Youth Profile: Chelsea Brooks

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Chelsea Brooks. My home community is Indian Brook, Nova Scotia.

When did you start painting? Did you have any formal training? What prompted/inspired you?

I first started painting at the age of two years old, and now I am twenty three years old. My dad taught me to draw and paint and to be as creative as I can. He was the best teacher a daughter could ask for. He has and always will continue to inspire and influence my artwork. He passed away this past May, and I have been making it my priority to carry on the art legacy that is a big part of our family. 

Where has your art been featured?

In grade two, I won second place at the Atlantic Aboriginal Art Contest in the children’s category. In the past few years, my dad and myself were artists in a native art group movement. We also had art shows at town hall and the Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax. This past year, I had the opportunity to help design the image that would go on shirts for the "Circle Of Hope" solidarity rally and press conference for missing and murdered aboriginal women. That event took place in Halifax, July 2014. 

This past October, I had the opportunity to have one of my paintings on the front cover of the "Canadian Aboriginal Books For Schools Catalogue" 2014-2015 edition. Twelve-thousand copies went out to schools across Canada. Recently I was contacted by CBC news radio to do a half hour interview for a radio show called Atlantic Voice. They titled my story "Her Fathers Spirit". I currently have artwork in different parts of the world such as Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, Japan.

What is your creative process?

My creative process begins with having the right frame of mind. I believe in doing good things and good will come back too you (the circle of life) - to be and stay positive. I then get ideas from being outdoors - looking at the sky. A lot of the time I will imagine my paintings in my mind, then I will plan out details and the colors I will use. I also believe that, when I paint, my dad guides me through each piece of art I create. I use acrylic paints, and spray paints is something I started adding to my paintings this past year.

What does your work mean to you?

My art work is very personal. 

Each time I create a painting, or make a custom painting for someone, I am giving you not only a painting, but I am also giving you my time, my energy, my thought process, my heart, and my soul. 

My love for painting grew much more this past year after my fathers passing, because I knew it meant the world to him, which makes it mean the world to me. I will continue to express that with my art work.

What has been your greatest challenge and success so far?

My greatest challenge was losing my dad this past year, the one who always believed in everything I did and who was a big supporter of my art and got me in the door of the art world. After his passing I made this my main priority, and I work hard for where I am trying to get to with my art goals. Any opportunity I see or am offered, I go for it. My greatest success so far has been getting to where I am in the art world at a young age. I am thankful and blessed and know there is more to come in my future. 

What are your plans for the future? 

My plans and goals for my future would be to have an online website where you can browse and purchase art. I currently do sales through my Facebook page, over emails, and at events. I would love to create a children’s book with my images that would be written in both Mi'kmaq and english and put into schools. My dad encouraged this so I know I will want to do this at some point in my life. 

Also, in the new year I plan to have my artwork put on shirts, and I am in the works of creating something beautiful for the ladies. My mom and I are going to work on this project together, so stay tuned!

How does one purchase a piece of your work?

I currently sell prints, paintings, custom orders, post cards, Christmas cards, gift bags, and more. I sell them at various events, over email at artworkbychelsea@gmail.com, and through my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/chelseabrooksnativeart 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this, and to those who encourage me and my dreams! Remember, spread love through the power of positive thinking & positive energy.

Thanks, Chelsea! Best of luck!