Briana majored in Illustration and Graphic Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where now teaches fashion illustration alongside her bubbling freelance career.
With a background in graphic design, Briana looks for balance in her compositions. She works in multiple media, including ink, watercolour and pastel. “Experimentation as well as a seemingly effortless feel is what I strive for, with an element of realism or likeness,” she says.
Briana’s style is sensitive, loose, intuitive and experimental. When drawing live, a fast and expressive style takes over, whereas her commissions are afforded more time and precision for a finer finish.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator? Briana: I’ve always loved drawing since I was young - never thought I would turn it into a career, but the passion has always been there!Question: Briana: Did you study illustration at college?Question: I attended college at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. I initially started off as a Graphic Design major but quickly realized that there just wasn’t enough drawing for me. Conveniently at the time, there was a combination major of Graphic Design and Illustration and I quickly switched. Briana: Question: Where did you grow up? Briana: I grew up in Orange County, CA.Question: Briana: Where do you live now and what drew you there?Question: After living in the Bay Area (San Francisco and Oakland) for eleven years, my husband and I have returned to Orange County to be closer to family. Briana: Question: Do you have any studio pets? Briana: My little tuxedo cat, Stella, lives in the studio and is a great companion when I am working - she reminds me to take important breaks and to step away from my work from time to time. Question: Briana: Who or What is your biggest inspiration?Question: Nature never fails to bring me back to my roots - I just feel much more grounded and creative after spending a few days in the woods. Couture Fashion Week is always exciting and fascinating for me and a huge source of inspiration as well. Favorite artists include Chuck Close, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Paul Block and David Downton. Briana: Question: How do you get your ideas? Briana: Fashion always has a plethora of inspiration - between textiles, textures, silhouettes and beauty, it’s hard not to find something intriguing or interesting! Question: Briana: Question: Do you collect anything? Briana: I tend to collect small stones and crystals from my travels. Question: Briana: Do you keep a Scrapbook?Question: Pinterest is a great source for me in terms of saving images, artists and the like, but I do not have a physical scrapbook. I do make sure to always have my bristol paper and art supplies with me when I travel though. Briana: Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Briana: I love the excitement of live drawing - I’d love to be able to take that to another level and perhaps draw behind the scenes at fashion shows; also would love to see my work in magazines.Question: Briana: What makes a really good client brief?Question: A client that knows exactly what they want but believes in the artist’s vision and skillset as well makes for such a fantastic experience. Briana: Question: How much of your work is hand drawn? Briana: 100% of it. Majority of my work is incredibly direct and does not involve any sort of sketching or underdrawing.Question: Briana: Who is your art hero?Question: Kenneth Paul Block. Briana: Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Briana: The outdoors. I would love to go backpacking with my husband, but our normal camping is still one of my favorite things to do. Question: Briana: If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?Question: My husband and I would buy a home with studio space for the both of us and space for our family to grow. Briana: Question: Would you continue to illustrate? Briana: Can’t imagine doing anything else for a living!