Born and raised in Weston WV, Brian Pickens is the owner of Made in WV, an apparel company out of Morgantown, WV. Brian is an illustrator, graphic designer, and painter specializing in digital illustration. You can find his t-shirt designs on folks in all corners of West Virginia, and he’s shipped hundreds nationally and internationally. All shirts are produced in the United States from 100% recycled material. For fun, Brian enjoys time with family, the dog, reading a good book, swimmin’ holes and the great outdoors. Learn more about Brian our Q&A:
How do you describe your palette?
Hmmm… this is complicated. A large majority of my design work is digital, so that work is kind of unlimited, but usually determined by a client. It can also constrained, say if I’m designing for madeinwv.com and there’s only certain colors of shirts I can use, then that determines the palette. When I’m actually painting I like to try to keep it nice n’ bright, so stuff really pops off the work. It’s kind of all over the place.
What’s your greatest accomplishment?
I think it could be the “Windows on the Water” mural that I completed with my fellow artist and frequent collaborator, Ian Bode. It’s located on the waterfront in Charleston, and it’s so large (14’x 60’) and bright and positive, and I’ve gotten so many nice compliments about it. It ranks up there with starting my own apparel company and designing logos/labels for some of my favorite local beers.
What obstacles do you need to overcome to find your creative space/muse?
Time. Time and paying the bills. Sometimes by the time you get everything done that you need to get done, you’ve worked a full day in the office, taken care of the dishes, the laundry, the dog, dinner… it’s hard to find time to do your own thing. I’ve always got ideas for stuff, I don’t always have the time to get them out. I fight against it daily.
How do you find your inspiration?
It’s everywhere. It’s daily life, it’s pop-culture, it’s politics. I get a lot of inspiration out of the people and land of West Virginia. Summertime in West Virginia is an explosion of inspiration. It really comes from anything and everything.
What advice do you have for other artists?
I know it’s cliche, massively cliche, but just be true to yourself. If you
make some weird stuff and you love it, that’s all that matters. You’ve got to do it for yourself, otherwise your passion and creativity will suffer. Keep doing your own weird thing for you, keep getting better at it, and eventually some other weirdo will notice it and you’re off to the races.
How do I readers contact you?
– HashtagWV #88. April 2017
HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.