Everyone knows her as Sarah Brown…
…because there aren’t any conventional words or expressions that could describe who she is and what she does. A multi-faceted artist, yes, but not enough. Textile designer, seamstress, DJ, costumographer, graffiti artist; precious, semi-precious and not-precious-at-all stone enthusiast, yes, but still not enough. The nickname came to Sara Brizani, 27, during her teenage years, and I think it stuck because it’s a strong name and it stands on its own. Very much like the woman carrying it. Don’t get me wrong, she firmly stands behind her actual name as well, having no scruples with being vocal about her Roma heritage. She knows how to frame paintings, expertly paint walls and nails, drill and hone stuff – you show her how to work a tool and she’ll know how to do it in no time. What she really loves to do is a similarly long list, but her two biggest passions are music and being creative with textiles.
The Brizani family side, originally from Kosovo, are all about music, so she grew up with the sounds of jazz, soul and funk. Those were also some of the genres that the vinyl-spinning DJ duo Saraieva, consisting of our Sara and her friend Eva (her portrait is in issue n.5) was founded on three years ago. As Eva has moved to another country, they’ve been performing together less, but it’s what they planned from the beginning, being so stage-shy at first. What helped them a lot was being part of a bigger hip hop community in the form of GOR association, where they still get the support they need in different musical and artistic endeavours. Now they’ve grown with experience and became more independent, so musically ms. Brown goes by DJ samSara, focusing on faster-paced genres. SamSara issued her first mixtape of footwerk beats in December and is planning two more with a disco-house and funky breakbeat flairs.
She studied and graduated in production of textiles. Learning how to sew on machines, do patchwork and make bags, all through courses and working in a sewing shop, laid a good foundation, but she is still mostly self-taught. Starting with different scraps of cloth from the sewing shop, patchworking them together and making a rucksack out of it was the easiest and fastest way to her first product. Then happened the African wax cotton, at first randomly brought to her from Benin by friends, and then every time she ran out, by chance or fate, as she calls it. Attracted to different colours, she says it’s gypsy-like to have more colours and patterns together than there ‘should’ be, that’s why she gets along with the African palette so well. Working on different inspirations, always learning new cuts she likes, she finally came to what she really wanted to do – streetwear. Her brand, brownstreetwear, makes her dreams about comfy and dynamic clothes come true, as she never liked the monotonous tracksuits available in shops. Adding her unique funky and colourful touch to it makes it stand out. (In my opinion, she does her best work when she feels she has nothing to wear at the moment and just makes a t-shirt or a jacket on the spot like it’s nothing.)
A year ago, she joined the UAUU atelier (their portrait is in issue n.7) and things she absolutely loves to do finally collided with all the other things she knows how to do. Their first project of combining scenography with costumography was small, but the projects are getting bigger and paying more. Doing these two things is her primary job now, with which she will earn everything she needs to put into the two creative outlets she holds most dear. By now she’s learned enough to know that she has to move photography and graffiti to her hobby section, because even she can’t do it all, all the time. Although, if she’s even a little bit interested, she is damned sure to try and learn.