Our Fine Friends: Claire Cottrell

June 02, 2014
- Our Fine Friends


Label-makers were not made for Claire Cottrell, because it might be damned near impossible to pinpoint all that she does.

She’s a filmmaker, a small business owner (check BOOK STAND), an editor of German magazine Freunde von Freunden, frequent photographer of gorgeous places and spaces, and the focus of our new Our Fine Friends.

What we can label her as is a damn fine creative. She’s always got some rad projects coming up or passing through, so we figured we’d ask her a few of our questions and see what’s happening next.

What’s a standard day in the life of Claire Cottrell?

I wake up around 7am. I go for a walk in the canyon with my dog. Make tea and toast. Sit down to read the news, do email and misc computer work. That takes me to lunchtime. I like to do lunch with a friend and then it’s another walk. Depending on what’s going on, I’ll have more computer work in the afternoon or I’ll head down to my studio to work on BOOK STAND. A stop in Little Tokyo usually goes with that. Conference calls happen throughout the day. Then it’s home for another walk, dinner and fun in the evening with friends or a movie in bed. Lights out is around 10pm. All of this goes out the window if I’m shooting. Then it’s usually up at 5 and in bed as soon as I can get there.

What’s on repeat on the Cottrell playlist right now? Must reads?

Sibylle Baier
Sean Nicholas Savage
Tina Turner

Must reads:
Ruth Reichl’s Comfort Me with Apples
Sophie Calle’s True Stories

What do you use as inspiration right now?

Film, life, friends, books, the streets and trails around my house, the world wide web.

What types of distractions do you like to have around your workspace?

I project movies when I’m working at home – I’ll watch 3 or 4 a day.
I’ve got a stack of Italian films to check out right now. Starting with The Consequences of Love, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and Beyond the Clouds.

Is there one piece of advice you wish you could give to a 15-years-younger you?

Get up early.

Anything else you’d like to plug for BOOK STAND, you, or otherwise.

BOOK STAND is going to Berlin this summer. I’m doing a series of events with BOOK STAND at the FvF Apartment, a collaboration with Vitra: a solar ice cream party, a meditation on creativity, a candlelight reading and a 3-day installation of BOOK STAND’s Summer Print Shop. My friend Jordan and I are also bringing BOOK CLUB to Berlin. We started it last year in the woods in LA. It’s a get-together celebrating contemporary photography publications and printed matter in public parks and outdoor spaces.

And then I have some exciting photography projects on the books for the summer and a new campaign for American Express coming out next month.