On "Artist You Oughta Know," we introduce you to artists that you...well, oughta know. Be it for their distinctive style or their sheer talent, these are artists from all over the country who deserve your time, attention and support. Today's artist is the endlessly creative illustrator, muralist and designer BROOKLYND.
BROOKLYND used to imagine a memorial service for her artistic career. Her visions played out like nightmares, complete with a gravestone marked “My Dignity” and, six feet below, BROOKLYND herself. All of these visions started the same way, too: Droopy petals.
“In the past, if I was drawing flowers and they looked lack-luster, I would criticize myself for being bad at drawing petals,” she explains. “I felt doomed to be Wonky Flower Girl until I redrew them for the millionth time to get the perspective correct.”
Over time, the artist has learned to be kinder to herself. She’s adjusted her approach, too, delving deep into research on her subjects. Perhaps most importantly, she’s developed trust in herself.
“I trust my ability to pull through struggles, and don't hold myself accountable for skills I have yet to master,” she says. “I know I will eventually get there, and in the meantime I try to foster joy along the path of patience and learning.”
Photo by Chris Wegener
BROOKLYND, whose real name is Brooklynd Turner, was born in Dallas. She left home to earn a BFA at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and launched her career in the same city with Emotional Clarity, a solo exhibition featuring a variety of mixed-media, 2D and 3D installations.
“Viewers were invited to engage with the art and each other in ways that dismantled traditional gallery expectations,” she says. “I’m humbled and grateful to say most of the art sold, and now lives in the homes of wonderfully diverse collectors.”
BROOKLYND moved back home after completing her degree, and since then, she’s continued to focus on the theme of emotional clarity. She also enjoys exploring the theme of oneness with nature and all beings, and frequently employs a mix of mediums to convey her vision. The return to Dallas brought its fair share of challenges, too.
She started working with businesses, making logos and packaging designs, but she longed for the creative freedom she had in Minneapolis. When she started weaving murals into her schedule, she realized she had a passion for the craft of creating murals. More importantly, she learned how much happier she is when she’s pursuing work that fulfills her.
“I slowly shifted the direction of my work trajectory to revolve around art I am passionate about,” she says. It took more effort on her part, including plenty of sleepless nights in the studio, but, as she says, “the hustle was worth it to spend every day doing what I love.”
Photo by Brandy Michele Adams
Nowadays, BROOKLYND is feeling happy, fulfilled and busy. She still has plenty of long nights, but to her, the grind will always be worth it.
“I see myself and all artists, especially women, working to change the system as a team,” she says. “My success is their success, and I take every opportunity to admire their light when they shine.”
As for those visions of her career’s demise? Like the days when BROOKLYND would admonish herself and her work, those visions are a thing of a past.
“Every day I strive to grow my career with honesty, punctuality, and optimism,” she says, “because when all of those elements synchronize, it feels like creating real magic.”