Brooke Shaden is a favorite of ours here at YM&C, so we were stoked when she accepted our offer to do a little Q&A for our readers! A few months ago, we featured her work here, inviting you to get lost in the magical worlds she creates. We are thrilled to share this exclusive interview with you today. Enjoy!
Ninon: Hi Brooke, please introduce yourself :]
Brooke: Sure! To put it simply, I am someone who wants nothing more than to be lost in a dream world. I aim to create images that represent the reality that I want to live in, rather than what I see around me. I love make-believe worlds, and the idea that we can create our own realities. I have a huge imagination, which often gets me in trouble, but is something that I cling to as my special way of reflecting the world around me, and inside me.
I am 26 years old, am coming up on my 5 year anniversary, have two cats that I adore, and love being home with them when I am not traveling to teach workshops.
N: What artists inspire you the most?
Brooke: In a weird way, and in a sort of cop-out answer, the art that is everywhere inspires me – the wind in the trees, the rustle of leaves, the fog in the early morning. This is what drives my inspiration and keeps my passion alive. I love the art of Gregory Crewdson, Robert and Shana Parkeharrison, as well as Jamie Baldridge and Tom Chambers.
N: You recently posted a playlist of inspirational music. Is music an important part of your process?
Brooke: Strangely enough, music has never been a huge part of my life; not for lack of love of music, but because it is always an afterthought. When I find a piece of music that is inspirational to me, I tend to listen to it on repeat for days. I immerse myself in it, as if it were a place that I’ve locked myself into. But when that music fades, I tend to forget about the inspiration that music can be, and I often sit in silence with my thoughts for hours on end.
N: Quote to live by?
Brooke: “Fear is the mind killer”. This is a quote from my favorite book Dune by Frank Herbert. I have it tattooed across my arm as a reminder. I believe that overcoming fear is the greatest challenge and life-changing experience someone can have; it is a necessity to grow. However, I believe that holding on to fear is one of the most detrimental things a person can do, and so I try to live my life by this quote, and that belief.
N: What are your plans till the end of 2013? What are your plans for 2014?
Brooke: These next couple of years I am slighting changing the focus of my career in that I am going to be doing more motivational speaking. I adore teaching, more than most things in the world, but it is not photography, per se, that I am passionate about teaching. I love helping people find inspiration, find their passions, and hone in on what makes them happy. I’ll be traveling all over the world this year and next with that message in mind, hosting workshops, retreats and speaking engagements on these subjects.
I am also working on several different charity projects that provide inspirational workshops to those who need it most: people who believe that they don’t have stories worth telling. I believe that everyone has a story worth telling, and I want to promote that passion in everyone.
N: You’ve just had a photo shoot in Vogue Italia! Please tell us more about it!
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