How Artist Briony Douglas Harnessed Pop Culture to Build Her Brand

By Ezra Tennen

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The Creators is an editorial series presented by Glory Professional that focuses on the career paths, strategies, and tactical advice of today’s most compelling social media entrepreneurs.


Briony Douglas is a visionary artist and content creator who defies expectations by seamlessly blending a multitude of creative endeavors. As a visual artist, her work spans awe-inspiring sculptures, captivating photography of iconic figures, and ingenious Pantone artwork composed of thousands of tiny pieces. With a career that delves into illustration, sculpture, photography, and more, Briony’s ability to harmonize these diverse talents under one creative umbrella is truly unique.


In this interview, Briony explains her perspective on influence, her approach to authenticity, and the unique confluence of her creative journey.

Photo of Briony looking at the camera. She is wearing a red dress and twirling a bit of her hair in one of her hands. There is a fence behind her with a grassy field.
Photography by Sara Mango

What kind of content do you create? Why did you decide to focus on your niche

Briony Douglas: I am a visual artist so the content I create is the different variations of my art. I build 20-foot-tall sculptures, eight-foot-long sneakers made out of recycled lids, Pantone artwork consisting of 15,000 tiny pieces and so much more. I have been a photographer for over eight years and have photographed some of the most famous people in the World including Oprah, The Clintons, and Zac Efron. 


What’s your unique perspective on your niche?

Briony Douglas: There isn’t anyone else doing what I do, so it is unique in itself.


How do you define influence? What does it mean to you?

Briony Douglas: Leading by example even when people can’t see you on the internet.


Do you take issue with being called an ‘influencer?’ If so, why? If not, what do you say to those that do? 

Briony Douglas: I say I am an artist, first and foremost. I don’t get offended, but I usually politely correct people. 


What kind of skill set do you think is required to be a successful content creator or influencer?

Briony Douglas: Creating shareable content and posting things that bring you happiness, not things you think will make others happy. There will be days where you don’t get a lot of likes and you don’t want to base your happiness on that. 


What is a skill that has been unique to your success? 

Briony Douglas: My unique style of art, often incorporating sustainability and other important topics through the art


What have you found is the best way to gain and retain a loyal audience? 

Briony Douglas: Being authentic to myself.


What is a skill set that every content creator needs to have to be successful?

Briony Douglas: A thick skin and an eye for creating content that has a shareability factor.

Photo of Briony Douglas standing in the middle of a road. She is wearing a red dress and black boots.
Photography by Sara Mango

There is a lot of talk about the algorithm. How do you update yourself on changes in the algorithm?

Briony Douglas: If I find I am getting crushed by the algorithm I create content, like a positive sign or an inspirational cake, that people will also want to repost on their socials. 


What are 3 underrated tools (apps, tech, equipment) that you use to create, plan, distribute, or monitor your content that you swear by?

Briony Douglas: Honestly I don’t monitor my likes, followers etc. because I want to be cognitive of it affecting my mental health. We do pull my analytics for brands though so they can see what’s up.


What is something that most people get wrong when it comes to their social media strategy? 

Briony Douglas: Posting what they think people want to see and not what brings them happiness.


You have a very strong support group of other influencers and entrepreneurs. What is the best advice that someone from this group has given you? 

Briony Douglas: When quoting jobs I was told to think of a ridiculous amount and say that. I lived in fear for a long time that asking for what I was worth would deem me to be difficult or make me lose a job, but I realized that if you show others you respect yourself then they will respect you in return. And if they don’t, then you shouldn’t be working with them. 


How do you handle online criticism and unkind comments?

Briony Douglas: If it is a comment that is looking to debate or discuss then I engage and leave it up, but if it’s a comment that adds no value and is just mean at its core I immediately delete and block. I don’t like bullies.

Photo of a women in a red dress. Her body is facing a go carting sign but she is turning her head towards the camera.
Photography by Sara Mango

When brokering deals with brands, how do you establish trust with them so that they commit to your creative vision?

Briony Douglas: I am very grateful and lucky that I am at a point in my career where brands often put the decision of what to create in my hands, which is the biggest compliment you can get as an artist. That being said, when sending over an idea I am not just writing out one sentence in an email with a dollar amount, I am creating a deck with examples, sketches, and a breakdown of the cost so that they see I value the money they are investing in me. 


What is the best and worst partnership you’ve experienced?

Briony Douglas: Oh gosh, I am so grateful for the incredible opportunities I have had. I have had the chance to work with some of the most iconic brands in the world and they have treated me so well. Most recently the experience I had with Red Bull Canada. They sent me to Montreal for the Grand Prix, where I not only displayed the artwork I made for them but was able to meet the team and have them sign the piece. It was an experience of a lifetime.

Worst experiences… I have had a few. I have worked with some brands who then stole my concepts. There is a lot that has happened that I can’t disclose. We spend a great deal of time now prior to starting any job going over every single detail because you can’t really reshoot most of the things I do.

Oprah Winfrey sitting. Her elbow is propped up on her knee and her hand is holding her chin. She is in a silver dress and surrounded by flowers while smiling.
Source: @brionydouglas / Instagram

What is a lesson that brands and businesses can learn from influencers?

Briony Douglas: It’s not reach, it’s engagement that is important. Brands often want to work with the most popular person but it should be more about creators that have engaged audiences. You can really see this in the comments. 


Why should influencers be a part of every CMO’s marketing strategy?

Briony Douglas: People want to buy products from a source they trust, and humans that they follow and look up to are much more likely to influence them than the money you would spend on traditional advertising.


Biggest brand deals and partnerships?

Briony Douglas: Apple, Red Bull, Amex, Adidas, McDonalds, Cadillac, Nespresso, Canada Goose, Dior, Knix, Raptors, Brown Shoes.


Biggest professional milestones?

Briony Douglas: Photographing Oprah, Red Bull Racing Piece, 20-foot-tall guitar for Boots and Hearts.


Dream partnership?

Briony Douglas: Porsche ( I have worked with them but not in a paid capacity).

A pair of giant pink cowboy boots. In the middle is Briony Douglas wearing a dress, white cowboy hat and matching white cowboy boots.
Source: @brionydouglas / Instagram

In addition to being a content creator, you are also an artist, photographer, director, illustrator, and sculptor. How do these endeavors intersect and complement each other?

Briony Douglas: They are all one in the same! Sometimes I do have to turn down jobs because brands will try to control my creative ideas too much and I want to make sure I am remaining authentic to myself.


You show your personal life in your content. How do you determine how much of that to share? (For example, the recent post about being seven years sober.)

Briony Douglas: I show about 50 percent of my personal life. I am respectful of all the other people in my life and never post them without their permission first. I sometimes share the more vulnerable sides of myself, like being sober, because it gives others the opportunity to see that this is possible for themselves. However, I have strict rules with myself to not post anything if I am sad. The reason is I don’t want to feel better because a lot of people liked my content, and I don’t want to feel worse because they didn’t. (So, if I am ever quiet I am either covered in paint working or taking a moment to regroup offline).


How do you leverage pop culture as a way to comment on the world around you?

Briony Douglas: This goes back to creating shareable content. Being aware of trends and pop culture allows me to create art that is relevant to the times. For example, I created a Barbie Pantone consisting of 9,120 half-inch pieces to make one giant piece.


A lot of your work is centered around corporate brands and objects. How does this inform your art and overall vision?

Briony Douglas: What makes me the happiest is making art, and I have found a way to get paid to do what I love, so brands being associated with it is just a bonus. This became a reality to me after listening to Alan Watts’ “What if Money Was No Object,” which really showed me we only live one life and we should do what makes us happy.

In this photo, a women is photographed from below. She is leaning against a railing and looking off into the distance.
Photography by Sara Mango
Image of Briony sitting in the middle of the road. She is wearing a red dress with black boots, and she is looking down.