08 Jan Art Fair Fridays – Juniper Briggs
Heirloom & Knot and I are very happy to share with you our latest instalment in our ongoing Art Fair Fridays series where we bring you weekly design inspiration and exclusive interviews with amazing artists who inspire our creativity on a daily basis.
Today, we’re thrilled to feature the wonderfully talented Juniper Briggs, whose work speaks to a flamboyant exuberance. Briggs’ beautiful use of colour and abstraction makes each of her pieces feel exceedingly joyful and full of life. Her figurative works are graphic and bold but also playful and un-restrained…soulful.
How long would you say you have been a professional artist and what has lead you to this point in your career?
It’s still strange (and thrilling) to think of myself as a professional artist. I’ve been making one type of art or another my whole life, but I began sharing and selling my paintings in 2014. Before that, my professional focus had been mainly on writing and public relations. I worked for a Fine Art gallery in Southern California and wrote for the small arts Magazine that they produced. Then, a few years ago, we moved across the country to the D.C. area for my husband’s work. I was a young mother of two in a new town and felt a little lost. Oddly enough I found a lot of solace and inspiration on Instagram where I saw other creative women sharing their artwork and creating businesses out of what they loved to do. I was already painting in my free time and despite my fears, I decided to give it a go. I began slowly, by sharing my work on social media and was encouraged by the feedback. My art business has continued to grow ever since. I created my website, opened my Etsy shop, and have had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing people and brands along the way. I still have to pinch myself sometimes. I LOVE what I do so much that it’s hard to believe I get to do it for a living.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received about your art?
I’m self-taught but I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina (near Asheville) in a community filled with artists. My friend’s parents were glassblowers, potters, painters, weavers, you name it. I was always in and out of their studios and often invited to make things with them. Having that type of exposure to art made creativity seem like a normal and essential part of every day life. I think it shaped me in the sense that I couldn’t imagine not having that type of outlet.
How would you describe your creative process?
I try to create something every day, even if it’s just a sketch or making a collage with my girls. My oldest daughter has an easel next to mine in my studio and we often paint side by side. I want both of my girls to grow up with that same type of exposure to self expression so that it becomes second nature to them to explore and make things on a regular basis. I love that quote by Maya Angelou, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” It’s so true. The more art I make the more insatiable my hunger for making it becomes.
I mostly rely on my intuition (and good music) to take me through the creative process. I enjoy working with layers, adding and omitting details to create unexpected and compelling moments that surprise even me. I often begin with a loose idea or color palette but once I begin I let my gut take over. Sometimes that means sticking to the plan but more often than not it leads me somewhere new and exciting. There are times when everything flows and comes together beautifully and there are times when I do what I refer to as battle with a painting. One way or another though, I usually find my way back to a resolution. There’s nothing quite like that sweet, satisfying moment when a piece finally comes together.
What is your favorite medium to work in?
I enjoy working with acrylic paints, alcohol ink, and pastels. I’m far too impatient to work with oil paints, although I appreciate those artists that do. I like working fast and following my instincts which lends itself better to quick-drying mediums.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Without a doubt, my biggest career highlight to date is the painting I was commissioned to create for the Elle Canada Closet project. I was so fortunate to be able to collaborate with Christine Dovey on her amazing design and to contribute a piece to such an iconic brand. I can’t wait to see the final reveal!
How would you describe your signature style?
My style is ever evolving but for the most part my paintings tend reflect my interest in flawed beauty rather than perfection. My love of design and composition comes across in my use of shape, movement, omission of detail, and bold color choices.
Where do you find your greatest creative inspiration? What do you think sets your work apart from other artists?
Where don’t I find inspiration!? I think most artists are like sponges. I soak up inspiration anywhere and everywhere. Music, color, design, relationships, conversations, poetry, prose, feminism, nature, travel, fashion, photography, emotions, mortality, motherhood, beauty and decay. All of these things are filtered through me into my work, lending it a perspective all my own.
No. 1 House of Hackney – PALMERAL Medium Linen Cushion Midnight / Azure – £75.00
No. 2 Janney’s Collection – Brass Palm Frond Chandelier w/ Prisms – Price Upon Request
No. 3 West Elm – Ashik Wool Rug – $1063.00
No. 4 Pippa Small – 18-karat gold tourmaline bracelet – $2,064
No. 5 Indigo – Diana Vreeland: The Modern Woman: The Bazaar Years, 1936-1962 – $37.62
No. 6 Furbish Studio – Blue Swirl Planter – $60.00
No. 7 Kelly Wearstler – Doheny Dinner Plate Porcelain with 22k Gold – $140
No. 8 Kate Spade – Elsie Table Lamp – $485.00
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that my love for Juniper Briggs is real and deep. Her figurative pieces speak to my girl portrait loving ways and feel so full of bliss. To me, she perfectly balances modernity and whimsy and that’s so wonderfully special.
Her works most definitely give me major art feels.