Athens is a quaint, eclectic town crawling with talented artists and musicians. From Michael Stipe to critically-acclaimed artist David Hale, there is no doubt Athens is a hub for creativity and originality. Among those well-known, Athens is home to numerous young and talented visionaries. The purpose of my blog is to highlight those artists and demonstrate how they utilize social media to gain traction for their name and work. My first feature is the wonderful and artful Bryn Rouse, Athens very own illustrator and mixologist.
Who are you and what do you do? My name is Bryn Rouse, I’m 27 years old, and I’ve been a bartender for the past 5 years at the National.
How long have you been drawing for? Tell me about your journey as an artist. I’ve enjoyed drawing since I can remember. One big step for me, as an artist, was in 1st grade. I’d been drawing simple, dot-dot-line smiley faces :), but then I realized I could draw a lot more realistically if I actually used a visual reference such as a photograph (although I do draw some from memory). Another big step for me, as an artist, was when my boss at the National asked me to design/draw a New Year’s invitation to our regulars, about 4 years ago. Another step in my journey occurred a few months ago when Creature Comforts asked me to draw/design the can for their Epicurious beer.
How did you come about drawing critters? I used to have a subscription to, “Zoo Books” as a kid (animal magazine). I’ve just always thought animals were really cool. They’re my favorite thing to draw, by far.
Tell me about your decision to share/sell your art with others. After my boss sent out the New Year’s invitations, a few of our regulars asked me draw things for them; it basically progressed from there. Before that, I didn’t think people would be interested in my art.
When did you decide to create an Instagram page for your art and why? At first, I’d intended for my page to be more of an overall entertainment page, sort of, with some drawings, but also some random videos, songs, etc. My page was initially called, “jesteroftrades”, but after my drawings became more and more popular, and after I realized that I mainly draw animals, I changed the name to, “brynscritterz” to simplify the page for my followers and for myself as well.
Has Instagram helped you as an artist? If so, how? It has helped me sell more art, and it’s been, easily, the fastest and most efficient way of reaching new followers/viewers/customers. It’s also helped me understand what sort of art some people like v.s. dislike.
What are your plans as an artist for the future? I want to eventually reach a lot more people through my art and to be able to treat my artwork increasingly like a profession, rather than merely a hobby.
For more of Bryn’s work, follow him on Instagram @brynscritterz.