Brooke deBruin

  • Brooke deBruin used her pain to power an important project
  • You can discover your interests at any age
  • Everybody has a Who Is NOBODY? project inside of them

A few years ago, shortly after I started drawing, I read this quote: Art never comes from happiness. At the time it seemed a bit ridiculous.

Art never comes from happiness— Chuck Palahniuk, novelist
But as I kept on with my journey into art I certainly did notice that during times of intense happiness, the art suffered. Conversely, when times got tough my productivity soared.

At this moment, I am unfortunately productive.

Making something meaningful helps you heal

A few weeks ago my 3 year old corgi Robert was killed in an accident. Reeling from the initial shock, I went searching for a way to channel my grief. I decided that laying on my couch crying and clutching his urn wasn’t going to change anything, so I set out to honour his memory.

To begin, I decided to do a portrait to memorialize Robert, and at the same time offered pet portraits to others, like the one I’ve completed (below) in order to raise funds for two projects near and dear to me. The first project is to install a bench at Bob’s dog park and the second is to fundraise for Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue which works with surrendered and neglected Corgis.

This project has given me the chance to heal by making something beautiful and meaningful out of this tragedy. I’m hoping to channel the love I had for Robert into creating something that can have a positive impact on others. Maybe that quote is correct after all. Art may not come from happiness, but happiness may be rediscovered through art.

Brooke deBruin

Brooke deBruin gives us a blueprint for dealing with difficult experiences

When I heard about Brooke’s fundraising efforts, I was incredibly moved. Then I thought: Brooke is doing her own Who Is NOBODY? Project. She’s using her interests and abilities to help others. Brooke’s decision to take all that hurt and redirect it into something positive, is a constructive method of dealing with grief.

My introduction to Brooke was via our mutual friend Duncan, on Instagram. We live many provinces apart. First I fell in love with her art. After she wrote the above piece, I fell in love with her spirit. Brooke has an amazing ability to put both pictures and words on paper.

Get up, dress up, show up

Brooke’s creative way of honouring Bob, reminds me that no matter what’s going on in our lives, it’s important to keep moving forward. Nothing happens when you’re hiding under your duvet. Get out there and keep giving. Love begets love.

I do acrylic, watercolour, coloured pencil, pastel, makeup on my damn self and charcoal— Brooke deBruin, artist

Brooke deBruin discovered she had a knack for art after she finished school. What a talent! You can follow her on Instagram @brookedebruin where she posts her work as it develops. Then you can see her process.

Brooke works in many mediums:

Brooke deBruin - Mediums
I love Brooke’s work so much I purchased a painting she made of Freddie Mercury. It’s a surprise (!) gift for my partner.

If you’d like to contribute to Brooke deBruin’s memorial fund for Bob (in exchange for a portrait of your pet), or if someone you care about has an upcoming birthday, anniversary or other important event you’re looking to celebrate, contact Brooke. What present could be more unique than a personal painting?!

Follow the beautiful art of Brooke deBruin here:
Follow Brooke deBruin on Instagram @brookedebruin

Thank you Brooke deBruin for sharing your story.

This is one of my favourite Freddie Mercury songs. Listen to the lyrics.

Brooke deBruin is a big fan of dogs, painting art with heart, humour and the band Queen … among other things.

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