We had the good fortune of connecting with Brady Black and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brady, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is essential for my work.

In one since it is risky bc I draw live during difficult and at times dangerous events. I have been gassed, shot at, had my drawings destroyed, and attacked by police forces.

But none of that is as risky for me as doing the art in public itself. Drawing street children’s portraits live or drawing graffiti of someone’s portrait as they watched me was far more risky than getting shot at by riot police.

Doing art in public means i must make mistakes in front of everyone and purposefully put myself out there for public scrutiny.

A lot of my work can be antagonistic and is intended to provoke a reaction, and that means i am putting myself in the the line of critique and scrutiny. As a life long people pleaser who wrestles with lots of insecurity this is not easy. But if i want to say anything it must be able to be disagreed with, or i should just be making pretty paintings in a studio.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I do documentary illustrations and street art.

I work a lot with disadvantaged populations with the vision of helping the voiceless share their voice and the invisible be seen.

I am most proud of a street art installation of 214 5foot portraits of all the victims of the Beirut explosion on Aug 4, 2020. There has been no justice served for these victims or their families, so a team of volunteers installed all of these portraits without permission in the center of Beirut as a memorial and as a protest.

My journey to become an artist has been completely through suffering. I started drawing late in life as i was caring full-time for my mother who was very sick. I started drawing to stay sane. Then my wife and I moved to the Middle East and she got extremely depressed, and I drew to stay sane.

Then I got very depressed and was not healthy at all mentally and art again saved me. So this is where I found my direction is by telling other’s stories through art, and many times the stories are of pain and difficultly but I relate to it bc of my previous experiences.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife, Amber, has been a constant source of encouragement and support. She is the one that would look at me and say…you NEED to get out there. Go find some mischief and be who you are.

Also the gallery I work with Art of Change believed in me and gave me the vision for the role public art can play in a city. They gave me a chance to do murals and pushed me towards large scale street art when previously the largest thing i had ever drawn was an 11×14

Website: www.bradyblack.net

Instagram: bradytheblack

Twitter: 1bradyblack

Facebook: Brady Black

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.