Olivia Seally, Photographer & Creative
WHAT DO YOU DO?
My college degree will tell you I photograph, but in reality I just do whatever it is my little heart desires.
LONG STORY SHORT, HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU’RE AT TODAY?
I graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA focusing on photography. I knew, one year in that photo school, that it wasn’t necessarily for me. I never had a true interest in the act of making photographs—I preferred the fact that it allows you to capture something. I did intern for an incredible photo agency called Kate Ryan, which was informationally beneficial but more of a 9-to-5 desk job ling papers, which I’m apparently allergic to. For Theophilus London’s 2010 Europe tour, I handled press inquiries and some assistance scheduling, designing and executing promotional material, etc. This was an interesting experience, working for a good friend, on the project that initially got him so much attention. It all got me thinking about the possibility of getting into PR or managing and organizing. A good portion of my creative successes have been simply assisting or advising others. My enjoyment in that helped me realize I prefer the freedom of not working one job directly related to my degree right after graduating. It allows me the literal and figurative space to explore my interests and figure out exactly what I want to do.
WHAT WOULD “MAKING IT” LOOK LIKE FOR YOU IN TERMS OF YOUR CAREER?
It would mean that I can survive solely off creating. I want to build with the people that have built me and just put my whole crew on. In New York there are so many people you meet and so much talent that gets lost or never gets shine. I really think we can kill it if we all come together instead of being in constant head-butting competition. As someone who was born in Toronto I have a (sometimes too) serious respect and understanding for how much Drake put on for that city. No one there has made it in the way he has in the mainstream hip-hop industry. And in such a screwface capital of a city where everyone is for the most part unconstructively critical, he continues to show love. I go home to Toronto from time to time and can see much more incentive in creatives, now that they have more of a platform. Not just creating what I believe in, but creating that platform for what I believe in.
WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE CAREER GOAL? IF YOU COULD HAVE YOUR DREAM JOB, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I recently started a creative collective, BABETOWNBK.
There are so many different types of talent that we could really take on full projects, start to finish. With an in-house stylist, photographer, model, editor, DP, musician, host, DJ—truly anything a client wants, we have or can access. I’m so inspired by my good friend Phillip Annand who started the Madbury Club, a collection of talented individuals who joined forces to create awesome content and product for companies. This is the goal, to do something at the stature that they’re doing it, with a similarly intense focus on editorial detail, composition, content and beauty, executed cooperatively with people that share one vision but with a little bit more of a girl-powered kick. Something kind of like BWOB. ;)
DO YOU THINK THAT YOU COULD DO EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING IF YOU WEREN’T LIVING IN BROOKLYN?
Absolutely not. If this sh*tty city didn’t raise me, all of my photo- graphs would probably be stock images of a sun setting, I would’ve probably never understood a single thing Sartre wrote, and I wouldn’t be the tortured little soul that allows me to create today!