Tote Mockup
Collab Tote: Bruï x Constellations. Available now via Big Cartel

Where do you find inspiration for your work? I’ve noticed on your Instagram that you find colour palettes quite regularly in even the most mundane settings…

Colour is definitely an essential ingredient within my practice. I believe it’s a massively valuable tool for communicating non-tangible ideas or concepts, it’s more about mood and helps place my design in the right mental environment.

You’re definitely right that the idea of the mundane is a key underlying theme in my current work. I’m keen for my practice to act as a curatorial voice for our current cultural climate and that requires me to observe and consider the way we live and interact with each other pretty intimately.

Street culture continues to influence me personally through fashion, music and art but it’s not the end results that interests me most, I’m trying to understand the common denominators at the root of new ideas, what are the factors that breed micro-communities and sub-genres? This is why I choose to find inspiration in the quieter moments of life, the overlooked details of the physical environments we share, the complex nuances that evolve, the ‘feelings’ we develop for our favourite dives.

Gallery Space Liverpool
Inspiration Found in the Field

With so many print techniques out there; risograph, silkscreen, digital, hand drawn - how do you decide upon which practice to bring to a specific project?

I’ve always been open to experimentation with digital and analogue techniques over the years and I suppose after so many studio hours I’ve arrived at an understanding of what really works for me and what doesn’t. I know to treat each job with the consideration of its context and I’ll adjust my output accordingly.

I now think of my practice roughly in two modes; as a designer and as a maker, which almost describes two different sides of the brain. On one hand I love getting super involved with branding and graphic design work for clients, which relies heavily on smart decision making, and then on the other hand I enjoy the liberation of making artworks with less constraint and more abstract thinking. I feel the balance of both is really healthy for me and I find I’m more stimulated when I switch from one project to another, constantly adapting my thought processes.

Art Gallery Exhibitions Liverpool
Methods: Silkscreen Printing

With all these creative options available to you, what sort of work are you enjoying the most at the moment? What do you feel you gain artistically from each method you employ?

I’ve been finding a good balance lately with my work and have found that being more selective and spacing out projects has really allowed me to focus my attention on the things I enjoy about what I do. I have really enjoyed branding projects that I’m involved with as I’m able to build stronger working relationships and scratch the surface a little more of the businesses I’m involved with. I think this allows me to become personally attached to the projects and make design decisions that come from a deeper place than with quicker jobs. These types of projects also allow me to pull on varied strengths to create more wholesome bodies of work, blending design, typography, creative direction and illustration. What’s also good about this more focused approach is that it actually gives me a bit more clarity in my thinking which has led to advances in my printmaking as I’m able to become more free with my artwork. I’m definitely going to utilise that energy and cook up some treats in the print studio over winter.

Art Exhibition Space Liverpool
Bruï Design for On the Corner: Jazz Festival

Tell us about the “In One Room” project?

So, the In One Room project comes from my ‘maker’ side of the brain and is essentially an exhibition or showcase platform for design craft and contemporary image making. I would say that all participants are from a visual communication background rather than fine art but the value in the showcase is to observe the conceptual thinking and experimental play that still sits as a key stimulus for these creatives. My first event was in June at Islington Mill’s gallery space where I invited 10 contemporary printmakers from around the UK to travel up to Manchester and show new ideas within risograph and screenprint.

We had a great gang; with guys like Jake Hollings from Leeds, Alice Hartley from London and Al White from Glasgow. My real goal with the project is to adapt into a collaborative platform to encourage insightful peer learning and cross-pollinate ideas between a tangible network of varied disciplines.

Unknown Flag Mockup Web
Alice Hartley's work for IOR

Collaborating with Constellations and Hinterlands, you've helped us create everything from festival branding to a corporate logo! What other organisations have you helped bring to life through your artwork?

I suppose mostly my work is visible locally through my personal studio ‘b r u ï’ but I tend to work on such a variety of projects, some of which don’t actually go through b r u ï and are more design led. I’ve been involved long term with the fashion designer Ruth Peterson, as well as her branding I’ve designed apparel graphics for collections that we’ve shown at Paris Fashion week a few times.

I’ve also had a long-standing relationship with Phil Bridges who now runs the TheMindMap, a platform that sits perfectly between culture mag and mental health charity, so I’ve become quite involved with the design direction for this project, which is really gratifying.

Most recently, I’ve been producing a series of artworks for the London grime artist LEVi, another strong working relationship that has led to us finding a real rhythm together so I’m looking forward to working towards an album artwork with him pretty soon.

I also work as a designer for a fashion agency by day and have been leading up an exciting project with Formula 1 so I’m in the process of fleshing out more bespoke illustrations and T-shirt designs for the F1 season.

I guess that gives you an overview of the work I get up to, I enjoy the challenge of mixing it up every day!

Paris1
Bruï's work alongside fashion designer, Ruth Peterson

Where outside of Liverpool and Manchester might we find your work popping up?

Berlin is one place you might find a few surprise sightings of my prints out in the wild, I had a solo show there a couple years a go and some of the local print galleries still stock my work.

Aside from that, I’ve been producing illustrations for apparel at this year’s Tour de France and Ryder Cup that you’ll find out at the events, bring me back a size Large if you’re going! But in terms of going forward, I’m working on more In One Room events and am really enjoying building on my connections in the North and don’t see that changing much any time soon so keep an eye out for plenty to come locally!

Who's one local artist that you recommend people check out?

I’ll give you two because I’m currently in prep mode for the next IOR event, which will be at All The Shapes in Prestwich. I’ve invited Andrew Berry and Thom White to join me in presenting a new exhibition of our works next Feb but we’ll be starting semi-regular group crit sessions soon so I’m already looking forward to it. We all share a similar obsession with street drawings and abstract mark making so our ideas live in the same world but the visual output of each is pretty unique.

Me and Andy used to run a print studio together in the Baltic Triangle but more recently he’s been creating graphics for film/TV sets and his personal work has taken a slightly cinematic quality, whereas Thom is one of the masterminds behind Maray and has this amazingly instinctive tone about his drawings that carry as much class as his cocktails.

Go check them both out if you can!

Independent Art Spaces in Liverpool
Thomas White's Highly Stylised Work will be Exhibited at the next In One Room Event.

Are there any future projects you’d like to let us know about? What are you looking forward to?

I think just more of the same really, constantly working on a whole variety of creative projects and hopefully doing each one justice in its own way. I’m working on an ongoing series of screen prints over the winter which follow my observational research and writings so I’ll be releasing a few of those in time for Christmas. I’m also working on a large illustration piece for Bido Lito! magazine which will make its way into the world at some point and yeah, just keeping up with work for ongoing clients for now.

Where can people go to check out your work and find out more about you orbuy Bruï Studio artwork?

So best bet is to head to my website at - bruistudio.com - I’m in the process of updating it fully with projects from the beginning of the year but you can find some work samples and my shop on there as well as a link to my Instagram, @bruistudio – if you need any info on upcoming projects or anything that’s usually a good place to get in touch with me!

Finally, the Constellations tote bag...where did the inspiration for this design come from?

When I thought about designing this tote artwork I wanted to find a way to connect with the unique community that Constellations breeds. I am drawn to finding methods of communication that don't rely on a visible subject matter but that playfully capture an essence, using a considered balance of familiarity and abstraction to generate visual appeal. The general idea was to evoke subtle senses of modern life by collaging fragments of architecture, ceramics, textiles, commercial packaging etc, so people may be subconsciously drawn to the seemingly abstract.