In some cultures, a sacred female figure holds a central place in prayer and worship.  In my new series, WorshipHer, I drew inspiration from ancient stories of female deities and creatures from Egyptian, Greek, and Japanese mythology. These stories, so rich in imagery, helped me bring life and interest into my female forms. In my series, I am playing with some of the supernatural characteristics such as sightseeing, fortune telling, healing, and ability to enchant.

The WorshipHer series is the first time I am combining a variety of my techniques to make a complete series. I’m obsessed with fine details, intricate lines, interesting color combinations, and geometric patterns. My mediums of choice are graphite, ink, coffee, acrylic, tissue bleed, and marker. Each piece I do has these elements and mediums, but I am playful in where and how I use them. I strive for my hands to be gestured just so, to depict power and purpose. The clothing I want to seem earthy and sprouting from within, and the hair to be alive.  I like to use modern patterns and color palettes to create interest and surprise the eye.

My last task in my creative process is deciding who she is. I ask myself, “What power does she hold?” By studying my completed piece I decide if she see the future, reads fortunes, a sun goddess, an enchanter, etc. Sometimes this requires more research on ancient female deities before I come to realize who she is. In a way, I feel like I am creating my own modern day goddess to be worshipped.

Lela Brunet was born in 1985 and has lived in Atlanta, Georgia most of her life.  Growing up in a home where art was encouraged had a great impact on her as a child. Lela has fond memories of her mother letting her draw on her bedroom walls (never met another mom that encouraged that). Not only does Lela come from an artistic background but also has three generations of educators in her family. It was not until her third year in college that Lela considered combining art and education as a career.

While working on her degree at Kennesaw State University, Lela had the opportunity to teach in a special education adaptive art program. This experience opened her eyes to the need for art in special needs classrooms. The challenge of learning to adapt lessons for a large variety of different learners was an experience that changed how she looked at teaching and molded her into a better teacher and artist.

Having recently earned her Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Kennesaw State University, Lela is beginning to explore her range as an artist and focus on building a career on her creative work. Although she enjoys teaching, she is dedicating herself to creating art full-time.

With detailed line patterns and strong female figures, Lela’s portraits are greatly influenced by Art Nouveau artists Gustav Klimt, Harry Clarke, and Alphonse Mucha. Their decorative portraits and female subject matter influence her figurative work and compositions greatly. Like their work, Lela is also driven by stories of mythology and fairytales where the woman is put in intriguing roles.

With much of her influence in art nouveau artists of the early twentieth century, Lela also looks at contemporary artist such as Erik Jones and Audrey Kawasaki for inspiration. She finds their female form and choice of color palettes to be forward thinking and innovative.

She enjoys working primarily on paper with a mixture of mediums such as acrylic, ink, marker, coffee, graphite pencil, tissue paper bleed, and occasionally oil paint.  She has exhibited her work in multiple galleries and events throughout Atlanta, Georgia.


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