What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
My professional title is photographer, but I see myself as a multidisciplinary artist. I shoot photos, give lectures and engage in activism and women's rights with my campaign, Cheer Up Luv. My passion is definitely combining art with activism, which is the basis for the work I do retelling women's stories of sexual assault and harassment.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
I have always wanted to be an artist in some form, for as long as I can remember. I spent my childhood constantly drawing and sketching, and by the time I got to university I was sure I was going to be an illustrator. As soon as I got to university however, that completely changed. Everything I thought I was good at changed, and I felt challenged for the first time. I found the first couple of years of uni really hard, and almost dropped out at one point. As soon as I started to let go of the fixed ideas I had in my head of what I was good at, and what I wanted to pursue artistically, I relaxed and had a much better time. Thats when I started working with other mediums like film, photography and set design, which completely opened my eyes to new ways of working.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
Be the person you would like to work with. - Oh and when reaching out to people, always email twice! Follow up because people usually forget to reply and can easily miss emails.
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
I like being able to have control over my working days, and being able to manage my own time.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
God knows! I can only look ahead three months at a time.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
Cheer Up Luv obviously! - jokes jokes (but no seriously check it out)
- Our Streets Now
- Pink Protest
- Free Periods
- Rights of Women
What drives you?
The fight for equality, and the love I have for my friends and family.
There is never a normal day as a freelancer I find, every day is completely different. I could be giving a talk at a university, doing a shoot for Cheer Up Luv, working on something commercial, or doing emails all day! It totally depends. I have recently moved to New York to pursue and continue my career as a photographer, and my days are even more unpredictable at the moment! I don't think I will ever have a normal routine.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
Everything I have done with Cheer Up Luv feels like a huge achievement. I think in particular my partnership with the United Nations and the sexual harassment awareness campaign we did in Sri Lanka. I am also extremely proud of obtaining my 0-1 Artist visa to move to the United States.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
I am inspired by so many women! The most inspiring woman in my life has to be my mum. She has worked so hard over the years and has competed in a very male dominated city environment, and has achieved so much despite working with difficult people in situations where she is often the only women in the room. She has shown me what hard work and determination looks like, and always inspires me to work harder!
What was your biggest failure?
I don't really like to count any of the things that have gone wrong in my life as failures, because they have all contributed to my growth and development as a person, and ultimately I have learnt from them.
What do you like most about yourself?
My positive outlook on life.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
By not canceling each other immediately if we get something wrong, we need to be able to learn from our mistakes and challenge each other in order to grow.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
Accepting that its okay to not know everything, and that realising everyone is faking it a bit until they make it, and even when they do make it, they are still a bit faking it.