When I moved to Jonesboro last year I let one of my blog friends from Central Arkansas know I was moving and she suggested that I follow the artsy Instagrammer Brittney Guest. I checked out her page and I fell in love with her daily sketches, and it turns out she leads a really cool life in Jonesboro. In my monthly People of Arkansas series I wanted to highlight some people in Arkansas doing amazingly cool things so she was the first person that popped into my mind. Find out more about Brittney Guest and her adventures in Arkansas, art, fashion, and more.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be and why?
Faith, Kindness, Whimsy. I’m first and foremost a Christian, and I try to show everyone the kindness of my Savior every single day. I also love adding a little whimsy to everyday life, because everyday life can get a little boring sometimes. Why not add a little fun to something that would be otherwise ordinary?
What is one thing that you are looking forward to in 2016?
Taking each day one day at a time and seeing what God surprises me with for that day! 2015 was a blast. I can’t wait for what happens in 2016!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Be nice. Play fair.
What is your favorite part about living in Jonesboro, Arkansas?
I love the people. Everyone is so nice and genuinely cares about each other. You never meet a stranger! It’s a big city with a small town heart!
For someone who has never been to Jonesboro before, what is the first place you’d suggest they go?
Definitely check out Craighead Forest Park and the Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center. The natural beauty there is so peaceful and inspiring. Downtown Jonesboro is always a cool place to go if you’re not as “into the woods” as I am! Lots of great restaurants with live local music on the weekends.
Who are your favorite people of Jonesboro to follow?
I love following the wonderful photographers that I get to work with through the magazine. Amy Long and Melissa Donner are two of my faves.
I began my career at Occasions as a graphic design intern in August 2006 (almost 10 years ago! WOW!) I graduated from Arkansas State University in December 2006 with a degree in graphic design, and began working full-time as a graphic designer in January 2007. Now, I’m art director at Occasions and supervising my own interns!
What has been your favorite memory working at Jonesboro Occasions thus far?
Not necessarily a memory, but I love that we’re a family. We’ve all been through a lot together. People have come into our family and gone on to other things, but we still keep in touch. Birthdays and holidays are kind of a big deal around Occasions, and we have a lot of fun whenever we all get together.
What advice do you have for someone who is looking to break into working for a magazine?
Never give up. Start with an internship and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do it all! Also, it’s not as glamorous as the movies would make it seem. There’s a LOT of hard work that “13 Going on 30” or “The Devil Wears Prada” doesn’t show you! Don’t let that discourage you though, it truly is a lot of fun, and you meet a lot of wonderful people!
What has been your favorite story you have worked on with Jonesboro Occasions?
Oh, it is hard to choose! I’ve worked on so many! One that really sticks in my mind is our annual “Thanksgiving in October.” You see, we have to work a month ahead of time to get things ready for the magazine. That means, if we’re gonna have a Thanksgiving meal featured in the November issue, we’ve gotta actually have the meal in October in order to be able to take photos, collect recipes, write the feature and meet deadline. We’ve cooked the entire meal, had it catered, went to a lodge, ate nothing but pie, and added bacon to everything the past five years. What’ll we think of next?
You share amazing art on your Instagram daily, where do you find the inspiration to continually produce art?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from my every day life. Things that make me smile, make me laugh and just make me think. I like to draw my memories, not just take photos of them!
You just wrapped up your Fill The Sketchbook series for 2015, what were some of your favorite sketches in 2015?
I really liked the ones where I drew a scene from what I did that day. The one where my boyfriend and I had a dinner date on an airplane was one of my favorites. Another favorite (and my mom’s favorite) is one of me as a toddler enthusiastically hugging my baby sister. We’re still close!
Your next series that just started is 366 Square Comics, do you have any favorite comic artists we should know about?
You should definitely check out Gemma Correll. The woman is hilarious! Her puns and pugs get me every time!
You recently illustrated a children’s book “The Lost Elf,” how was that different from your normal artwork, and how did you come across that opportunity?
My best friend, Kerri L. Bennett, is Sara’s (the author of The Lost Elf) editor. Kerri is also an author, and she posted a photo of a drawing I did of one of her own characters from her book “Three Seventeen” on her fan page. Sara then contacted me about illustrating for her since she loved my style so much!
Usually I work in markers, for my illustrations, but for “The Lost Elf,” I expanded more into colored inks and watercolors. I worked closely with Sara to come up with concept illustrations for the characters and sent her update sketches as we went along. Luckily, we seemed to be able to read each other’s minds, and she was thrilled with each illustration I sent her without changes!
Where is your favorite place to shop?
Oh, my goodness, ModCloth, hands down! I was even their #fashiontruth spotlight gal during the 2014 holiday season. That was fun! ModCloth’s got adorable and classy fashions for stylish ladies of every size. Everyone should feel beautiful, no matter their size! And I feel good shopping at a place that stands for that.
How would you describe your style?
Colorful, cute and unique. It’s like London street style meets Rainbow Brite.
What advice do you have for people who would like to get into vintage fashion?
Raid your mom’s closet. Seriously, that is the gateway to being vintage-obsessed. I wear her Delta State tee, hand embroidered denim jacket and necklaces all the time! I really wish she’d saved more of her clothes from the ’70s. I’d totally wear them right now!
Did you adore Brittney as much as I do? I sure hope so. Follow Brittney using the social media links below and keep coming back for my People of Arkansas series, as I am going to be featuring new people monthly.