Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Powell.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Brooke. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve spent so much time being interested in so many things – music, portrait painting, carpentry, design, fashion… I sincerely love them all and find joy from each of them and for years, I’ve tortured myself over having to pick just one thing and being stuck with it forever. Then, a dear friend asked if I could paint bride-and-groom leather jackets for her wedding day.
Realizing how much I enjoyed that project, helped me realize that I have the desire to create in multiple formats, not because I can’t make up my mind, but because I’ve found my artistic voice. I know my style because I know who I am. So, why not go after ideas now?
Since then, I’ve continued to work in hand-painted leather, painted my first Atlanta mural, opened up shop at Citizen Supply in Ponce City Market and now have transitioned to workly completely out of my home studio on mostly a custom commission basis.
Has it been a smooth road?
“Bumpy” doesn’t seem to adequately describe just how turbulent the road has been. Every single day is a push. Every single moment is up to you. Going out on your own full time at any profession can be very lonely and it is so important to keep people in your life that are going to continue to refuel your passion and push you onward on the days when you’re ready to give out and give up.
I used to think that there would be this day of arrival- that if I could “just get through the next month” something was going to happen that would change everything and make things easier. What I’ve realized is that “arriving” is sort of this vague, crippling idea that can distract you from celebrating today’s small successes.
As useful of a tool as social media can be, it can lead to this misconception of having it all together and as a consequence, we compare, question our progress and question our validity. I want to use every opportunity I can to show vulnerability and be honest about the challenges, what I focus on now is being patient and accepting of myself right where I am instead of obsessing every day about not being “there” yet.
My advice for other women is to be patient, make mistakes and use them to grow and learn about yourself, expect the road to be long but remember that each day is a new opportunity to push yourself and do your absolute best with what you have. Keep other strong, real women in your life that celebrate you and all your faults but challenge you to be the most honest version of yourself.
There were (and still are) days when I’ve eaten crackers and bologna for breakfast, made “coffee” from yesterday’s grounds, and wasn’t sure how I was going to pay my rent or bills, but I have never gone without hope and endurance. Because, honestly, what’s the alternative?
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Brooke Powell Art story. Tell us more about the business.
When I first started out, portraiture was my specialty. Custom portraits remain one of the main sources of income commission-wise, but what I’m the most excited about is the hand painted leather patches and jackets I’ve been making. I’m looking forward to being able to really expand on design possibilities and eventually release a full line of jackets and apparel. Since I tend to have my hands in multiple creative ventures, I like to think that it’s my style of painting and artistic voice is what sets me apart and makes my work distinguishable. I’m always challenging myself to create in a way that is natural and unique to only me instead of trying to mimic someone else’s approach.
Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
Oh yes! Failures.
I put a lot of pressure on myself as a kid to be perfect- to never show any weakness. Now I’ve chosen to recognize imperfection as a beautiful opportunity, to be honest and relate to one another. I had to discover myself, and I’m still discovering myself. I’m starting to believe that if you’re open to really truly understanding who you are and what makes you tick, there is no challenge or amount of pressure you cannot face; you become a much tougher egg to crack.
Or, maybe you become a boiled egg that’s already shed the “weak stuff” and can now bounce back! You’ll have to go through the heat first, though.
I love metaphors too much.
- Custom 8″x10″ Portraits- $125
- Custom Leather Back Patches- $175
- Website: BrookePowellArt.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brookepowellart/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brookepowellartllc/
Denim Jacket with Warrior Patch- Brandon Hayden, @theybhayden