Passion. Vision. Faith: B. Marie
There are some people you know who are destined to be artists and some who should just allow others to walk in that destiny, like me. Growing up, sometimes I wish I had the natural born talent to be able to play an instrument, paint a masterpiece, or even sing a beautiful song. However, God had other plans. In elementary school, we played the plastic flute-looking instrument (can't remember the name of it) and I was horrible compared to the other students. I started to catch some drag in singing, but then puberty kicked in and my voice decided to transition to more of a Barry White tone mixed with a little Stuart Little and Alfalfa. In high school I actually started to really enjoy art after taking a few art classes, but never could quite get the masterpiece part down. I know, I know; a masterpiece can be whatever you believe it to be. I just knew it wasn't for me.
Then, there are the people who are destined to express their visions and hearts through art such as Breanna aka B. Marie. I met Bre at Old Dominion University (again, arguably the best college in the state of Virginia and even the country) at a campus ministry. She was one of the ministry leaders when I started to attend their weekly meetings. Bre is classy, adventurous, silly and one-of-a-kind. Her style is simple yet special and it shows through her personality and art. Bre teaches elementary school kids and spends the rest of her time creating art. She paints original pieces that are meant to encourage and uplift women to love themselves for who they are. She owns B. Marie Art & Photography and uses her gifts to share the Gospel and impact others to live for a greater purpose. She also aspires to write children's books in the near future. Multifaceted! That's what you develop when you find your identity in Christ (another topic for another day).
As in the previous feature, I interview my guests to give you guys a peek into the person's lives and hopefully be inspired. Here's the interview between Bre and I:
Question: What's your purpose?
Answer: My purpose is to bring glory to God and to encourage, uplift, and inspire others especially women.
Question: When did you first learn of your purpose and how?
Answer: Okay, so in my Junior year of college I became serious in my walk with Christ and I chose to surrender everything to Him. I just said, "Lord, show me what it is that you called me to do. What is it that You (emphasis on You) want me to do. Not what I think I should do or not what other people want me to do. What is it that You called me to do?" Over time being connected to some good friends...like I would always say, "I don't know what it is that I want to do." Everyone else knew what they wanted to do, what career path. And myself, I was just stuck with wanting to help people. However, I knew I didn't want to be confined to a counseling position; a cubicle sized space and just stuck inside all the time. I knew I wanted to be out and about doing things with my hands. A few friends would always ask me if I ever thought about doing photography or something in art because I was always seen with a camera in my hand or they would compliment me on how creative I was with my hairstyles. After doing some research, I came across Art Therapy which was a way to connect art and helping people for a career. I really felt like God gifted me to do something creative; I felt like it was my niche. So after speaking with my parents, they agreed to support me in picking up a minor in Art Therapy. I was accepted into the program and in my first semester there was an art show where you had to submit a portfolio. In order to be entered into the art show, a curator had to judge your work and decide on whether you would be entered or not. I did a photography series called "Pursuit of Passion" and it was a series in which I would walk around campus and talk to people asking them what they were passionate about. I took their picture and at the bottom of the photo I wrote what they were passionate about. Low and behold, the series was selected to be entered into the art show. That was confirmation for me that this is something that I feel like God could use me in doing. I enjoy it and since then, I've started my business B. Marie Art and Photography. Been doing it ever since!
Question: Was there ever a time that you felt like maybe you made the wrong decision, you made a mistake in hearing God in what your purpose or passions were? If so, what did you do to overcome the hurdles of discouragement and disappointment?
Answer: In my first semester of art classes...see I'm in classes with students who are majoring in art and have been doing art for years. I remember we had this one assignment in my drawing class. It was simple, we had to draw a three-dimensional box. And I was so frustrated; I remember I tried drawing the box and my professor came over and she said, "No!", and she marked all over my box! I was like, "Dang!" After class I was walking home and I was thinking, "God, I don't know. Maybe this isn't for me. This is too...It was just a box, but everyone else could get it except for me. Why am I even here? This doesn't make sense." So, I went home and practiced. Practiced working on that little box. We had a similar assignment related to that, we had to draw three-dimensional objects. Everyone liked what I had done and it encouraged me. So, I didn't give up. I was discouraged, but I didn't give up. I persevered. So, yeah.
Question: What visions has God given you that has directly impacted people and how did God encourage you in that?
Answer: I feel like my artwork in general isn't meant to just be looked at. A lot of the things I draw or paint is a reflection of what God has shown me. Whether it's just life circumstances...I don't know. I'm inspired by everyday life and a lot of my work is meant to encourage and uplift others. It may be a message on doing what you can with what you have. Or to be you and be all that God called you to be. To speak life; to see yourself how God sees you. To not allow what you see to dictate who you are. To see yourself as bold, beautiful, an over-comer. Even when people say things about you, to always speak what God sees in you. So when I share my artwork I get a lot of encouraging responses. It's really me sharing my life because art is therapy for me. God also laid a vision on heart to start a series called, "Pursue Your Passion" where I highlighted people in the community that are impacting their spheres of influence. God would lead me to ask someone if I could highlight them and, it sounds crazy, but they would either be opening a salon or something. I never knew; it was always on time. It's cool to see how God knows all things and being obedient and willing to do what He says, other people are blessed by that.
Question: What are three things you learned about yourself from college up to now that has impacted your passion, vision, and faith?
Answer: I'm courageous. I'm willing to jump on whatever vision God gives me. I'm rarely afraid and if I am, I'm still willing to do it. I've learned that I'm passionate about what I'm doing; I think mainly because it encourages and uplifts women. This is a ministry to reach and connect with people.
Question: Who are three influential people in your life that has impacted you in a way that inspires you to do what you do and helped you along the way to help get you to where you are now?
Answer: My parents, definitely my parents for their support. For allowing me to explore; they've been encouraging along the way and spreading the word about the things that I do. People in general. I'm a people watcher, I like to observe...I don't know if that makes sense. Just people, you know I'm inspired by people and their stories. Sometimes their stories inspire me to write a message. Lastly, other entrepreneurs. Just seeing them on their grind and not giving up. Seeing their process of how they came from the beginning up to where they are now.
As Bre continues to be obedient to what the Lord is leading her to do, I know so many people will continue to be impacted and inspired to reach the potential that God sees in them. No matter where you are or where you came from in life, the bar is never set too high when you identify your purpose. The limits are removed and the external forces sent against you have no effect. Your circumstances no longer restrain you from growing.
"Be you." - Bre
If you would like to check out some of Bre's work, check out her website and Facebook page by clicking the links below: