Bianca Burrows, @itsbbart
Did you know that local students get less than one hour of art instruction in school each week? For children that express themselves through a more creative approach or kids that struggle in school because they do not meet traditional academic standards, that’s not enough time in the school year for them to be seen, understood, or even appreciated for what they can do exceptionally well.
Thankfully, the Tampa Bay community does make space for local art talent in every medium. From murals painted on the side of buildings and businesses and opportunities to shop local markets where creatives share their work, to wide-scale events that honor the arts and museums and galleries that host timeless installations, there are multiple visual reminders to our children that this community supports artists.
But they need to see it. Also, they should read this story of a local artist that has made her creativity her career.
How did you get started as an artist?
Bianca Burrows: I have been an artist for as long as I can remember.
I graduated with a BFA in Fine Arts with a painting concentration from the University of Tampa (UT). Following my graduation, I landed my first job at a vinyl shop that specializes in graphic design. During my time there, I worked part-time with the owner, who was a graphic artist and part-time with a fine artist who focused on painting. My work with the graphic artist provided me with valuable insights into running a business and navigating through the graphic design software. The fine artist honed my painting skills and influenced a positive outlook.
As I look back on my career as a mixed media artist, I realize that the skills and knowledge I acquired during my time at the vinyl shop still serve me today. I use vinyl in a majority of my artwork for stencil making, practice positive thinking in my personal life and when mentoring others, and use digital design extensively before bringing my creations to life.
What was that one moment or that one win that made you think you could earn a living sharing your talent with the world?
Bianca Burrows: During my junior year of college, my art professor, Chris Valle, took a group of us on a trip to New York City for Art Week. It was during this trip that I had the opportunity to meet Alyssa Monks, an accomplished artist with an impressive studio and a portfolio of high-priced paintings. Witnessing her success and professionalism was a defining moment for me, as it set the standard for how I envisioned myself as an artist and what I hoped to achieve in my life. Meeting Alyssa Monks gave me a clear goal to strive for and something to aspire to.
You have garnered notoriety with your partnerships with big brands and familiar names. Tell us about some of these projects.
Bianca Burrows: Recently, I completed an artist-in-residency program at The Don CeSar, during which I created a six-piece mixed media art series titled “If These Walls Could Talk.” This collection delved into the Don CeSar’s history, from inception to its 95th anniversary. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with several brands that I have personally fan-girled over including TB Lightning, Porsche, Ashley Furniture, and Fresh Kitchen.
You have also worked with nonprofit groups to elevate their events. Why is it important to you to give back and what missions mean the most to you?
Bianca Burrows: Many of the non-profit organizations I have collaborated with tend to focus on children and art. I have an amazing relationship with two exceptional non-profits, the Children’s Cancer Center and the Ryan Callahan Foundation. My passion for connecting with the community and utilizing my artistic skills to make a positive impact drives my involvement in these organizations. By showcasing my artwork at charity events and donating a portion of my proceeds, I am able to generate funds and contribute to the causes that matter to me. My artwork has served as a platform for fundraising, and integrating it with these non-profits has been my key to giving back.
Tell us about the recent ‘Disrupt the Streets’ (DTS) event. What was your contribution?
Bianca Burrows: The DTS event brought together my passion for philanthropy, working with children, and art. During the event, I had the opportunity to spend time with amazing kids, including yours, and collaborate with the community on a massive 16-foot interactive canvas. The main objective was to answer through art what community means to them.
I watched my daughter work alongside you at the DTS event and she was so inspired by you. You probably get that a lot from young artists. Who inspires you and what can you share here for kids that want to be like you?
Bianca Burrows: I am constantly inspired by people who are doing big things in a kind way. My advice is to work hard and be a good person. Whatever you want to excel at, make it a daily habit to work on your craft.
What is a 2023 goal that you think the Tampa Bay Parenting families may be interested in?
Bianca Burrows: A channel of the BB Art brand is currently transitioning towards high-end nursery paintings and playroom murals, mirroring the evolution of my life. As my loved ones welcome or prepare for new additions to their families, I am inspired to explore this creative direction. I am really enjoying the process of infusing playful, cute subjects and executing with a sophisticated twist. Check out one of my most recent playroom murals that I did below.