For Briana Kranz, life is a passionate adventure. As this month’s Woman in Control, Brianna shares her story of overcoming and embracing challenges as both an artist and a businesswoman. We’re excited to share the journey of a woman whose creativity can be traced back to her colorful childhood, and whose career continues to be as vibrant as her fashion illustrations.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF -
I am a fashion illustrator, native Californian and nature lover.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF DRAWING AND HOW DID THAT DEVELOP INTO A PASSION?
I have absolutely always been in love with art class, from kindergarten up to when I was deciding what to major in. Coloring books are some of my earliest memories of really loving, not just drawing, but color as well.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT FASHION ILLUSTRATION?
Fashion Illustration is really a mentality and perspective in terms of how you work. So many people don’t understand what it is – but being a fashion illustrator is about expressing what you see in an experimental, simplistic and exciting way. It’s understanding the masters and the history. It’s describing fabric, capturing movement, and taking risks. Mistakes are a huge part of my work; manipulating those mistakes, knowing how to take advantage of the media and creating something that feels real but at at the same time, effortless and exaggerated. I love the looseness and the hard work that it involves.
WHAT DOES BEING A WOMAN IN CONTROL MEAN TO YOU?
Being a woman in control, to me, means being true to yourself; it’s important to stand by what you believe in, to be yourself, and to love yourself. I also feel that grace and gratitude are vital components! While many things are not always in your own control, you can control your reaction and how you deal with difficult situations in terms of running a business and in life.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHOSE YOUR CAREER? WHAT CONTINUES TO DRIVE YOU?
I sort of fell into my career; I used to endlessly draw images from Vogue and all of the large fashion magazines in high school. As an illustration major in college, I found myself drawn to how a fold draped, or how to render a particular fabric; I explored a lot and eventually wandered into the Fashion Department and I learned of a whole realm of illustration I never knew existed.
Because my work is always changing (whether it’s the subject or the media), I feel like I am always learning something new, and that really keeps me going. It’s a constant struggle and I find myself excited and nervous throughout the process; the challenge keeps me on my toes and keeps me passionate!
WHAT LED YOU TO START TEACHING AND HOW DID THAT DEVELOP INTO DRAWING AT EVENTS?
My mentor throughout college offered a class to me after I had graduated; while I had aided for her in the past, I never thought I would start teaching so early! It has been one of the best decisions and experiences I have had, not just in terms of really getting a grasp on my style, but also because it forced me to dive so deep into my craft.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that drawing at events and teaching are linked, but - I started to draw at events simply because someone asked me to! I figured, why not! It’s been such a fantastic tool for networking and showing off my skills, not to mention that I love the people I get to meet at these events!
"Being a woman in control, to me, means being true to yourself; it’s important to stand by what you believe in, to be yourself, and to love yourself."
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR ART AND WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU ARE UNINSPIRED?
The outdoors is a huge source of inspiration for me; I find it so important to get away from the busy day-to-day life and to go somewhere where you can really feel a disconnect from the world, especially with all of the social media and quick communication, so you can recharge. Camping, hiking, or even just sometime in the sun has proven to be incredibly beneficial for me in terms of reigniting my inspiration. That being said, as a professional, you really need to learn to work through that “uninspired” feeling! A lack of inspiration doesn’t change a deadline, or a client’s expectations.
HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO CHALLENGE YOUR SKILL SET?
Live drawing is always a challenge - I am constantly on my toes because of the many, many faces I get to draw, as well as the various personalities! I also find it important for me to experiment from different tools - whether it’s a new brush, ink, paper, or subject - so I am constantly challenged and engaged.
- Follow Briana on Instagram
- Shop Briana's illustrations at brianakranz.com
WHAT IS YOUR LOVE STORY AND HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE MARRIED?
My love story! Shane and I met in 2008 - I still clearly remember seeing him in a crowd! We met through mutual friends and felt like we had an instant connection and comfort with one another - like we had known each other for a long time. First and foremost, Shane is my best friend - I feel like that’s such an important foundation for a relationship. He’s one of the most positive and kind people I know.
In terms of marriage, since we had been together for eight years by the time we got married, I didn’t think it would change much! But the process of getting married (being engaged, planning the wedding, and our wedding day) were such fun aspects that surprisingly ended up really deepened our relationship. Being able to call each other husband and wife is something so special!
IF YOU COULD SAY ONE THING TO A YOUNG GIRL ENCOURAGING HER TO BE A WOMAN IN CONTROL, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
Be true to yourself; listen to your gut! Treat everyone with kindness and do not compare yourself to others. Find joy in the hard work, and learn to be comfortable in the ups and downs of creativity.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR TATTOO, DID YOU DRAW IT? WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND IT?
I have drawn quite a few of my tattoos, but my more recent pieces I have let the artist have more control. My tattoos are all full of meaning - I have one that I designed for my mom, a matching tattoo with one of my sisters, and many of my florals are in memory of my grandmother who passed away ten years ago.
LOOKS LIKE YOUR CAT ENJOYS TO BE BY YOUR SIDE, DOES SHE MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR WORK?
My cat, Stella, has definitely been a source of relief and companionship - something I never thought I would find in a cat! Being that I work from home a lot, she definitely cheers me up and reminds me to step back and take breaks from my work.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ASPECTS OF THE LIA LARREA BRAND?
I love the lines that boldly define characteristics of a woman’s body; I think they emphasize the beauty in each woman a bit differently. The fabric choices are conscious and thoughtful, and the message behind the brand is beautiful and powerful.
Photography - Quincy Stamper
IF YOU LIKE THE STYLES BRIANA IS WEARING
- OR -
CONNECT WITH US IF YOU ARE WOMAN IN CONTROL
OR KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE US TO FEATURE!