Interview with Brigette Bloom, Photographer
Interview with Brigette Bloom, Photographer
Recently, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Brigette Bloom, a photographer living in the desert on the west coast. A selection of Brigette Bloom’s work is displayed below. Please visit Brigette Bloom’s website to view more of her work!
KATHERINE CARVER: What were your beginnings as a photographer and when did you realize it would become your chosen form of expression?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: As a kid, I was really fascinated by my dad’s film camera. He showed me how to use it and I was mesmerized. I loved all the little sounds and clicks it made. I felt like I was holding a magic box! I used to run around the neighborhood and take pictures of everything — from my turtles, to my bloody nose, or a slug on the sidewalk. It just naturally became one of my favorite forms of expression — I love everything about it.
KATHERINE CARVER: Did you study art formally?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: I was actually in school for a different major at the time and I was so close to leaving because I didn’t like it at all and felt like I was wasting my time. I remember one day I was talking to a friend about photos. They said, “Why don’t you major in art?” I was totally shocked and thought…you can do that?! I didn’t even know my school had an art department! The next day I changed my major to art and loved school ever since!
KATHERINE CARVER: How do you describe your style?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: Experimental. Dreamy. Mysterious.
KATHERINE CARVER: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating art was absolutely something that you had to do?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: There was never a specific time because I’ve been creating art all my life. I think everything is artistic when you put your heart and attention into it. Even washing the dishes becomes art. I just feel this fire within me, like I have to create. It’s as necessary as eating or sleeping. I have to create everyday because it makes my soul come alive!
KATHERINE CARVER: What was the impetus that inspired you to begin photographing dogs and other animals?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: It all just happened naturally. I feel so connected to animals and I always have—so it’s only natural that they would show up in my work.
KATHERINE CARVER: How has your own dog, Leo, and nature influenced your artwork?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: He’s a huge influence for sure! He’s actually laying beside me as I type this. When we’re out walking in the desert, he shows me things I wouldn’t have seen before. He opens my eyes to the wonderment all around us–it’s like being a child again.
KATHERINE CARVER: Why do you primarily use film as your medium and can you discuss some of your unusual development techniques to manipulate the film?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: Film allows me to work more hands on. Personally, I am not very computer savvy. I don’t know how to work Photoshop or things like that, so film is perfect for me. It feels more organic…more raw. I love the mysterious quality of film…you never know quite how it will turn out. That excites me! Plus working in the darkroom is such a magical process.
My most used method is peeing on my film. I soak my film in whatever liquid I can find in my fridge. But I really want to experiment with so many other developing processes. This is just the beginning…
KATHERINE CARVER: Where do you show/exhibit your work?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: This past year I exhibited in group shows in Tokyo, Amsterdam, and NYC. I don’t know when or where it will be, but I’m looking forward to my first solo show.
KATHERINE CARVER: What does “being creative” mean to you?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: Living with an open heart. I think that’s the ultimate creative act.
KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most challenging aspect of being an artist?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: The beginning was tough for me, because all I wanted to do was share my art with the world — and I really believed it would happen! I just had this vision that it would work out…but the thing is that I wasn’t making any money. I think a lot of people go through this. I have worked SO many random jobs, that I can’t even count them all! It was really challenging because there was a period I was working a miserable job, just waiting for that moment where I could actually be making a living from photography. Things changed once I really started putting myself out there. It’s not like it all just falls on your lap one day, you have to work at it every single day. I feel like a lot of people (that are incredibly talented) hit that wall of resistance where they’re not making money and then they eventually give up. It’s always darkest before the dawn, you just have to keep pushing through. If you know this is something you’re meant to do—you have to keep doing it! No matter what the circumstances, you will find a way!
KATHERINE CARVER: What inspires you to keep going and what keeps you motivated?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: It’s a feeling I get. The times when it feels like everything is falling apart, I just have this knowing inside that everything is happening as it’s supposed to. Of course I have days where I feel sad, uninspired, confused…but eventually I wake up and it’s a new day.
KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most rewarding and satisfying part about being an artist and creating art?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: The most satisfying part is that I get to do what I love! Honestly, what could be better? I get to share what’s in my heart with others–it’s such a gift! I’m grateful.
KATHERINE CARVER: What kind of patterns, rituals, and routines do you have while making your art?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: While I’m soaking my film, I always try to put loving energy into it.
Have you seen that water experiment where they exposed music, spoken words, and typed words to water to see how it would affect it? For example, when they taped the word “anger” to the cup, the water took on distorted and chaotic structures. But when the words “thank you” were taped to the bottle, the water formed symmetrical crystalline shapes.
I always think of that when I’m soaking my film in the liquid and I’ll say a little prayer or silently say an affirmation in my head. While I’m out shooting I try to be as open as possible, and just let it turn into a dance. Now when I think of it, art is like my therapy.
KATHERINE CARVER: What are you working on now?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: I have some projects lined up for this year so far that I’m really excited about! This month I’m working on an album cover, and the women’s collective that I recently joined – WWW, World Wide Women, and I will be exhibiting work soon in L.A. I also have a lot of new collaborations in the works, which is one of my favorite things! I love combining each person’s individual qualities to create something new.
KATHERINE CARVER: What artists inspire your work?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: Life inspires me. It’s not just specific to artists. I’m inspired by thousands of people everyday whose names I will never know.
KATHERINE CARVER: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
BRIGETTE BLOOM: Stay true to your own heart — be who you are! It sounds cheesy but it’s not. Every single person has an absolutely unique quality that only they can bring to the world. The world needs authentic beings to have the courage to be who they are.
KATHERINE CARVER: How can people view and purchase your art works?
You can find me on Facebook—-Facebook.com/brigettebloom.
You can also purchase prints, patches, and books through my Etsy Store — brigettebloom.etsy.com.
You can visit my website at http://brigettebloom.com/.
Thanks so much Katherine!
All images are courtesy of Brigette Bloom.
You can read additional interviews here.