. Below we caught up with Bree while she was in Bora Bora Tahiti painting up a storm.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, where do you live now?
I live all around the world. I feel like my home is always changing. From living in Hawai’i then Australia for years, moving onto New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Portugal and now landed myself here in Encinitas California.
2. What got you into painting?
I’ve done art since I can remember. I began with crayons as a kid and worked my way up the medium field trying to find what stuck with what I was trying to accomplish with my art. Long story short I was living in Sri Lanka when I had a surf accident leaving me toothless and stuck in a room for a few months without being able to surf or do much of anything. That’s when painting really took off for me. I began to create the things that brought me peace and happiness. Painting surf breaks, marine life and anything nature. People began to take notice and then there it was, I became a full time artist.
3. Who or what inspires you daily?
Always nature. I can spend hours observing and feel like I always find something new.
4. Describe to us what a typical day in the life of Bree looks like?
Wake up and of course coffee, I really can’t function without it. Go for a surf and then get to painting. I spend most my days surfing and creating.
5. What’s at the top of your bucket list?
I want to take a ship to Antarctica. I met an older couple in Bora Bora that told me all about their adventure there. Ive always had an interest but felt nervous by the trek to the bottom of the world. I feel like my weird fear of it makes it something I must do.
6. Favourite place/thing to paint?
This artist in residence in Tahiti was the most inspiring thing ive ever done. The ocean is always changing colour, the mountain changing from the different angles you look. I was there for 16 days and I could have been there for 3 months and not painted everything I saw. Everything about that place inspired me.
7. What’s your earliest Billabong memory?
Living in Hawai’i Billabong pipe masters was everything haha so lots of time on the North Shore watching pipe at its finest.
8. 3 things you would take to a deserted island?
Bikini, painting equipment (if that counts as 1) and surf board.
9. Any advice for young artists wanting to get their work out there and recognised? Does social media play a huge part in this?
Social media does play a huge part but also you have to actively connect through social media and email. I spend hours and hours connecting with people through email and social media. Also connecting with people locally, its a small world and often you will meet people that will lead you in the right direction. I always say put your blinders on. In a ridiculously competitive world its best to just focus on creating work from your heart and be the best you can be. Don’t use the people around you as a measuring system. Be confident in who you are and what you do and other will take notice.
10. Your favourite beach in the world?
I can’t pick! If there’s fun waves I’m happy.