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It all started with an Instagram post; NYC artist Brittany Tucker uploaded a photo wearing her Docs, tagged us, and then we came across her artwork, which really caught our attention. Brittany’s style of self-portrait paintings are unlike anything else. She manages to capture herself in a sincere yet humorous way; portraying feelings of introspection, intimacy, and the mundane all in one. We asked her to take a paintbrush to a pair of Docs, see the result below.

Introduce yourself.

I am a Brooklyn girl, born and raised. I also currently live and work in Brooklyn where I am an artist. I am lucky enough to have a studio practice as a painter.

How did you get started painting?

I started painting during my junior year of high school. I’ve always done portraiture and one of the first projects that I labored over for weeks was a black and white portrait of a woman surrounded by red folded fabric that looked like roses. It’s funny to look back at that because six years later, I find myself working in a very similar way.

What is your preferred medium?

I use oil paint and work on wooden panels.

Which self-portrait is your favorite and why?

My favorite self-portrait is a tiny 8 inch by 10-inch portrait of me in bed with no glasses and a bonnet on staring at a cartoon man. Its title is “I love you but what are you saying?” and it sums up a lot of the themes in my work in a small cute package.

Tell us about the inspiration behind the design you created for DIY DOCS.

I’ve always loved cow print and I’ve been seeing it all over Instagram and I think it’s one of those outrageous but somehow wearable prints. I’ve also been learning German and the word for cow (Kuh) kept popping into my head as I was painting so I decided to include the German, Afrikaans, Japanese and French words for cow in the design.

Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens.

In my freshman year of high school, I very deliberately rode the train into Manhattan to go to this shoe store that used to be in Union Square to buy my first pair of Dr. Martens. They were a timeless pair of black leather 1460s and I kept them until my freshman year of college. They made it through my soft goth phase, my “hipster” phase, and my minimalist phase and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

Our campaign TOUGH AS YOU celebrates Docs wearers’ resilience; the times we faced setbacks but held firm and bounced back. Can you tell us about a time when you were resilient?

Being an artist in New York City is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. There were so many days in my first year out of college where I questioned my entire existence. I spent that entire first winter in a very deep funk. However, I didn’t stop painting. I just kept making work pretty much the entire time and it carried me through to better days. It’s a constant battle but it’s so worth it.

Photography by Ella Gibney

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