Ambitious mind and a Gentle Heart
Words by Stephanie Mann (Contributions by Emily Sims)
Images by Jesse Lynch
Creativity is a gift. Creativity is a right, a blessing, a curse. Creativity is a domino effect, a moment among moments. Creativity is what keeps us moving forward. But sometimes, that creativity can be hard to find and even harder to hold onto.
We all lead busy lives, and through all the clutter, it can be hard to find moments of space and clarity. As a community of creative individuals, Moon is always looking for ways to inspire each of you.
We’ve reached out to our fellow wild and complicated woman Brooklynd Turner to hear her story and see what advice she has for finding inspiration, holding onto passion and making the most out of our creative selves.
Brooklynd is an artist with work primarily focused on morality, femininity, body image, and the balance of nature. In addition to having her work shown at galleries around Texas and Minnesota, she has been published in Spindle Magazine, Anon Magazine, and The Tulane Review. To learn more about her work, visit www.brooklynd.com.
Sims: Arriving at Brooklynd's cozy and vibrant studio apartment was parallel to falling down the proverbial rabbit hole. The place smelled pleasantly of ginger tea and incense. The various shelves throughout are thoughtfully adorned with keepsakes and relics that each have their own noteworthy stories. Brooklynd an adament vegan and animal lover talks about her collection of bones and preserved squids while laying in bed, sipping on a cup of her latest tea concoction.
"Why would I want to eat a fish, when I want to be a fish?" exclaims Turner, in-between snaps of the camera while reflecting on the purity of sea creatures.
An admitted home-body and occasional Lifetime movie binge watcher, Turner has a carefree and tender energy about her that is entirely contagious. She shares her desire for a much more compassionate world and her mission to accomplish this with her new embroidery project titled the "Gentle Hearts Club".
"There's no shame in being a sweetie," says Turner, and we can't agree more.
Mann: Where do you get inspiration for your work?
Turner: Meditation and meaning. I do not feel as if the universe is conspiring everything to happen for a reason, and often find it debilitating to wait for things to come full-circle. Perhaps I'm impatient, but more so a believer in the strength of our hearts and minds to mend loose ends and shape our future.
We are entirely capable of living a life that isn't meaningless because we can choose to ascribe significance to anything – no matter how tragic, random, or mundane it may seem. My artwork is how I meditate on what has happened, and give closure or purpose to perplexing situations.
This is also why I don't make many artists statements, or talk about content unless asked. To make the viewer work through a process of internalizing and ascribing personal narrative.
Mann: What is the process for your art?
Turner: I carry a sketchbook, pencil, and watercolors everywhere. Typically an illustration starts as a detailed realism drawing from life, and then is taken a step further. I contemplate what moved me to draw the subject and figure out how to give more spirit to it. Choosing a medium that feels honest and articulate of the image's intent is crucial. I obsessively draw, paint, or sew until it's 'done', and move forward.
Mann: How to you continue to stay inspired / keep your art fresh?
Turner: Always maintaining a client project, personal art project, and hobby going at the same time is key. The rotation keeps me open-minded and sane. Every day I try to teach myself something new, do yoga, lovingly listen to someone, and draw.
Doing those things is how I create and sleep at night. I read a lot about neurology and meditation because I care about how my illustrations affect the viewer's mind. Low-key, my work stays fresh because I let myself be a total research dork and noodle-bodied yogi.
Mann: What tips do you have for aspiring creatives or those feeling stuck?
Turner: My advice is to pick a medium you haven't explored, and give yourself permission to make 'bad art'. Focus on finding the heart of what drew you to the medium, and let that inspire your work.
I fell in love with embroidery after a vertigo spell. I began knitting as a coping mechanism for my inability to see through the spins clearly enough to illustrate. Once I regained vision, I craved the therapeutic quality of handmade repetition. Embroidery became a beautiful balance between knitting and drawing. I was terrible at first but tried to stay as patient with imperfections as I was with the thread. Soon enough, I discovered how to use an entirely transformative creative outlet I had not imagined would ever be within the realm of possibility.
It's never too late to pick anything up. Remember that you'll never be as young as you are now, so you might as well try something out. But you've also never been as old as you are in this moment, so you have more self-wisdom to pull from than ever before.