Brett Manning's Ink Drawings

Sahara Shrestha

Most of Brett Manning's works seem to be self-portraits
that give glimpses of her own world. With over-sized blankets, sweaters, and endearing portraits of handsome 'llama' friends, many also mirror a sense of dense warmth. Even when the portrait is of someone else, inclusions of symbols and sinuous patterns tend to add interpretations of the subject's personality to the drawing.

Long limbs, geometrics, leaves and constellations recur in Brett Manning’s ink drawings. She says her dreams often inspire her art.

Glad you have a portrait of Bill Murray, which you call “Young Mr. Murray.” Do you have a favorite Bill Murray moment and/or
character played by him?

This
is easy. Herman Blume in Rushmore while standing outside of his
vehicle. His jock-like unfortunate looking twin ginger sons lock him out
of the car and giggle while Mr. Blume, unamused but obviously used to
their antics, sternly, and almost sadly, peers through the window and
yells, “Unlock it!”

What is it about “patterns” that makes you indulge in creating and recreating them?

It's
so meditative. My idea behind it is to create a calm, soothing feeling where one can just look at it and feel comfortable. I draw patterns
because they sort of represent textiles, and textiles represent warmth
and being warm is such a cozy feeling….I sleep a lot too.

A
lot of artists seem to like birds, particularly Owls, but your works, including a self-portrait, seem to
have llamas as a recurring theme—why?

I
just think they are incredibly cute. Probably my spirit animal or
something. Anyways, owls seem way too trendy, though it's not their
fault, haha…

During the day, Manning also works at Busy Beaver Button Co., a button factory in Chicago. For more of her stuff including paintings and photography, go to Brett is a Girl.

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