Brittney Bender is a photographer and digital artist from Upstate New York. Currently, she is working on her degree in media and communications while in her spare time taking as many photos as she can and playing around on Photoshop. She loves the odd, abstract, and what may be behind the simplest of images when manipulated. Her artwork can be found through her photo editing for The Cardinal Courier or her current website, brittbendercreations.
ANGLES: Hi Brittney! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
BB: I’m a sophomore, part-time student at St. John Fisher. I am a Media and Communications major with two minors: Women and Gender Studies and Film and Television Studies. I definitely love movies, film, and art. Anything artistic or creative is what I do in my spare time. It’s definitely something that I use as sort of a self-care routine. A lot of my art is reflective of what I’m going through and it’s just very calming, so that’s become an outlet for me.
ANGLES: The layers of images and textures in your works create such an arresting, surrealist effect. What does the process of creating these works look like?
BB: For my foundations, I either use photos I’ve taken on my Nikon or I use free domain pieces or backgrounds or textures. From there, I begin to change it by creating shapes, changing layer after layer. I usually use a website called Pixabay. It has really good, free images from people who share their photos or basic block designs. But after that, I just use Photoshop.
ANGLES: What inspired you to make these pieces?
BB: I’m often going for very gothic looks, but it depends on my mood and what music I’m listening to. It could turn out one way if I’m listening to Led Zeppelin or it could turn out very different if I’m listening to NSYNC. It’s definitely inspired by quirky artists and I’m often inspired by local artists.
ANGLES: Is there a specific or cohesive message you’re trying to convey through this collection?
BB: Well this collection is just some of my favorites that I’ve picked out among stuff that I’ve done. I felt these really spoke to me and I wanted to share them. Typically, I don’t use men in my photos or take male models from websites because I like to have a strong female sense. I like using that power to my advantage.
ANGLES: Do you have a favorite piece not included here?
BB: There is this one work I made of Audrey Hepburn standing with katanas in front of a women’s vote sign. So it was almost the opposite of how you’d think Audrey Hepburn would look, and I loved the whole feminist angle coming through in my art.
ANGLES: What are some challenges you came across in creating these images? How do you deal with these challenges?
BB: It’s the little things. I’m very much a perfectionist. So I’ll go back to them time and time and time again. Looking back at my old art, most of the time I’ll say, “that looks like a piece of crap” because I will constantly be trying to do better. It’s kind of a struggle, sometimes.
ANGLES: So how do you know a work is complete?
BB: It’s almost like it’s never done because even in some of my favorite pieces, I still see little things I want to fix. I don’t think it’s ever perfect, but sometimes that’s just how it’s meant to be. As long as it’s not distracting from the purpose of the art or the cohesiveness, then I say let it be what it is.
ANGLES: Have you always been a creative person? When did you realize you were artistic?
BB: I have always doodled in class, and my mom always had a camera. I was home-schooled when I was younger, and we would always go on trips together to the park. She always had a camera on hand, so I think there were these little pieces from my parents that were creative inspirations, and I was always around something creative or doing something hands on.
ANGLES: What do you like to do on a Saturday away from home and school?
BB: It’s random but I love going to estate sales. Estate sales I just find to be really cool. I collect old cameras. Say someone has passed away and they really don’t have that to give to anybody; I like to keep it and maintain it. It’s kind of like books… like first editions. Also, I like just shopping and seeing animals at pet stores. I can’t pass up a bunny.
ANGLES: What are your post graduate plans?
BB: Definitely something artistic. I’ve always loved YouTube and similar kinds of digital platforms like Buzzfeed. I would always want to continue that creativity, whether it’s photography or doing pieces in my spare time. That is what is important to me.