Fran Westbrooks talks art, Muhammad Ali and community

Fran Westbrook

Fran Westbrooks
managing partner, BLVD Content

Do you most often actively seek inspiration or does it find you? Or is it a combination of the two? A combination of the two

What led you to art in general and to your art form in particular? It found me. I had always participated in some form of artistry, but as a career, I stumbled into it.

Have you and your artistry ever been involved in traditional business? Yes

How? As a creative director for ad agencies

In addition to mastering their art, what other skill sets to you recommend that artists develop if they want to be successful? People skills and the art of networking. It is most important to anyone who wants a career in the arts.

How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft? Study, observe, and participate

Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about art or artists? Yes

If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them? Art is one dimensional, coming from a purely emotional space. Dispel it by clearly articulating a rational vision and purpose

How do you map out your goals? Define what I want and determine a path to get there.

How do you measure your success? I don’t; I just do the work. I’ll look at what I’ve achieved after I’m done.

Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? No name in particular, as I don’t look at careers as much as projects that inspire me.

Name two of your top role models: one in the art world and one from outside of it. Sam Maloof and Muhammad Ali

Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life, yourself or both. The Blue Ocean Strategy, A Love Supreme, and the opening ceremony to the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

Why do you consider continued learning important? It’s as important, if not more, than evolution.

What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success? Today is not tomorrow.

What role does art have in the community? It sustains hope and drive. It’s the pulse of the community.

What role would you like to see art play in the community? As a driver for the next generation

What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? It’s the key to getting the work done.

How do you utilize it? Only as a necessity. I don’t want to be dependent on it. You can lose your instincts if you’re too dependent.

What technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life, career or both? My Mac

Please define your personal brand. Powerful, passionate and present in the moment.

What is your favorite vacation destination and why? The Bahamas. [It’s] an untapped string of beautiful pearls in our own backyard.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? The system of money

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Allow myself time to understand my true purpose.

What does it take to be iconic? The understanding of what you were put here for, is bigger than you.

In your estimation, who has achieved that status? [Muhammad] Ali

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