Q & A with B.D. Graft

Q & A with B.D. Graft

Q&A between Brightland + B.D. Graft, the artist behind LUCID's label.

Brightland: Tell us a little bit about how you entered the art world.

B.D. Graft: While I was studying Film and English Literature in Amsterdam, a friend of mine introduced me making collages. What started off as a fun distraction from my studies ended up becoming somewhat of an obsession. A few years later I knew that it was art, and not writing, that I wanted to pursue professionally.

Brightland: What is your personal philosophy in terms of your art?

B.D. Graft: Making art brightens up my day, and I'd like to pass those feelings on to the observer. I don't take my own art too seriously and don't want it to be preachy – I just like spreading some beauty and positivity.

Brightland: Tell about your process for designing the label for LUCID. What were your inspirations? How did you create it?

B.D. Graft: For the LUCID I wanted to create something that represents the pleasure derived from a great meal: a multitude of flavors and sensations that come together to form a well-rounded whole. I love food, and as soon as Aishwarya introduced me to Brightland I knew it was a genuine, good product – a real passion project. We both agreed that my colorful, organic looking art would be a perfect fit for Brightland's fresh new olive oil variety. The label artwork is a hand made collage that was created using oil pastels, paper, charcoal and acrylic paint.

Brightland: We are both very inspired by the work of Henri Matisse--and your “Add Yellow” series frequently references him. How do you take inspirations and influences from the analog world into our very digital world where you share your art?

B.D. Graft: I use the internet to share scans of my work, but it's hand made; the feeling of using paper, scissors, glue and paint can't be replicated digitally! Pages from old art books - Matisse, Picasso, de Kooning - often form the basis of my collages, so I wear my influences on my sleeve. Collage culture relies heavily on borrowing material and making it your own, which is what my "Add Yellow" project does in a very self-reflexive way.

Brightland: With that in mind, what are your thoughts on sharing your art through a medium like Instagram? Does it ever become overwhelming? If so, what do you do to stay true to yourself as an artist and slow down?

B.D. Graft: Without Instagram, I don't think I'd be able to make art for a living, so I'm very thankful for the doors it's opened for me. I think it's great for sharing and discovering art, but can't replace the feeling of seeing a great artwork up close and personal. Sometimes when I catch myself being online for too long, I force myself to take a time out – read a book, enjoy the company of the people I'm around, go for a long walk with the dog, visit a museum...

Brightland: What does "Living in a golden state" mean to you?

B.D. Graft: Being healthy, happy, and surrounded by the people you love!

Brightland: Do you have a favorite Matisse cutout? We’d love to compare answers ;)

B.D. Graft: I love them all, but it would have to be "Memory of Oceania"!