Brooks Brackett, lead graphic designer at Redhype, believes that simple, thoughtful ideas from everyday inspirations can be the most rewarding.
This proves true from two of his most recent projects, a piece inspired by the Academy Award-winning movie “Get Out,” and a commissioned piece inspired by the blockbuster hit “Black Panther.”
Brackett is a Greenville native who has spent most of his life here, other than attending the Art Institute in Charlotte, N.C., for graphic design. “I have always been interested in art since I was a kid, probably the age of 3,” Brackett says. “I made my first logo, even though at the time I thought it was just a symbol, at age 10 for my skateboarding team.”
Brackett has always been inspired by skateboarding culture and says that it was his first glimpse into art. Brackett says, “That’s where it first started was skateboarding with friends and emulating the artwork.”
Brackett has grown vastly as an artist and designer, but still finds inspiration in the simple things in life — conversations with friends, movies, musicians he likes, and nature.
Brackett has long been a fan of “Get Out” writer and director Jordan Peele. “Ever since his early ‘Mad TV’ days, and it was his first film so I had to go see it. It was a great film,” Brackett says. He was inspired by the popular horror movie and noticed that Peele had posted some fan art on his Instagram page. Brackett created a few pieces and then shared them, in hopes that Peele would see. Peele not only saw the art but reposted it to his own Instagram page, and went on to publish it in a book, which was a compilation of about 30 pieces of art by fans (out of more than 100 that he posted on his page) inspired by the film.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting that to come out of my sketches,” Brackett says. “He sent me a book, and I’ve been trying to keep it away from things to keep it nice and clean.”
Brackett was also recently commissioned by the Carolina Panthers to create a promotional piece based on the team’s logo to coincide with the release of “Black Panther,” Marvel’s latest blockbuster hit. “It actually took place in like two days, so the deadline was very tight. I definitely wasn’t expecting it to get that much exposure. ‘SportsCenter’ got a hold of it. It kind of went a little viral. So, I wasn’t expecting that either,” Brackett says.
“The Panthers are probably my new favorite client. It was challenging; it was unexpected; it was everything that you would want in dealing with a client. Even though it was just a quick commission, it was very rewarding,” he says.
Brackett puts emphasis on how small projects or simple inspirations can reap the most rewards. “Great rewards come from pretty small ideas, even just simple conversations. It’s just a matter of writing it down and revisiting it, exploring it and hashing it out, seeing what it can grow into,” Brackett says. “A lot of my favorite ideas have started out that way. That can apply with business, art, music. It can really apply to any creative avenue.”
Brackett is quietly incredibly driven. He does not boast over the time spent on any project and is constantly working to improve his craft. “I like to draw, which is surprisingly something that not every designer does, but it can really enhance your work if done correctly,” Brackett says. “I’m trying to figure out how to paint, which is surprisingly harder than I thought it would be. I like to do things with my hands.”
He believes in following your passion in order to find success. Brackett explains, “I think the bigger message is just to do what you love to do, have fun with whatever it is that you want to pursue in life. It might not be that fun at the start, but it can be very rewarding if you stick with it. That’s one thing that art has taught me, because when I first started I had no idea I could make a career out of it.”
Brackett’s next move it to continue to try new things and move outside of his comfort zone. “I like to challenge myself. I painted this and then I want to see if I can make something better next month,” he says. “It’s almost like a process of never really being satisfied, but being satisfied enough that you appreciate yourself. You always want to be a little uncomfortable.”
Brackett is constantly looking for new media to master, as he dabbles in creating music on his computer and hopes to explore motion design in the future. “I want my pictures to start moving,” he says. “I want them to start interacting and talking, and I think that’s the next big step going forward. If you really enjoy something, just do it.”