Coastal Creative:
  Brooke Kelley

Coastal Creative: Brooke Kelley

Brooke Kelley is the artist behind Sun and Loom's debut collectiont Desert Oasis - designs inspired by the Southern California desert . We recently caight up with Brooke to learn about her life in Hawaii and to discuss sustainability and art.


Brooke moved from San Clemente to Maui several years ago by way of a mural she was commissioned to create. She never left, and recently hopped over to Kauai to take a new kind of job - working for a local farmer who specializes in organic permaculture.


As an artist, she makes custom pieces from a variety of different mediums, including book covers, graphics, murals, and more. Brooke also loves to repurpose clothing and pieces of fabric that she finds along her way. Bucket hats, surfboard covers, tote bags, and quilts are all in her repertoire. Some find their home with friends, others with strangers.



Why is sustainable fashion important to you?

Mmm…it’s one of my most favorite things since I can remember. As a young kid, it was a fun challenge to use what was laying around. Something about using what was already had was so satisfying, versus inventing something new. Fabrics and found objects speak for themselves and lead me to what I make out of them. I find so much life in things that are already used and worn, like what has been its journey leading up to coming to me? And then it gets to live on through another form - there’s something soulful about that. And we live in a world where there’s just so much stuff. What I make can be one less person buying new things and using what we already have.


Who inspires you as an artist?

Hmm…this question has always really stumped me. I’m rarely inspired by other artists. I’m more so inspired when I see a piece of cloth, or when I’m in need of something. I get inspiration from fabric, colors, nature, primitive art - it’s all very satisfying to me.


If you had to pick one medium of art to work with, what would it be?

A: Ohhh, gouache painting or sewing - I love sewing so much. But I don’t think I’d be quite fully satisfied if I couldn’t paint. But gouache, the medium itself is so satisfying. With painting, you can make something out of nothing. You can make a dream on paper.


What piece of artwork are you most proud of?

The first quilt tapestry I made, for sure. I don’t usually keep things - the process for me is so much more meaningful than keeping it - but it was the first thing I did not want to get rid of. It was for me and I took a lot of time on it. It was like a self-love project. I also love the story behind it - the fabric came from a house that was getting rid of everything…my girlfriends and I went and raided the dumpster outside and I found a whole suitcase of super old vintage Hawaiian fabric. Most people would look at the quilt like it’s strange, and I love that.

"I find so much life in things that are already used and worn, like what has been its journey leading up to coming to me? And then it gets to live on through another form - there’s something soulful about that."

Brooke Kelley - artist behind Sun and Loom's Desert Oasis Collection
Brooke Kelley Q and A for Sun and Loom's Coastal Creatives journal

What does success look like to you?

I think success is a very personal thing, like no one can measure other people’s success. Success to me can be as small as getting up and going to work that day, and being kind to yourself and others…those are huge successes in my eyes - these tiny things we overlook every day that should be celebrated as successes. You are so in charge of what is a success to you and what you give your energy to.


What does a day in your life look like currently?

Me and my best friend Jordan - he’s my partner in crime, we do everything together. We wake up every morning at 4:45 and read our Bitcoin Standard book *laughs*, and get caught up on all the bitcoin news. Then we’ll head out and find waves and surf before work and watch the sunrise from the most beautiful spot out in the water. Then we get ready for work and go in around 8:00. We work at this amazing, beautiful farm, and we’ll feed animals, water plants, take some sort of lesson from our boss…it’s all so primitive, authentic, humble. We might trim trees with chainsaws, make traps to catch pigs that are getting in, and make a delicious farm lunch with whatever we’re growing. After work, we go home and maybe get a skate in, go surf again, and then we honestly power down by 6:00, and then wake up and do the whole shebang again.


What’s your life’s mantra?

Oh man, I am such a day-by-day, moment-by-moment person. Big future goals have never really resonated with me. Like, anything can happen and things change so quickly. So to be present to whatever is present that day, that’s my daily mantra. I would say if I had to pick a phrase, it would be “present and honest” - that’s my major mantra.


When you’re feeling creatively exhausted, what do you do?

I love this question so much. I think a lot of people get nervous during these seasons, or get down because they’re not creatively motivated. I try to see this type of season as a shift or a growing period, like I don’t want to get stuck on one thing. I wipe the slate clean and become aware of what is inspiring me right now - that keeps me inspired because it’s always something new and different. I just chill, I don’t rush the waiting period.


Anything else you want to share?

Mmm, yeah - just with my custom art, I want people to know that they can reach out to me about anything, even just to talk about art or to discuss a project. Something I’m passionate about is working with like-minded people.


For more of Brooke’s work and life, head to @bevyandbrine on Instagram.

Shop the graphic tee's designed by Brooke

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