Bryan Bromstrup hails from Beech Grove, Indiana which is a suburb of Indianapolis. We decided to feature him an artist spotlight this week.
Tell us the story about how you became an artist.
My Great Grandmother, was an oil painter. She encouraged and taught my mother to paint as well. Later in life my Grandfather (Mother’s Dad and son of my Great Grandmother) took up oil painting in his retirement. For about the last 10 years my mother has been encouraging me to join in the family tradition. While sitting discussing Christmas with Mom in December of 2012, she was asking about gift options. As always I said, I was old enough and she did not need to bother with a gift, but what came out was "okay I’ll give painting a try." I asked her to put some “hand me down” paints, brushes and canvas together that she was not using and I would give it the old college try. Of course she went right out and bought me the first oil supplies! Still nervous with no classic art training and no art class since the 80’s I let the supplies sit for about a month looking at them every day until I set my mind to it. After watching a couple of Bob Ross Joy of Painting episodes on YouTube, I punched out my first piece in late January of 2013. Ninety plus pieces later I can say the rest is history.
What’s your connection to the cause of the See America campaign and how is it reflected in your art?
I have always loved the National Parks. Visiting for vacations and enjoying all there is to take in. While reading National Parks Magazine, I came across an article for the See America Project and immediately wanted to be involved. The first choice for me was Badlands National Park. On New Year’s Day 2014, I sat down and painted what became my first contribution. After, I felt motivated to contribute as much as I could to C.A.N. and the See America Project. I went back to previous works and started a number of new pieces immediately. As an amateur photographer I knew there was a great amount from my Park visits across the US for my art to expand and include both unique views of my photos transitioned into posters and for original oil works as well.
The original painting for Bryan's submission to See America on the Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. Click on the image to see the final design.
How do you come up with your ideas? What’s your process like?
I paint what I enjoy in life. It might be from pop culture or from seeing something while traveling. It has come from music, television, the movies and of course anything that catches my eye. I have learned something new from every oil painting I have ever done. Getting older, I find the artist part of me has come to the forefront. Expanding the simple things I always did into bigger pieces of art. In my fulltime employment, I am very process and detailed oriented so when it comes to artwork, I might sketch some and then paint but the true feeling comes when I let real world business go and enjoy the process of just letting the brush work its magic. Very few of my paintings overlap in what they represent with no distinct style. I like to call my art “Bryanism”.
What are you working on these days when you’re not designing for CAN?
Vacation T-shirt designs, rung hooking patterns for my wife Lanie, and music compilations playlists, are always ongoing. In addition, “Awesomizing” iPhone apps and learning Adobe tools are growing platforms. As for oil painting, I continue to expand my horizons. And I never leave home without my camera.
What have you done with the money you’ve received from CAN?
When I first received the check a week ago, I was just going to frame it. After bragging that I was “no longer a starving artist” and pumping friends and family to check out the website further, I decided to cash the check and go to the nearest National Park.
Our Green New Deal campaign premiered on March 14, 2019 in Washington D.C., at Bold V. Old, a daylong convening where speakers including Stacey Abrams, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris discussed bold ideas for our biggest problems, including the Green New Deal. On March 16 In Oakland, CA, Creative Action Network joined artists and activists at the Green New Deal Create-A-Thon, where youth artists from the Sunrise Movement and others worked on new designs for the collection. Youth activist Rio says that after seeing videos of Greta Thunberg leading student climate strikes in Europe, “me and my sister were empowered to make some sort of difference.” Rio and his sister Maddy recently rose to internet stardom when their student group confronted Senator Feinstein about the Green New Deal a few weeks ago. Maddy says she is now “trying to make my voice be more heard, go to marches, and more creative stuff, definitely!”