What I enjoy most is painting, I think I have a long way to go and that this is just the beginning. I have thousands of ideas that I am wanting to materialize, I feel that every day I evolve and that motivates me a lot!

Meet our first Guest Curator of the month of April, Brianda Fitz James Stuart. A multidisciplinary woman who has entered the art world as a designer, DJ and now, as an illustrator. We had the opportunity to meet with her at her home/studio in Madrid and discover more closely the universe of this young artist.

DS: Tell me a little about yourself. How have your roots influenced who you are today?

BFJS: I imagine that like everybody else, part of me is genetics, another the education and environment in which you grow up, feeling loved is the best thing that can happen to you, the experiences you live and finally some mysterious ingredient to add to the Cocktail shaker and Pum! All a character!

DS: What do you do and why?

BFJS: I’m a designer and illustrator.

I always knew that I wanted to dedicate myself to something artistic and work with my hands. The most satisfying thing about being a designer is being able to see a beautiful and useful object materialized after many hours of effort!

I especially like to make prints because the possibilities are endless, you can stamp anything you can think of.

The challenge of facing a new product makes me never get bored! Each material asks for a different reason, it is exciting to study the possibilities that each object has.

As all my designs always start from hand drawing and painting, little by little, I have been led to specialize in illustration and make more and more creative projects.

DS: What is the process like of each of your portraits? Guide us a little by your mind and work routine.

BFJS: My routine has been changing over the last few years. Since at the beginning I had so many different projects it was practically nonexistent. Each job required a different timing.

Now that I’m focused on painting, I need to go to the countryside, away from the madding crowd, to not have distractions and to be able to deepen my painting. It is essential to be in contact with nature and be able to see the horizon.

I have realized in these years, how important it is to have a routine and to find it you have to focus on just one thing, so I think, that my natural inertia will be living in the countryside like a hermit!

DS: What is it that you enjoy the most during the creative process?

BFJS: Except when I face the blank page and the classic angst and insecurities, the rest I enjoy very much! It’s funny, on the one hand, there are all kinds of intense emotions and at the same time it is relaxing, many things happen while you paint!

DS: We’ve only found your profile as an illustrator on Instagram. Do you consider that it is a vital platform for any artist to make himself known?

BFJS: I have a web, I have to update it, I think it happens to everyone, having your web updated is as difficult as understanding quantum physics. Instagram is an amazing tool for work, it has infinite opportunities and it’s easy to update … hahaha. I think that nowadays is essential. By mixing the personal with the professional it becomes a time bomb that has us all addicted. It’s dangerous!

DS: Throughout your career, you have worked in different artistic disciplines as a fashion designer, DJ or illustrator. What fills you the most?

BFJS: What I enjoy most is painting, I think I have a long way to go and that this is just the beginning. I have thousands of ideas that I am wanting to materialize, I feel that every day I evolve and that motivates me a lot!

DS: Last year your first illustrated book was published, “The Superpowers of Art.” How did this project arise?

BFJS: I’ve been wanting to illustrate a book for some time, there’s nothing like wanting something much to make it happen. Mosquito Books trusted me and we made a gem of a book. From that first book, there has been emerging more and more books such as Bri Anda Dibujando, a compilation of my best drawings since 2004 to date with the publisher Paripé Books. The book is beautifully edited, I feel very lucky to have been able to make such a book.

And since all good things come in threes, on June 11 my third book comes out this time with the publisher Lunwerg. This book has been my most personal project so far, I am very excited! I’ve been locked in the countryside for two and a half months painting, writing and shaping this book. I count the days to have it in my hands!

DS: What techniques do you use to make your illustrations?

BFJS: I always paint on paper, lately I work almost all the time with acrylics but I also use watercolours, ink, marker and retouching with the computer!

DS: If it were not the illustration, what would it be?

BFJS: I always wanted to be a musician, at some point in my life I would like to learn to properly play an instrument. It would be a dream come true!

DS: If you could collaborate with a classic artist of art history, who would it be?

BFJS: I think that with Leonardo da Vinci, it would be incredible to be able to meet him and more to work!

DS: Your favorite artwork

BFJS: I have many, so let me think now, Botticelli’s Spring, Arcimboldo’s Vertunmus, Fra Angelico’s Announcement, Patinir’s Stygian Lagoon, The table of the seven deadly sins of Bosch …

DS: What emerging artists do you follow or inspire you?

BFJS: I really like the painter Jorge Diezma, the illustrator Isabelle Feliu and Maria Melero, Maria J Luque, Eleanor Taylor, Maira Kalman, Angela Deligner …

DS: A fear.

BFJS: Speaking in public, it terrifies me!

DS: A phrase

BFJS: Your character creates your destiny.

DS: What is beauty?

BFJS: For me, beauty is a harmony in the shapes and colours that makes you vibrate.

DS: Tell us about your Dustandsoul selection, what has inspired you when it comes to making it?

BFJS: I was basically inspired by what I would like to have in my house, it’s that simple!

DS: Define dustandsoul in three words.

BFJS: Vanguard crafts.

DS: What are you working on right now?

BFJS: Of what I am allowed to say, I’m finishing the final touches of the book “Mi Universo Re-creativo curiosidades y otras bestias” for the Lunwerg publishing house, a print for La Casita de Wendy and more secret things that I will soon be able to unveil…


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