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Artist Profile: Brianne Farley

“I think a lot of people say, ‘I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid.’ But I think most little kids draw, it’s just that some people stop. And so I just didn’t stop.”

Brianne Farley is a children’s picture book author and illustrator in Traverse City, creating children’s books since 2011.

“I went to grad school for illustration and while I was there they didn’t have a children’s book illustration program but that’s what I was focused on,” says Farley.

 You can say, she knew from a young age that making art and telling stories was “In the books” for the future ahead.

“When I was in elementary school we had to write a speech about ‘when I grow up,’ and I wrote a speech about how I wanted to be Roald Dahl and Quinton Blake combined.”

Inspired by her own curiosity and passion,  

Her love for art has led her to illustrate seven children’s books. 

“I think the cool things about picture books is that you kinda tap into these like universal truths so the kids either can relate to a person that feels like them or they get a glimpse into a world that’s nothing like their world and can really relate to it.”

One of her books that shares these universal truths is titled, ‘Dozens of Doughnuts.’ 

“Even if you’re telling a story about a bear eating doughnuts…”

It presents a much deeper message…

“This book is really about friendship, and sharing, and boundaries like when is it ok to stop sharing and say no, and like how do you apologize. It feels like such a small and simple story but it’s these huge universal truths that are just as powerful for the adults reading them as it is for the kids.”

Farley’s style can be described as…

“Sort of whimsical, funny or numerous and occasionally hyper detailed. I’ll draw an animal really realistically over and over again and then loosen up, loosen up, loosen up and then I’ll end up with my character.”

Leaving plenty of room for expression.

“A bear can’t really hold a plate full of donuts and so you need to give it flexibility to be able to do those things. I hope that when people look at my art, it’s a window into the story.”

And if you ask Farley what’s next in her story..
Her future plans include…

“I’m actually working on designing a mural for the Dennos Museum in the children’s room that’ll have an interactive quality to it.”

But in the meantime…

“You can see my murals all over town. I have a mural at the woodmere branch at the library, and Little Fleet, and Elevate Climbing Gym, and Grocer’s Daughter out in Empire.”