We had the good fortune of connecting with Brantly Sheffield and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brantly, what are you inspired by?
What am I inspired by, right now I have been looking at and learning about Japanese woodblock prints, specifically the concept of Ukiyo or the “floating world”, that was originally a buddhist term that referred to the transient nature of the human experience, but the urban cultures of early modern Japan appropriated its meaning to if life is so transient, then enjoy the momentary pleasures as much as possible. I’ve been thinking about my paintings in this way. They are about those moments, the “good times”. The “good times” with family and friends, events and places. Artists that I look to pretty regularly are Per Adolfsen, Kuniyoshi and Toyokuni prints, Jonas Wood, Jordan Casteel, Henri Matisse, Wayne Thiebaud, I could go on and on.
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.
My work right now is the “good times” from my life. They are paintings of my family and friends, objects, events and places. I like to mix color to break down the subject. I get excited about details within my paintings because it allows for the opportunity to flatten them into abstract forms that are indicative to the subject as a whole. I am still on my professional journey success has happened along the way, This year I’ve been lucky enough to be juried and curated into a few exhibitions. Right now I am a part of Cohort 2 as a studio artist at The Cedars Union Incubator for the Arts, which will help me continue to grow within my career. No, it’s not easy being an artist, but I wouldn’t do anything else, rather I can’t do anything else, well besides teach art, which I do as an adjunct instructor at multiple schools. Most recently I’ve learned to tell my story, however, and for the first time I feel like I am doing that with my work. I have also learned to be patient with myself and my work, to give us the time we need. I am artist, take a look.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If times were normal times I would take them gallery hopping and check out galleries like Erin Cluley Gallery, The 500x, Cris Worley Fine Arts, Ro2, Sweet Pass Sculpture Park, Gallery Urbane, and Liliana Bloch Gallery. We would have to check out The Meadows Museum, DMA, and Nasher Sculpture Center. I’d take them to eat and drink at places like Mac’s Southside, Monica’s, Cedar Springs Tap House, Harlowe MXM, Uncle Uber’s Sammich Shop, Anvil Pub, Wits End, The libertine, and if goth/dark wave night is still a thing at Industry Alley we’d have to check that out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh man where to begin, Everyone at The Cedar Union Incubator for the Arts for giving me a place to work, Joshua Goode has been a great mentor and friend since I moved to Dallas, plus he’s the reason I am here, my roommate Emily for putting up with me, and all the support and love my parents Barbie and Blaine have given me over the years, I love them and can never repay them for that.