63: Brenda Eden

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When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives

Brenda Eden grew up in Tempe and Gilbert, went to Arizona State University and graduated with BFA in Photography. Since, she's taught art and photography to junior high and high school students she currently works in the Street Transportation Department at the City of Phoenix on their GIS / Geographical Information System.

When she's not surrounded by maps (swoon), she's running her own photography business and wandering around Downtown with her favorite piece of equipment ...

I came to Phoenix with . . . my friends from the suburbs in the middle of the night to go to raves at places like the Icehouse, Rancho de Los Muertos and Chupa. And then I didn't come back for years. When I did come back, it was on the 531 Express bus to work at the City of Phoenix in the Streets Department making maps. I started realizing there was a lot going on in Phoenix and started getting more and more involved and brought my camera everywhere with me.

I make art because . . . Photography gives me the perfect excuse to do two things I love: meet people and explore places. I love the magic of photography...I see it as science and art intersecting...Photography has made me fascinated with light and it's this tool that captures light. It's also been a way for me to connect to my dad who passed away a few years ago - it's because of him that I took high school photography classes, studied it in college, and had enough money to buy a good camera and lens. I also use photography to document my life, I just have a huge need to make sure I have a record of it.

I'm most productive when . . . I get up as early as I possibly can in the morning and I know I have a lot of fun things that will be happening later in the day. The energy of looking forward to things later in the day, but having the time to myself while it's still dark outside and the sun is just coming up (and I have coffee) seems to work like a charm for thinking, dreaming, working and creating.

My inspiration wall is full of . . . images from magazines and old photographs from antique stores that I taped to a wall in my office one night two summers ago. There was a monsoon storm happening that night and I went outside to see the rain and ended up tripping and having to go to urgent care to fix a big gash on my face. So my inspiration wall is kind of outdated and every time I look at it I am reminded of the little scar on my face from the fall. It's time to make a new one, but I also use Pinterest a lot and find it really helpful to reference for inspiration and ideas. And lately I am loving Instagram as a way to work through my ideas for images and get feedback quickly from the people who follow me.

I've learned the most from . . . the times when I have carried my camera around everywhere and made myself shoot everyday. I don't like to carry it because it's heavy and breakable, but I look back at the times when I gave myself daily assignments of shooting about everything that happened in my life and see that those times were when I learned the most...For the last couple years my mom has been dealing with cancer, and she has been in the hospital a lot. There have been weeks, and even months, where I would stay nights with her at the hospital and I almost never went home. I just constantly carried my camera with me and it's those times I can look back on and realize that is when I came up with my best ideas for projects and thought the most about light and composition and about interacting with the people I photograph.

Good work should always . . . amongst many other things, leave us wanting more even years later. I can remember seeing shows at the Icehouse as much as ten years ago that I wish so badly I could step back in time to experience again. There are photographers whose names I can't remember, but I'll spend hours searching online for them, just so I can see their images again. There are shows that I have seen at SMOCA that I have told people about even years later.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more . . . well, I am actually really excited about the Phoenix creative scene and think that possibly we will look back at this time as kind of a golden time. It's only recently that we have all been able to be so connected because of social media. I love how I can so easily find out what other creative people in Phoenix are doing and be a part of it. I love to promote other people's work, either by forwarding Facebook invitations I get for events or just telling people about what I know is going on. So, I do think it's important for all of us to support each other's work in the ways that we can. And also if I could have three wishes that I think would contribute to the Phoenix creative scene? I'd like lots (and lots) more trees, many more miles of light rail and for me to own the Charles Pugh house (it's the pink Victorian north of Crescent Ballroom) - I'd make it into a center of creativity as a music/arts/coffee/wine/food place. Maybe someday!

The Creatives, so far ... (And while you're here, check out 100 Tastemakers on Chow Bella.)

100:Lara Plecas 99. Isaac Caruso 98. Brandon Gore 97. Kelsey Dake 96. Hector Ruiz 95. Caroline Battle 94: Jennifer Campbell 93. Jeff Chabot 92. Tiffiney Yazzie 91. Daniel Germani 90. Irma Sanchez 89. Daniel m. Davis 88. Kirstin Van Cleef 87. Emmett Potter 86. Sarah Hurwitz 85. Christine Cassano 84. Fred Tieken 83. Lindsay Kinkade 82. Ruben Galicia 81. Robert Uribe 80. Heidi Abrahamson 79. Josephine Davis 78. Travis Ladue 77. Taz Loomans 76. Mikey Jackson 75. Alex Empty 74. Joe Ray 73. Carol Roque 72. Daniel Funkhouser 71. Carla Chavarria 70. Hugo Medina 69. Cavin Costello 68. Claire Carter 67. Lindsay Tingstrom 66. Catherine Ruane 65. Christopher Crosby 64. Aaron Johnson

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