We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Coe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, how do you think about risk?
Well this one is simple – I live my life by the mantra “Do what scares you.” If I’m comfortable, I’m stagnant. I’m always pushing myself into new areas – learning new furniture building techniques, visiting new countries, climbing new mountains. Each of these experiences brings on new exhilarations and discoveries and spurs new curiosities and creativity. After a trip to Spain, my artwork took on a Spanish flair. After a layoff from an ad agency, I started my own business. Most of it was unknown, but I forged forward. I created a portfolio career that allows me to continue to grow and expand my skills without getting bored. I came out to Los Angeles on a bus with $35 in my pocket when I was 19 and lived in the bus station for 2 days until I found a place to live. Movement creates results. Standing still doesn’t allow much to happen. Take risks, expand your horizons, LIVE LIFE!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is a living and breathing concept in the sense that it evolves as I evolve. It’s hard to pin down a style since it’s my style based on where I’m at in that point of my life. Being a professional digital producer by trade working in the advertising industry, it’s a turbulent existence at times, so I’ve created my own ‘portfolio career’ which allows me the flexibility to ebb and flow between the two worlds. I can turn the volume up on my interior and furniture design for a while when I need to take a break from the other. Allowing myself flexibility in my job extends to flexibility in my art – I tell my clients that my work will reflect 80% of their ask but needs to allow for 20% of artistic experimentation as I never know where the design or the piece is going to take me until I’m into it. I haven’t had a complaint yet! My work isn’t for the masses, but it speaks loudly to the select few. And that’s just how I prefer it.
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.
Living in the South Bay offers a fully contained entertainment mecca! Being less than a mile from the beach and all the bars and restaurants that surround it, we of course would start in Hermosa Beach or Manhattan Beach to have some sun and sand time followed by delicious food and drinks with a view. But most recently due to the quarantine rules, I’ve been venturing out to all the amazing hiking that is available in Southern California – everywhere from Big Bear to Ojai to San Diego. We would probably either road trip from spot to spot or maybe hike the Pacific Crest Trail – there are so many beautiful and challenging hikes with such varied terrain, it will inspire the mind, body and soul. And encourage more creative endeavors!
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?
My shout-out goes to my parents who never discriminated between boys and girls in terms of our abilities and what we could or couldn’t do. At a young age, I was using tools and doing manual labor as well as being encouraged in art. Glitter wasn’t just for girls and backsaws weren’t just for boys – my siblings and I all had equal access and equal opportunity. I never experienced any perceived barriers or ‘you shouldn’ts – instead, I just plowed ahead and experimented. This set the stage for another one of my mantras moving forward in life, ‘Whether you think you can, or think you can’t… you’re right.’