While most young people are trekking their way through college, Briah Neale has already begun to excel in the real world. The rising star, who is a mixed media artist from Baltimore, recently turned twenty years old in December but has been gaining national and international attention for her work. Capricorns are said to be one of the most stable signs of the zodiac, so no wonder why this talented artist is keeping her cool and staying focused on her craft – even when she’s receiving praise from one of the world’s biggest stars.
Introduction and Interview by Melissa Kimble
What inspires you to create?
I find beauty in everything. My inspiration simply comes from the world around me, my environment.Baltimoreis often portrayed as such a hard and gritty place, but beyond the surface, amongst the chaos, there is something so captivating at the heart of it all.
Recently you’ve received rave reviews from Beyonce’s camp, and even from the Queen Bey herself. How did you react to the news and how has it changed your perspective?
My initial reaction to the post was disbelief. I received so many calls and text telling me to get online, and when I finally saw it for myself I was overwhelmed. Almost instantly I got a large outpour of followers and support. The response was tremendous, not only from here at home but on a global platform as well. I have gotten praise from all over the world, fromGermany,New Zealand,London,ItalyFrance,Brazil,Japan,Canada,Australiaand so many more. It completely changed my perspective on the power of social media, I never believed my work would reach so many.
You’ve always wanted to be an artist since you were a child. What led you to pursue Mixed Media? What are your favorite elements of this medium?
I have recently starting exploring the use of mixed media. It was actually a beautiful mistake, an experiment and I ran with it. I love the depth that the layering of different mediums gives to a piece. Soft brush strokes, juxtaposed again hard, crisp lines, for me makes any image “pop”.
You did take courses briefly at MICA and Stevenson University, but you are primarily self taught. Do you feel that this gives you an advantage or a disadvantage when it comes to your work?
I think the fact that I am primarily self taught gives me an advantage when it comes to my work. I think it gives me an edge. My creativity is boundless. I paint what inspires me, which is a nice change from the monotonous still life drawing or the mechanical techniques you are often taught to employ within all of your work. While I don’t discourage anyone, to pursue art on a college level, it for me was stifling.
For me, make up artistry is an art form, just using an uncommon medium on an already beautiful canvas. “Painting” someone’s face is just as thrilling for me as is my artwork. Hopefully, I can one day merge the two of my passions. I have always took a great interest in special fx makeup artistry, being able to transform someone. For me that is a happy medium. Taking a blank canvas and bringing it to life in a way that has never been seen.
A tremendous talent, this is clearly just the beginning for you. What other artist inspire you and what do you want your work to ultimately say about you as an artist?
I am greatly inspired by the works of Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Jean-Micheal Basquiat, and Vincent Van Gogh. Each of them, have a very distinct style that in uniquely there own. That is what I hope to create with my artwork. I want my work to speak volumes. To inspire. If it says nothing else about me, I want people to see from my work that I am truly passionate about what I do.
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About the Author: Melissa Kimble (@Melissa_Kimble) is not only the Owner and Creator of My Creative Connection; she is also available for hire as a Public Relations and Communications Consultant through The 3178 Agency.