We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Chaney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, the decisions we make often shape our story in profound ways. What was one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make?
Hands down, quitting my recent teaching job has been the most difficult decision I’ve made. In the midst of the pandemic, during summer break, I found myself in an unexpectedly prolific state. I mostly spent my time at home in my underwear, making conceptual sculptures and finding my voice as an artist. I’ve had a life filled with creativity and art, but I had never been willing to admit that artist was the career I desired. As the school year inched closer, for the first time, I considered what my life could be like if I did what i wanted instead of settling. One thing led to another, shit lined up, and I took the leap.
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.
Under the Made By Mom brand there are two main branches, contemporary art and graphic apparel. I started out by designing and printing t-shirts in my garage for myself, then slowly found an audience in my close friends. The ideas multiplied and my knowledge of not only making shirts, but the business of selling them, began to grow through years of experience. TRADE is where all of my printed and pressed apparel is housed now, as well as my personal website. I just started making hoodies featuring abstract compositions that people seem to be really interested in, so that is exciting. As far as the art branch, that is a more recent development. The most important thing I’m working on now is a series conceptual sculpture that is inspired by the current sociopolitical context of America. These pieces will be on display at TRADE in a solo exhibition the first weekend of November. These artworks were ultimately the catalyst to my decision to pursue art full time.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I actually don’t like going out much so I would honestly just invite them to my house. Hahaha! I would most likely subject them to hanging out with me while I work on my art or make shirts. We might grab some shitty fast food or I may cook depending on how deep I’m into the work. If we just had to go out I may take them to Alamo Drafthouse or Texas Theatre to see a movie and grab a drink. That’s as adventurous as I get most days.
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?
A large part in my decision to leave my job had to do with a recent opportunity I was given by Corrie Pocta of TRADE. TRADE is a recently opened studio space and retail shop where local artists are able to create their art and handcrafted products to share with the Dallas community. In addition to housing artist’s goods, the space currently hosts ceramics classes and soon textiles, which will be taught by me. Corrie invited me into this new venture and has given me a platform to take my creative endeavors to the next level.
Milton Garay and Kalan Briggs