Local art is one of the core pillars of The Shop’s design. Our space is designed to feel like a gallery, wherein a 360 view, you will spot a piece of art wherever you stand. We’ve had the honor of featuring one of SLC’s artists, Brooklyn Day, on our 3rd floor. We sat down with Brooklyn to learn more about her creative process, her favorite mediums, and a day in her life.
Can you describe the style of art that you create and the inspiration behind it?
I draw my artistic inspiration from experiences in my own life, impressions, and thoughts that I collect through time and in everyday situations. I love the female abstract expressionist artists of the 1940s and 50s, like Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell. They were fearless, expressive, gestural, and masters of color theory. The power of color to convey emotions and meaning in the abstract realm fascinates me. As I create my own works, I constantly reflect on how color can hold emotion and become its own visual language.
Can you walk us through your creative process? How do you begin a new piece, and how do you know when it’s finished?
My creative process is highly intuitive. I begin with a specific vision of color and the overall emotional tone I want to convey in a piece. Color holds a paramount role in my work, and I spend considerable time selecting and mixing hues, considering how they communicate with each other. I’m also deeply intrigued by the physical properties of paint, experimenting with its behavior when thinned with water, mixed with pure pigment, or combined with mediums like spray paint and oil pastels. It’s a blend of science and play, resulting in what I call ‘controlled chaos.’ This approach happens to mirror my life, which often teeters between chaos and coherence.
Nature plays a significant role in inspiring your color palettes. Can you share some specific examples of how nature has influenced your choice of colors and how you incorporate them into your paintings?
Yes, nature is a significant source of inspiration for my color palettes. The way natural colors interplay, especially in the sky, captivates me. I replicate this in my technique by using washes of color and painting ‘alla prima’ (wet on wet), which strikes a delicate balance between chance and control. My choices regarding hue, ratios, and opacity are deliberate. Through washes of watered-down pure pigment, I momentarily relinquish control, celebrating what the paint can achieve independently.
Abstract art often leaves room for interpretation by viewers. Is there a particular message or emotion you aim to convey through your art, or do you prefer to let viewers draw their own conclusions?
One of my favorite things about abstraction is its openness to interpretation. My work is created with personal meaning and emotions in mind but I love the idea that abstract art can hold different significance for different individuals. My goal is to layer meaning into my works so that they offer visual and emotional intrigue from both a distance and up close. I find the most successful pieces evolve with the viewer, forging a deeply personal connection. This personal connection, devoid of the constraints of representational objects, creates a stronger bond between the viewer and the work.
Can you share an instance when you encountered a creative block or struggled with a particular piece? How did you overcome it, and what did you learn from the experience?
Creative blocks are definitely present in my artistic journey as they are for many creatives. I believe that growth arises from pushing past comfort zones, which can lead to moments of insecurity. When I’m stuck on a piece I tend to introduce new elements, whether in color, materials, painting techniques, or processes. It’s easier said than done, but I try to walk the fine line between discomfort and confidence, knowing that stepping beyond my comfort zone fuels my artistic evolution. However, sometimes things end up in the trash — and that’s also part of it.
What does a day in the life of Brooklyn look like when she’s not creating new works of art?
Outside of my studio practice, I wear multiple hats. I’m a mom of two girls and a boxing instructor. Despite the juggling act, I make an effort to spend time in my downtown Salt Lake City studio every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. My creative process definitely extends beyond the studio walls. I draw inspiration from conversations with fellow creatives, books I read, personal relationships, my surroundings, and even my camera roll. All these experiences contribute to my work.
Lastly, your work has been featured in studios, homes, and galleries all over the country. Of all those accomplishments which one means the most to you?
I am so grateful for the support of collectors and my community. It’s incredible to me that my collectors choose to live with my pieces in their spaces. I don’t expect to ever get over that feeling. Recently, I had the privilege of showcasing a large diptych during NBA All-Star Weekend in collaboration with Nike which was absolutely magical. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without Corey Bullough from Fice Gallery. He has been a champion of my work since I moved from NYC to Salt Lake City, offering numerous opportunities for me to share my artistic voice. Forever grateful for individuals like him who are enriching the fabric of art, music and culture in Salt Lake City.
Brooklyn’s piece is for sale! Inquire with the Community Team for more details if you or somone you know is interested in purchasing. Check out The Shop’s full art program here