• Yasmina Jameel

Artsy - fartsy talk with the talented Abbie Brewer AKA _sunshine_child_

Updated: Feb 23

I talk to the awesome Abbie Brewer who’s colourful polymer and

dry clay creations bring so much joy to me! We talk about all sorts from her creative journey, school days and university to spam! Read on to find out more.

Back ground

Abbie describes her work as “childlike, colourful and eclectic“ , and wanting to bring back the light! Feeling that when you grow up your heart dies a bit, and the world is full of grey. Her polymer an

d air dry clay objects definitely do bring joy and colour back in to the everyday. Using charity chops for inspiration, and surrounding her self with preloved objects, she is a self confessed tat lover! As am I, I must say! Tat is very much underestimated! She explains further saying that;

“Someone could spend 100 years collecting stamps. That would be their be all and end all in life . And then they die, and that book of stamps just becomes a book of stamps. That for me is the saddest part. That somebody would have invested their time and energy for it to be disregarded. These objects hold so much energy and connections.”

Besides from being an awesome artist Abbie also works with dementia patients . Awesome by day! Awesome by night! By working with dementia patients she has learnt that somethings like emotions have to be exaggerated, visually and by tone of voice. “ We use flash cards and they are so stripped back. There is no question what the emotion is on that card. ” . She also works with end of life patients, and “the darker side of life”. Which again has pushed her towards living for now, and wanting to be present. Rather than waiting till retirement , and by then maybe not being able to enjoy it. The people she works with do not see themselves as old, they see themselves as still only 18! “Lets appreciate the little things while we’re still here.”

Creative journey

“I am creative by nature. I like texture and I’m very touchy…tactile. I was a very creative child, always making things.” Her mum Wendy who is an operation technician was very supportive and also a creative bombshell! . “She’s a driving force , always making shit! She never succumb to the adult ‘thing’.” At school she was no good at maths and that affected her confidence. Thankfully for us, she eventually found her footing with art. Although she says; “art college kind of ruined that. I fell into the trap of only making art that was taboo and very in your face…like FGM and body image. . . ramming things down peoples’ throats . I believe in fighting for what you believe in and the topics being out there. But for me it’s about playfulness and a sprinkle of niceness.”. Her experience with university also had a hand in squashing that playful side of her art. It pushed the belief that the only right art is intense and serous ! I can honestly say that I my self have had a few experiences like that. Sometimes your peers and tutors get it wrong. But when you are learning and discovering yourself it’s hard to realise it.

Lockdown & mental health

‘If anything it’s pushed me to share more. I only started sharing in the summer of lockdown. I was that kind of ‘bed room’ artist. I didn’t have that much confidence. But my partner and friends pushed me to share. I thought to myself, what judgement was I scared off?” And so she finally created a few online platforms to show the world what she does. Which I’m very grateful for ! We also talked about peoples’ mental health being affected during lock down, “and how a lot of people were pushed towards the internet for support.” A lot of the online world is sort of becoming a place for a positive mental health message… a kind of a virtual outlet. Another positive message spreading over the inter-webs is body acceptance. Which isn’t a new thing but it’s great to see more of it. Abbie explains that,“ Fat as bad is fed to us by the media , its brain fead to us through TV and magazines. Body and or eating issues are at both ends of the spectrum. Fat, thin or in-between. Mentally if you’re there, if you’re happy, then that’s all that matters.”. And why do some people find the need to comment on someone else’s body? It definitely doesn’t come from a place of care. These types of comments are often “bubble wrapped in false concern”. Adding that, “You don’t know where that person is mentally. Think about what impact your comments may have. You are assuming someone else’s state of mind .”.

And finally some Randonessss…

Never tried spam.

One of the many tools she uses is a stick with a spike on it.

One guilty pleasure is Amazon…(same here).

  • where to find Abbie’s work :

Take care everyone and I hope you enjoyed. :) x