Brittany Bogan is that wonderful and mysterious kind of adventuring spirit that reminds us that traveling isn’t only about getting from one place to another. Her attitude towards travel is in the same vein as Kerouac’s sentiment that there is “nowhere to go but everywhere” and indeed, if you trace the places she’s been on a map, it seems that she has. Unlike many people who travel because they have to, Brittany travels because she loves to and wants to. The freedom of the road helps her collaborate and connect with other artists and live in a simple and minimal way that would otherwise be difficult in a lifestyle limited by a single physical location. Though always a traveler, Brittany has recently truly been living a gypsy life as she and her boyfriend, Mark, spend time on the road as they wait for their new place in Brooklyn to be ready. This means that in the past six months she’s spent time in New Orleans, New York, Canada, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Philadelphia. And, while these travels are inspiring Brittany’s creativity and satiating her curiosity and desire to explore, she is inspiring us! It also doesn't hurt that this virtuosa has the coolest sense of style, humor and wit even while when living out of a suitcase.
Story and Interview by Miwa Sakamoto
Let’s start at the beginning, where are you from?
Do you travel?
As much as I can. Growing up, I didn’t travel much. I remember when I was very young, I tried to leave home, by bus, with an uncashed $10 check from my grandmother. I didn’t get too far. I take every opportunity I can to flea. Mark and I got rid of our apartment in Venice six months ago and have been living like gypsies. I’ve been lucky to travel around with him as he records and plays music.
A gypsy life is...
Good for the soul.
What has being a gypsy taught you?
Humans don’t need very much to survive. Living out of suitcases reminds me of that. I’ve always lived minimally. Simply, the more I own, the heavier I feel, and the harder it is to move around.
Was it hard to pack for a life on the road? What came in your suitcase?
It wasn’t difficult because I’ve lived out of a suitcase before. I pride myself on my packing now. This time, I packed a suitcase of clothing to manage all seasons and a second suitcase I call my "bag of tricks". It contains a few film cameras, paints, paint brushes, pencils, pens, journals and a few books. Essentially, anything to keep me entertained, which coincidentally also happens to entertain a toddler.
Aha, that's the key – a bag of tricks! But how did the more limited wardrobe affect your style?
It doesn’t really. I try to keep my wardrobe relatively uniform. My clothes have minimal color, mostly solids, stripes and some polk-a-dot & floral. My “Loren” (black and white) Dawn dress fits in perfectly. I like that can I dress it up or down. Versatility in clothing is essential when traveling.
On to what you’ve been up to creatively... What’s most inspiring to you right now?
Women supporting each other creatively.
What’s your most recent project?
Mishel Prada came to Nola with a project to film a music video and asked Roehm and I to collaborate. We filmed it with our iPhone to resemble found footage. It features a girl gang and it is shot in a punk noir style. It is filmed by women, starring women and about women. Mishel is almost finished editing it. It should be ready in the next month.
That’s super exciting – its great to find ways to bring people together to collaborate. The angle and perspective of the film is unique, what do you hope the impact of this video will be?
I hope it encourages people to try new things and to be creative. We used our iPhones. Today, anything is possible. The tool was always there. It was, literally, at our fingertips. Also, I hope it inspires women to collaborate and support each other, rather than compete with each other.
Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? What does feminism mean to you?
Of course! I strongly believe in social equality between the sexes. I was raised by a single working mother and I have two sisters. I am a girls-girl by default. You can be a stay-at-home mom and a feminist. The point is that you have a choice. Stay at home dads are cool, too.
Do you believe in fate?
Yes, but I am rooting for free will.
Where do you go to escape?
I go to sleep.
And then what is your favorite thing to wake up to?
A clean armpit.