“The brain and its product, the mind, are a fascinating subject; I question existence, both philosophically and scientifically, and because of my background, a good place to start my interrogation of life is through the material science of the brain.”

– Kelsey Brookes –

Kelsey Brookes’ work is the culminating combination of his passionate interest in and understanding of modern biochemistry. He freely experiments with pop, abstract and traditional elements while incorporating vibrant color and remarkable detail into visual representations of what the vast majority of the public would, without a second thought, overlook: molecular structures.

In the process, he has defined a new genre and his work has become sought after by brands like RVCA, VANS and others. And, he has held solo exhibitions in La Jolla, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, London and Berlin.

Keep reading for a conversation and a window into the humanity of this remarkable creative.

And, for more stories about visionaries, adventurers, wild landscapes and more, get your copy of the Howl Adventure Guide, HERE. These print-only features will open your eyes, mind and soul to the true potential of adventure in this modern world.

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What advice would you give your 14 year old self?

Don’t be so hard on yourself or others, just have fun!


What is your daily routine?

Wake up. Meditate. Help my daughters get ready for school. Make lunch. Go to the studio. Check e-mail. Paint. Lunch. Paint. Pick up Kids from school. Family time. Dinner. Bath. Books, Bedtime. Hopefully surf in there somewhere, life and conditions permitting.


Where do you draw inspiration from?

Math, Organic Chemistry, Botany, Phyllotaxis and Science in general.


Best thing about being an artist?

Complete and total freedom.


Worst thing about being an artist?

Complete and total freedom.


What do you do outside of creating artwork?

Dad stuff, Cook food, Surf, Meditate and Jog.


What is your goal for the future? 

Expand focus and attention.


Do you have any shows coming up?

Just finished a show up in LA. Currently I’m working on a series of commissions this summer that will lead up to a show in Detroit at the end of the year.


Favorite place you have traveled and why?

I love the South Pacific; Australia, Indonesia and Fiji because they really fulfilled my Western sense of adventure and more specifically surf adventure. I was taken by surprise by Japan – the food blew my mind!

Any time I get to go anywhere I am overjoyed. Travel is such a great state to be in.


Do you have a specific process or routine for when you are creating?

Following and trusting intuition. I often find myself attracted to the strange corners of human understanding, the unexplained, the unknown or only partially understood.

I grew up watching Arther C. Clarks “Mysterious World.” That show has definitely had an impact on my sensibilities and interest.


Do you collect anything?

Not yet.


What was the last thing you ate? Song you listened to? Book you read? Concert attended?

Ate: A mixture of leftovers; beat risotto, manakish with some old kale and spinach, Its questionable that everything listed was actually good or had possibly gone bad in the refrigerator, I’ll know soon enough.

Listened: Currently listening to Kevin Morby live at the KEXP studio while I type this.

Read: Barbarian Days by William Finnegan

Experienced: Dr. Dog

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