Brianna Pippens ( banana peppers) is a 27 year old visual and performing artist from Washington DC. She received her bachelors and masters degree in Communication Arts and International Communications from St. John’s University in Queens NY. A self taught mixed media artist and illustrator, Brianna creates works of art that reflect strong, multi-faceted and creative depictions of people of color. She celebrates black culture, self love & pride as well as provide unique visuals from her everyday life and experiences.
1. What’s the inspiration behind your name BpeppersArt?
My nickname is Banana Peppers. This came from my mom seeing Banana Peppers listed on a menu and then saying, I thought that said your name at first glance. My real name is Brianna Pippens. From then on I started going by Banana Peppers. Banana Peppers are sweet yet tangy. I think that fits me and my art. There are elements that are sweet and light-hearted but also very strong messages and undertones. That is why I go by the name Banana Peppers and BPeppersArt is just the shortened version of that.
2. What led you to choosing a career in Arts?
Since I was a child I always loved to draw and color. It was hobby for most of my life until I got to college and started to take it more seriously. By day I am a Business Analyst but by night, an artist. I have not fully transitioned into a full time artist, but that is the goal. The arts is what drives me, I get so much excitement from creating that I feel like I should be able to do it everyday. I think that a career in the arts is choosing me. Like I said I am still not a full time artist but everyday I work towards that goal. I know that is will not be easy and may not be as stable as the job I have now but I am trying to follow the mantra “trust your art”.
3. What is greatest motivation for you as an Artist?
The greatest motivation for me as an artist is the potential to reach people. I think starting out I was sharing my art with close family and friends but now with social media my art is able to reach people all over the place. Having others connect to what I create motivates me to make more. I am motivated to become a better artist, more vulnerable, constant peeling back my layers to a more authentic artist that others can relate to.
When I see other visual artist particularly women, and women of color and they are making great accomplishments, I am also very motivated to keep learning and growing as an artist.
4. What keeps you going during your Art sessions?
What keeps me going is usually the vision of a piece in my head, once I start I want to get to that point. I like to see things actualized so I am motivated by the feeling that the end result will be satisfying to me in some way. I also listen to music while I create, that pushes me during my sessions because much like art, music has movement and feeling that impact your mood. I play songs that I know tap into a certain part of me, and then I just go for it from there.
Sometimes I get discouraged, or just have artist’s block and can’t seem to execute an idea. When that happens I just keep going and drawing and realize that everything doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, and I have to constantly create and challenge myself to
5. You sing very beautifully also, tell us about that passion?
Thank you! I have been singing since I was a child. Music has always played a big part in my life. My dad is a singer and I always admired his passion and commitment to vocal and choral arts so when I was able to join different groups and musical projects at a young age, that love for singing stuck with me. I think singing is where I am most vulnerable, so I am very passionate about how I present my voice whether that is with a cover or an original song. My favorite musicians all have such unique voices and subject matter and I just aim to be a singer that shares my gift but also leaves people leaving with a sense of who I am.
I love to sing. Last year release my first original project called Up in the Clouds. I created artwork for each song, and it was a very rewarding experience. I hope to continue to make music and incorporate my visual art with it.
6. What do you aim to achieve with your Arts?
One day I would like to have my artwork installed around the world from small exhibits to prestigious galleries. I also want to reach people, the goal of my art has never really been about the profit but it was about connecting with others. I aim to create a vast body of work that I can be shared in many out lets. I would also like to create an arts non-profit that brings creative self expression to young people. I want to make a lasting impact with my art.
7. What would you consider your most cherished achievement thus far, since becoming
My most cherished achievement thus far as artist was having my first solo show for my 25th birthday. I rented a space, created all new works and invited friends, family and the community to join me in the art experience that I called Emerge. I will forever cherish that show because it gave me a glimpse into the possibility of so much more. Having people buy my art, admire it or even just be there for that experience, means so much to me. I was a starting point and I constantly thinking back on it as moment that I want to grown and build from.
8. What type of collaborations are you looking forward to?
I would love to collaborate with a photographer. I do cut out work that I capture with photos but I think working with a real photographer would take the output of my cutouts to another level. I would also like to collaborate with other artists on large scale mural work or installation art. Now I am trying to meet the right people to make collaborative efforts happen. I think if I had more artist to connect with there would be more mutually beneficial opportunities. I would like to collaborate to host arts events and
9. Where are your works curated/stocked?
Thank You Brianna!