We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariel Brigmann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ariel, what is the most important factor behind your success?
There are many factors that contribute to success, just as there are many pathways to getting there. I believe I have been successful simply because I refuse to stop learning. There have been many times in my career where I had no idea how to make my final image align with or exceed a client’s vision. It’s my job as a retoucher to problem solve and that involves doing research and educating myself off the clock every single day. There are thousands of ways to edit a photo and I could definitely skim by on my college education. However, I have found that my success has almost entirely come from my drive to continue learning various programs and finding new and better ways to get an edit from point A to point B. I understand that there is always something new to learn in the creative field and I don’t let that intimidate me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Some days it feels like I have no idea how I got to where I am professionally. It has been such a whirlwind of constant working, failing, learning and then getting back up to try again. The biggest lesson I have learned is that you will absolutely not get further in your career without putting yourself out there creatively, socially and emotionally. There have been so many times where I didn’t feel good enough for a project I was being asked to do. I have had to repeatedly push myself to quiet that doubt, believe in my ability and be open to the possibility of failure. Leading a career in the creative field can be very daunting (and don’t even get me started on the endless responsibilities and paperwork that comes with freelancing!). Luckily for me, I truly love what I do. There are few things in life that make me happier than looking at the before and after of an edit I just made. The happiness being an artist brings me greatly outweighs whatever challenges have or will come my way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is definitely the toughest question of the bunch! The list of places I love in California is never ending! Restaurants: Malibu Seafood, Padaro Beach Grill, Porto’s Bakery, Grand Central Market Dessert: Afters Ice Cream, La Monarca Bakery, Salt & Straw Bookstores: Skylight Books, The Last Bookstore, The Iliad Bookshop, Calico Cat Bookshop, Vroman’s Bookstore Beaches: Emma Wood, Thousand Steps, Table Rock, Leo Carrillo and El Matador The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
During my second year of college, I approached my parents with the desire to switch from a psychology major to an arts major. For some reason I was very worried about their response, but quickly learned I had no reason to be. After all, my parents are the ones who gave me my first camera when I was young and it was my mom that filled summer with paint, ink, and various art projects. They believed in me from the start and never let me see if that belief wavered. Thanks to them, I am in a career I truly adore and look forward to every single day. My brother, Skyler, has also been one of my biggest supporters from day one. He has been modeling for my projects ever since he was 3 years old! Nowadays, he’s the first person I text when I need an honest opinion on whatever project I am working on. His thoughts always matter a lot to me and I feel very lucky to have such a close confidant.
Lil Nas X for Paper photography by Charlotte Rutherford Ava Max Album photography by Charlotte Rutherford Film photo of my brother and I by my mom, Astrid Brigmann