Brooke Smart is a talented Utah-based illustrator with an enchanting new series called Bringing Up Baby. She also creates fascinating custom portraits of individuals, couples, and families and was previously profiled on The Krakens. Smart graduated in 2007 from BYU in Illustration. She lives in Utah.
Tell us about your new series Bringing Up Baby. My series focuses on my day-to-day life right now with my three-year-old daughter. I’m doing it as a 100-day project (one black monochromatic watercolor painting each day) and am one third of the way through. I’ve wanted to chronicle this particular time in our lives because it feels like such a brief moment; a moment that I want to always remember and that my daughter will love looking back on. It’s my version of a journal. So many tiny things happen in our days right now, some hilarious, some heartwarming, some sad, and some that are completely unique to our relationship and us. For me, it started out as just that: painting scenes and stories that I thought were completely us and no one else, but I’ve found out, through comments on my series, that a lot of my story is actually a universal one. I love that. I love feeling connected to other mothers in that way.
Do you find this project a challenge, a job, a pleasure? I do one painting a day, which often seems like a lot, coupled with my other freelance work, but I so look forward to painting it each day. This series has so much meaning to me personally and so far has taught me so much about who I am as a mother and who I want to be. And in an artistic sense, working this quickly, with such a strict deadline each day, has taught me how to trust myself so much more, how to work within very limited boundaries, and how to very simply tell a story.