Do you remember that high school sweetheart you never got over, or doodling your dreams onto scraps of paper during classes? I’m Tracy Dawn Brewer, and let me take you on a walk down my memory lane, reminiscing about my life and my passion for art, sparked by the simplicity of doodling. We'll explore how a small-town upbringing and a family who loved reading, shaped my love for the arts and my creative process. The hurdles I crossed while trying to get into art school are also part of the conversation.
As we move ahead, I will share my artistic aspirations, the delight of creating art, both digitally and traditionally, and my dreams of opening a gallery studio, and a shared maker space. You'll get a glimpse into my art classes, my fondness for miniatures, and my active use of social media to share my work. And, we'll wrap it all up with the importance of staying true to oneself or being Brewtifully Made, as I like to call it. Don’t forget to check out the show notes for further information on the topics discussed and more.
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Artivive- Augmented Reality
My book - One Wacky Week -on Amazon
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Portfolio website: Brewtifully.com
LinkedIn: Tracy Dawn Brewer
Art Classes with Ali Kay Studio
Catch the doodles on YouTube
Sign up for my monthly newsletter
Portfolio website: Brewtifully.com
LinkedIn: Tracy Dawn Brewer
Hey, happy Friday. This is the inaugural episode of Brutifully Made, my creative podcast. Thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoyed this little personal introduction about me and a little bit about my life and my creative process and some of my artistic dreams. So thanks for tuning in and let's dive into this first episode. Okay, welcome to the first episode of Brutifully Made. I'm Tracy Dom Brewer. I own a creative company in Canton, ohio called Brutifully, and I'm really excited to share my thought processes in the creative world, what I've been doing to create on a consistent basis, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to also just invite guests and friends, family that I know that are trying to make their way in the world, not only just creatively, but small business-wise, and what they're doing to keep motivated Along the lines of being creative. I love to doodle. I am going to doodle while I chat with you today and every day, and I also invite any of the guests that I have on the podcast to do the same. I'm just gonna bring up a little prompt on Wanna Draw, which is an app. It's a free app, so see what it says that we're going to draw today Jack Skellington as a pro wrestler. That's interesting. Let's draw Jack Skellington as a pro wrestler and I live in Canton, ohio. I live with my husband, brian, who I have known since we were 12 years old, junior high when we met more or less I guess junior high kind of starts seventh grade, but we were 12. He was playing basketball and I was a cheerleader, and our community is really small where we grew up and they had basketball teams at each of the elementary, which was also combined middle schools. So that's what we did for extracurriculars and his team from Allensville was playing, my team from Zalewski. But we did go through high school together and graduated high school together in the same class and pretty much just went our separate ways. We were in art class together in high school, so I always think that's really kind of cool. So he joined the Air Force and I went to college and we both got married to obviously different people. Each of us had children. Each of us had three children. He had three boys and I had three girls. You're like the Brady Bunch. Yes, we realized that. We think it's kind of funny. Long story many, many years, decades later we reconnected in our high school's Facebook page for our class reunion. He was in Iraq at the time and I was here in the States and I was taking my daughters on a vacation. He reached out and said hey, I used to live in that state. Tell me where you're going. So I told him and he said could I catch up with you by phone? Can I give you a call? And I said sure. So he called me and I heard his voice for the first time in over 20 years. So that's just a little bit about me and my family and how my husband and I met. But I have been creative for years Since I was in second grade. I remember we had this big project and it was to paint a mural in our classroom and she selected two people to paint the reindeer and Santa's sleigh and I was one of them on one of the chalkboards. We covered the chalkboards with paper and we painted and I just remember loving doing that and I was seven years old and that really was one of the first things that I remember doing, thinking I want to do this when I grow up. And I watched my mother, who was also a very creative artist. She could draw very realistically. So I had to, in my mind, draw realistically. It had to be exactly so. I think a pretty good little parrot we shot in Vitton County and there really wasn't a lot to do and let alone A lot of places to shop. There wasn't really a movie theater close by, not until I got into high school there was one. It was just. You know, we'd have done a farm when I was eight years old it was my grandpa's farm and we would order library books from the library in town and they would ship them in these paper mailers to us and it was a selection from this form that you would check off, mail it back. They would mail you the books you would get to keep them first along, then mail them back, and I loved to do that because it was a way to have them. And I remember my family had this encyclopedia set and it was, I think, from my grandpa's furniture store. My dad got it and, literally like my brother, I have three brothers. They were younger than me and the oldest of the three would read every encyclopedia back to front. I mean, we read everything we could get our hands on, and so they had these beautiful illustrations of historical figures and I would recreate them as paper dolls and change up their clothes and, you know, draw them all the time. And I would make my own cartoons by folding a piece of paper over and drawing the movements and then rolling it on a pencil, going back and forth really fast to watch it move. I made tons of those. I would keep them in a box and carry them around at school. I, just in my dream, I wanted to illustrate, for, like Disney, I wanted to do that as a job, but it didn't seem realistic to me because of where we lived and what opportunities were there. I mean, the art classes that I had in school were the only art classes that I had, and I can remember going into college wanting to apply to art school and they were asking for a portfolio and I had no idea what that was. I literally had a little bit of a modeling career because I was, I don't know, in a modeling school in Chillicothe, ohio, and I got jobs doing that and I had a portfolio of pictures for modeling and that's what I thought that they would. I had no idea. I was so, so naive growing up, just didn't know and I didn't get to apply to art school because it wasn't going to be a realistic career for where I grew up and my parents were like, well, you know, you're the first one to go to college and really think you should pick a career that you can do here in this county, because they just didn't see really past that. So we really think you should change that course. So the only thing that I could think of was art education. I could teach art. So that's the path I started on and I started at Ohio University in the 80s and I was going to be an art teacher and I really did get to almost like the student teaching. I went to shadow some teachers and I changed course because by that time I got married very early. I had three children by the time I was 25 and went back to college after they were born and computers were huge and I'm like I really want to, you know, understand this like graphic art and computers and I started down that path. So I changed my major to communication and I really wanted in the IT programs and they were full. So information and telecommunication systems was the one I chose At the time. I was like one of three females in that course. It was so interesting to me. I learned how to network computers and do punchdowns. It was fascinating, but in the interim I would take graphic design classes and marketing classes and still finished my art track to where I have an associates in art because I loved it. So I graduated much later in communication and have a master's in information and telecommunication systems. So I'm literally using both sides of my brain. I always laugh because I always say you know, you have a creative side and logical side, and I love knowing the analytics behind something and why something is so popular. But then again, I love also being creative and engaging people with creativity. Hey, this is just a little reminder. I am on almost all social media platforms as Brutifully B-R-E-W-T-I-F-U-L-L-Y, our Tracy Don Brewer. So find me on Instagram and I'm on TikTok getting small with grandma and follow me and watch YouTube for the doodles under Brutifully on the YouTube channel. So thanks again, and I'll see you also on my website, brutifullycom. So one of my big things is augmented reality. So I like taking my art and fusing it with technology. So a lot of my art will animate. I will frame by frame, draw each movement, usually using Procreate, and illustrate my pieces. I use an app called Art of Vive. I've been using them since 2019, when I animated the first augmented reality mural in Stark County, which is at Belden Village Mall, and I thought it was so cool and the youth, the kiddos, they love seeing stuff move and I just thought that it engaged people, it immersed them in the art, it got them a different part of it, and so I continue to do that quite often because I think that it's just fun and I love showing people how to use that and there's so many cool applications with that. I've done posters and, oh gosh, I've written a book. It's called One Wacky Week. It's on Amazon and you use the app to pull up each page and each page animates and I read the story to you and that was in response to having my granddaughter, franny. So I have another book I'm working on. We have five grandchildren now and it's just been a lot of fun finding different ways to apply augmented reality. So that is one of the things that I love showing people how to use and what to do. It is something that differentiates my art. I think that everybody needs to find something that helps you stand out a little bit, because there's a lot of noise in the world, there's a lot of stuff going on. I think it's important to allow people to experience it in their own way. So someone will look at it. They don't have to like it, but if it gets them thinking about something that maybe they didn't think of before or they were like I wouldn't draw that like that Well then, how would you draw it? What would you do? What accessories would you have? This is just whatever you want it to be. As I'm talking to you, there's one of our cats in here. You may hear her. She's very loud. We have four cats and we have four dogs. We have a bunch of quick fish. My husband built a quick pond outside. It all started after we became certified wildlife rescuers. When we were rescuing wildlife he thought it would be really important that they learn how to fish. I don't know why he thought that, but he did. We got these little feeder fish and this was years ago. Those animals wanted nothing to do with those fish. He couldn't get rid of them. They were alive. I put them in a kitty pool for the winter. By spring they had survived all winter. He's like I've got to make them a pond. They did. Now we have over a dozen. They're huge and he's got a very good heart. It's very good. I'd like to create digitally. I also like to create traditionally. I've been taking a lot of paint classes from a gal. Her name is Ali Kay. She works in acrylics. She works with golden paints which I had never tried before and they're quite pricey, but I invested in some of them. I wanted to learn to become a little bit more loose with my work. I wanted it to be part of a style that wasn't so realistic. Remember, I told you that my mom was a very good artist and she would always want to make things as realistic as possible. That was really the only way that I thought you created something. As I've gotten older, I've realized that that's not true. You can make things in an abstract way and it's totally acceptable, which I really did. Know that I mean. I love my art history classes, but for me, I just never thought I was able to do that. I guess I didn't think I thought that was a really unique talent to be able to see something abstractly. I didn't feel like I could do that. These classes have really helped me look at things in a different way. I love that. I'm having a lot of fun. I think that it helps to always find permission sometimes to try something new and give yourself some grace while you're learning it. That's what I've been doing and I've enjoyed it a lot. If you see things on my social media about my paintings, that's what I've been doing. I'm on Instagram and Facebook as brutally I am on TikTok getting small with Grandma, because I have a big obsession with miniatures. I love making miniatures. I share a lot of my minis and little things that I make on there and really a lot of my art. I have a Kickstarter right now to open a studio. There's a space down the street from me and it is so convenient and perfect. I would love to be able to have that as a gallery studio and a shared maker space. I really want to have the opportunity to share other artists' work, especially ones that are in other locations and other parts of my county or downtown, because maybe other people would enjoy seeing them that aren't going to where they're at. I want to have a little pop-up area and highlight a new artist every month. If they have items that they would like to sell, they would be able to sell them. 100 percent of the profits of their work would go right back to them. I'm not asking for commission or anything. I just want to share their work there. That's one of the uses I would have for this space. There would be a place for classes. I would also teach art and crafts and have all kinds of items that I already sell on my website, brutiflecom. You can shop on there. But I also would have a spot in the center, because it's already built like that, to have a party room. You could have an art party there or you could have a meeting there and incorporate something creative to do while you have your meeting, because I think it helps people learn when you're drawing or creating together. It builds like a team atmosphere. That's one of the things that is a huge dream of mine to be able to offer. That is exactly what I would do with that space. It's a very lofty Kickstarter. It's expensive to open a spot. I would need to get inventory. I would need to get a new sign for the outside equipment. It would also open up the space to be able to take a lot of things that I have now. I've always tried to go to gallery openings or shows or participate in community events and share those things and create awareness. It's so funny how many people think that I know everything that's going on or that I know everybody that's organizing something. I swear I don't. I find something and it's like, oh my gosh, I want to go to that and I'll share it or I'll put it on my calendar and I'll remind others. This is happening, do this, do that. My husband calls me Google Tracy. I really don't know everything. I just enjoy getting to promote and share what other people are doing. It's always on my heart. I always try really hard to be, you know, complimentary of everybody and find the good in everyone and everything, and I honestly really try hard to support as many people and opportunities and things that I can, and it seems the more that I am just extending myself out there to find out about things happening outside of. You know my county and state. It's amazing how that expands your network, and so that's part of what I want this to do, and I want to just create an awareness about opportunities to learn more and to do better and be a better, you know, decision maker in my art and sharing what I know so others can do something different or something new or learn something new with their art or their business or their advertising or marketing. It's just so important. So that's one of the reasons I started this and I feel that it's an opportunity to showcase and highlight other people. So if anyone wants to be a guest, I would love to hear from you. I'm happy to discuss that opportunity. If you do happen to doodle along, please share a snapshot of what you're doodling. Hashtag it brutally made brutally is a play on my last name, of course, and beautiful because I think everybody is brutally made. Everybody has beauty and kindness in them somewhere and I love to you know, get to share that through ideas and opportunities. So that's that's another reason that this is here. So my little kitty cats are all running around. I hear them. But thank you for listening and thanks for participating, and I am anxious to get this out in the world on Fridays. So I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I am anxious to talk to you next time about another idea or experience that I've had, and I can't wait to have my guests on coming up soon. So I will talk to you later. Have a great weekend, stay brutally made. Bye. Again, thanks for tuning in. Anything that I mentioned with a link will be in the show notes so you can check that out conveniently in the link on the episode. So thanks again and I will see you next time. Stay brutally made.