Each month ATGhousing.com interviews an Artist and showcases a few
examples of their work.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Brenda Flynn, please see our Q&A below and be sure to visit Brenda's website at
ATG: Who are you, where are you from, and where do you live?
I was born in Oklahoma (but, like the song, I really don't remember) and moved to Florida with my parents at the age of one year. I live in Ormond By The Sea, Florida, in a little 1950s beach bungalow. Sheer heaven. A1A on one side, with the Atlantic Ocean within 1/4 mile, and the Halifax River (Intracoastal) on the other, where I can watch sunsets every night off the End of the Day Pier!
ATG: Why art?
Because it's who I am. It's who I've always been. I cannot remember a time I wasn't exploring my artistic side through oils, or mosaics or drawing...
ATG: How is your personality reflected in your work?
I like to think I have a fairly positive outlook on things, and have worked
really hard to keep that fun attitude in my work. You can't help but smile when you see those big grins! My work is also created from using paper from magazine ads (only) so the recycled aspect of my personality comes into play.
ATG: How do you overcome creative blocks?
I walk away from the art desk. I go outside for a while, walk and play with
my dogs, walk the beach, take a drive. Something and anything to get me away from the work so that when I come back, I have a new outlook. All of my work is original, so there are no prints, and they are time-intensive to do. If things aren't going together well, it's best not to force it. My work is paper mosaics, and they can be tedious.
ATG: What art do you most identify with?
I'm a very strong supporter of art in public places, specifically murals, mosaics and sculpture. I love urban art as well, graffiti by any other name. I love Banksy (a graffiti artist) because he uses his art to send messages. Overall, anything mosaic catches my eye. And, anything recycled into art.
ATG: What themes do you pursue?
The bulk of my work is beach-themed.
Fish, octopus, sharks, seahorses, lobsters and crabs dominate my canvas.
ATG: What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
My closest neighbor growing up in Silver Springs, Florida, was Ross Allen, an internationally
famous herpetologist. He also had a lot of exotic animals that he imported for his attraction at Silver Springs, the Ross Allen Reptile Institute (back in the 60s and 70s). From the age of nine, I had an exotic animal license, which meant I could keep and care for exotic breeds, which I did for him until the babies (jaguarundis, ocelots, toucans, many species of parrot, spider monkeys and rhesus monkeys) grew old enough for display at his attraction. Learning to care for all these animals, and roaming the dense woods around my hammock home with my dog, Sandy, were my best memories.
ATG: What inspires you?
I'm a color fanatic! I love bright, happy colors. I also love inspirational quotes and sayings, so I incorporate those into my work by writing them around the sides of my canvas.
ATG: What is your most inspirational place?
I love the work of Antoni Gaudi (an architect and mosaic artist). He inspired my art van, LuLuBelle, which is covered in mosaic tiles, Gaudi-Style. Not that I don't love Italy and Greece for all the same reasons, but Barcelona grabbed me the most artistically.
ATG: Professionally, what’s your goal?
I had a 22 year career with newspapers, in the field that I love, which is illustration
and graphic design. I used my journalism degree to write travel features and investigative and informational graphics. My goal had always been to work in the newspaper industry and I achieved that. Now, my goals are to continue doing my own style of art until the night nurse at the rest homes says I'm not allowed to have an X-acto knife. And I do want to finish both of my unfinished novels, of course.
ATG: Personally, what’s your goal?
To live until the ripe old age of 114, and to
create happy stuff the rest of my life.
ATG: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
My mother always used to tell me that "this, too, shall pass."
I have to remember that life is not to be taken as seriously as we all do. We need to step back sometimes and look at the larger view.
ATG: What's the best piece of advice you can give?
Dance to your own music. And never have fear. Just be happy.