Brigette Bloom creates the type of images that take you into another world. A world that’s filled with beauty and peace and mystery. A world you never ever want to leave. This babe resides on the dreamy island of Maui, and she happens to be the best of friends with our very own Free People girl Alyssa. Today, I’m excited to introduce you to this incredibly inspiring artist:
Girl, each one of your images is like its own separate piece of a bigger ethereal dream. How would you describe the vibe of your work? Do you feel like there’s a dreamworld that all of these creations are living in?
For sure. Dreams have always had a strong influence in my life, so it’s only natural that gets translated over to my work. All of the images are a part of the same vision. For me, making work is really a way to create your own reality.
I’d describe the vibe of my work as ethereal… spontaneous.
You currently live on the gorgeous island of Maui. Where are you from originally? What pulled you in to Hawaii?
Originally, I’m from Las Vegas. (Everyone in Hawaii calls it the ninth island)
Although I love the desert, I’ve always been drawn to the ocean and felt that I was destined to live by water.
I’ve been living in Hana, which is pretty remote from the rest of the island. It’s where all the natives live – everybody knows everybody. It really feels like you’re going back in time. I’ve never lived in a small town before so that was a big culture shock for me. I grew up in cities but I’ve always preferred to live a kind of basic, simple life; and that’s definitely what it’s about in Hana. People are so passionate and respectful of the land here. It’s inspiring to be around people with that kind of appreciation for nature. The more I experience it, the more I see how nature provides and takes care of everything we need. The whole motto here is, “The ‘aina takes care of you, take care of the ‘aina” (aina means land.) It sounds really hippie, but in a lot of ways it just makes sense.
Living here, you feel totally protected by the nature of this island. It’s very nurturing.
How does being constantly surrounded by such natural beauty influence your work?
I’ve been really lucky, because all throughout my life I’ve been surrounded by raw nature. Even when I lived in the suburbs, where all the houses look identical to each other, somehow there was always an empty desert just a few steps away. I used to go there everyday and set up my own little sanctuary in the rocks and it would be my place to recharge. I need that. Nature feeds me in a way that nothing else can.
My work is definitely influenced by my environment, so living in a place where you can literally just pick fruit off the trees and swim in the ocean at midnight is the ultimate dream.
If you’re willing to let us in on the secret, what’s your favorite natural hidden gem of the entire island?
I do have this favorite spot. I’m not trying to keep it a secret, it’s just that I’m awful at directions! Ha.
It’s at Wai‘anapanapa, kind of hidden away. The best way I can describe it is to go past the graveyard, and keep walking down the trail through the forest. There’s these pools in the volcanic rocks and it literally feels like stumbling upon some ancient world. It’s so powerful because you can feel the spirit of the place when you’re there. It feels completely untouched. Whenever I take people to this spot, everyone says they can feel the energy – it’s magnetic!
The truth is, you can pretty much pick any spot to wander off on this island, and you’re guaranteed to stumble upon something incredible!
I know you’ve partnered with Neil Krug – a match that seems destined to have happened. How did that connection come about? What was it like working together?
I’ve actually loved his work for a really long time. I remember being in school (2008 I think?) and seeing his images for the first time; I was completely blown away. I couldn’t get those images out of my head.. they had such an impact on me.
At the beginning of last year I was being interviewed for a podcast and they were bringing up how Neil and I have some similarities in our work, and how it would be cool to see what we’d create together. Right then – I had this lightbulb moment. I don’t know why I never thought of working with him before, it just hadn’t crossed my mind. But right after the podcast, I ended up reaching out to him and asked if he wanted to collaborate. I guess that’s how it all happened.
Neil’s so great — he’s one of my favorite people ever! Working together just feels like hanging out. He’s super laid back, but you can tell he also has this side of him thats really focused and driven. While we were out shooting, I’d kind of be making mental notes of how he works and sets up an image. We approach things differently, but thats what I love about collaborations… taking the two worlds and fusing them into one.
I have a lot of admiration for Neil. Looking at his work, you can see that he’s obviously talented at what he does, but more importantly, he’s just a genuine, sweet human being.
You’re about to head to Japan for a few months! What’s the reason behind the trip? Do you find yourself traveling often?
Yes! I’m actually a quarter Japanese so I have a lot of family near Tokyo. The last time I was there was about 10 years ago, so I’m really excited to see everyone! (Two of my cousins recently had baby boys.) I have a few collaborations set up while I’m there, and a new project in the works.
I do seem to be traveling often. Traveling is probably one of my favorite things because you get to experience so much and see different ways of living. My life does tend to feel very scattered sometimes (like now) because I move so much and it can get really stressful not having a home base.
Yesterday, a friend in a similar situation told me that she’s working on balance this year. I think that’s a good way of putting it. I’m usually going from one extreme to the other. So now I’m working on balance in my own life.
What other excitement is going on in the world of Brigette Bloom?
Right now I’m practicing Japanese like crazy and planning a few more shoots before I leave.
From the moment you wake to the moment your head hits the pillow, what’s your idea of the perfect day?
Just give me the ocean, the people I love, and my dog… and I’m the happiest person in the world.
If you could live in any place during any time period, tell us where and when?
I’d mostly just love to live underwater.
Which of the five senses do you value most?
Your absolute favorite food?
My dad makes THE best smoked salmon in the world! I’ve been craving it a lot lately. I usually get obsessed with one kind of food and I’ll eat it everyday until I can’t even look at it anymore. Right now it’s fish — all I can think about is sushi and lox and salmon sautéed with garlic and lemon. Ah! My mouth is watering.
Most gorgeous Hawaiian flower?
My favorite is the shampoo flower. (I think the real name for it is Zingiber.)
I’ve been living on a fruit and flower farm, and my landlord always comes back from the jungle with this huge crate full of them! When you squeeze it, this sudsy juice comes out and people actually use it for shampoo!
Another one I really like is Angels Trumpet. Whenever I see a big tree of them I like standing underneath. Everyone keeps telling me that it’s poisonous though. A neighbor picked the flower and told me to put it under my pillow when I sleep; and that I’d have wild dreams.
I didn’t. I just ended up with smooshed flower pieces all over my bed the next morning.
If you were to spend an entire year in solitude, how would you spend it?
Probably at the top of a huge mountain, with my dog Leo.
And finally, what does free mean to you?
Accepting yourself completely.
A huge thank you to Brigette Bloom for letting us into her dreamy world! Be sure to follow this beauty on Instagram and Facebook, check out her site, and help support her by buying one of her gorgeous prints here!
All images courtesy of Brigette Bloom.