Local Girl Spray-Paints Her Way Into the Art World, Offers Workshops in Lewis and Thurston Counties

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Briella Pugliese only gets a few short minutes each day in which she is allowed to go online.

But she has made the most of the time she had by learning a skill that has already taken her pretty far.

At the age of 8 and a half, Briella is already an accomplished spray paint artist offering commissions and workshops in her craft throughout Lewis and Thurston counties. Looking at her artwork, it is hard to picture that she just started a few months ago.

Her mom, Brooke, said she only allows Briella about 15 minutes online each day. In June, Briella started watching YouTube videos about spray paint art. Briella has always been drawn to creating art and said she just felt like the spray paint art was something she could do.

“I’d tell my mom ‘We have spray paint, I think. Let’s do this,’” Briella said.

Her first paintings featured moons, which looked so good, Brooke said she quickly encouraged her daughter to consider showing them off. She posted a few to social media just to brag and started getting offers from people who wanted to buy them or asking if Briella could make them a special painting. Briella had booths this summer at the Tenino Farmers Market, Tumwater Farmers Market and Love Local Night Market in Tumwater. When she first began bringing her art to local outdoor festivals, Brooke said people often didn’t think the artwork could have been made by an 8-year-old.

“People thought it was me that was painting, so now she wears an apron that says ‘I’m the artist,’” Brooke said.

Besides spray paint and canvas, Briella’s artwork uses common household goods such as mixing bowls, wadded up newspaper, plastic wrap and even her own gloved fingers to get the effects. For more detailed items, such as animals, she creates stencils using a Cricut machine. Their family loves to hike and Briella said she is inspired by the natural world.

“I just look out the window and say ‘I can spray paint whatever it is that I see out there,’” Briella said.

The family also recently traveled to Spain where Briella had the opportunity to see the Salvador Dali Museum and said she would like to try some paintings in the style of the Surrealist

She has also been inspired by paintings she saw at a local thrift store

“Anywhere we go, she sees things and says ‘I can paint that,’” Brooke said. “She has a sketch book on the nightstand that she picks up and draws almost every night.”

Briella is a third grader at Peter G. Schmidt Elementary School in Tumwater. The family lives in Tumwater but Brooke is originally from Onalaska and they frequently visit Lewis County. Besides having her art at the Tenino Farmers Market, Briella recently offered a painting class at Wild Hearts Sipping Vinegar in Tenino and she was recently approached by the owner of an art gallery at Yard Birds Mall to contribute a piece there. 

Though she has already accomplished so much, Briella said she is still working on her technique, such as how to keep consistent pressure on the paint can while painting. She said she would like to figure out how to create more detailed designs with finer lines in her artwork. She has even recently taken on some custom works that stretched her as an artist, including a recent design that featured the logo for the Anime show, Naruto.

“I just never give up and I’ll try something really hard,” Briella said.

More recently, Briella began offering private classes on her spray paint art technique in Thurston and Lewis counties. Class prices start at $35 per person and she brings the materials and setup for each person to paint two pictures with her instruction. She usually sells her paintings for $5 to $30 depending on size and she would next like to figure out a way to create stickers and pop sockets from her artwork.

All of the money from sales goes directly to Briella, Brooke notes.

Briella said with the money she is earning as an artist, she would like to get a dog as well as to fund more travels to places such as Australia, Italy, England and France. But while the money is nice, she said she loves the art and would like to make this a career when she is older.

“I want to get all my pieces into an art gallery,” she said.

More Information

For more information, follow Briella’s Spray Art on Instagram

Her next local appearance will be Nov. 6 at Heritage Distillery in Tumwater

 

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