We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Mock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It took years in a conventional and unfulfilling job to ultimately push me to pursue an artistic career. I spent my nights and weekends creating, which never felt like enough time to really hone my skills or satisfy my creative curiosity. But I realized that that excitement for work, that drive, was what I wanted to feel on a daily basis as a professional…I wanted to love what I did for a living.
Please tell us more about your work. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my 20+ years of sculpting is to welcome challenges and to trust my process. I really believe that the more confidence I have in myself as an artist, the more it shows in my work. So, when I’m presented with a commission that pushes me out of my comfort zone, or with an installation that seems arduous I always tell myself (and the client) that I can do it, and do it well. This keeps me from doubting and overthinking, and lets my creative process take over and do the work. My best sculptures have been the result of some of my biggest challenges.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The best thing about Portland is that it’s close to literally everything you could possibly want to do. When people visit from out of town I always insist upon 3 day trips: 1. A visit to the coast: There’s nothing like the PNW beaches – Cannon Beach and Hug Point are a few of my favorites. 2. A visit to the Columbia River Gorge: For miles of lush hiking trails, most of which lead to breathtaking waterfalls. 3. A visit to downtown Portland: Particularly to the outdoor Saturday Market where you can spend hours checking out the hundreds of handmade art & food vendors. I also have to give a Shoutout to my favorite local park, Tryon Creek, whose trails & bridges I know by heart, and where I’ve found countless moments of tranquility and inspiration.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I couldn’t do what I do without the generous metal donations that I’ve received over the years. From the people who’ve let me root around in their garages, to the employees who’ve convinced their bosses to let me root around in their dumpsters, to the people who’ve sent me boxes of odds & ends in the mail…Every single donation keeps my materials inventory stocked and fresh, and allows me to keep creating. The amount of people who donate just for art’s sake is truly inspiring, and I am eternally grateful to all of them. I’d also like to give a huge Shoutout to my wife, who has had an immeasurable hand in turning my art into a business. Her tireless and dedicated efforts in the office allow me to focus on the creating, and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive partner.