Pest control branding and a National Weather Museum logo design. A unique violinist insignia and a chocolate syrup painting of a Coca-Cola bottle. These are only a small look into the unique work of artist Brian Collier.
Collier “paints” iconic images with chocolate syrup and later edits the works on his computer.
Collier, a recent BYU grad from the BFA graphic design program, pushed through what some may consider failures to find success. In fact, when Collier recounts the experiences, he doesn’t consider them failures at all.
“To fail is not to be a failure; to quit trying is to be a failure,” Collier said.
Collier grew up drawing and painting and in high school had the opportunity to attend a summer art program hosting 600 students. Collier was one of 40 students accepted to study visual arts at the summer program.
“I was actually rejected from the summer program and then someone dropped out and I was the next in line to go,” Collier said.
It doesn’t stop there, however. Collier received a 2/5 on his AP Art Exam and wasn’t accepted to BYU’s BFA program on his first application.
“I find rejection as fuel almost to get to the next level,” Collier said. “I wanted it bad.”
The year after being rejected from the program and waiting to apply for his second and last chance, Collier took and retook classes.
“I was basically like a child again in terms of artistic knowledge,” Collier said, referring to his effort to learn the unique technical skills behind graphic design.
“It’s challenging to get in and once you’re in, it continues to be extremely rigorous,” said Adrian Pulfer, a graphic design instructor in the BFA program and mentor to Collier. “(His hard work) spoke highly of his commitment to his goals to be in the program but also to be a designer. He earned his way into that program.”
Upon his second application to the program, Collier was accepted and remained dedicated to the work.
“I enjoy the process of making art in that it is kind of an evolutionary process,” Collier said. “There are some levels of refinement that an art piece goes through.”
Currently Collier is branding companies. One such company was ProCare Pest, located in Georgia and owned by his friend Josh Ely.
“We wanted something that not only customers would think was cool to be a part of, but also employees would think this is something I want to work for,” Ely said. “I trust (Collier’s) taste and the way that he can just create with his mind.”
The challenge of the project was to find an attractive way to say pest without actually saying pest. Collier created an icon for the company and did the rebranding by himself.
“It was a time that I was able to rebrand by myself and it was a time I could really see my own skills and push myself,” Collier said.
In addition to rebranding, Collier does commissions on the side. One side project he has recently been a part of is the Art Jam in the Provo Art Stroll.
“I let the laws of physics do most of the talking and let the drip happen organically, but then I go and define some of the lines to give the shape and context so people know what it is I’m creating,” Collier said. “It’s almost more fun performing it.”
Collier said it is important to him to be able to provide for his family with the skills he has developed and loves.
“If you can do what you want to do for free then you will be happy with what you do,” Collier said. “Getting paid is like a bonus to me. I wake up every morning loving what I do. I’m proud of all my work whether it’s good or bad really, because I always put my best foot forward and do the best I can.”