Who is City Owl Studios?
If you would have told me that at 42, I would make the jump to be able to create the life I could only dream of, and create art as a full time job, I would never believe you. I have worked my ass of to get here and I don’t take one blessing for granted. My name is Brooke and I am a mom of 3 loving hooligans who fill my life full of love, laughter and adventure (let’s be honest, some tears too). I have been married to my husband Nick for 9 years now and yes, cliche, but he truly is my best friend. Our life is loud, messy and full of love.
I have my undergrad degree in graphic design from the University of Kansas, my masters in teaching from Lindenwood University, and a masters in studio art from Fontbonne University.For the past 3 years, I have been working two full time jobs. Oftentimes working after my kids go to bed, and get up and teach, and then do it all over again. It was beginning to take a toll as my request for commissions grew. I have recently taken the jump from being a high school educator for the past 13 years, to teaching at a couple of local universities, which allows me to create full time, but more importantly, it allows me to be there for this crazy time in my kids life.
Truth is, God put this on my heart years ago that I would be doing this, I just never had the faith in myself. Finally, I am being obedient and for the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am living in God’s purpose for my life. Though there are stressful times, I have a feeling of contentment and that this is where I should be, and what I should be doing.
My husband Nick is my right hand man. He is behind the scenes at City Owl. Sometimes, you may be talking to him, because he often returns emails during our busy times and takes care of all of the matting and shipping. My niece has recently come on board and helps with social media because… well, I’m getting old and I am not that hip anymore.
Our oldest son is the engineer, loves all things lego, loves cars. He has a ‘thinking mind’ I call it. Just like Nick. My middle son, he will always make you smile. He may do it by talking your ear off, but he is something else. He is all things art and sea life, especially mermaids. Then there is the princess, the youngest, and the girl who is all girly and all sass.
I have been creating art for as long as I can remember. I remember always hiding my talent because I never wanted anyone to know that I was good at it. I remember drawing pictures in crayon behind my clothes in my closet. I would paint or draw something and rip it up, and throw it in the trash because I never saw myself as good enough. You can go to my mom’s house and her walls are still lined with artwork that she has taped back up and framed. I don’t know if I would be here if she didn’t see my talent, foster it by putting me in art lessons and encouraging me to pursue art in college and follow my dreams.
Art has always been my therapy. I was always a quiet person. I used art as a means of communication. It is a time for self reflection. Now that I am doing commissions, what keeps me going is the joy my customers have when they see what they imagined as artwork. Whether it is a picture of the home they just sold, or the pet they just lost, putting family members who have never met due to loss in a portrait together, knowing that my artwork means so much to someone on a personal level is everything.
In my personal work, I am able to create art for the words I sometimes can’t speak. I am excited to be able have more margin to create my own artwork and paintings. Stay tuned!