If you’ve ever drank your coffee from this Starbucks mug, then you are familiar w/ Brynn James’ work.
Brynn is one of those unique individuals who is crazy talented in many avenues of life. She is an internationally-recognized artist, a designer, a photographer, a former barista, a mom and a rockin’ wife. She’s basically a modern day Renaissance woman (though I automatically deduct points b/c she’s not a fan of Fleetwood Mac). Boo. I’m willing to overlook this faux pas because she is a lover of bacon, dogs and craft cocktails.
In between crafting pieces for clients and chasing her toddler around, Brynn was generous enough to sit down and answer a few questions about her work and interests –
How would you best describe your art work and style?
I hand letter on vintage serveware and like to use quirky color schemes and whimsical floral sprawls.
How did you evolve into creating custom artwork?
My mom taught me how to copy and practice different typefaces when I was a kid, and it's still fun for me today. I've always been that friend that gets asked artistic favors. For a long time my main thing was photography (I still do a bit of that) but I'm really just not competitive enough to hack it in that field. At some point a few years ago I guess I put it together that I could actually start charging for hand lettering / painting projects and it kind of took off from there. Custom projects are always exciting to me because I love creating stuff that's one of a kind.
What are your favorite medias to work with?
I'm currently using acrylic paints for my background, florals and lettering. I like it because it's forgiving and sturdy.
What fellow artists inspire you? Do you follow anyone on Instagram or other social media outlets?
Oh man. So hard to pick just a few! Here are my top ten, in no order: Flora Waycott (@florawaycott) Yas Imamura (@quillandfox) Painted Forrest Paperie (@paintedfortestpaperie) Bari J (@barij) Amanda Iadonisi Word (@pandaporch) Micah Player (@micahplayer) Valerie Rustad (@valociraptor17) Sandra Apperloo (@artisticmoods) Roxy Marj (@roxymarj) Liekeland (@liekevandervorst)
What advice would you give to fledgling momtrepreneurs just starting out in their craft or small business?
Evaluate your priorities upfront, because it's so tricky to do it ALL. Decide ahead of time what things you're okay giving up. For me, I know I'm never going to be a Pinteresty mom who hand sews Halloween costumes and throws birthday parties like Martha Stewart. I probably could be that person, but I choose to have this job instead. Also, my house is constantly a wreck and I'm not that great at meal planning (I'm getting better!)... But those are things I've chosen to sacrifice. I'm okay giving myself a little grace, but it took a little while to get there. I'd also say anything you can do to stay organized and manage your time well will be helpful! Utilize every dang nap time and have lots of coffee ready!
Favorite craft cocktail?
One of my favorites: a pineapple mint julep. (8-10 muddled mint leaves, 3oz pineapple purée, 1.5 oz bourbon-- combine ingredients and shake with ice. Strain and pour over crushed ice. Top with soda water, garnish with a mint sprig and serve in a tumbler)
In addition to serving up some divine cocktails, Brynn also happens to be generous and giving of her time and talents. She and a host of other exceptionally talented folks will be offering up their works this Saturday, November 5th at the “Bremerton Craft Market” located at Coram Deo Church off of Highway 303. Market is open between 9 AM - 4 PM. These artists are the people that can make your Pinterest-Etsified dreams a reality! Just in time for the holidays!
Here’s a sampling of Brynn’s work (w/ similar items being offered at tomorrow's Craft Market in Bremerton):
I asked Brynn if I could “feature” her on my blog because I love supporting other small businesses and creatives. I’m also just a huge fan of her work and I have commissioned her to make pieces for my own family as well as for my clients. I'm slightly obsessed w/ monogramming and personalization, and Brynn custom-crafts each of her pieces based upon her customers' specifications (along w/ adding in her unique fabulous flair)!
If you are local to Kitsap, be sure to stop by the Bremerton Craft Market this Saturday. Free entry and free coffee awaits you! And if you'd like to sample more of Brynn James' work be sure to check out her website and connect with her via Etsy, Instagram or Facebook. She's all-around pretty awesome.