HighlightHER Feature: Brianne Burnell

About HER.

“Hi, my name is Brianne Burnell and I am a fantasy textile designer.” While we aren’t 100% positive this is how Brianne Burnell introduces herself to others she is meeting for the first time, we are pretty certain she should. How badass, right?

Based in Toronto, CA, Brianne is a master at her craft. A little ethereal here, a little psychedelic there, a whole lotta heart eyes from us everywhere!! Through a meticulous process of layering multimedia materials, Brianne is able to create all sorts of visual eye candy. We’re utterly inspired by her creative process, to say the least! It is unique, exciting & all about happy little accidents. More on this from Brianne below!

And (drum roll please!) we are so excited to announce that for the month of August, Girl Disco will be featuring FREE phone wallpapers by Brianne available on our IG Stories each week! So be sure to keep your eyes peeled. The first wallpaper will be released on 8/7. Also, we have a cute collab hashtag: #DiscoDonuts <333

Brianne, thank you so much for being a part of Girl Disco! You are a textile QUEEN and we bow down to thee.

…Now, on to the feature!


What is your craft?

I call myself a digital collage artist, but it is really a combination of painting, traditional collage, scanning, and digital. In some pieces I think of myself as a fantasy textile designer, combining unlikely materials like cellophane, rubber, paper, and light, to create brand new textures, in other pieces I am in full messy kid mode, creating beautiful hectic collages with wild abandon. I work intuitively to pair different materials or bits of paper together, my favourite material lately being tin foil. I do a lot of layering on my scanner, and just see what happens. Seeing the results from the scanner is like getting film developed. It feels super magical and there are these great, breathless "a-ha!" moments. Compositions you thought were going to be brilliant might turn out very 'meh' and pieces you threw on there without thinking might hold something really special. After I pluck out my favourite pieces from the scanner I layer and paint over them in photoshop. The end results are beautiful abstract messes. When I look at the more chaotic pieces I imagine a dad saying "my kid could make that" and I think that means they're good.

What inspires you?

I'm very inspired by fabrics, especially very yarny textured ones, and whenever I am in a store I touch everything. I'm also very inspired by the different artists I follow. The colourful joyful work of Sarah Cain has really pushed me forward. I watched an artist talk with her that gave me a lot of insight and a lot of hope. And I get a lot of inspiration from the sky. I love clouds in all of their different forms, and what happens to clouds in a sunset, or when the sun is trapped behind them and their edges are glowing. I love the textures I find in the sky.

What gives you a boost of confidence?

I always feel the most confident when I dress in all sorts of patterns. I feel best wearing something loud and magical, like stripey pants, a rainbow shirt, and sparkly shoes. Pattern-on-pattern outfits with a good mix of sparkly or metallic make me feel invincible. I also feel very confident at my computer, where I do most of my work. It is very much my domain where I understand everything and am surrounded by all of my own art. I have a bulletin board where I've written a lot of things I need to hear, and have a list of my accomplishments to remind myself what I have done. My desk is a very powerful special place for me. I feel most myself there.

Who is your favorite 70s female icon and why?

It has to be supermodel Iman. She walked for everyone, she was everyone's muse (most notably Yves Saint Laurent), she broke down barriers in fashion, became one of the top models at the time and then became a badass beauty mogul, and then married David Bowie! I don't know if it gets any cooler.

What does Girl Disco mean to you?

Girl Disco has such great energy! I see people encouraging and celebrating one another's individuality, endless creativity, and a lot of sparkles. It feels like a colourful, joyous escape from regular life.

Where can people find your work?

Instagram: @briannedonut

Thank you for being a part of HighlightHER, Brianne!


Girl Disco

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