The Ladies collection is driven by the desire to give each of my ladies a chance to empower herself by stepping in front of my lens and by recording her written thoughts in the interviews about kindness, confidence and giant hamsters. The Ladies series can never truly be complete for there will be always be an endless list of ladies that I’d be honoured to capture in a frame.
I’ll be posting their interviews in whole, including their chosen quotes and introductions by me.
Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.
One of the best side effects of this project is getting to know your friends’ friends. Alex is one of a few very special ladies that I met through one of the Sarah’s and I am honoured to have Alex for it is a treat to have met such a spunky woman!
If your house was burning down, what is the one non-living thing you would save?
My computer and my Cintiq. Everything else is just paperwork and money to replace.
What are three words that you’d like to define yourself with?
Motivated, resilient and savage.
What is your personal mantra right now?
‘You signed up for this’ – through my life, the authority figures have had a general attitude that life has happened to them. Like they were simply cast adrift in society and the experiences, good and bad, were out of their control.
I roundly reject this sentiment. By reminding myself that the majority (but not all) of the circumstances in my life are things I agreed to, I feel like I can be braver in my choices and feel more empowered to change things that I am not satisfied with.
What did you want to be when growing up?
I always wanted to moonlight as an artist, but my day jobs cycled between a marine biologist, librarian, games designer, lawyer and doctor.
What gets you up in the mornings and what motivates you?
My morning coffee, it’s an integral part of my routine and the idea of spending a couple of minutes enjoying the warmth and flavour really helps motivate me to get out of a comfy bed. I don’t know if it motivates me in all aspects of my life, but the first step out of bed is a good start.
What are your guilty pleasures that you shouldn’t feel guilty about?
I like to play video games and watch trashy daytime TV like Dr Phil and Jeremy Kyle on my second monitor. Like all guilty pleasures it’s harmless, but it’s also so ridiculous I don’t think anyone would ever know how to respond if it came up in conversation.
When was a moment that defined you that set you on your path to now?
When I was working as a consultant, I was very excited to be offered the opportunity to do some work in the behavioural economics section of the company. My then director dismissed the idea, telling me ‘do something I get paid for’. That conversation was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I handed in my letter of resignation a week later, did honours and got a job that took me to Canberra. Thanks bro, your bad attitude set me free to do better things in life.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
A cuttlefish. I too am reclusive, and might change colour if sufficiently alarmed.
The International Women’s Day theme was Be Bold for Change – what change would you like to see in your life? And to you, what is being bold?
The biggest change I would like to see in my lifetime is a shift away from the attitudes and mind-sets that change can only be made one thing at a time.
Everyone has heard someone say some variant of ‘why worry about X when Y is an issue!’ As if both aren’t real and having tangible consequences for someone out there. A move away from this attitude I think will reframe the issue around using resources to solve the economic, social end environments problems of the world in a way that minimises the ineffective mindset of ‘us vs. them’. For me, being bold is having the courage to stand up for what you believe in, but also being willing to reflect on your own values and attitudes and change as more information is presented.
What brings you happiness?
I think there isn’t one thing that makes me happiest. It’s definitely a balance of doing what activity that meets an emotional, physical or mental need. Finishing a long hike on a nice day addresses all those criteria though.
What is your signature dish?
I am known for making a killer ice cream. I’ve done chocolate and hazelnut, vanilla, passion fruit, and chocolate and raspberry since I’ve come to Canberra. Next on the list is strawberry.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
That, particularly if you are in a bad relationship, home life, etc. – it’s okay to have the feelings you do. You may have mixed feelings for awful people in your life for a variety of reasons and that’s valid. They may seem counterintuitive to the situation or not be good for you, but the first step to getting to a better place is to address all those emotions rather than demanding they be silent, or feeling guilt.