British interiors brand Brennan & Burch sees Lisa Brennan’s colourful illustrations and hand-drawn characters decorate wallpapers, furniture, rugs and prints come to life. Co-founders Lisa & Majida have been friends since the 1980s and started their independent fashion brand specialising in limited edition streetwear in 2000 to celebrate popular culture and their love of movements like rockabillies, punk, casuals and acid house. For 10 years selling worldwide at super cool stores like La Foret Harajuku, Selfridges and Topshop, they turned their effort to the home and branched out into interiors where clients have included Heals, Paul Smith and Hotel Pelirocco. Here Lisa tells us more about her creative world.
What first got you into visual arts?
Creating screen prints many moons ago when Brennan & Burch began as a streetwear brand.
What is your creative process from inception to creation?
It starts with a mood, a song, a feeling, pencil to paper, sometimes frustration, sometimes elation.
How did you develop your style?
Through years of practice and accepting who I am.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Wonderland mayhem on acid.
What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?
It isn’t really a choice, just can’t stop, it’s in my blood.
Which piece of work has given you the most satisfaction in producing?
We recently had a large scale version of our New Forest work reproduced in Romford, Essex. It was fantastic to see it realised on such a grand scale. We are so flattered to find out how many people have been using it as a selfie background or for group photos.
What has been your most memorable client experience?
Working with the Pelirocco boutique hotel in Brighton. We love the fact they are so like-minded and share the same influences (art, music, youth culture, popular icons).
What books, blogs and online resources do you use for creative inspiration?
Fruits Japanese street style magazine, Instagram feeds and Ape on the Moon website.
What soundtrack do you work to?
1980s, lovers rock, Beastie Boys, acid house, pop and Bugsy Malone.
Who are your heroes and what other artists do you dig?
Our heroes are Grace Jones, Billy Idol and the Sex Pistols.
Artists we love are McBess, Fafi, Miss Van, Eley Kishimoto, Zakee Shariff and Timorous Beasties.
What project are you working on now?
Leather Satchel Co. x Brennan & Burch leather bag collaboration. The first two designs to be launched are ‘Let the Music Play’ Pixie cross-body handbag (£130) and ‘New Forest’ large leather tote bag (£180).
What’s the last exhibition that you visited?
‘Shout Out! UK pirate radio in the 1980s’ archival exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.
Do you collect work of any other artists?
Pure Evil street art china plates by Royal Doulton and a limited edition print by Adam Neate which we found on top of a post box during his London Show in 2008 when 1000 prints were left on the streets.
What is your favourite piece of artwork that you’ve created?
‘Mr & Mrs Vamp’ limited edition giclée art print (£45 for 30cm x 40cm / £110 for 50cm x 70cm) is my favourite at the moment.
What is the number one piece of advice you would like to tell new artists?
Don’t give up yet!
What do you dislike about the art world?
It’s not what you know, but who you know.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Barricade myself in a room with my favourite music turned up loud.
What are some of the most challenging and inspiring elements of your current projects?
When working with other people, being able to stand back and let them choose illustrations that I might not choose for a project, or pieces that I created previously. Learning to let go of the creative process a little.
You can only visit one City, watch one film, read one book, listen to one album for the rest of your life. What would they be?
Book: ‘The Feelies’ by Mick Farren
Album: ‘Balearic Beats Vol 1’ acid house compilation
Brennan & Burch will be selling their gorgeous products at the Eye Candy Illustration & Art Fair and some products will also be available at the pop up store.
Eye Candy Illustration & Art Fair, Saturday 1st October, St Martin’s Church in the Bullring, Birmingham
Eye Candy Pop Up Store, Unit 9, Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, Birmingham – 28th September to the 8th October