Contributor Profile: Patrick BrennanHow and why did you become an artist?
Well as far back as I can remember I’ve been drawing. I remember having such a clear image of what I wanted to draw in my head and being so frustrated when I couldnt get that down on paper. It was probably around third grade that I decided that I wanted to pursue art seriously. So I drew, all the time, in class, at home, anywhere. After high school I started community college where my real education began. I was lucky enough to have a few great teachers who had to make me unlearn all of the bad habits that I had developed, artistically wise, and taught me the fundamentals of technique. From there I went to art school where I have hopefully developed these skills further.
As to the why, I guess that there are many reasons why I became an artist, I enjoy it for one. There is also this sense that I have inside that I have something to say, I havent discovered what that is yet, I think that Ive touched on it a few times though. Also, I want people to look at my work and hopefully relate and know that they arent alone in their experiences.
What kind of art do you create - and why?
I guess I kind of mentioned that in the last one, huh. Well the type of art I create has varied over the years and tends to change with my mood or mindset at the moment. Right now I’m working on a project that is a generic “simplified” style focusing on a non-linear collection of memories in relation to weekly prompts from various art sites, kind of a word association experiment, its still in the early stages yet and I am excited to see where it goes as my life changes.
How has your style evolved? Have you deliberately tried to develop a personal 'signature' style?
Well as far as evolution goes, my style has changed dramatically in the last ten years ago. There are some influences that I cant seem to break (not that I really would want to) but the newer ones come and go, ill see some great work in a gallery or a comic and try to add elements of thei style to mine, sometimes it’ll stick, often not so much. Most dramatically, the greatest change has come in the last four or five months, this new simplistic, and generalized style that I chose to use in part to balance out the heavier emotional subjects that Ive been addressing, also I hoped that by making it non specific, that people could be better able to identify with what is going on in the piece.
What kind of materials do you use?
Everything, anything. Mostly I use graphite, gel pens, sharpies, but I love to use whatever I can get my hands on, ill do sculpture if I can afford the materials, bar napkins and coasters, black poster board, crumpled paper, cardboard. And then of course, there’s the wonder of Photoshop.
Do you have any favourite techniques or working methods for creating your pictures?
This one varies, sometimes Ill read a prompt and have an idea of what I want to do with it in a second. Other times it can be a struggle. Mostly I look at the prompt and try and think of how it relates to what I am currently dealing with, or what I have experienced in the past. Other times I'll be doodling and ill happen upon something that I really like and have no idea why I drew it. So I guess it can be pretty random sometimes.
What inspires you? What kind of content do you like to include in your pictures?
Life. That would have to be the biggest inspiration, I know that it sounds cliché but seriously, when I’m feeling uninspired I get on a bus and just ride around, you’ll see so much if you try this. A lot of what I draw about is a response to me trying to make sense of my life.
Who are your heroes - and why?
My mother, my grandparents, and James Sime. My mother has shown more strength than anyone I have ever met, my grandparents because among many other things, they are my model on what a loving lasting relationship should be.
And then there is James Sime, owner of the Isotope comic book lounge here in San Francisco. (http://isotopecomics.com) this man’s love for, and dedication to the industry and is nothing short of amazing, and even that doesn’t really sum him up.
Do you have any favourite quotes?
If you take life too seriously you’ll never make it out alive. Failure is better than never having tried.
Anything else you'd like people to know about you?
Oh Im horrible at these questions, Ive always stuck to the school of: if you want to know something about me, ask.
Any advice to share with other artists?
Never stop creating, never stop posting.