Brittney Palmer Proves You Can Be a Playboy Model And an Artist
Brittney Palmer is the ultimate jack-of-all-trades. While she rose to fame as an Octagon Girl for the UFC and modeled for Playboy, she is currently super focused on painting. Her first art exhibit, “I Remember Faces,” will be on display at AC Gallery in LA this November. Galore had to ask Brittney how she manages to have it all, and if how she’s saying FU to stereotypes.
So you started out as an Octagon Girl for UFC but now you’re predominantly focused on your art – have you always been a painter? Where did your interest begin?
I started taking art seriously about 7 years ago and shortly after, I moved to LA to attend art school. UFC is still a big part of my life. Because of the UFC I was given the opportunity to be seen on a much larger platform. A lot of my success has to do with my part in the UFC. I am so happy and appreciative to have been a part of the family.
Do you enjoy any other art mediums or do you stick strictly to painting?
I think as an artist you have to enjoy other mediums. Before I was a painter, I was a professional dancer in Las Vegas, dancing in the big Vegas shows. I’ve always had a fascination with the arts, music, dancing, painting, literature.
How do you balance being in school and painting with being an Octagon Girl and a part of the entertainment industry in general?
I’m truly doing what I love, it definitely makes it easy to balance. I enjoyed when I was going to school, I enjoy going to work in the studio and I enjoy traveling with the UFC. I feel extremely blessed right now.
After being a part of the entertainment industry for so many years, what led you to refocus on painting?
Throughout my career I think I’ve grown and progressed from one to the other. I was a professional dancer, I started working in the UFC, and from that point I fell in love with art. I found myself spending hours and hours in my studio just listening to music and making art. Whether it was good or bad, I didn’t really care, I just loved it so much. I think that’s when I knew that this is my true calling.
What is your biggest struggle as a “renaissance woman?” What is something you’ve learned in being so multifaceted?
My biggest struggles are trying to not fall into a certain stigma that I might be given because of what I’ve done and what I do. To be taken seriously as an artist is something I struggle with, and my confidence in being an artist. I always want to be better and better every year and to learn from all of my mistakes. To grow as not only an artist, but as a person.
“I Remember Faces” will be on display this November, what inspired you in creating this exhibit specifically?
I’ve always been really bad at remembering names. When creating this show, I wanted everyone to remember the faces that I remember. When I attended art school, I studied portrait art, so it only made sense to have my first solo exhibition be my first passion in art.
How would you describe your art style? What themes do you enjoy incorporating into your work?
I would describe my art style as spontaneous realism. I love using vibrant colors and for the painting to almost radiate off the canvas. I enjoy using expressionism and realism and portrait art, I find it is more interesting to see the two combined.
Your work as an Octagon girl and you’ve also modeled for Playboy, which is obviously very sexual in nature, do you ever feel that critics think this discredits your art work?
When I was in art school I took figure painting and figure drawing classes. I have painted with live nude models that would come to class and sit for the artists in the room. Posing for Playboy just meant that I was on the other side of the canvas.
Have you ever had to defend your career choices to disapproving family members or friends? If so, how did you do this?
I’m extremely lucky to have always had a really supportive family, my mother’s been nothing but proud and has held me up and always made me believe that I can do anything I wanted to.