In a world where varied Afro-fused art and illustration have found vivid expression, Adaeze fearlessly steps in, and creates a visual feast that beckons you to explore wild territories of creativity.
Adaeze Brinkman is the artist behind Daeze Doodlez and has been creating digitally for the last three years. Music and art have both been therapeutic creative outlets for Adaeze long before that, though.
She’s recently ‘re-fallen’ in love with creating movement that mimics music in the digital art pieces she designs. The most exciting thing in Adaeze’s life right now? She’s currently working on the concepts for the cover of her first book, which will release Fall of 2024! You’ll typically find Adaeze being a homebody, as she feels most creative in her home, enjoying time in the Colorado mountains with her husband Chad; or enjoying some tacos.
Get ready to dive into a world where illustration meets animation to challenge the usual yet leave you craving more.
So buckle up, because Adaeze Brinkman is here to redefine the game, one animated masterpiece at a time. Let’s meet her!
How does the interplay between illustration and animation in your work contribute to the empowering narrative of taking up space, both literally and metaphorically?
I’ve noticed that in the world of animation specifically, art by black women is not as commonly seen. Being empowered to take up space through both illustration and animation is a fun way for me to do my part in rewriting that narrative for myself and other black female illustrators and animators. The interplay between the two also helps push me outside my comfort zone when it comes to creating art, which is one of the bravest ways to take up space.
Could you elaborate on how your art serves as a catalyst for this adventurous spirit and how you hope it resonates with others?
My art is adventurous in that, though it’s for the enjoyment of everyone, the creative style of having the hair covering the eyes and nose of the facial features focuses on one of the most beautiful aspects of black women: our lips. This subtle stylistic choice beckons me into the adventure of challenging myself to continue to come up with ways to illustrate strong, expressive, empowered characters, without relying on their facial expressions to do that for me. In this way, I hope my art resonates with others because they can more easily see themselves represented when there’s not facial features that may or may not look like theirs.
In the realm of visual storytelling, how do you navigate the balance between creating art that is personally meaningful to you and art that you believe will resonate with a broader audience seeking empowerment?
I have always believed that our stories and our experiences are powerful. While it’s true that what may be meaningful to me may not be to someone else, the other way around is also true. Staying true to who I am and art that is meaningful to me helps me continue to love creating art and not get burnt out. It also empowers me to continue being my most free self, whether others like it or not. I believe this is what is empowering to others – not that I’m trying to first resonate with an “audience,” but that I am doing what makes me happy, and then this will reach others where they are at. It doesn’t need to be one or the other. Both can exist in the same space!
If your art had a catchphrase, what would it be, and how does it encapsulate the spirit of “adventurously taking up space”?
My art’s catchphrase would be “See yourself in these bold and beautiful works of art, because YOU are the art, girl!” It encapsulates the spirit of adventurously taking up space by rebelling against the world’s opinions of “we are not unique,” or “there’s not room for me,” and says “I’ll make room.” No matter how many artists exist in the world, there will always be room for my art, because no one else can create my specific art from me. The same is true for anyone who wants to be empowered by my art!
Animating art is a dynamic process. Can you share a specific instance where the animation added a layer of depth or nuance to your illustration, enhancing the overall impact of the piece?
A recent Daeze Doodlez I created on the first day of December was made so much more eye-catching by adding animation. It may have been the most animation I’ve done to date, as far as all the different animated aspects in one piece. Every bit of animation was created with the goal of amplifying the Christmas spirit, and I believe it achieved that! (Here is the link)
Your journey involves both illustration and animation. Could you shed light on how these two mediums influence each other in your creative process, and how one might take precedence over the other depending on the narrative you aim to convey?
Illustration and animation influence each other by way of the initial idea. Sometimes I will create an illustration with no plan to animate it, and then I reach the end of the illustration process, and realize animation would amp it up that much more. Other times, I animate an illustration right from the sketching stage, planning my illustration around the animation. Illustration usually takes precedence over animation when I’m more focused on the initial creative idea that I already have formed. Animation takes precedence over illustration when I don’t have a set idea and am figuring it out as I go. I’ve noticed the latter helps to create a more free piece of art that inspires me even more.
Can you tell us about a particular piece where you intentionally sought to challenge traditional norms or redefine societal expectations through your artistic expression?
A piece I created for a book cover challenge was an intentional challenge of what at least used to be societal norms of touching black women’s hair without permission. Redefining the expectation that one’s curiosity is ample reason to subject another to being touched was a very timely subject for me, having just finished up the edits for my first book I cowrote with my husband, in which I address this issue! (Here’s the link to that art piece.)
If your art hosted a cooking show, what dish would it prepare to symbolize the fusion of illustration and animation, leaving viewers both visually and creatively satisfied?
My art would create Ogbono soup with white rice, a fusion of Nigerian food and a food more typical for American dishes. This symbolizes the fusion of my upbringing, as I’m Nigerian American, as it does the fusion of illustration and animation ~ both are wonderful on their own, but together they are even better!
Thank you Adaeze for being so open and bold about what you value! It’s inspiring.