Sandra Rose Brand

Artist and Illustrator

What is the most significant aspect of your work?

Feelings. I believe that human emotions are the most valuable and vulnerable part of being alive. And I want people to feel things when they look at my art.

Being a practitioner of both digital and traditional art, what do you think about these mediums?

I do a lot of digital works, that’s the main form of art that I share with the world. And quite a bit of water colour. I am really inspired by traditional fine art due to my studies at art school, and I’ve always been in love with the look of painterly brushstrokes; they feel so real and raw. Even when I do digital works, I try to capture that organic feel.

How do you seek to connect with your audience through your work?

I think I like to explore growth because I think people are constantly growing and changing and experiencing. It’s one of the main things about being human. There’s constant change all the time. You always have to be experiencing new things and going through new things.

I also like the idea of hope. Even though there’s a lot of struggle and everyone has their own crap going on. There’s always going to be obstacles. But there’s also a lot of hope that things will get better. That things may not be the way you want them to be right now, but they are just the way that they are and that’s good in itself.

Would you like to talk us through your recent works?

Yes of course. My recent project is about the concept of change. It follows a series of little character that I’ve created, a deep sea diver who’s kind of isolated, dreamy. It’s sort of a surreal filter on life. I use quite a lot of visual metaphors, which I love as it can be interpreted in many different ways. To me, the diver symbolises the “self” in general and the thoughts and feelings that you have while you go through intense change. Growth can lonely sometimes, and you need to spend a lot of time with yourself to reflect on what’s going on and really learn from what’s happening. And with this work I would like to convey that yes it’s scary, yes it’s isolating, yes there are times where you have to be alone, but it doesn’t last forever. That you’re only going to be at the bottom of the ocean deep in your helmet for a certain amount of time but it will get better.

I’ve recently introduced a new character, little astronaut character that, to me, represents my support network and everybody out there, and just people you would go stargazing together with.

Another recent piece which has become my favourite because it means so much to me, is called Life in Spring. It’s a symbol of me outgrowing what kept me trapped from the world. And even though it kept me safe for the time being, it also kept me from being truly alive. Despite having to risk pain and death to take off the mask, the painting represents the hope that I have deep down. This painting is more than just pixels on a screen. It is a sign of hope which I think is secretly embedded in people who are going through hard times in life and which will cause them to grow and be free eventually.

One piece, called the Metamorphosis seems intriguing. I wonder what has inspired the concept of the hourglass?

Basically, the hourglass represents time. My diver is obviously in a lot of pain; trapped in time and unable to escape - like a lot of people. However, I want to convey that it takes time to grow, and that these growing pains are essential. Even though life hurts a lot at times and you want to give up, there are beautiful things growing from it that you just can’t see yet . But eventually those beautiful things will break out and you will be free.

Who do you think has inspired you to make art? It can be an artist, family member, boyfriend?

It’s more the experience that I have with these people that inspired me to make art, rather than a specific person. It’s the moments that I have with them when I forget the rest of the world exists. So art-making is my way of connecting with other people deeply, and show them parts of my soul that I can’t express in any other way.

How do you think your art has changed throughout the years from perhaps, when you just began drawing as a kid?

I guess I’ve become a lot more mindful about the existence of others in this world. I mean when you’re a kid, you kinda just draw a unicorn just for yourself. But now when you get older you kinda realise that art can be a means to convey the host of emotions and experiences that many people in this universe can relate. So a way to connect with them is through the creation of art.

Is there an artist who has informed your art style.

My favourite artist at the moment is Marco Bucci, his raw, painterly style and mastery of colour and conveying emotion through it is just super inspirational. I am also incredibly inspired by his story in that his journey to becoming an artist was anything but linear.

What aspects of art-making do you love the most?

When I make art, I don’t exist. The only thing that matters to me in that moment is the art and the moment I spend creating that art. That state that I get into is just the most blissful. It’s almost as if I am not making the art, but am just the vessel through which deeper concepts are being conveyed. The art creates itself. Time stands still. And I am just a pair of hands that bring concepts into being. Art-making gives me the ability to access the most raw form of humanity and with it I hope to weave people together from across the world. Because at its core, our connection to each other and the moments that we share is what makes our lives so precious and beautiful.

Monica Renaud

Tiffany Ho

Artist of the Week Gallery

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