Brooks is known far and wide on Twitter as the resident superfan of multiple podcasts. More specifically The Grey Rooms and Calling Darkness. For both he helps out with social media, marketing, and, what you might be surprised to find out, their promotional artwork! Today we’re going to learn a bit more about the artists that is Brooks Bigley!
How long have you been creating?
I’ve been making visual “art” since I was a teen, I guess. I started out eyeballing my favorite characters in comic books and drawing them freehand for friends at school. But I could only draw what I was looking at, so that didn’t go anywhere as a career… 😀 I now I guess I can claim to be an artist? I have no formal training, just patient eyeballs and lots of software. I’ve created graphic art on the internet as a passion and have done so since mid-2017, currently working with two podcasts as a graphic artist.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I used to be a co-admin for The NoSleep Podcast Group on Facebook, a little online community for a beloved horror podcast. In the early days, we started to convince the voice actors to give livestream Q&A’s in the group, and I began making silly, random artwork with some fun apps on my phone. We’d post the artwork and encourage fans to leave questions in the comments. It became a fun way to announce the Q&A’s. Over time, with many different actors and authors partaking, I made the artwork more and more elaborate and eventually learned how to animate the artwork. Creating all those pieces honed my skills and has allowed me to share a really fun and unique experience with fans, creating visual artwork as a companion for the audio dramas we love to hear. I absolutely love turning sound into visuals!
What medium(s) do you use for your art?
I do everything on an iPhone and an iPad. Between static images and animated ones, I use up to six different apps to create each artwork piece. I literally poke and prod my art. My fingers do all the work. On occasion, I do import my work to a Samsung Note so that I can use the stylus to draw or manipulate something. I drew the red lines very delicately along the human body in the artwork I made for the Grey Rooms Podcast – Behind the Door: “Summer Child” episode, using just a pen and phone.
Which of your pieces is your favorite?
Do you have any funny stories related to your art?
Hmmmm. I make bizarre art, so it’s all funny? I suppose the thing that makes ME laugh is when I look back on the horrid artwork I made in the beginning when I had no idea what I was doing. And people still encouraged me! Thanks, people! In fact, if I let someone look through my actual “in progress” folder, they’d laugh at all the half-baked artwork I’ve made that went nowhere.
What is the most challenging part of being an artist in the medium you’ve chosen?
You could argue that someone needs a desktop or laptop computer to create graphic art on a professional level. I counter that notion as I’ve made some cool stuff using only mobile devices and software! Just how you can record a quality podcast from your closet, I think you can create excellent artwork using any tools. As for challenges making visual artwork for podcasts? I have no clue what that industry looks like, or if there even is one. I just firmly believe fans will appreciate an extra layer to their audio, a visual addition to enhance the experience.
What do you do in your free time?
Between commuting to a full-time day job, raising two kids with my wife, and this here hobby of mine, I don’t have much free time. I think I stopped watching TV years ago. But I do listen to a buttload of podcasts of all different kinds, and I love to read. Physical books, that is. Nothing beats the smell of a bookstore. Since I deal with horror-related artwork, I just bought a new Junji Ito story collection and I am fascinated by it. I have to read it right-to-left in true fashion, which is pleasantly a groovy way to read. Ha! I also go bike riding around my rural town at night after I put my kids to bed. They will be of bike riding age themselves very soon, and the whole world will open up as I am an avid cyclist.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am a graphic artist and a community manager that handles various behind-the-scene things for Calling Darkness Podcast, such as packaging the episode together and releasing it, creating artwork for the Patreon bonus content, and helping to run the social media accounts. They all do such a brilliant job at interacting with the fans, and they let me join in the fun with my own ideas, too.
I also work with The Grey Rooms Podcast as a graphic artist and I help run the social media accounts. The overwhelming majority of my graphic art is done for The Grey Rooms. Graham Rowat and I work together to create the coolest, most bizarre artwork that we feel encapsulates the heart of the story we are promoting. We divvy up the workload and create our own pieces or we collaborate and create one together. Graham and I also run the social media accounts, but Brian is the one who injects all the personality and is the “face” of the podcast on Twitter. He is the true social media god, not me. 😉
Is there anyone you’d like to promote?
Oh, yes! I would love to nominate Bo Chappell as an amazing human to promote. Not only does he write groovy horror stories for adults, but he has written a monster book for children that includes 10+ famous creatures, and it teaches them how to accept others and how to be proud of who you are. I bought one for my daughter who just learned to read, and she loves it. She reads it all the damn time, ha! Bo also DRAWS the monsters in the book, which look pretty damn cool but won’t scare kids, and he leaves a space at the end and encourages your child to draw their own monster to be friends with the rest. Aside from that, Bo has been a genuinely friendly and supportive person to me, and I have seen him treat all others the same. He’s one of the good guys. 🙂 You can find his written works here.
Where can we find you on social media?
You can find me on Twitter here.
Brooks is a wonderful dude and, if you need some new podcasts in your life, he’s the one to consult. Give him a follow on Twitter and check out his commentary on Grey Rooms episodes on most of the Behind the Door episodes of their podcast!
P.S. If you want to learn more about Bo Chappell, I’ve featured him in the past on this very website. The link to his interview can be found here.