Home is Where the Art Is: Brian Bakos

This story series showcases Summit County artists who create beautiful and functional items for the home. Meet Brian Bakos who works with a number of mediums, including wood and glass. 

How did you discover glass?
I started working with glass in the early 2000’s. The idea to put broken pieces of glass into acoustic guitars and use lighting kits was a project I was working on for a client at the time. After the first one I started picking up broken guitars and using them for more art pieces. When the pandemic hit, I really wanted to learn how to solder the glass and create window panels so I watched several videos and read some books to get down the basics.  It has since become the highlight of my current work. 

What inspires your work?
Family, friends, and from nature with the surrounding geography of NE Ohio. The colors of sunsets, sunrises, and leaves changing color in the fall really inspire the pallet I use.  Emotionally, I want to convey the lasting feeling of seeing vibrant colors dance across the sky and reflect on the landscape along with the natural earth tones.  I have two boys aged 15 and 9, who love to create and build things along with a support group who constantly remind me to do what I love.  Doing projects/painting/drawing with and for them motivates me to continue to evolve in my work.  

What do you love the most about the process?
The ability to be in the moment and be mindful. I struggled with addiction for most of my life until I decided to get help in 2015. I have been sober since and art has been a big factor in that along with the support of my family, friends, and AA. When in my studio, I am constantly practicing mindfulness and am not thinking about the past or the future, just the next step in the project I am working on. I apply the same philosophy to my sobriety – one day at a time – to the artwork and it keeps me in the moment and able to enjoy the entire process. That is where I get the most enjoyment from creating. 

Tips for beginners?
Progress not perfection. If you don’t enjoy the process, try something else. Not every project needs to be a masterpiece. Doing bad art is better than doing no art at all. Try different things, read how-to books, watch videos, attend workshops and paint nights, visit local studios and galleries. Ask lots of questions!

What’s your philosophy on the end product?
I want the end product to capture an emotion. Whether it be a feeling from a distant memory, hope for something new, or a reason to smile when you see it anytime of day. The end product for me must feel natural and not forced.  During the design process, I usually will filter out anything that doesn’t feel natural. If something feels off during the creation, I will adjust and go back to the design or consult with the client. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself in more of a teaching role and hope to have a full-time gallery/studio.  Teaching others has been a passion of mine in the service industry and I hope to parlay that into my creative work. The plan would be to increase and dedicate more time each month to the craft and be able to focus on bigger projects over that time. 

Where can people buy your products?
At the Uncommon Art gallery in Hudson OH, or reach out online through my FaceBook page @BrianBakosFineArt, on Instagram @bakosbrian or by contacting me through email – bbakos7@gmail.com.

Northeast Ohio based artist, Brian Bakos, has been sharpening his stained glass skills over the last several years. Originally an acrylic landscape painter, Brian has blended his passion for stained glass sculpture with his 25 years of painting experience, creating visually appealing art pieces. Brian has taught art classes for local scout troops, displayed his work at Avante Garde art shows, and has his work displayed at local businesses.