• Comment

Artisan finds outlet with leather work

Conway's Tim Brooks changes career path, finds solace in projects

Posted: August 2, 2014 - 1:56pm
SHELDON SLINKARD STAFF PHOTO   Tim Brooks holds his $200 piece of leather for the world to see. Brooks uses the finest leather in his Conway-based leather workings.
SHELDON SLINKARD STAFF PHOTO Tim Brooks holds his $200 piece of leather for the world to see. Brooks uses the finest leather in his Conway-based leather workings.

Tim Brooks was an ordinary child with ordinary dreams. To be a fireman, to be an astronaut and even the occasional dream of being an engineer came to the young Brooks’ mind.

What took everyone by surprise was his newfound dream of being an artisan. A worker of the strange and repurposer of the thrift, Brooks took a transformative approach to all things he touched. Childhood was a new adventure every time the world turned for Brooks.

“When I was a kid I loved exploring the woods and picking up random pieces of wood, you know? I was a kid, I liked exploring, and when I grew up it turned into an obsession. I loved taking new objects and seeing what they could become with just a little work,” said Brooks.

As an adult, life took a different direction. He became a surveyor for the Forest Service, where he became a seasoned professional, residing in Russellville, Ark. He worked tirelessly to gain professional status in the surveying world, but he was never satisfied with the work he did. He knew he could do more. He wanted to create.

Brooks has transitioned from surveyor to the academic of fine art. His interior design goals have allowed him to reach for the stars and to learn beyond his expectations.

“I love being able to learn about interior design. I can now walk into any home and tell you the period of the furniture, the house, and the design reasons for each home feature. It’s actually kind of weird,” he said.

Brooks is currently a student at the University of Central Arkansas and resident of Conway. In his home he works his leather for clients from all around the world. He explained that his services started as word-of-mouth jobs. This led him to create, alongside clientele, more than 45 new projects in his last four months of operation.

The young artist does most orders over email, sending photos and using media such as Pinterest and Tumblr to collaborate with each client to make a project unique.

What intrigues most people about Brooks, is his adaptability in the artistic world.

“You know, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I knew I had something to offer the world with my crafts and such, but until I started my studies, I didn’t know what that meant,” Brooks said.

Leather had always intrigued Brooks.

“I love leather. You can do so much with it. You can make leather-lined boxes. You can make bags. Honestly, you can do anything with leather as long as you take the time to learn how to do it,” Brooks said.

Dark stains, the feeling of tanned hide and the occasional leather-working tool became the artisan’s pallet. Brooks is an avid innovator. He explained that leather allows him to “be in charge of something so many people use, but don’t understand.”

In his studio, Brooks fashions the finest leather articles. He explained that leather allows him to escape from the stresses of this world.

“Leather work is a hobby, of course, but it also is a release,” Brooks said, “You really can lose yourself in a project. Often times I don’t realize it’s 2 in the morning.”

The ability to find solace in a project is what led Brooks to leatherwork. He explained that there is a change in mentality when you take time to do something.

“I believe everyone should have a hobby. Not all activities will pay, but it will definitely give you a sound mind and calm your thoughts. It’s an escape,” he added.

His wares are to debut at The Locals in downtown Conway alongside other art and handcrafted items.

“I’m hoping this can turn into somewhat of a full-time affair. I really love creating new and fun leather wares.”

To contact Brooks or to place an order, email trbrooks@gmail.com.

  • Comment