Many of our local artisans featured in the shop began with a chance meeting and led to a beautiful collaboration. Our most recent collaboration with local artisan Brittany Fan is one filled with beauty and joy. Her artistic talents are blessing our little shop’s walls, adding color and life to our space. Not to mention the blessing of a fun card design collaboration with Brittany – a whole line of Darling inspired greeting cards are in the works!
Shop Brittany’s original paintings and cards at Darling! And meet the artist in the Q&A below.
Q&A with Brittany Fan
As a local artisan, describe what you do in town.
I am a painter, illustrator, photographer, and graphic designer. During the week, I work as a graphic designer at Journey Group, a wonderful design firm near the downtown mall. In my free time, I do portrait and event photography, ranging from family sessions to weddings. I also do film photography as an art practice, and have hung several shows in local coffee shops featuring prints of images I’ve produced. In addition, I paint and have a downtown exhibition this November through New City Arts, and run an Etsy shop through which I sell hand lettering prints and greeting cards.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? If not the Charlottesville area, what brought you here?
I lived in 3 countries and 5 states growing up, but spent my pre-college years in Blacksburg, Virginia. I attended the University of Virginia, where I earned an interdisciplinary degree in Studio Art, Art History, and Arts Administration, along with a Masters in Elementary Education. Having graduated in May 2015, I am now working as a design assistant at Journey Group, a local design firm, and will be beginning a year-long fellowship through the Trinity Fellows Program in August 2015.
It’s story time. Talk about your collaboration with Darling Boutique.
I met Megan one day when I came into the store, and we ended up having a great conversation that led to a discussion about my work as an painter and photographer, in addition to my recent exploration of card making as a creative outlet. Megan and Linnea had talked about wanting to have more art and carry greeting cards, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a collaboration. You can now find some of my original paintings and cards at Darling.
I’m thrilled to be partnering with these awesome women, because conscious style and cultivating a healthy, fair economy is something else that I am deeply passionate about. I personally love thrifting, reusing, and repurposing things. It gives an individual the opportunity to really define their own unique character and style, while also gives new life to material goods and supporting a local economy. The fashion industry is one of the many global economies where social injustice and poor work condition is rampant, and although it is hard to break the larger cycle on an individual scale, our efforts to steward our material goods well can begin a movement toward style that empowers those who make it possible.
Describe Brittany Fan Art & Photography in 10 words or less.
Harnessing inspiration to cultivate joy and beauty, however I can.
Where do you go to be creative?
I could probably find inspiration in any place or any thing. I do have a tremendous love for nature, and much of my work is inspired by what I see in the natural world. I love to go hiking, grow flowers and plants, explore the outdoors, and go on road trips. As I mentioned before, I also find the kitchen to be a place of creativity, which my friends often benefit from, given the edible nature of what is produced in that scenario.
What aspects of life excite you, stir your affections, fuel your passions, inspire your art?
My faith background definitely impacts my work, in ways that are subtle in the finished product but is integral to my though process and mission as an artist. I am drawn to the natural world, to the theme of hope and renewal, and to the need to love and care for the world and those around you. These are all things that have become integral to my mindset as a result of my upbringing as a Christian, and I am reminded of them on a daily basis through the beautiful landscape around us and the incredible people in my life. I think the notion that we as individuals, imperfect and fragile as we are, have the capacity to do good and to make something of the world is incredible, and that inspires me more than anything else.
When and why did you become an artisan?
I see the world through a lens of creative opportunity, and have cultivated a personal vision to bring attention to beauty and goodness. As an artist, I found myself not drawn to one particular medium, but rather to every avenue of expression as a different tool for sharing this vision with others. This is not only true of the visual arts–I also love the culinary arts, and see that as another way of producing goodness and sharing it with those around me. So I don’t think I ever pursued a particular trajectory toward where I am now–I simply ended up here because I saw opportunities to use art in a positive way, and stepped into those opportunities when they arose. I do the work that I do because I love it and it inspires me, and I hope to inspire others with it.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I am working on several paintings for the show in November, which will be at the Radio IQ/WTVF Gallery. There will be a gallery opening on First Friday in November, so feel free come by to see the work and eat good food that evening! There will be more details on https://newcityarts.org in the upcoming months.
Where can someone find your products, outside of Darling Boutique?
www.etsy.com/shop/ThoughtsAndInklings and brittanyfan.net