Spotlight: Jeffrey Brady, Story District’s Artist & Animator for Out/Spoken
Jeffrey Brady is taking an important role in the creation of this year’s Story District Out/Spoken show and tour. His hopes have been high for Story District since he started as a storyteller in the 2011 show Suckers for Love. He was also a member of the Story District board once upon a time. Out/Spoken 2016 is Jeffrey’s fifth outing with the Pride Show, but this time around he is using his talent in a new way--not as a storyteller, but an animator!
So how does a librarian become an animator?
“I loved doodling and drawing as a kid. The first award I ever got and am very proud of was the Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast Civic Art award! I painted a picture of a photo I took for art class with an Instamatic camera. You remember those? But since then I really hadn’t done art since high school!”
“Five or six years ago, I asked Amy Saidman, SD’s Artistic Executive Director, if she would like a visual component to go with the shows. She said, yes! It started with just a frame, a name and a hint for each story but grew to include other artistic elements to give each show a visual style. I call them visual overtures.”
Can you elaborate on the visual overtures?
“They have a handmade quality to them. As in, you can sometimes see my hands and I often like that. I want it to look really human because the stories are really human. I don’t want to sit down at a computer and make it perfect, because people’s stories are imperfect. And that’s really beautiful.”
Tell me about the creative process for your work
“It begins with Dave Peterson's artwork. The first Pride Show I worked on started with his picture of a disco ball coming out of the closet! My work also is in homage to artists that I love: Keith Herring, famous for his NYC subway hieroglyphics and Matisse’s cutouts. I work on making it my own. This year Out/Spoken 2016 has a comic book vibe. I wanted to include KABOOM! and BAM!” Jeffrey says, “in homage to Batman, the super gay, super campy 1960’s TV show!”
How is this year’s Out/Spoken 2016 “visual overture” design process different from previous ones?
“I’ve been thinking a lot about the Civil Rights era in this country. The Library of Congress recently asked me to do some research. I am thinking of possibly using some civil rights imagery from that period. We are really living in a new era of civil rights. It’s amazing the friends and allies we have in the trans community and elsewhere, a nice chorus defining, defending, and supporting the LGBTQ cause.”
And what are your thoughts about the 2016 tour?
“I love the idea of Out/Spoken going out on the road. The individual stories are very specific to the storyteller but are also really universal at the same time. It parallels Frank Baum’s American fairytale. We’re all brave and cowardly. We have all been all the characters in the Wizard of Oz. Super gay and super wholesome all at the same time.”
For more information or to find out how to purchase tickets, click on the link below!
Out/Spoken, Queer, Questioning, Bold, & Proud: True Stories Told Through an LGBT Lens