Brianna is an artist in Rapid City who teaches workshops and is completing projects revolved around the healing power of art.
Name: Brianna Hall
City/Town: Rapid City, South Dakota
Where else can we connect with you online?
Who is your community?
I am a community junkie. I collect communities almost obsessively. I belong to The OWN here in Rapid City, which is a network/platform for women in business and co-working environment. I participate in the local arts scene. I am a launch director for BNI (Business Network International). I belong to Fountain Springs church. I have created my own tribe around my work. I thrive in community.
Give us a behind-the-scenes look at your average day.
My day starts with me resisting the urge to chuck my iPhone across the room as the alarm sounds. Once I finally jump out of bed, I round up my daughters and get us all ready for the day. I drop them off at their schools and either head back home to my art studio or trek to the shared office I have downtown. I have a loose framework to my day that includes a beautiful blend of creating (art or writing) and communing (meetings or networking) and guiding (speaking or teaching). My days vary based on projects, as well as my own mojo — I never force the work and tend to flow with what’s working for me on any given day. I love the flexibility and variety it affords!
What challenge in your life or work are you most interested in overcoming?
I’ve transitioned my focus in my work over the past year and am stepping fully into my role as artist and creativity guide. I started a new project — 100 Painted Prayers — and am finding that the challenge of doing 100 of anything is fairly daunting. Because this particular project, painting prayers onto canvas, is so spiritual and deep-healing by nature, it’s even more powerful and has definitely thrown a few curveballs my way. Interestingly, though, it’s this challenge that has paved the way through my biggest challenge of all — establishing my art and my ministry within my communities.
If you could do any job, what would you do and why?
This. I love this. I live for this. Getting to spend my days wrapped in art, writing till my heart’s content, and guiding others through the wild world of creativity — I couldn’t possibly ask for more. I’m crazy in love with the idea that I get to hold these workshops that teaches the healing practice of intuitive art. To be able to show others how art can heal (regardless of whether you can draw a stick figure) AND reconnect them to their faith? It’s miraculous.
What is the most beneficial aspect of living in the OTA region when it comes to your career?
I love the work that’s being done to connect the entire region through creativity and innovation. It’s powerful to see all of these creatives coming together, to collaborate and support and encourage one another. Not hiding in secrecy, avoiding the “competition,” but sharing and holding the space for each other’s successes. The resources that have come from this, the shift in culture…I am loving it!
At what intersection do you live your life?
I live at the intersection of artistic chaos and unconditional love.
Where do you think good ideas come from?
I think that we are most inspired when we are able to remain curious. Curiosity cures everything — from writer’s block to Resistance, from fear to anger. When we look at the world with curious eyes, and an open heart, anything is possible. It’s through that lens that we see unexpected solutions and creative approaches.
What’s one current trend you think will change the world?
Women collaborating — that will change the world. I’m seeing such an uprising (and coming together) of women, and it’s thrilling! In recent generations, women have been fiercely competitive, tearing each other down in order to get ahead, judging and criticizing each other constantly. There’s a genuine shift happening, and more and more women are rising together. We’re forming groups of positive action, we’re working together in the community. We’re lifting each other up, discovering our combined powers. It’s been incredible to be in the midst of this transformation, and as the Dalai Lama said, “The world will be saved by the Western woman.”
What’s the best way to put inspiration into action?
Don’t hesitate. Inspiration without legs dies very quickly. When I find myself knee-deep in inspiration, I ask myself what I can do to take it into my life over the next week. How can I play it out today? What change can this spark in my world? Inspiration — especially for us creative types — flares frequently, and today’s inspiration may be forgotten tomorrow when something new comes around. I take notes like crazy, and my notes always end with actionable ideas. How can I put this to work in the wild?
What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken?
I constantly leap before I look. Without looking at all, really. I got divorced. I started my own business. I ditched the “safe” business model of graphic design for the terrifying world of art. I am very comfortable with risk when coupled with faith.
What’s your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?
A few years ago, I tried to start a hub here in Rapid City for spiritual and creative entrepreneurs. I dove in headfirst, trying to do it all myself — rented the office space, renovated it, attempted to gather participants. It did not go well. I learned a LOT from that experience and have watched it all play out within the past year. I tried to do it all myself, instead of finding others with complementing strengths to work alongside me in the project. I tried to figure it all out on my own, instead of doing full market research and assembling a team of advisers. I had no support, either personally or professionally, and tried to stubborn my way through it. I had a vision, and I tried to force it into existence.
Who do you hope to leave a legacy for?
My daughters. They are 10 and 12 now, and they are watching my every move. I want them to see that they have a beautiful, sacred purpose on this earth, and that they can chase it courageously. I want to create a better world for their great work, and I want them to be brave enough to care about that great work. I also want to share this same passion with my community; I want everyone to know that art heals, that it transforms. I hope that by sharing my work, and sharing my story, they find hope and faith.
Who is the most connected person in your life, and what personal characteristics make him or her so well-connected?
The mortgage lender in my BNI chapter, Diane Staeffler, is so connected across the community. She is a business owner with a genuine passion for her work. She looks first to serve, regardless of whether it furthers her business or ends with an invoice. She also is very active in networking, building relationships with an earnest compassion. She’s got a genuine interest in every person she meets, and kindness overflows. She volunteers, too, serving on several non-profit boards and looking for ways to improve the community. She loves to step up and be involved, and takes on leadership roles without a second thought.
Who is the most creative person in your life, and why?
The most creative person I know is my 10-year-old daughter. She is wildly imaginative, and comes up with the craziest, most amazing ideas. She’s constantly questioning — and her curiosity is infectious! She doesn’t limit her creativity to artistic practice, either. She invents entire worlds for her friends. She writes new stories for the book series she loves most. She is always asking, “How can we make this better?” And she usually finds at least one answer.
Who is the most community-focused person in your life, and how do they impact their communities?
A real estate agent in one of my networking groups goes above and beyond for the community, continually. He is very active in leadership roles everywhere — from the business community at large, to the real estate community, to his church. He promotes fundraisers and non-profit events. He is always the first to step up and help improve the groups in which he is active. He is very inclusive, and helps connect other people around him with each other, and with the causes he promotes.
What passion project are you working on right now?
I want to focus on my painted prayers work. This includes both the 100 Painted Prayers project (where I paint 100 intuitive art pieces for others) and the workshops in which I teach this process to others. It’s an incredible healing modality — and one that spills over into all areas of life and work.
I am ferociously whole-hearted. I believe that life isn’t worth living if you’re going to half-ass it, and I want to help others overcome that obstacle. In our society, it’s far too easy to be lazy and auto-pilot life. There’s almost an expectation that we shouldn’t really try. I want to be the antidote to the “shoulds” in life. My work is my ministry, and I have an intense faith in the healing power of art. I know firsthand how transformational it can be, and I am bound and determined to expand my teaching of this to impact as much of my community as possible. I am fascinated by how much I continue to grow as I walk others down this path — and I see so many amazing applications for this work. I’m working on getting into a Healing Artists program to do this work with cancer patients. I also have the opportunity to begin to work with at-risk youths. Women who have been through abusive situations; women who are in jail; recovering addicts. I think that’s the part that excites me the most — seeing all the ways I can serve others, and knowing how powerful it will be.