Artist Statement: I was raised to wait for opportunity. But, that was wrong. I have come to understand that, in order to create one’s own success, one must not await passively for an opportunity to present itself, but rather actively seek and become that opportunity. I have often questioned who I am, struggling with this particular question for the greater part of my life. Only recently have I discovered my voice, my drive, my inspiration—to know oneself, to be oneself, it all begins here. And I am an artist: this is who I am. I remember taking my first ceramics class, seeing it as nothing more than an easy A, a somewhat meaningless elective that wouldn’t/couldn’t possibly take me anywhere... My pieces were ridiculed by classmates; I lacked experience, confidence. Lost. But something—I can’t explain what exactly—pushed me further toward that part of me I didn’t yet know: Pottery/ceramics were one thing, but what about sculpture? Instead of pots and ashtrays, I was drawn to the human figure, the subtle forming and manipulating of the clay. What began as a tentative experiment bloomed into an extraordinary passion: a vision created. I hungrily looked for inspiration in the works of great sculptors—Fredrick Hart becoming both my mentor and muse. Steadfast and focused, I have already participated in three art fairs while simultaneously communicating with other galleries. Currently, I have three pieces on display and will soon present my first solo exhibition. I’ve actively sought out local artists—artists who have have a tremendously humbling and wondrous impact on both me and my artistic expression...I have much to learn! I am currently attending my local community college (Oakland Community College) and working in order to save money. My hope (and dream) is to attend the A traditional private art school. I am grateful, excited for the unknown journey that has already begun and still awaits me; it shapes, hones, and sculpts, if you will, the artist I’ve become, aspire to become, and in many ways, have always been. I am not only an artist: I am a seeker—a seeker in pursuit of his vision. My philosophy is this: if my dreams don’t scare me, they’re not big enough. So why not shoot for the impossible? Sincerely Austen Brantley
Austen's ArtPrize Entries
These are Austen's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.
Austen's Past Work
These are images of past work that Austen has done.