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Artist Shop Spotlight: Bri Buckley

Bri Buckley didn’t set out to become an artist. In fact, he spent years working as an interior designer, oftentimes creating oil pieces or abstracts for clients when a space called for something special. Realizing he had the makings of an entirely different career on his hands, he decided to pursue art full time, and the rest, as they say, is history. Whimsical and often inspired by the peaceful Irish countryside he calls home, his work is now available in Threadless Artist Shops as t-shirts, hoodies, wall art, and more. Read on to learn more about Bri, and check out his Artist Shop here!

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Meet Bri Buckley, avatar style.

Hi, Brian! Welcome to Threadless Artist Shops. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hey! Well, I live in a little house in Ireland’s countryside, up a very steep hill next to a big tree that’s always full of birds. It’s here that I like to create things like paintings, illustrations, and complex collages, and I love doing it. I live with my wife and two kids and a dog called Jake. I have been doing art full time for a few years now, and here I am finally opening a Threadless Artist Shop. Exciting!

It sounds like you came into art later in life, while working in interior design. Would you say this was simply an intuitive move?

I was always playing around with canvases, mainly very large oil pieces which I would sell to clients. A lot of them have found happy homes over the years. I began putting my works online with my own website in late 2012, because it seemed like a natural progression for me to offer my prints and illustrations as home decor, and I have never looked back since.

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Shop “Giraffe Days Let’s Tandem”

Do you find it surprising that you’re currently making a career of art? If so, why?

Well I was always working in a creative environment, so I guess it is the same thing, just with a smaller brush. :) You need to put in a lot of dedication and time to get your work recognized. There are some amazing artists out there at the moment and I think there is room for all of us to be successful.

Your aesthetic features a compelling collaboration of mixed media and both traditional and modern elements. How did you develop this style?

I like to play… I guess it evolved from constant trial and error; mixing things up, doing animals in huge paper cut or gouache, in patterns, in inks… and then incorporating all those mediums into one. It’s a complex way to do things, but it brings an individual feel to a subject. I do it with skylines as well; making patterns with paper and then breaking it all up digitally and putting it all back together. It works most of the time. My favourite is paper cut collages though; no rules, just lay it down. I am self-taught and have found using those different elements all in one suited me with what I was trying to achieve. I try to keep them as traditional as I can, but for print reproduction, there is always some element of a digital graphic to keep them crispy clean.

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Shop “Hue Monster”

Why are animals often the subject of your work? What about them do you find inspiring?

I love doing animals in any format, as I like wildlife and nature. When living in the countryside you see a lot of animals (a hell of a lot of cows!), and I have drawn many of them. It’s also a break from creating skylines or abstracts, and they are such fun to do – you can put them on bikes, in hot air balloons, hats, jumpers, suits, boots. I think the choices with animals are endless with your imagination in any medium; you can make them into characters and give them their own little personality. They are a very whimsical subject to play with, and they also look great on other products like pillow covers, etc., so I will always have them tucked inside my portfolio.

How does color influence your work?

Color is just a five letter word but packs a huge punch. You know how a person’s face looks when they see a rainbow? That’s the power of color – it’s an instant reaction, and the same applies to art. I love all the reds, burnt earthly colors, deep blues, and even cold greens. When placed nicely together, it creates a rainbow. :)

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Shop “Mr. Tweet”

Why do you believe color is such an important element to introduce to one’s environment?

When we open our eyes first to this world, we are bombarded with color – from deep blue skies to ever changing trees, it’s fascinating. We all have our own favorite colors, and it brings out our personality and character like nothing else. Color creates moods, laughter, stillness, and relaxation, whether it’s in the home, office, or in a frame. You can turn a bland square room upside down and inside out with color if you wish. When chosen correctly, color always sets the tone.

Your pieces often have a sense of humor or whimsy to them. Why do you gravitate toward this style?

My art can be whimsical, and sometimes quirky. I try to set out for them to be fun, happy-go-lucky pieces for the viewer. Putting a smile on someone’s face is priceless, and I enjoy giving a charming story to my work in my own unique way.

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Shop “Bootleg Beagle”

Why do you feel your Threadless Artist Shop will be an advantageous outlet for your work?

Having my own little store on Threadless is a big deal for me; it gives me an organized outlet to sell my work on cool products for folks who wish to purchase them. That’s important for any artist, as it is difficult to create and run a store with logistics, etc. Having options like Threadless, where I can open a store for my work, is excellent for me at this time.

Any other shout-outs?

A big hello to all the fab artists I come across on a daily basis, in all the places we mingle. I hope to see you all on Threadless Artist Shops soon!

Check out Bri’s Artist Shop here!

Shawn Gauthier

Content Manager & Writer at Threadless. Into the usual stuff like words and music and internet animals.