Beautiful Bizarre Magazine is always on the lookout for visual inspiration. All day, all month, and all year long! During this unusual period in history, we’ve taken even greater solace in the spiritual elevation that art can provide. Thankfully, our favourite creatives – such as Brandi Milne – continue to lend their curatorial eye to us during our monthly TAKE OVER event. Due to their artsy caring and sharing spirit, we are able to provide our social media followers with an added dimension to their daily scroll.
Here’s how it works. Once a month, we invite an artist to fill us in on their own personal artsy revelations. This exposes all of us to creatives who may not have been on our radar before. We are also able to gain insight into how their signature aesthetic came into being. Brandi certainly dazzled us with her picks this month. Oh wait… you were busy that day? Good thing we’re revisiting all of her carefully curated selections within the body of this article. First, let’s learn a little bit about the star of the show!
Self-taught Southern California artist Brandi Milne was born in Anaheim in the 1970s. Throughout her happy childhood, she was surrounded by a wealth of creative and visual inspiration. Among her greatest pleasures, classic cartoons, children’s books, and nursery rhymes ranked high. She was equally enchanted by crayons and coloring books, Halloween & Christmas kitsch, Sid and Marty Kroft creations, toys, candies, and the fabrics and strange notions of the times.
Brandi connects with the beholder by conveying relatable human experiences in storybook fashion. Her emotionally saturated imagery offers first-person narratives of love, loss, pain, and heartbreak. She balances the palpable emotion with a quirky wink of humor, which is ultimately enrobed in candy-coating for extra deliciousness. This blend of ingredients tends to be highly addictive to the beholder.
Brandi Milne’s pop surrealistic canvases can be found in international fine art galleries. Her artistic practice has also been highlighted in various online and print publications. She is currently working on her next solo show (2022) at the Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles CA. Okay, but enough of the background deets. Let’s see what nifty artsy recommendations Brandi has in store for us!
Hello, hello!! My name is Brandi Milne, and I’m so excited to TAKE OVER Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s social media accounts today! I’m a painter, a writer, and an illustrator. As far back as I can remember, I have always had an obsessive desire to express myself visually and in story form.
Despite having little to no formal art schooling, my style has definitely evolved throughout the years. Beyond the whimsical candied exterior of my work lies deep, often tragic emotion that is based on my personal experience. I absolutely love the idea that emotions connect us as humans.
While I use a variety of characters that aren’t always human, the concept of connection is at the core of my work. There’s also something completely pure about the emotions experienced during childhood. The world seen through a child’s eyes is essential to my visual language.
The process of art IS the art! I’m so happy to share my biggest art influences today. Many of them have strongly contributed to my personal aesthetic as well as the way that I experience life.
Brandi Milne // “Have You Met My Friend?” (2017)
This painting put up such a fight in the making. I think it took me about 2 years to paint. It went through so many different moods and faces. I couldn’t seem to get it right, and I even quit on it several times!
As frustrated as I was, every time I quit, I knew I’d never truly give up. It just required more time and more patience. I suppose there are certain works of art that tend to be difficult. We might as well learn what lessons they’re here to teach us, not just as artists, but as humans.
I finally arrived at the appropriate feeling I was trying to convey, which is complete joy! The emotion I was going for is based on the moment a child returns home after a night of trick-or-treating on Halloween. That fantastic time when they get to dig through the spoils of their efforts! I was a kid who was entirely obsessed with candy. There is no better feeling!!
Various Artists and Writers // Little Golden Books (1942 – on)
As far back as I can remember, my mom encouraged me and all my siblings to read. Every day, we read stories in children’s books and nursery rhymes aloud. I studied the innocent illustrations as I listened to the nonsense of rhymes. That combination instantly and consistently ignited my imagination.
Little Golden Books were a visual delight and so satisfying to me. I was enamored with how the collection of various different stories was bound together in its trademark gold foil spine with characteristic endpaper images. As a kid, these fantastical stories transported my dreaming mind all around the world. They truly allowed me to imagine possibilities beyond what I knew of my own tiny life. I’m still inspired by children’s books and nursery rhymes to this very day. I keep them around me and visit them frequently to nurture my “child’s eye”.
Walt Disney // Pinocchio Poster (1940)
Walt Disney made a huge impact on me and my artistic aspirations. My family wasn’t artistically inclined, nor did we didn’t take trips to fine art museums. The world that Walt created was “art” to me. That included Mickey Mouse comics and full feature films like Snow White, Cinderella, Alice In Wonderland, and Pinocchio. Early memories of family trips to Disneyland were also quite impactful to me.
I had no knowledge of classic painters or art history. I only knew of the imagery that I was exposed to while growing up. Walt Disney created so many magical visuals in a universal child’s language that were especially inspiring to me. I find this invaluable.
Alfred Hitchcock // Rankin & Bass // Tim Burton // David Lynch // Quentin Tarantino
Ohhh dear… I’m cramming so many creatives into this post! I’m so grateful for things in life that make me think differently. I love inspiration that helps me to access a unique place in my imagination. It’s wonderful when that spawns something from left field or completely sideways.
I’m drawn to each of these influential writer-director-creators for just that reason! I love their ability to summon strange and tragic chaos, tense atmosphere, outrageousness, and mystery. What each of them has achieved in their art fulfills the human need to translate the surreal and the unexplainable. Furthermore, they leave ample room in our subconscious to infect our imagination.
Photo credit: Philippe Halsman, “Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren” (1963)
Alphonse Marie Mucha // “Au Quartier Latin” (1898)
I was floored the first time I gazed at Mucha’s astounding artwork. Absolutely awestruck. Soft femininity within bold graphic outlines. A world of beauty, emotion, and movement. His genius visual language could move fluidly between fine art and advertising at such an elevated level. What a supreme gift he had.
Elton John and Bernie Taupin // (1970s – 1980s)
My biggest source of inspiration for art is, quite possibly, music. Admittedly, all of my time and energy goes into writing and creating visual art. While I don’t play an instrument, music is magic for my artistic process. It heightens emotions and, like children’s books, it takes my imagination to far-off places in lyric and sound. I’m always curious if other artists regard visual art as their top inspiration or if it’s something else.
Elton John and his lyricist partner Bernie Taupin created such rich atmosphere together. Growing up in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, their music stopped me in my tracks. There was always music playing in our house, for which I’m eternally grateful. Even as a little kid, Elton and Bernie’s music moved my soul.
Throughout the years, many musicians have continued to inspire my work and my spirit. A few that immediately come to mind are Pink Floyd, TOOL, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Mastodon & Billie Eilish. There really is nothing quite like playing music at full volume and gettin’ to work!
Camille Rose Garcia // “Doom Lagoon” (2019)
Oof… what can I say about Camille’s work? Look at it. Look at it closely. Go into it and lose yourself. Never has there been a more juicy, Gothically enticing, drippy, scary, GORGEOUS, playful, serious, emotive, soft, kind, sensitive and rip your face off bold kick to the pants universe that has ignited all my senses.
I’ve had the superb pleasure of witnessing Camille’s incredible work in person. Being in the presence of her vibrant worlds, it’s as if they whisper to the beholder. That space within her art feels alive. Exquisitely haunting and overwhelmingly prolific.
Romain de Tirtoff (aka Erté ) // Art Deco Illustrations
Erté created the most divine Art Deco fashion illustrations. His work broke something open for me when I was first introduced to his art language. His designs excite with such intricate balance. They are so strong and graphically simple, and yet, so finely detailed and nearly delicate. He seemingly carves his fluidity of form out of thin air. Wild and quiet while also being vibrant and alive. Erté is like a mathematician – all of his numbers add up to yield simple perfection.
This is the final creative inspiration that Brandi Milne selected for her Beautiful Bizarre social media TAKE OVER. Thank you Brandi for compiling such intriguing visual stimulation for our art community. We really appreciate your effort and generosity! 😁