We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Hipp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I think that most people work to live and don’t live to work. People are multi-dimensional and most people have something they love to do outside of their day job. Personally, I think life is better when your work and your life are integrated, as opposed to balanced. Balance indicates that you are keeping things separate but integration allows for more ebbs and flows. Sometimes your work is consuming, sometimes your family is consuming, sometimes your hobbies may be consuming. The important part is that we recognize that a certain aspect of us may need more attention at any given time. The pandemic has brought into intense focus how much all aspects of our lives blend together. Balance has become harder for many because they are living and working in the same location. I recognize how much I need multiple dimensions in my life and I’ve been working hard to make sure to honor all of my dimensions. The pandemic has shifted some of my interests. Pre-pandemic, you would find my husband and I at concerts or trying out new restaurants. Over the past year, I’ve been focusing on different things, like my garden and my art.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love the process of creating. Art gives me an outlet for my emotions and feelings. I’m unafraid to experiment with colors and textures. Putting plaster on a canvas before I paint it gives the piece I’m working on a whole different feel. Trying a different style may or may not work out but the process releases endorphins. For me, art is really about the creative process and the end result of how it makes someone feel. I don’t always have a destination when I start painting but I let the canvas and the paints take me to where I need to go. One important lesson is to be an artist, you have to let go of expectations of what people may think of you. All art doesn’t appeal to me, even when I see the artistry. Every piece I do is not going to appeal to the masses, and that’s ok. As a society, we spend so much time worried about what other people think and expression through art is a way to let that go. Recently, I had someone reach out to me to see if I was still painting. She told me that she had just gotten engaged; she and her fiancé were moving into a new place and she had been waiting to commission a piece of art from me. I was so thrilled to be a part of such an important time of their lives. I think what I want people to know is that art should bring them joy or make them feel something. If it doesn’t elicit an emotion, even if it’s just happiness at seeing it, don’t buy it. There is so much art in the world, find what appeals to you. Additionally, if you know an artist, you don’t have to buy from them to support them. Like and share their posts. Mention them to other people. And finally, remember you aren’t paying for time and materials when you buy art. You are paying for the person’s experience, talent and how that art makes you feel.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a huge live music fan so in an ideal world, I would take them to a very small venue, like the Bluebird. Then a concert at the Fillmore and then, of course, Red Rocks. If theater is in season, a show at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House would be on the list. A trip to the mountains would be on tap too. I don’t think there is a place much prettier than Dillon in the summer. Ideally we would go up when they have the Farmer’s Market and stay for an outdoor concert on the lake. Garden of the Gods is also totally worth the trip to Colorado Springs. Food is harder. There is so much good food in Denver. For whatever night we are staying in and hanging out on my back deck, we would get a Pomodoro Pizza (add pepperoni) from Ian’s Pizza by the ballpark. Maybe we will have stopped by the Urban Cookie on Colfax or Little Man Ice Cream for dessert. Postino’s is one of my favorite places for wine and appetizers so that would definitely be on the list along with one of Denver’s best kept secrets of lunch or dinner at West 29th. I actually love West 29th for brunch but I think since the pandemic they’re only open for dinner. We would probably order in one night from a take out place in my hood – Genna Rae’s Wings and More. If you haven’t tried it – order! There is so much to do here and what I’ve listed is only the tip of the iceberg. I could go on for days! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, John, deserves a major shout out. He is the most encouraging person and didn’t even blink an eye when a massive amount of art supplies showed up at our house one day, accompanied by announcement that I was going to start painting. As my art has grown and I’ve been more successful, he continues to push me to believe in myself and keep trying new things. He also gives me very honest feedback which helps me grow. Finally, because I ship art all over the country, John helps me build boxes and package it. The other group of people that deserve a shout out are the women in a Facebook group I’m in. The group has nothing to do with art, we’ve bonded over a love for Rothy’s sustainable shoes. Beyond shoes, this group has been a huge part of my success and the reason I even put myself out there. I started painting for myself, because I needed a creative outlet and a place to focus my feelings. One night, I realized I had more paintings than I had space and I shared some with the group. Within a few hours, I had hundreds of encouraging messages and people asking how to buy my paintings. Since that moment last summer, my art has grown, my platforms are growing and my art lives all over the country. Art makes me feel things. It’s exciting to create pieces that make other people feel things too.