Modern Artist: Brandi Milne
Brandi Milne! An artist whose work is full of fun imagery, pastel shades, and sweet delights. Online art resource Wow X Wow has described her pieces as having a “candy-coated visual aesthetic [that] entices us to delve into narratives which bring together themes of innocence and maturity; love and loss; life and death; all the while retaining the ability to induce surprise within the subtlety of her sombre undertones.” In simple terms, Milne is a visual delight whose seemingly simplistic and innocent artwork carry heavy stories within them.
Milne has found great success as an artist, being featured in several famous New Contemporary Art publications such as Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose. According to Wow X Wow, she has had galleries “near and far” and is currently represented by the prestigious Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles. Furthermore, she has collaborated with several companies including Hurley, Billabong, Disney, Sugarpill Cosmetics and Acme Film Works for CVS Pharmacy.
Milne was born in 1976 in Orange County, California. Surrounded by Disneyland, classic cartoons, toys, and candies, Milne lived what she described as a sheltered and devoutly religious childhood. The influence of said upbringing is clear in her stunning artworks, many of her pieces echoing themes of love, loss, and yearning for a higher purpose — all while carrying comforting and joyous imagery. Milne currently resides specifically in the joyously bright location of Huntington Beach, California, having moved there after marrying. It’s clear the sunny nature and paradisiacal scenery of California has had a tremendous impact on her artwork.
What’s even more impressive is that Milne’s incredibly detailed paintings — which often require arduous work — are all the result of being self-taught. Milne never obtained formal training and has developed her artistic skill through experimentation. For Juxtapoz, she described how she enjoys working with paints — specifically acrylics, as well as using pencils. Milne regularly posts on her Instagram videos of her artistic process, highlighting the many layers of paint and focusing on small details required to create her masterpieces.
In her Juxtapoz article, Milne stated the artists that influence her, listing “Lola, Natalia Fabia, Bob Dob, Daniel Peacock, Camille Rose Garcia, Travis Lampe.” She described them as “good people that make wonderful art.” Notably, many of them have been compared to her. For example, Camille Rose Garcia often features similarly innocent, colorful imagery and is another fabulous artist to take a peek at.
Only a few of her images could be presented for this blog, but for many of them she has deeply personal meanings to them which she often reveals on her Instagram. Milne described her painting “Sees Himself For The First Time (Exquisite Within)” (pictured above) as being about “about turning towards one’s self and finding for the first time the ultimate beauty within (each of us). Sadly, this handsome fellow found himself in his [reflection] after death and tragically went his whole life oblivious of his true self/beauty.” Furthermore, her painting “What Are We Afraid Of?” was a “story about where I come from…In the painting, there are 4 portraits – myself and my siblings – and it’s one of the strangest paintings I’ve ever done.” Finally, the third painting featured in this post “Weep Now or Nevermore” focuses on “a story about being pulled down by the heavy moments in life ~ that one has the choice of wallowing in misery or reaching deep within for the strength to pick themselves up and keep moving forward. I’ve been thinking of this much myself lately, how it’s up to ME to keep my head up and face uncertainty daily. This girl with this red wig ~ she picked herself up and she moved forward in her life, and she became stronger than she ever dreamed she was capable.”
Milne’s body of work is a cheerful, sweet surprise that features surreal yet strangely nostalgic settings. She is a wonderful artist to present to a child or somebody fond of youthful imagery. While her paintings will sate their desire for innocent and stunning scenery, they will also appeal to the deeper side of emotions through their surprisingly thoughtful meanings.
Wow X Wow, Brandi Milne – The Moon and Stars and Everything in Between – Artist Interview
Widewalls, Brandi Milne
Juxtapoz, Back Talk: A Conversation with Brandi Milne
Instagram, Brandi Milne