ST. PETERSBURG - With the aid of his artwork, Lynn Brady is able to battle debilitating medical issues by putting pencil to paper and creating art that expresses his individuality. He uses his artwork as therapy; it calms his mind and gives him hope for the future.
Lynn Brady was introduced to drawing at the age of seven. “The art teacher drew the letter M on paper and when she finished it was a dog,” he said. “It made me feel like I could do it also.”
That was the beginning of his love for drawing. At Gibbs High School he took classes for drafting and architecture. He laughed as he reminisced how he would often get in trouble in class for drawing and sketching instead of staying on task.
Brady’s first wall hanging worthy drawing was a replication of the work of the renowned African American artist Ernie Barnes whose work was featured on the 1970’s sitcom “Good Times.”
With no one around to push him in the right direction for a career in the arts, he soon became discouraged.
“I couldn’t go to college and no one during those times inspired me to continue. I gave up,” he said.
Born at Mercy Hospital and graduated from Gibbs High School class of 1971, Brady continued his education at Vocational Technical Institute, now known as Pinellas Technical Education Center. The art classes were filled so he took sign and letters courses. Eventually he was hired on by the city as a heavy equipment operator and his dreams of being an artist were put on the back burner.
Retired after 26 years with the City of St. Petersburg, Brady is most proud of the fact that he has installed and worked on most of the baseball fields in the city including Tropicana Fields.
During those years his first love of drawing and painting continued to stir in his soul and he continued his craft privately. Eventually, word got out that he was talented and a few assignments came his way.
Brady was asked to paint his first professional piece of art when the Miss Black St. Petersburg Contest asked him to paint a sign in 1980. Then his job requested several of his drawings of city equipment that they took a Miami industrial trade show.
Brady sketches with pencil and then fills them in with vibrant Crayola pens. Now that he is regaining his strength he will soon return to using water colors. With no specifics way of picking his subjects, they can be as diverse as a “Pimp Cockroach” to action cartoon characters.
He said his art art lets him use his imagination and he feels that he can inspire the youth of the community to utilize theirs also. Brady stressed that art can keep kids out of trouble and give them an alternative to deal with personal problems and peer pressure.
“Their imagination can take them anywhere,” Brady said. “It also is another release to keep [them] from the negative. They can put an ending to it by drawing it.”
His friend Abdul Hakim, member of the St. Petersburg Islamic Center, chimed in on the benefit of art lectures and motivation that Brady has offered at their youth programs.
He gives credit to his deceased mother Annie Brady who he says inspired to be appreciative and fair.
“Art accents our culture and it will explain what’s on our minds individually,” Brady concluded. “It will help deal with stuff on their mind and if it’s put on paper they can explain it to themselves.”
Although he is not known yet for his artwork, he’s known for his clothing. A self-professed “shopaholic and a fashion freak,” he has three bedrooms full of clothes. Filled with stylish suits, matching hats and coordinated ties, Brady dresses himself like the artwork he creates.
He is hoping that his artwork will soon become acknowledged and appreciated by a wider audience.
To inquire about Lynn Brady’s artwork, please contact The Weekly Challenger at 727-896-2922.