Artist Interview: Brooke Weeber

Rosy, our artist liaison, had the pleasure of interviewing one of our very talented illustrators, Brooke Weeber. Read on to find out about Brooke and what inspires her to create her lovely art.

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I started drawing when I was very young and continued to do it throughout my youth.  I was always interested in art and that lead me to study oil painting at the University of Oregon.  Once I graduated, I found myself following my passion for pastry baking to New York City where I attended the French Culinary Institute.  My limited space and ability to paint large soon had me creating speedier pencil and ink drawings, eventually turning to tidy watercolors as my main medium.  It didn’t take long before I was making band posters for my friends and getting other odd jobs.  When I moved back to Portland I honed in on my style and decided to focus on illustration as a career path.  It’s been great!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from my surroundings.   This includes the amazing scenery in and around the Pacific Northwest and the wonderful and supportive art community I’ve found myself in.  Beyond that, I’m always motivated by what other people are doing and can find inspiration in the friends I’ve made online that are taking leaps and bounds with art.

How do you describe your sense of design style?

My style is a more whimsical Wes Anderson with underlying tones of Edward Gorey.  I take influence from nature,  vast landscapes, adorable animals and the quarks of human behavior (particularly my own).

Can you describe your creative process?

I usually start with a small idea and let it grow.  I almost never go into a piece knowing its exact outcome, unless it’s contract work.  I like to put my pencil down and see where it takes me.  Usually the artwork comes out completely different than what I’d originally intended, which makes it feel more organic and meaningful.

What has been one of your most memorable illustration projects?

One of my favorite projects so far was the poster I created for Portland Center Stage‘s Production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  I built a diorama, painted the scenery, and placed the characters inside, each playing out their own part of the story.  The different layers combined with the overall detail of the piece created a magnificent world that you could get lost in.

Aside from illustration, what other passions do you have?

As I mentioned earlier, I have a passion for baking that has taken me through school and some of New York’s top cake shops sculpting specialty cakes for big name clients.  I had to leave that life behind when I moved to Portland, but  I still enjoy baking on my own.   There’s nothing I love more than pulling a freshly baked pie out of the oven and digging in.  My other hobby right now is canning.  I created a Preservation Club here in Portland.  We get together once a month and trade what we’ve canned, it’s fantastic!

What would be your dream project?

My dream project would be a cover of the New Yorker Magazine because it’s such an iconic spot for illustration and would offer up the most exposure you could ever ask for.

What kinds of things are you working on now?

I’m finishing up some work for a show that’s going up in November at the Compound Gallery.  It’s a shared show with the very talented Timothy Karpinski.  I’ve been working so diligently on this show that I’ll be excited to celebrate and take a much needed break upon completion.

Thanks for sharing Brooke! See more of her work on ImageZoo.

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