What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
Artist, Disruptor, Activist and Founder of Curves and Swerves. My everyday purpose is to create art that challenges ideologies around nudity, pleasure and self appreciation.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
I wanted to be magic; I don’t think anything has changed. In all seriousness I wanted to do everything and anything creative, cooking, painting and making.
I was a very sensitive and emotional child but incredibly head strong, curious and determined. Characteristics that made me difficult as a child are now what make me a successful adult.
My parents didn’t think a creative career path would be a wise choice and I ended up completing a diploma in Hospitality Management which saw me through 16 years of my life. I met and worked with some amazing people but I wasn’t happy. After what felt like my 700th meltdown I finally had the courage to chase my passions and here I am. Nothing has been easy; I’ve faced challenges all the way. It is incredibly hard not to be discouraged especially when I’ve faced criticism from people I love but I’ve stayed true to myself and it feels good.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
You can accept it, shake it up or walk away…
I’m a shake it up kinda gal
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
I have a studio at home. I’m quite the collector which means the house is filled with weird and wonderful artefacts, treasures and trinkets. It’s an ever evolving art piece I constantly add to which really stimulates and inspires me. I’m also in charge of the music, the louder the better!
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Ideally, not having my art censored. I’d hope to have a meaningful impact wherever I go and with whatever I do. In reality I try not to project myself into the future too much. I tend to be very fluid with life and live in the moment so who knows. Perhaps owning a gallery space for like minded makers and creators, which would be a dream!
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
OTR is a charity providing mental health services to support, promote and defend the mental health, rights and social position of young people. I’m particularly interested in Freedom which OTR’s gender and sexuality social action project. Supporting, educating and holding space for young people needs to be a priority!
Another really cool project is by Annie Bartley, a London based designer who has just launched her Mental Health Matters collection to create awareness and raise money for Rethink Mental Illness. I adore creative and meaningful solutions to create awareness around mental health
What drives you?
A burning desire to dismantle patriarchy, misogyny and general oppressive systems. I want to disrupt traditional models through art
What does a normal day look like for you?
I don’t think I’ve had a ‘normal’ day since 1990 but I can say I spend a lot of my time sketching and designing all things naked, naughty and nice. One of the highlights is getting commission requests which involve scanning nude’s people send me.
I’m terrible in the mornings, I find it hard to get going but I will say on really tough mornings, there is nothing Tina Turner, a faux fur, wild lipstick and an over the top hat won’t fix. Try it, I definitely recommend Proud Mary –Tina Turner, to awaken the spirit.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
Being able to inspire confidence and a new way of thinking. Making art that starts conversation gives me the opportunity to create a new dialogue around normalising nudity, sex and healthy relationships with the self and others.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
I couldn’t simply pick one; I have so many women who inspire me because they all have or have had unique journeys that I resonate with in one way or another. Some of my chart toppers are Frida Khalo, Nina Simone, Bjork, Helen Beard, Ashley Longshore, Tina Turner.
What was your biggest failure?
I have come to realise that although I do not succeed in everything I do, the only things I failed at were the things that were not meant to be part of my journey. In every failure I have learnt so many valuable lessons that in retrospect I actually haven’t failed, I’ve gained. It’s the process and we need to trust the process. Having an awareness, compassion and appreciation for both the good and bad can be very freeing.
What do you like most about yourself?
I surprise myself constantly; my heart is scarred but remains huge.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
We can start by using inclusive and compassionate language –being aware of our language choices is so important.
Create inclusive and accessible classrooms, kids are the future.
Don’t believe everything in the media, it creates fear and distrust which narrows our perceptions.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
I’d have to say tenacity, which I’m good at. Patience, on the other hand, doesn’t come as naturally but is key. I tend to be very impulsive and impatient which can be a lethal combination. I’ve learnt patience is nearly always worth it. I think being curious is also essential – always stay curious