We had the good fortune of connecting with Alicia Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alicia, what is the most important factor behind your success?
There are a number of factors that contribute to my success as an artist to date. One thing that is most important is my passion and dedication to what I do and the pursuit of growth through learning and acquiring information and advice surrounding the business of art-making and marketing.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My work is categorized as representational paintings where the main focus/ subject is portrait and figure. The figure has always been my main interest. As a child, I would copy the cartoons from the newspaper with the intention of capturing an exact likeness of the characters. I am intrigued by the complexity of human physiology, the flesh, bones, and personality. There is something about making a painting of someone that allows contact with my own vulnerability and making a connection to my soul, where I can capture the feeling of being alive. The figure is central in my works not just as a representation but with the aim of interacting and connecting with myself, the viewer, and the model. in making my paintings elements from various periods of art history are juxtaposed with the figure and creates narratives surrounding past and present influences such as colonialism on cultural trends that impact the formation of identity. Through my work I aim to highlight methods invented and utilized by creatures that are necessary for adaptation in the spaces they inhabit. What makes me stand out from others is that I use my work to share stories from personal experiences yet they can relate to people from all cultures and backgrounds. I got to where I am today in my professional career because I had a dream and a passion as a child and I never stopped believing in what I was able to achieve. Getting to the point where I am professionally involved not just dreams but a lot of sacrifices and hard work. After completing art school in 2003, I realized that I was not going to magically be able to survive because I had an art degree. I taught art high school and college for a period of time and this allowed me to pay the bills but the dream to be an artist was always with me. However, while teaching I maintained a professional practice but realized that the opportunities available were few. It was always in my plans to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts degree. I knew I needed to acquire more skills and knowledge if I was going to stand a chance as an artist in the global art world. So after years of saving and making numerous life changes, I was able to enroll in the Graduate program at New York Academy in 2012. With the knowledge, I acquired at the Academy from both faculty and students and being in an environment where art was valued and respected I felt alive and closer to my dream. The journey to the point where I am today professionally was never easy but I would not change any of those challenges because they contributed to the drive, determination, and hard work that I put into my work. Of course, having the support of trusted friends and family helped me to overcome these challenges and to keep pursuing the dream. The drawings that were made centuries ago on cave walls have presented the world with valuable historical background information of the people and the culture of that time. Likewise, I can only hope that the art I make will have some value to people now and in years after I am gone.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am sure there are a lot of exciting areas to visit in Miami that I haven’t explored yet. But If my friends were visiting I would love to take them to a few spots: Perez Art Museum, Hard Rock Cafe, Little Haiti, The Everglades National Park, Dolphin Stadium, Aventura mall, and my favorite place to eat Versailles Cuban Restaurant!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My journey to becoming an artist would not have been accomplished without the support of a long list of people. Firstly, To God who has blessed me with the gift to make art, my parents who displayed exemplary work ethics and made sacrifices to provide me with the opportunity of an education and supported my dream to pursue art as a career. My siblings and other family members continue to be my biggest support system especially my sister Collen Osbourne who is my number one fan! Special shout out to Ms. Walford, my primary school teacher who noticed from an early age my talent and aptitude for art and was the first teacher to encourage me to continue to draw. Shout out to Edna Manley college professors Israel Delmonte, Hope Wheeler, and Rozi Chung! Another shout out to my graduate school New York Academy of Art for their continuous support of my career! To my dedicated artist friends Andrae Green, Alonsa Guevara, Oneika Russel who offer me advice whenever I feel lost! It is such a blessing to have friends as loving, talented, and supportive! Special shout out to the collectors of my work and all my followers on social media who continue to support my business! The last person I want to send a loud shout out to is my son, Nathan, when he is old enough and can read all that I do is dedicated to you!
Linkedin: Alicia Brown
Facebook: Alicia Brown/Jamaican artist