Painting Her Own Story. Meet Artist Brittany Williams

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Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
My name is Brittany Williams. I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. I'm an athlete turned artist. I played Division I college basketball and I also majored in Child Development and Family Relations. I never went to school for art. I improved my art skills by watching a lot of Youtube videos. 

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I'm one of leading artist for Roc Paint Division, the City of Rochester's Youth Mural Arts Program. If i'm not painting, I love learning new food recipes, online shopping, and watching Flee Market Flip with my mother.

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What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a professional athlete. I was a pretty active kid growing up. Sports was always number one on my list. 

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How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced in starting?
My college basketball coach thought it would be cool to show my art in our Senior Banquet.  I was kind of shy about it because drawing was something I did as a hobby. I got some really good feedback from the people who came to the banquet. Once the banquet was done, two of our program supporters asked me if I was selling my drawing. I never sold any of my drawings before. I charged them $25 for each. They were puzzled when I told them the price. They ended up paying me $75 for each drawing. That's when I decided to become an artist. As far as difficulties go, not being taken seriously by some friends and family. 

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In moments of self-doubt, hardships or failure, how do you build yourself back up?
Reflecting on what I have done so far and how I got to this point helps sometimes. You can get caught up in trying to keep up with everybody else. Also, doing activities that aren't art related.

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What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What advice do you wish someone had said to you?
Be patient. I understand things are moving fast due to the internet, but you don't want to experience a burnout trying to keep up. Take the time to perfect whatever medium your'e using. 

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What inspires you?
Everything from real world situations, movies, magazines, and books. Music inspires me too. It plays a big part in my process of making art.  While I'm painting, I'm playing music. I find inspiration everywhere.

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Lettering by Jess Antonow of Bless The Messy

What is your favorite part of what you do?
I like listening to other people perspective on my work. I don't like telling people what they should think. That's why I don't really tell the stories behind my paintings. I focus on creating a good painting.

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What do you find most challenging?
Painting in the heat. When I did my first mural in 2015, it was nothing but sun hitting me while I was painting. There was no shade near my wall, no cloud cover, just sun. It was so exhausting painting in 85+ degree weather. I don't think i'll ever get use to painting in the heat.

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Name some local creatives that you really admire.
Sarah Rutherford, Mr. Prvrt (Justin Suarez), Erich Lehman, and Ian Wilson. They pretty much taught me the pros and cons of the art world.

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