Today I want you to get to know a fellow artist, Brandi Couch! Brandi is amazingly talented and her art is so magical! Please take a moment to visit her etsy shop. I’m so glad she’s here today, so let’s get to know her:
Who are you? Where are you from?
I am Brandi Couch, and I’m from Southern Illinois — just a little west of Carbondale, where a person can find SIU. Also the college I’m hoping to attend this fall!
Are you an Indie Artist/Do you sell you handmade items?
I’d say so. I’m currently working for myself, doing commissioned illustrations and logo designs, but I also sell prints and originals of many of my paintings and inspirational designs.
When/why did you decide to sell your work?
For a long time I was pretty content just trying to showcase my work online to get commission work, but there are a lot of amazing artists out there all trying to do the same thing. It wasn’t until I sat at a booth this spring that I really decided to try to sell my paintings; what didn’t sell at the festival I put up on Etsy. I’d love for it to eventually be my primary source of income because, honestly, if I can draw and paint every day I’ll be content.
What does the term “Indie” mean to you?
I know ‘Indie’ started out to signify an independent business/artist/company/etc, but to me it’s come to mean ‘individual.’ It’s a person, or a small group of people, working long hours, probably putting in more than they get out, all for the sake of what they’re doing and because it’s a labour of love. That really speaks to me.
What is your favorite type of crafting?
I love painting, even though I was pretty hesitant to try it when I first started out. There’s something zen, something magical, about watching a white sheet of paper take on the image in my head. I do a lot of digital drawing, but there’s nothing quite like the way watercolour paint blooms and flows on paper. I think other than painting I love anything I can do with my hands — knitting, crocheting, tatting — tactile actions that turn something unremarkable into something amazing or useful. I recently bought a lap loom and I’ve learnt that weaving is pretty fun, too!
Explain a little bit about your process.
Watercolour is just magic. I’m still not sure how it happens. I have paints, I have brushes, I have paper, and then suddenly they become a thing. When it comes to character designing and concepting, though, I do have a process I keep coming back to: tons of sketches. So many. I do a lot of research based on the character’s profession, their behavior, their demeanor, where they live, and why they do what they do, and then I start figuring out their body shape, how fit they are, and what kinds of clothes they’d wear. When it comes to more fantastical characters I have to decide what sort of gear they need, and if they’re the sort of person to have the leather of their boots tooled, or if they carry an over-burdened satchel, or if their armour is so polished that it’s like a mirror. And then I do a lot more drawing, and a lot of colour testing. One of the images I’ve included is a simplified lineup of a character from his initial ‘final’ sketch, to the three finalized ‘looks’ for his clothes and gear.
What does your workspace look like?
It’s a bit dismantled at the moment, but typically my physical workspace is set up for me to use either my watercolours or COPIC markers. If it’s a quick painting I usually just tape the paper straight to the glass top of my desk, but if it’s a long-term piece then it goes on a board so that it’s a little more mobile. I have a bendy-neck lamp, big jars for water, and usually a roll or two of paper towels for when I (or the cats) inevitably spills something.
What inspires you?
This might sound really silly, but… Pretty much everything. Some days I step outside and I’m just struck by the clouds, and the shapes in them. Other days it’s a little piece of music, or something my husband or friends say. Often it’s dreams, or one of the weekend roleplaying sessions with our Pathfinder group. At the core, though, I think it’s the fact that if I don’t draw, if I don’t paint, I don’t do anything. I don’t feel like anything. If I’m not making things I feel empty, and that’s a hard feeling to stomach.
A fun question- What is your favorite food?
Miso soup. It’s the right balance of salty and savory, it’s warm and it’s filling but it never makes me feel over-stuffed. I like it with or without noodles, and sometimes it feels like I can never have enough of it.
And lastly, where can we find you on the web?
Only three places for my art, at least right now: I keep an online portfolio at http://art.lunarius.net, I post sketches and in-progress works & keep in touch with folks at http://lunarius-net.tumblr.com, and I have a few prints up for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/LunariusArt. I hope to soon open a Society6 store so I can design some shirts and posters, but that has to wait until I get my college life sorted out. Speaking of college, though, there’s one other place you can find me — I have a GoFundMe up to help me in getting a junker for school:http://www.gofundme.com/yj98hc.