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Brandi Leah Hofer

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Brandi Hofer is a fine artist from Lloydminster. Her art is the by-product of her life experiences and is dependent upon the immediacy of the moment, describing both mood and self-perception.
“There is something uniquely magical about being an artist and seeing the world in a special way.”
- Brandi Hofer

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your education – anything you wish to share! I was born and raised in Lloydminster Alberta, to a supportive and loving family. My parents were extremely open minded to anything I was interested in – allowing me to experience the world first hand. Upon graduating high school I decided to peruse the Bachelor of Fine Arts Transfer program in Red Deer Alberta. Red Deer College offered a tremendously open and supportive staff, the experience there was amazing, I owe a lot of my success to them! They have since expanded the program and the facility. It is absolutely stunning. I had the pleasure of returning as an Artist in residence in 2011. 
In 2006 I transferred to NSCAD University in Halifax Nova Scotia. The East coast offered a lot of beauty and a change from growing up in the prairies. While attending the University I experienced challenges that pushed me further to explore my boundaries, allowing me to find myself as an artist. After obtaining my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 2008 from NCAD I moved back home to be close to family in Lloydminster. 
My work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and France. They have appeared in publications including Saskatchewan Arts Board Annual Report and The online Saatchi Gallery has highlighted my work in their “Artist to Watch” category on their website. Most recently I was interviewed by CBC in Regina to discuss the portrait I made of Jann Arden in which she purchased. 
I am involved in the Saskatchewan Craft Council, the Edmonton Arts Council, and CARFAC Saskatchewan. I have participated in residencies at Red Deer College, Toronto Island and the Marnay Art Centre, in Paris France, and was part of artist Robin Lambert's project “The only thing I know for sure is that while I am looking for you, you are looking for me”, in Montreal, Quebec.
Currently I am employed as the Operations and Promotions Coordinator at the Vic Juba Community Theatre in Lloydminster. 
When did you start painting and how did you learn? Can you tell us about the types of media you use and your process to create your pieces? I began painting at a very young age, as I mentioned before my parents were supportive in my explorations despite the messes I tended to make. We have several videos of me in my craft corner with my painting creations, as well as some not so great instances of me deciding to bring the sandbox from outside to inside. I believe I kept my mom on her toes! 
My work and contemporary process is the by-product of my life experiences. It is dependent upon the immediacy of the moment, describing mood and self-perception. As a result the work that I am creating is the outcome of my subconscious. Female portraits and abstract works have been the focus of my artistic practice for many years. My primary mediums have consisted of oils, acrylics, mixed media, and encaustic wax. My artworks are a collection of abstracts and portraitures – the outcome merges into range of artworks. The powerful story is told with a few non-representative strokes, which like many of the pieces, is dominated by black shapes. The portraitures leave you with a feeling of a person rising through the paint, emerging from below. There's something surprising, magical even, about how the broad strokes can depict a specific face and evoke something of the subject's personality or mood (as well as those of the artist). The definition of beauty is a combination of qualities…such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight, a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense.
Do you find music influences your creation and if so what types of music do you enjoy listening to? Being an expressionist I depend a lot on mood – usually I play music that describes my mood in that moment. Primarily I love folk music. Sometimes there are times when I really like to dance, sing out loud and get moving though – so then I put on more energetic music. Having grown up in a household that is very musical I think that is where that influence derives from. 
How do you refresh your creativity/inspiration and clear your mind when you’re feeling burnt out? Most recently I became a Mom so I feel burnt out on a regular basis, but happy about it – such a fine balance! It is such a treat to be able to get into my art studio and create, I am immediately enjoying myself and letting go! If I am in a funk art wise, I just keep working through it, if it's not a successful piece of artwork then I just keep painting over it. Sometimes my paintings have up to 5 paintings underneath them. This process of "painting over" gives my work more life and depth. 
I also find it extremely important to exercise daily and eat well. In practicing that I find I am a happier more productive artist, mother, person, and wife.
Many artists (of all types) compare their work to others and criticize themselves. What advice can you give on achieving a positive, person artistic identity? Being critical just comes with the territory – I believe that you are your own worst critic and you should not compare yourself to others. You should always just personally become better and grow. Moving forward in your own life and perusing your goals is what is most important. You should only look to others for inspiration!
What is the best advice someone has given you? I wouldn’t say my mom directly "said" this to me, however, she definitely instilled these values while raising three children: morals, integrity, confidence, conviction, and honesty! 
If you could spend a day with another artisan who would you pick? I would pick someone that I could learn something from. Hmmm…I think I would choose Picasso; he is not my favorite artist but he was around at an interesting time and has such a vast pallet of work.
What is your favorite time of the day and why? If I can get up in the morning I always enjoy them. I like to make a cup of tea and a little breakfast and then work on my computer! If I am have the pleasure of being in a large city I love dining hour, a great dinner pared with great company, and nice wine! In the summer I love to go watch the sun setting on the water at my dad’s acreage with my sister while she plays guitar.
How do you balance home life and find time to paint? Hmm…balancing life and art and finding time to paint has always been a challenge! I have always juggled painting in between working full time, or now parenting full time. I would say the latter (parenting) is A LOT more time consuming and challenging time wise, as I am sure other parents with a new baby would agree! Keeping my art practice going is mostly moving around art that I created previous to having a baby and keeping my online posts fresh for my audience. It is always a treat to make it into the studio and create something. I don't take time for granted anymore – no procrastinating for this Mama! If I have a free 15 minutes I run around and make those the most productive 15 minutes of all time! Right on cue he is up - got to go!!
Last question. What do you love most about what you do? Creating makes me feel so good - therapeutic in a way. It is my passion in life, along with my family and cooking. There is also something uniquely magic about being an artist and seeing the world in a special way. I feel honored to hone in on that ability.

Two Thousand and Fifteen

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year friends! I agree with what everyone has been saying…2014 was incredible. Getting my dream camera, a trip to St. Lucia, a trip to Italy, shooting my first wedding, 20+ awesome photo shoots, meeting some amazing new friends – the list goes on! The other night Kyle and I went skating and talked about our goals for 2015. This is the first year we actually wrote them down and put them on our desks so we can view them every so often. I think the reason so many of us don’t live up to our resolutions is simple because we get busy and forget about them. 

Many of my goals this year are photography related. I had my first session of the year yesterday (sweetest couple ever!) which went great - a great way to kick the season off. I can’t wait to share with you. Another inspirational interview is scheduled with a local artist whose work is incredible! And I also have a few other exciting projects up my sleeve which will be revealed soon.

Getting to capture people or things that have a story to tell and then share it with you is amazing…it’s the reason I fell in love with photography in the first place. And I'm excited about getting to do some many fun projects in the future. 

Thanks for reading. Cheers!!