Called by nature, love, and art, nature and wildlife artist Brittany Montour exemplifies bravely following your own heart. Where does it lead? To joy, beauty, and adventure, of course!
MilspoFAN: Tell us a little about yourself, your journey as a military spouse, and where you are today.
Brittany: I am originally from West Virginia where I grew up in a small town called Charles Town. I loved the outdoors, even at a very young age. You could find me outside running through the apple orchard that grew behind our house, climbing trees, racing sticks down the stream, catching insects, turtles and crayfish, and playing make-believe in the woods.
My husband, Matthew, is from Vermont and was stationed at Fairchild AFB in Washington when we met. We actually met on an online fitness app. We talked for 10 months before I flew up to Washington State. I knew after the first time we met there was something special about him and I knew we would end up together somehow. When I returned home to West Virginia I started to apply for jobs in Washington and surprisingly was offered a job in Spokane. I accepted the job and Matthew flew over to West Virginia, we packed up all my belongings and drove from West Virginia up to Spokane. We dated for almost a year before he proposed and we got married. After we got married, we stayed in Washington for 2 years.
Currently, we live in Alaska at Eielson AFB. We have been married for 4 years and we have a 2-year-old, Avery, who was born here.
MilspoFAN: How did you become a visual artist?
Brittany: Creativity and imagination were greatly encouraged during my childhood. As long as I can remember, I was creating art and knew that I wanted to go to school for it. I later graduated from Shepherd University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. During my time at college, I took many art classes, participated in theatrical productions, and even joined a music fraternity.
After college, being from a small town, it was difficult to find a design job with my degree. With limited opportunities, I became discouraged. I started to create art for myself, family, and friends. It actually took me several years to feel confident enough to present or sell my work publicly. I realized that having a degree definitely influenced and helped my work, but it didn’t define who I was as an artist and what I was capable of creating.
I now use my degree to design and edit my own work and sell my artwork locally.
MilspoFAN: How do you cultivate your creativity?
Brittany: All my work is influenced by nature, wildlife and research. My concepts and ideas stem from Ecology, experiences, and moments in the place I’m currently living. Our family loves being outdoors and taking many nature walks. It is very insightful when you take moments to stop and really observe the world around you.
I take my design background into consideration when I am creating the composition for my pieces. Each piece has a unique way of bringing life to what it is I’m trying to convey. Sometimes I take a whimsical approach and other times I like to go realistic. It all depends on how I want to interpret the subject matter.
MilspoFAN: What is the most practical piece of advice that you would give to other artists?
Brittany: For years I let fear control my ability to share my work openly. I would encourage other artists to not let fear hold you back from creating work and sharing it with the world. It is such a gift.
Find Brittany online at:
Instagram: Bethany Reasoner Photography https://www.instagram.com/bmontour.art