AN INTERVIEW WITH BROOKE MITCHELL-OLIMPIERI
Damaged / Goods: What led you to pursue a career as a photographer, Stylist & Creative director?
Brooke Olimpieri: Well. I had a clothing company called "Filthy Mouth Clothing”. I literally designed and created each piece myself. I would hire local Vegas Photographers to shoot website content for me, and the photography process became very interesting to me. I began to shoot my own content with a borrowed camera. As soon as I wrapped my first shoot, I was hooked. And very quickly from that point it became more about photography than making clothes. Which is crazy, because if you would have asked me what I’d be doing my whole life. My answer was always that I’d be making clothes. My passion changed literally overnight.
Damaged: Which do you enjoy the most. Photography, Styling or Art direction?
Brooke: I love it all. Sometimes it’s just a simple piece of clothing that I find at a thrift store that inspires an entire shoot. Sometimes it’s a song, or a movie, or just an era. I even allow the model, and the way I see her, what kind of woman she is, what her personality is like, to determine the inspiration of the shoot. It’s never the same, it’s never exactly as I imagine it, but it always turns out to be its own spectacular creation. It’s difficult for me to imagine being just a photographer, and not having the ability to creatively direct or have some part of the style direction of the shoot. To me it’s a seamless process.
Damaged: In addition to Filthy Mouth Creative & Another Filthy Magazine, you collaborate with several fashion brands and your photographic work has been featured in several print and online publications. How do you approach each project?
Brooke: I guess this sort of goes with my answer above. Each day is different, normally the night before a shoot I really brainstorm on my original idea for the shoot, and expand, expand, expand. I love to create a mood board and send it to the model so she has time to really get into it and identify with who she believes that character to be, so she can begin to embody that. Sometimes I will have this grand idea, and change it all right before the shoot just based on that I don't like the previous idea anymore. On a whim, you have to be able to change things around and make it work, say if the weather is different than expected, or the location wasn't right. Or even if the model doesn't fit into the clothing planned. It’s those moments that make each shoot special and unique.
Damaged: Tell us about the differences between living and working in LA and Las Vegas?
Brooke: There are vast differences between the two. Too many to count. I am absolutely in love with southern California. The weather, the scenery, the style, everything. Vegas for me has been more of a grown in to type of love. It’s not my first choice of a place to live, but it has provided me with unending opportunities and support to grow my brand. Vegas has been a great growing place for me personally as well as professionally. I have grown to truly appreciate the convenience it has to offer as well as the low cost of living that allows me to have space (our apartment in Santa Monica is 500 square feet and triple the cost of our Vegas mortgage). The desert may not be as pretty or as weather friendly as California, but the backdrops are never-ending, and it’s always cocktail hour.
Damaged: How would you describe your creative approach and visual aesthetic?
Brooke: This is hard for me, I’m not good at describing things about myself. But if you’re going to force me, I guess I’d say fun, ironic, cheeky, colorful, youthful, and nostalgic.
Damaged: How does music inspire your creative work?
Brooke: Music has a huge influence. There always has to be a soundtrack, on every shoot. I am hugely influenced by music from the 90's, Salt-N-Pepa, Technetronic, Nirvana, all the good shit. But I’m also a die-hard Fleetwood Mac fan, but probably my favorite band of all time is Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and also the best band I’ve ever seen live would be System of a Down. Dude, they are insane. There is something about that type of punk/metal music that just resonates.
Damaged: How did you come up with the name FilthyMouthCreative?
Damaged: I have a dirty mouth, filthy if you will. In particular circumstances, mostly the bedroom. My husband brought this to my attention. I wrote the name on a post it and stuck it to my refrigerator over 12 years ago "Filthy Mouth”. I always thought it would be a great name for a brand. It stuck.
Damaged: Can you please tell us about your upcoming book?
Brooke: It's more of a booklet really, a collector’s item. Its limited edition, published & printed by Imperial Publishing/Jonathan Leder. We hand-picked every image, to tell a story of who I am and what I stand for as a photographer. I feel that it perfectly describes me, I love it. The images are beautiful, the quality and color of the images is amazing. The booklet is very sexy, I imagine it has replaced a few nudie magazines in many men’s bathrooms.
What's your damage?
Brooke: Where do I start? I think we all have some damage, it makes us more interesting, it gives us an edge, a perspective unlike anyone else. I’ve had my fair share. But hey, I don't like to focus on all that. I like to keep my head up and look ahead, that’s where the sun always sets and I have a warm feeling in my heart.