Meet: Briana

Meet: Bree.

I met her on the corner of 44th and Evanston, about five houses down from mine. She was trimming rose bushes with gardening shears–mind you roses that were in full bloom as the ones in my yard were just beginning to bud. I wanted to know her secret, but starting up a conversation didn’t seem likely. I was on my way to Marketime, focused and determined to stay on target. On the way back with a case of Session Lager, a shallot, garlic and a serrano pepper, we made eye contact and that was it. Lo and behold, she has the same name as me–give or take an ‘n’! And is probably the only person I’ve ever met who can hug as long and as hard as I can. Maybe its a Bri thing. Cool points well-earned. Our interview was conducted almost a year later, just after a few key transitions in Bree’s life.

State your name for the record, please.

Briana soon-to-be Squirrel-Barrett

Your art form?

The art of invitation, namely helping people feel welcome. Anyone could extend an invitation, the art of the thing is making it personal, asking what they want and then getting them to do it.

Seems like an important task that might go overlooked. How do you do it?

I focus on helping people make time for what they consider important. It all starts with asking, finding out what it is and then getting excited is easy because, usually, what people want is something that our whole community needs.

How does a motivator keep motivated?

Meditation and my mantra, “I’m an invitation. Don’t forget to mention…”

What challenges to you face as an invitation?

The same as everyone, shadows and fears and asking why. That nagging voice that says, “Why do I want attention?” As if I need a reason. I don’t need a reason!

To be effective despite fear is courage. What are your outlets for channeling your fears?

I write poetry, laugh at jokes and gather together with friends.

For Bree (and for all of us, I bet) doing the thing she’s afraid of quells the fear. Bree’s amazing! She also says things like,

“The force that causes leaves to unfurl is still coursing through it even after the buds have flowered and gone.”

What other sorts of solutions help you stay on track?

I have an accountability appointment with a friend weekly. So far we’ve determined that I needed some time to rest after having been sick. It helps to have the conversation, otherwise I don’t easily grant myself the gift of time for things like healing or taking care of myself proactively. I’ve also enrolled in a 9-week business course where I will meet other entrepreneurs and build community while learning.

Bree’s business, Neighbors on Purpose, is all about community and offers a whole heap of services such as cleaning, gardening, and consignment based yard sales. Wanna get involved? Go to neighborsonpurpse.com and  tell her Sunshine sent ya! 

Advertisements

Meet: Brianna Brumfield

Hi-hey! Oh, hey! Hi.

Today we’re starting a whole new thing. A new-old thing. I’ve had this idea for quite a while, you could say for as long as I’ve had a good buddy I’ve wanted to introduce em to my other friends. Just makes sense. I’m lucky enough to encounter a wide range of ever talented people. They’re visual and digital artists, they sing, they dance, they run businesses and fight political foes. They inspire change on every level from great big benefits down to small, but innovative personal habits. Because that’s how change starts: small.

So to get this party started right, I’m going to introduce myself and the projects I’ve been working on most recently. It’d be weird to ask myself questions so I opened up the floor to the audience my newest works have had. I welcome you to a side of Sunshine you may not have known before and to new friends to collaborate with. After all, we’ve got work to do.

BB

State your name, for the record.

My name is Brianna Estella Brumfield, though I answer to Sunshine at times.

So what’s your art?

I sing and play keyboard for Super Plaid. We make funky-groovy-dance music for people who like such things. And we wear a lot of plaid. I also paint, mostly in acrylic on canvas and rough plywood. The series I’m working on, a Touch of Whimsy, features my first ever mixed media pieces. I got to smash a warped old guitar and a boombox. There’s nothing more fun.

Does Super Plaid have any shows coming up?

At this exact moment, no. We are preparing for the release of Second Spectrum, with it will come plenty of shows, though. So be ready. I’m fucking serious. I can’t wait to share this thing with the world.

What’s so special about Second Spectrum?

It’s the amalgamation of a year or so’s worth of hard work. It’s our honest take on a good time. When I hear it, I simultaneously can’t believe how far we’ve come and how steady and seamless our progression has been. I wanna give it to everyone because everybody needs to chill and groove. At least for a little while.

But you’re also a painter?

Yes! Oh hell yes. I’ve painted for years, actually. Secretly, sort of, but not really. I used to hang out and paint with the B Side Artists in Orlando selling art on the street. Like, straight to the people as they floated by. I didn’t expect the wealth of knowledge and support I’d walked into when I met Al and Swam [of Solillaquists of Sound]. They hit me with a 1-2 punch of advice a confidence and then practice and patience. I learned something new and amazing, like, every five minutes. It’s crazy!

[Looking at Christine] I like the way the shadow of the guitar leads to the strings. Where did Christine come from?

Christine is a sweet girl I met at a sleazy motel in Seattle. She gave me a six string guitar when she moved away and I kept it in my living room. Guitar and I don’t often see eye to eye so I thought it was just me when it sounded funny. My more guitar inclined friends showed me that it was warped and forever unplayable. I put it off as a possible project for months until this past summer when my heart got broken. In a fit of sorrow I smashed the guitar, nicknamed Christine, and carefully kept all its pieces for the day I could express what had happened. The strings fall in a pattern that seems natural, but actually required a bit of doing. I wanted the lines to read like a feminine form and the colors to invite that warm, homey feeling. Her arm, the arm of a record player, draws inward and finds a hole where her heart had been. She’s heartless but she’s beautiful.

What else can we expect from Sunshine?

I’m also a student and I have two jobs, so I’m pretty busy on the day to day, but you can safely expect more art and more music and more hugs. Those are a few of my favorite things.

Well, kiddies, until next week! Prepare yourself for fun cause you never know who you might Meet: