#STARTInspiring: Brooke Hagel

BHANSALI’s philanthropic mission has been to educate and inspire the underserved youth of LA. Now, we have been given the opportunity to expand our impact through the introduction of a digital platform for our non-profit program START, called #STARTinspiring. Follow along as we feature original content from trailblazing creatives and industry leaders every week. Here you will find resources to get you going, inspiring stories to get you moving, and tips for self-care to keep you from giving up on achieving your personal and professional goals. We are here for you and want to see you realize your full potential, because that creates a beautiful world. 

AB: Artists and creatives from around the world are adapting to the shutdowns by finding ways to keep people connected while far apart. Creatives like Brooke can see the opportunity that lies within challenge. Now, more than ever, it’s clear we need creative people to step into the light with their beauty to help us cope with these times. We love Brooke for her kind heart, extraordinary talent and keen ability to “draw” us in with her Fabulous Doodles.

 An Interview with Brooke Hagel

  1. Do you find you’re connecting differently with your followers during this time of crisis?

Yes, I’ve been in direct contact with members of community much more than in the past... Sharing my personal narrative -- and telling the story of my experience living in NYC at a time like this -- has caused members of my community reach out and check in with me often. It's been heartwarming. I’ve also started a series called #OurFrontlineFigures where I sketch a different frontline healthcare worker (nominated by my audience) every Saturday. I do this via IG Live, I give a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw your personal heath hero at home... Kind of a sketch-a-long. It's a special way I can connect... People are sending me photos and stories of their loved ones who are healthcare heroes from all across the country. It’s really touching. 


  1. How do you manage the stress of uncertainty? 

I just keep reminding myself that everything is temporary... For every down, there will be an up. It’s a hard time right now, that goes without saying -- but I continue to remind myself that it will get better. I trust that it will, life is and has always been a rollercoaster ride. With that  said, early in my career, a stress like this would have deeply effected my health and well-being. Thankfully at this point in my life, I’m in a stable place mentally and financially. It's been a struggle for everyone, my event booking were all canceled due to the pandemic. It's unfortunate and don't get me wrong that scares me... But I know I'll be okay for the time being and I have accepted that this is completely out of my control. I have to wait it out like everyone else. I hope it ends sooner rather later, in the meantime I am going to try to use this time to grow.


  1. What advice you can give to creatives, brands and businesses trying best optimize their social account while we’re all online more than ever?

Creatives have an advantage at this time... They can take solace in their work and almost use it as therapy. At least that’s what I'm doing. I’m focused on spending my time “in the zone.” The work creatives can make and share on social can really flourish right now.. If you have the time dig deep. People want to see beauty, people want to escape and art helps them do so... Creatives are truly needed in a time like this!


  1. How are you dealing with any changes, delays and/or cancellations of upcoming projects? What creative ways are you or your clients finding to work?

One of my biggest luxury fashion brand clients (that I do frequent in-store events for) started doing digital custom illustrations of their VIP clients. I can create these from home... Same thing for a big television show premiere I was to live sketch at... I'm still sketching the hosts and people who would have attended so they can share on social media, but now I'll be doing it from home.


  1. What are your tips for staying resilient right now?
  • Be open to finding new ways to work with your clients.
  • Its not a normal time, remember things will return, but for now everyone should work together and play fair. 
  • Share more of your process and BTS... It's a lonely time, let people in.


About Brooke Hagel

Brooke Hagel is a NYC based Fashion Illustrator whose commercial clients include Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Gap, Ferragamo and Vogue. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, with a BFA in Fashion Design with an Art specialization, Brooke began her career as an intern in the wardrobe department of Sex and the City. After graduating, Brooke worked in product development for Hearst Magazines. Spending her days designing and styling product lines, Brooke realized something was missing from her career: sketching. She returned to her roots by opening "Brooklit," her Etsy shop, in tandem with her fashion illustration blog Fabulous Doodles. After four years in corporate America, Brooke began sketching full-time. She quickly built a versatile client list that ranged from Barbie, Brides, and Brooks Brothers to Harry Winston, LaMer, and Pierrier-Jouët. Over the last decade, Brooke has illustrated over seventeen books and has collaborated with countless global brands. Brooke works from the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is inspired by stylish women she spots both on the streets of the city and on her travels around the globe.

Website: www.brookehagel.com

Instagram: @brooklit