Wednesday, September 5, 2012


     One of my favorite artists is having a show: Brianna Reagan's "Word A Day" project will be exhibited at Well Street Art Co. in the 'Banks, with a First Friday opening reception this Friday, September 7th, @5pm. On display will be approximately 250 pen & ink pieces she has been generating with an intensity and discipline that is either intimidating or inspirational: if a fraction of the other artists cranked out content, commissions and creativity of this caliber the Alaskan artworld would be a better place. After exemplifying the qualities of an "A+" student in the UAF Art Department, after graduation she hit the tundra running and keeps consistently producing art as a part of the Interior community.
     My obvious, personal bias aside, artists who have a strong foundation in drawing skills - particularly pen & ink - have a confidence, boldness and power that really comes through. And if that is matched hand-in-glove with concept, then it's unstoppable. This show promises to be a tour-de-force of talent.

In her own words:
"So the backstory is that this project actually started in 2011, and crashed/burned by February. It started as an exercise to draw everyday, get the creative inks flowing (who uses juice?!), and ultimately make me stop editing myself. With this project I only had one day to create an illustration, so there was no time dismiss an idea because I thought people wouldn't like it. There was no time to be critical of it. Since the 2011 project had no end goal, it was easy to dismiss it when it got in the way of other projects.

When 2012 rolled around I had put more thought into the project, and lined up a First Friday showcase to work towards. I also made my illustrations half the size from the first trial so as to manage multiple other projects as well. The first illustrations in January still took 2-3 hours to sketch, ink, scan, and post, and I even worked on them during my lunch hour at work so shave off time in my evenings. Now, my routine is pretty set in 1-2 hours tops, right when I get home from work before I do anything else.

The vast majority is pen & ink, with an ink wash for gradients. A few illustrations demanded color (red), however, so there are some random ones in the mass that have the red permanent marker, prismacolor marker, or watercolor addition.

The funnest month was July, where I got my friends and fans involved and had them offer up words for me to illustrate. It was REALLY exciting to see how many people were so eager to be a part of this project, and fascinating to get such a variety of words they wanted me to draw."
*Update: Here's a nice write-up in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (link).

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