Brooke Shaden, Eclectix Interview 54


Brooke Shaden, The Eclectix Interview

Brooke Shaden creates magically staged photographic narratives, with an abundance of self-portrait based imagery. Raised in Amish country, she now calls Arizona her home where she works at her digital skills and fine art photography.  Using mostly herself as a model, the work is not necessarily about her – she acts as a medium, puling the viewer into imaginative ghostly worlds. Beautiful flowing gowns, organic tree forms, bodies of water, figurative forms and open landscapes – all play their part in Brooke’s poetic tableaux. Starkly simple in their surreal kingdoms, set in prairie lands or weedy fields, these are the nether regions of authentic emotion. 


brooke shaden - Eclectix artist interview


My favorite art memory from my childhood is …

Going to a museum in Philadelphia and seeing a photograph of two men intertwined, a close up on skin and rope. I found it to be beautiful, but my school teacher pulled me out of that section and told me to stay close to the group. I always found that to be interesting!

My interest in art/photography started …

When I graduated from film school with degrees in film and English. I wanted to tell stories in any way that I could, and when I found photography, everything fit.


brooke shaden - Eclectix artist interview


Do you ever have a desire to change your style? Would you feel comfortable doing different work or do you feel bound by your past styles and gallery representation?

I love doing the work that I do wholeheartedly. When I started my business I decided that I would never create anything that was not in line with my desires, and I have not broken that promise. If I wanted my style to change, I would change it. My fear is not losing representation, but instead I would look forward to new representation with galleries who would be a better fit. I always believe that opportunity is out there for those who will take it, and so I would do what felt fulfilling and trust the rest to follow.


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A specific event in my life that sparked a number of my works was …

When my cat died in my arms… it was beautiful and sad at the same time, and has inspired me in uncountable ways.

The most memorable thing anyone has ever said to me about my art is …

That they both love it and hate it. Provoking thoughts is what I love doing.


brooke shaden - eclectix artist interview


I am often inspired and motivated by …

Nature, above all else. Fairytales. Forests. Darkness, and beauty within that darkness. I love paintings, especially the Pre-Raphaelite painters.

If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be …  And we would …

Frank Herbert who wrote the science fiction series Dune. I would spend the day doing a photo shoot with him, collaborating, to see what kind of physical world he would create.


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The tip or art technique that has helped me the most is ….

To say “no” more than you say “yes”; to never compromise your vision for someone else’s.

If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be …

A piece by Gregory Crewdson. My mind would be on fire each time I would see it.




My current favorite piece of my own art is … 

At this very moment, probably the image titled “Dream Catcher” (above), as it represents the start to a new series I am working on. I took the image in a sewer but edited it to look like a fantasy world. I am fascinated by transforming dark spaces into something beautiful.

My ultimate project or fantasy is …

To go underwater in an ocean at a shipwreck and to take images that are filled with meaningful story.




What are you currently working on? 

My passions right now are to try new things in my work while staying true to the stories I want to tell. So I am branching out to work more with detailed stories in ways that I have not before.

The last song I choose to listen to was …

My Head is an Animal, by Of Monsters and Men




The last book I couldn’t put down was …

Lets Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris

One of my favorite words is …



brooke shaden - eclectix


One of my favorite smells is …

Cookie batter.

I can’t live without …

My imagination.


brooke shaden - eclectix


It’s not hip, but I really love ….

Firefly (the TV show)

My favorite motto (or quote) is …

“Fear is the mind killer.”


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If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

Where I live right now :) I don’t like to reveal where I live because it is such a small town, but I live amongst beautiful scenery in Arizona.

If you could be a fictional character from a book – who would it be and why?

Definitely Harry Potter ;) I love the idea of a character who is so human, yet magical at the same time.




Any last words? 

Always do what you love as much as you can do it; it will make those around you happier and it will lead to never-ending inspiration.




Brooke’s Website

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