The short bio...
Living half her life struggling with past traumas and self-inflicting emotional pain, Claire Brazier took to self-healing.
By understanding her own emotions and making them into a visual form of art, she found her voice. She hopes that by doing this, it would achieve a support network of other people out there who needs some kind of outlet for their own emotions or just maybe people love the aesthetics of her work and wants to share in the emotion and strength that she portrays.
Throughout Claire’s life, she has used her creativity in many ways. She hasn't always used her preferred medium of oils, not until she was in her late 20’s anyway. Whether or not her trauma was a catalyst for her creativity, she always had a project on the go, sometimes two or three at a time.
Her attention span was very scatty and she got restless and bored of many things even before her projects had even made any foundations. But with oils, there was always a sense of compassion, freedom, and self-control. She can hold enough attention to finish a piece of art.
This in turn has made Claire look at her life and perspective more simplistically. Focusing and putting her effort into a healthy direction will not only help in her journey but show others that she is human and we can only but learn from our given past.
Move forward and procreate to give the best out of an otherwise acceptable situation.
Breathe in and let go of the shackles that are weighing you down. Use the fire inside of you to make your own path of freedom and self belief! You've got this! - Claire
Biography...full fat version
I am a contemporary emotional figurative artist based in the South Staffordshire area. My preferred medium is using oils and palette knives, as it gives me the freedom of self-expression. Showing control of my subject yet wild strokes in my work to emphasise the turbulent journey of what I see in that painting alone.
"By creating what I feel at the time, the choice of colour and the energy that flows within me, I get to create a visual concept of a raw emotion and that feeling of 'letting go' is unexplainable."
My art journey began at the age of 12 and whilst art and creativity run in my family, the moment when I fell in love with making art was when I realized that it was an escape mechanism from the childhood trauma that I suffered years before.
I grew up in various locations within the West Midlands, moving regularly with my single mother. My 'family' life had broken by the age of 18 months and my weeks consisted of shared care with weekends at my grandparents. I was always a happy little kid until, at the age of 6, my mother had a horrific accident. She got swept up and spat out by an artic lorry and miraculously she survived but also came along with some lasting effects, like loss of smell, memory, etc. (No child should ever see a parent lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to machines and battling with their life!)
As my mother was hospitalised, I was passed to a few family members' homes and my education would be deterred by this and so the decision was made to go live with my father, whom I hadn't seen much of since I was 18 months old. (I believe)
By now, at the age of 7, my emotional state was being tested due to feeling lost without my usual support from my mother and regular weekend visits to my grandparents.
I moved in with my father, along with his estranged partner and her two children, of which were older than me. In the beginning, I seemed to fit in but over time, things changed and I soon became a victim within the home. As I was the daughter of another woman, I was bullied and picked on for the smallest things. I was mentally and physically abused by the older son and the mother would also wisely choose her time to bully me when my father was not around.
For two years I had gone from a very happy, confident kid, always laughing, to then becoming almost a 'mute'. Not speaking unless spoken to, my barriers were firmly up and I didn't let anyone in. At that time, my emotional state was being stripped from every angle of trust. Not knowing when I was able to see my mother again and my grandparents. But one day, after having enough of being treated like a doormat, I plucked up the courage and told my father that I wanted to go live with my mother again. (I had already been asked months before but felt so scared to have been honest)
However, once those words had been said, the partner of my father didn't like it and one day when my father was out to work, he luckily came home early to see that I was again being victimised by bullying, locked in my bedroom with my belongings ripped up and shredded across the room. I guess that was the end of their relationship as my father and I had moved to my grandparents until the next steps were decided.
As soon as my mother was able to not only look after herself but myself too, I was greeted at her new home and started to rebuild what was lost a couple of years before. Unfortunately, it was an uphill struggle. Unable to tell my mother what had happened to me, I continued through school life, struggling to maintain any real friends as I had so many trust issues. Although I enjoyed high school, possibly being the most routine thing of her life so far, I always felt like I didn't fit in. I was highly into my sports and did a wide range, this was an escape mechanism for me at the time. But sometimes my anger would get the better of me and usually you could see this during sports matches or I would push myself too much on the field. This mentality would also continue through to my adult life.
I have battled with confidence, remorse and a lack of family values. So whilst not understanding my anger and dismissiveness, I took to art.
I started with pencil drawings, in a sketchbook that I still have today, drawing murals on walls and creating tattoo flash for a local tattoo artist. Producing art at the time was just a release, where I could escape and all I had to do was focus solely on my paper in front of me. I never thought that my 'art' would be a career move in the future.
As I got into my teens, I started to rebel, drink and smoke from the age of 14/15. I would be attending school in the week and by the weekends, I was out at clubs, drinking and not returning home till the early hours of the morning. Instead of concentrating on finishing her last two years of high school with some knowledge of a career, I rather sought an outlet to release my pent up emotions. Luckily for me, I left school with pretty good grades so at least I felt like I had a chance.
After leaving high school, I didn't think too much of what I wanted to do, so I took on a few basic jobs and learnt a couple of trades and some good experience, so I could go in and out of jobs as and when I pleased. An opportunity came along and I became a licensee at 19 years old and moved to Nottingham to run a bar/club. Although I enjoyed the nightlife, I found myself moving back home to the West Midlands.....near to my grandparents' house.
Shortly after moving, I met my partner, with whom I have been since 2005. We have two energetic and loving children and have been strong throughout our relationship. Having said that, I have struggled on many occasions with my emotions......pushing people away as soon as they got close, not keeping in touch with friends as often, etc.
At the age of 25, I decided to look into tattooing. I had already drawn for a local tattooist year's previous and had always liked the idea of tattooing but wasn't sure how to get more info. I eventually got an apprenticeship, albeit a short one.....but it gave me the knowledge to pursue my goal and in 2012 I opened my first tattoo studio. I had successfully built a business from nothing into a good 6-year history of good clientele, gaining awards and sponsorship.
But it wasn't until after having my second child that my life was about to completely unravel. Within 6 months of having my son, my mindset had dived, I was angry, wasn't seeing clear and closed my business. All the hard work I had done was now a memory. An opportunity arose to move onto a golf course with my partner, to help with the maintenance and protection of the land, as it was closed at the time. This came at a very good time for me to reflect.
I was travelling around 600 miles a week, taking the kids to school and then working, then collecting the kids and driving back home, it soon took its toll on me and I ended up on a stroke ward in May of 2018. I had just about escaped a TIA and I was told from then on to stop working and concentrate on my health for a while. During that same year, I was also diagnosed with postnatal depression.....so from 2018 through to early 2020, my life hit an all-time low.
Within this time I had delved into self-healing. I had ventured into Shamanism through a connection whilst on my yoga journey and a lot of circles/ceremonies did in fact help as well as natural medicine. My love for Buddhism also has played a part in my healing and uses many insights in my everyday life. I also enrolled on educational courses such as; Level 2 Health and Nutrition and also became a certified member of Holistic Practitioners (IPHM) due to emotional aromatherapy healing. By educating myself, I have now become a much stronger person and I now use my art to portray the many emotions that I have had to endure over the years.
My focus in life, other than my crazy kids and my massively supportive partner, is to guide others into understanding their own emotions. To use art to 'let go' and know that you can build yourself back from the ground up. I infuse my emotions to gain a connection between the viewer and my art.
I mainly produce collections, although single pieces of art are known to appear on the off chance that something has sparked me to make them separately. Commissions are very much encouraged. For me to be able to portray someone else's emotion through my style would be an honour and if this could help in any way for someone to feel at ease then please get in touch via the contact page.
My passions are ever-growing with the balances of life and wanting to take it deeper to understand the values of your existence.