Meet Brooke Phillips: Our Senior Architectural Representative for Lamin-Art in the southwestern markets of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico—and a mosaic artist.
As a Senior Architectural Representative for Lamin-Art, Brooke has been part of the Lamin-Art family for more than eight years. She works with interior designers and architects as a valued resource in their specification process for diverse surface applications. And with an interior degree, it’s no surprise that she has the creative eye for design to match.
She found the discontinued designs from various collections similar to beautiful fish scales and designed a vivid mosaic of a bass fish. After that, Brooke was hooked on a new creative outlet that has developed into a treasured hobby that she shares with her young daughter. We sat down with Brooke to learn more about how creating these extraordinary fish out of our products first started.
Lamin-Art (LA): So how did these fish mosaics come about?
Brooke Phillips (BP): I love deconstructing things—like tiles, sweaters, quilts—and transforming them into something new. When I started at Lamin-Art, I noticed the beautiful aesthetic qualities of discontinued product sample chips mingled together. Rather than discard them, (long before the current practice of recycling with Zero Landfill), I found inspiration in the shimmering colors of the Pearlescence line, and the textures of our Premium Wood Prints and Abstracts collections.
LA: Why did you choose fish?
BP: For some reason that’s what I’m inspired to do with this medium. I saw all these beautiful colors, textures, and finishes, and envisioned the reflection of fish scales. My dad was a fisherman, so that’s probably another reason why I’m inspired to design fish.LA: Which Lamin-Art products and collections have you used?
BP: I love to get my hands on whatever is discontinued, so I’ve used two designs from our Premium Wood Prints collection; one from Pearlescence; and two from Abstracts. I love mixing the glossy and matte pieces because when light moves across the piece, it really shimmers.
LA: You used to be a surgical technologist. Do you think that’s affected the way you approach design?
BP: Well, because I was in the military for four years and then on the neurovascular team at UT Southwestern before becoming a designer and I like to think I’m kind of both left- and right-brained. Those experiences have made me a dimensional thinker.
Even though my two worlds seem like they aren’t related, there is definitely a common thread. With both design and surgery, there’s an important technical part that exists that isn’t as immediately apparent. In both practices, there’s a 3-D element in which you’re moving through a space.
LA: What’s the process of creating the fish mosaics?
BP: Normally I break up all the pieces first because that’s the most time consuming part — it’s not easy to break these laminates! I’ll break as many as I can stand into quarter-inch pieces, and then lay them out to determine how big the fish is going to be. Once I know that, I get a piece of MDF and begin drawing it. Next, I start assigning colors to the different parts of the fish and glue the whole thing down. I usually thread a wire through the top to hang it, and then have net and a hook to keep the fish theme throughout the entire piece.
LA: We hear you’re taking your art to the next level. Can you tell us more?
BP: Yes! I’ve gotten so many compliments on the fish over the years that I’ll be exhibiting at an art gallery in Florida this coming April. I’m trying to have three pieces done by then. Right now, I have two boxes of discontinued chips and I’ve already separated the blues and greys into a box and the browns and greens into another, so I’m about to start my next fish.
Thank you, Brooke, for motivating us all to find inspiration where we wouldn’t traditionally look for it. We can’t wait to see your artwork on display in April. Take a peak at one of Brooke’s creations below.