Rooster Magazine

Art Talk: David Brookton

Art as fashion has never been as wearable as it is with local artist David Brookton’s pieces. We sat down with him to get the dirty on how he blends style and photography to create a piece of art that you can put in the washing machine. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving until your friend steals it.


  • Height: 5’10”
  • Shoe size: 10.5
  • Eye color: Blue
  • Suit or sweat pants: Suit
  • Burrito or sushi: They’re both my favorite foods, but sushi always wins.
  • Food of choice: Burritos or sushi.
  • Worst job you’ve had: R.A.
  • If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing: Hiking.
  • What’s your best party trick? Freestyle ukulele jams.
  • Tell us a joke: What did the art history major say to the dentist? Matisse hurt.

First off, how would you describe your artwork to someone who can’t see it?

Wearable photographs of nature printed all-over onto silky fabrics that are then sewn into garments.

Let us get this straight, can you wear the t-shirt that’s in the artwork?

Yes, my designs are wearable as functional fashion. The fabric is among the softest I’ve ever found.

Where did you get the mad idea to print on shirts on canvas?

I wanted to compare how prints on a shirt and canvas differed, and came to find they’re hardly distinguishable.

How exactly do you make the pieces?

The process is called sublimation. It requires very large printers, heat presses and lots of patience.

Most of your images are nature or cityscapes, why the contrasting subject matters?

The city and the backcountry have both always inspired me. I need both to feel balanced. I’ve been contrasting the two in my work to better understand the similarities and differences between the two.

Is this an expression of art or fashion?

I follow contemporary art and fashion quite closely and find myself drawn to designers like Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy who prints paintings onto shirts; ultimately it’s left to the viewer to decide.

Where do you see this concept taking you?

I’ll be creating further collections, hopefully it leads to collaborations with outdoor active-wear brands because I’d enjoy seeing my designs on clothing that also function within the environments my photos capture.

You just graduated, what will you do now that you have to get a real job?

I’m moving to California in a few weeks with a full time day job lined up working for a tech company, though I hope to eventually own a studio to continue my work.

Do chicks dig guys who wear their own artwork?

Being able to wear my own art work is definitely gratifying, though I hope to find out the answer to that question one day.

What’s the craziest thing someone has said about your artwork?

I have yet to hear anything outlandish about it to be honest.

How do your parent’s describe your hobby to their friends?

My mom collects fine art so I’ve gotten to network with a few of her friends. She describes me as an artist or photographer.

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