The Portrait Series
Emily Braswell (Strawberriemilk)
Q: Who is Strawberriemilk and does the name have a story?
A: Strawberriemilk is a more true representation of me. Emily Braswell pays her water bill and files taxes; I’m the first to admit that I’m extremely tainted by society. I embody this other identity that’s not held responsible for cooperating with societal demands. The name doesn’t come from one specific thing. Sometimes I just look in the mirror and I think I look like a tall glass of strawberriemilk. Another reason is my mom always forcefully made me only drink plain milk, so the taste of strawberry- milk was something I always fanaticized about. The reason I spell it with an “ie” rather than a “y “is because of the unavoidable need to find an unused username on social media platforms. The whole milk concept continued to develop when my best friend and collaborative partner Jenna Rees adopted the name warmmilkwithsugar.
Q: Describe your form of art or can it be labeled?
A: Life is my art form. I wouldn’t label myself specifically as a painter because I think that creates confines I would never want to have to be conscious of. Most of my work is inspired by this strange point in time were all required to exist in which inevitably forces me to make or at least conceptualize about all types of work.
Q: Are there any artists on your way to developing your craft who’s been your inspiration?
A: My last two years of high school I had really invested art teachers that started introducing me to some artist that still inspire me to this day. I’ve always loved Cy Twombly, Kehinde Wiley, and Basquiat. I’ve also always been super inspired by street art and graffiti art.
Q: What are your preferred tools in your studio?
A: I have a pretty stocked studio but the most crucial tools are acrylic paint, spray paint, a large range of brushes and any random surfaces to paint on. I also keep a miniature library that consists of old magazines, random stickers, and various found papers.
Q: We love your character and how it’s displayed in your work. How many types of art do you consider yourself expressing and are there new forms you want to approach in the future?
A: Again, I make all kinds of art. I really see my entire life as one big art piece. I intentionally don’t live a traditional life, don’t enjoy wearing normal clothes, everything is art to me. In the future, I want to work on a lot of collaborations. My friend Jenna Rees and I are working on a series of paintings called “The Portrait Series.”
Q: Where were you located when you started to paint and did the current city help develop your direction?
A: I started to paint in Winston Salem NC which definitely had an impact on both me and my work. I just recently moved away from Charlotte. The city definitely introduced me to a lot of compelling people but I sought the majority of my inspiration elsewhere.
Q: Charlotte is surely growing in the art market. Are there any plans for you and your work to be collaborated on with any other artists?
A: Although I loved the city I’ve really reached a point where I’m ready for something fresh. I got a solid taste of a few different art scenes in Charlotte and I’m much more enthused on experiencing something totally new. I’m really invested in my collaboration with warmmilkwithsugar and we plan to move to Atlanta to execute a couple other long-term ideas we’ve been working on.
Q: Is there a special environment, music , or strategy used to stir up the creative juices while creating a strawberry Milk masterpiece?
A: I actually do need a very specific environment that consists of pure comfort. I like to be able to blast music, eat snacks, drink beer, and make as big of a mess as I want.
You can find Emily’s fascinating art here @strawberriemilk_ on instagram
Photographed by IG @third.pupil | Creative Director Kyron B