We first discovered Beau Brannick's intricate embroidery during her internship, as delicate thread renderings of wolves and pastel pistols tumbled from her suitably colour pop Fjallraven Kanken backpack one sunny afternoon. Fast forward to chilly August and the launch of our supernatural new collection: Smoke and Mirrors, complete with extra AF amphibians. Our glossy Emerald Frog Necklace and Brooch reminded us of IRL frog princess, Beau, so we just had to nab her for five minutes to talk mental health, craft and... mash and gravy. Yep, she's a Tatty girl, through and through!
CAN YOU SUM UP WHAT YOU DO IN FIVE WORDS?
If I had to sum myself up in five words it would have to be craft, mythological, narrative, colour and emotion.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
My music taste is actually such a mess! I grew up being a die-hard emo and can’t quite get rid of that phase, so you’ll still find me peacefully sewing an embroidery I’m working on whilst bring me the horizon or enter shikari is blaring through my headphones. But I’m also pretty varied music wise, I’m forever jammin’ to the queer icons of pop like Madonna and Cher. But if I’m feeling particularly down with my mental health I have a pretty good playlist full of music I find really beautiful and inspiring like Girlpool, Japanese breakfast, Sophie and lots of fun K-pop music like Momoland and Twice.
FROM PODCASTS TO PLAYLISTS, WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO FOR INSPIRATION?
I started embroidering when I moved to London four years ago and started a degree in Design, however, I wasn’t enjoying my course and ended up dropping out and my mental health took quite a bad turn. I felt really useless not being able to create work and started embroidering as an outlet for creating as well as something I used to help my anxiety. It was actually super lovely finding a craft that I enjoyed as well as it helping me mentally and I started posting about it online on Instagram where I found lots of other likeminded individuals struggling.
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE SUBJECT OF FROGS?
I ended up creating my whole degree show based around frogs because of a really lovely folksong called ‘Froggy went a-courtin'. It’s the tale of a frog who carries a pistol and sword with them as they go to meet their pal Mrs Mouse, but on their way home, they come across a duck who ends up eating them. It’s ridiculous and makes NO sense but I loved all the silly imagery and narratives and wanted to sew a set of embroideries that told the tale. I got so stuck into it and ended up making a GIANT squishy felt pond and some froggy friends that lived on top. I’m now slightly obsessed with frogs as I spent half a year drawing, researching, sewing and making them!
WHAT DO YOU PERSONALLY REGARD AS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT?
To date, my biggest achievement is finishing my university degree. As I mentioned before I originally started my degree in Design and dropped out. I restarted my degree in Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts and it was honestly the best decision I ever made. Although my mental health is something I still struggle with now, the tutors and friends I made on my course were so supportive in pushing my practise, looking out for me and generally making me feel like university was something I could do I know I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the end without them.
YOU TALK FRANKLY ON YOUR IG ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, WHAT ARE YOUR TOP SELF CARE TIPS?
I think it’s super important to use social media as an outlet for your mental health problems. A lot of people think using social media too much is damaging which I totally understand, however, I try and combat letting it have a negative impact on me by being honest about how I’m feeling. Finding like-minded accounts that talk openly about depression, anxiety, BPD, Bipolar etc help these topics become less of a taboo. It’s OK to be on tablets! It’s OK to feel like shit! It’s ok to need to vent into the void and have someone you have never met reply and be like hey, I’m also having a hard time I hope you’re okay!
My top tips in regards to mental health would be to unfollow every account that makes you feel unhappy when it pops up on your feed and follow positive accounts that impact your life in a good way. Recently I unfollowed a bunch of people and replaced them with body positive plus-size accounts and art accounts that make work surrounding mental health or LGBTQ+ awareness so when I click on Instagram I feel inspired.
Other self-care tips I try and stick by are letting yourself have the food you need. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for a long time and I’m at a really beautiful stage now where I’m not counting calories or worrying about working off the chocolate bar I ate. If you’re hungry order a takeout, buy a snack, cook some mash and gravy for your tea and enjoy yourself. Eating disorders suck and it’ll be hard to ignore the voice in your head telling you to stop but trust me when I say there are more important things to worry about than weight.
ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
LITERALLY the hardest question! If anybody has ever seen my wardrobe it is literally an overflowing colour co-ordinated mess. If I had to pick though I have this one outfit that I bought from a vintage shop in Peckham that’s a turquoise, floral patterned silk nighty with a matching silk kimono. I’ve worn it less than 10 times but every time I feel like an absolute QUEEN.
BEST PLACE TO GO SHOPPING? (WE KNOW YOU LOVE A VINTAGE PIECE!)
Best place to go shopping is 100% my hometown of Manchester in the northern quarter. It just has the best charity and vintage shops! I’ve found basically all my vintage dresses from there for under a fiver.
WHICH PIECE OF SMOKE AND MIRRORS IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
My favourite pieces are OBVIOUSLY the Emerald Froggies! The whole collection is beautiful though, I love how it’s all so mystical and feels like you’re in a fairy tale.
WHO ARE YOU WATCHING RIGHT NOW? (ON IG, TWITTER...ETC ETC)
Currently on my watch list is @hellomynameiswednesday, a queer artist who is making beautiful illustrations about self-love and being queer, as well as @bethanhoare, my bestie from university who I love watching grow with talent every day in their hilariously real animations. I’m also a big fan of @heygemmaflack, a queer illustrator I have followed forever who has started doing the most amazing tattoos. I can’t wait to one day get one!