In the Eye of The Sculptor; Brian Booth Craig

By Ashleigh S. Wilkerson

A dim yet radiant energy surrounded the cozy corner of the room and shifted between screens while Tori Indeed, and Brian Booth Craig discussed sculpting, and art. 

“You start off with this raw material,” said Craig. “Shapeless, formless and you suddenly can make something that has a presence to it. That’s what I think sculpture does.”

Craig explained how fascinating it is to take something from its original state, and transform it into a new creation. He said that once it takes its form, it develops into something magical. 

“The world is an animated space,” said Craig. “As an artist you can make it animated in a new way. You can give it something it didn’t have in its original state.” 

Craig thought back to childhood where he first became one with art. At six years old his mother saw his gift. She immediately took action and enrolled him in an art class. He thanked her tremendously.  

“I was one of those kids that if I had a toy it was alive,” said Craig. “Everything around me was alive. I wish we could get back to that in our culture.” 

As his education continued throughout Penn State and New York Academy of Art, so did his appreciation for his creativity. While enrolled in college he took his craft further when he began sculpting. At the time there weren’t many specific classes or examples to follow. So he made the initiative, and formed his own through constant research of artists that he admired.  

“It doesn’t matter what field you’re in,” said Craig. “It was a key part of my development. I was learning to educate myself.” 

Most of his vision is self-taught. He strolled down memory lane to a time in high school where he was warned for following dreams. A counselor insisted that he go after a field with a guaranteed wealthy living. It was stuck in his head. He took a break, and tried to do just that. Pre-Med and business became his focus. He didn’t have the same spark that he did for art. He was unhappy.   

“So there was a little bit of a detour there,” said Craig. “I don’t think detours are always bad. You learn a lot about yourself in those moments in life.” 

Craig told Indeed that his primary goal is to bring forth any kind of magic. He sees himself as a vessel through which the ultimate experience is formed. He said he’s still learning, that he’s grateful for his journey, and those that have supported him along the way like Audrey Flack. For a decade he dedicated his work and time to her. 

“She’s really my mentor,” said Craig. “Not just as a sculptor, but as an artist and as a person. I love her, she’s very dear to me.”  

That experience along with his schooling and research of his own, contribute to where he is today. The mix and variation of each of these sources helped him generate his own techniques. One of which includes oil. It’s more of a wax texture, and it works best depending on the temperature of the clay. When warmed, it’s soft. If it’s cold, it becomes hard. 

Craig explained more of the oil process, why it’s important to tell your story, seeing life as a journey, his short film, and the requirement of commitment.  

“It’s kind of a mindset,” said Craig. “It’s almost like a way of living. A way of thinking about the world. It’s really a way of moving, living and being in the world. That’s why art can be so many different things. 

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