One thing we hope to get across to young artists out there reading FIND is that following your passion can really pay off. If you love skateboarding, paint skateboards. If you like to surf, paint waves… it definitely worked for San Clemente artist Drew Brophy. We wanted to FIND out how he did it, so we asked the closest person to him his wife and manager Maria Brophy to interview him for us… Enjoy!
What’s the message you want to give the world with your art and your life?
I want to show people that they can live a great life making art., What I’ve been doing for the past 20 yearsis all pretty selfish” I (just) want to surf and travel and make art. My message is to take your strengths and passions and meld them together to make a nice life.
Do your paintings have some deep meaning?
No, I paint what I love, which is surfing and simplicity. What can be simpler than a little shack on the beach in a warm place with great waves? It’s an idea that anyone who surfs can relate to.
How would you describe your art to a blind person?
My art captures moments that I experience, whether it’s the pure joy of riding a wave or a moment in a desolate place alone. They are full of life and movement.
Can an artist also become a brand?
Absolutely. A brand is something where people recognize a name and a style. Companies try to create a brand out of nothing but an artist doesn’t have to make something up, they are who they are.
Some artists would say that treating themselves like a brand is selling out. What’s your take on that?
I guess those same people won’t sign their paintings either. If someone likes your art but doesn’t know who you are, they can’t find you. Branding is letting people know this is what you do and who you are.
What are the three most important things you’ve done to “brand” yourself?
I’ve always insisted that my signature go on everything. I’m accessible to everyone. At trade shows I’m the guy that everyone watched paint. It became a selling point, and I continue to “up the ante””., I started with t-shirt designs for small companies, then onto collaborating with larger and larger brands up to Converse and Walter Foster Publishing.
What’s been the most fun you’ve had with a project?
I really like painting painting graffiti on Escape Camper Vans. I’ve painted 15 so far, and I’ll be doing many more., I like how raw the spray paint is. I get to paint anything I want. I can paint an entire van in eight hours, so in one day I get to see a beat-up van transform into a bad ass piece of art that somebody’s going to be driving around.
If you could change one thing about your art career, what would it be?
I’d like a bigger studio with everything I need to work more efficiently. I’m amazed at all the things I can pull off in my little piece of shit studio.
What’s it like being married to your art manager? Be honest, I won’t get mad.
It’s great… At least I have somebody looking out for me all the time.
To see more of Drew’s artwork and products, visit www.drewbrophy.com Maria Brophy is Drew’s manager and is an Art Marketing Queen who writes a blog to help creative people design the life and career of their dreams at www.mariabrophy.com
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