We had the good fortune of connecting with Britton Neubacher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Britton, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
spending so much time with plants has changed how i grok success and failure, beginnings and endings. nothing is wasted in nature; the demise of one thing feeds the life of another. when my work, or the response to my work, feels lifeless, i can trust that this “breakdown” will become fecund compost for the next thing. my real work is to not be attached to the product nor to perfecting the process behind it; just keep on making and don’t look back. i like knowing that we’re all connected in this curious continuum of creation and re-creation, where a thing is a thing until it becomes something else.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I make nature-based art and style caring spaces. I’m passionate about exploring the aesthetic power of nature and refuge. My story is much like any creative origin story: art found me when I needed it most. During a damn stressful career running crisis centers, I discovered that making aesthetic comfort out of whatever we had, mainly donated plants and well-loved pillows, brought us a big sense of sanctuary. I feverishly explored refuge-making -and by and by my love of it became its own art form, as things done with love will. Soon I had to re-decide my path. I have no formal training and lack conventional biz prep; growing up in the subculture of do-it-yourself punk gave me enough crude nerve to soldier on without any of that. But I believe everyone has it in them to take a risk here or there. Most of the risk is imagined anyway, fabricated with the same fear that tells us we’ll be deemed an amateur or imposter if we put it out there, or that we’ll suffer failure and shame when we do. I’ve learned from much rubber on that road that this limiting and immobilizing stuff is just boring and anti-life. Nature shows us that we humans have a similar talent to innovate, regenerate and adapt. This allowed me to trust in the creative process and path. And when I finally quit with the tired feedback loop of self-doubt and scarcity, life as a full-time working artist felt easy(ish). Only took a decade –wooof! Now more than ever, in this fertile global Slow Down, I want to contribute uplifting work that makes people feel good and supported, and I want to feel good and supported making it. I want that for everyone.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Same answer as when we are released from quarantine: plow into the ocean even if freezing, picnic at Bird or Presidio Park, go see A LOT of art (hopefully it’s the Barrio Logan Art Crawl), eat a squash blossom taco or 3 from Lola 55, catch a rock show at the Casbah (any show will do), Flamenco show at Cafe Europa, crush on plants at the Balboa Park Cactus Garden, find Oslo: Max Daily’s Sardine Bar Pop-Up. Claro Coffee “for a moment of wabi sabi Zen”.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Jason Xavier Lane (JXL Studio) is a longtime friend and collaborator who endlessly inspires and propels my work. He brings a level of honor to his high-caliber work that blows my mind, every single time.