artist colony, art, artists, interview

Artist Colony // Stanislava Pinchuk

The best thing as an artist, is that it’s a practice and way of living that lets you expand on every curiosity and every part of yourself.

Stanislava Pinchuk (you may know her as MISO) is quite easily one of my favourite artists, creating beautiful works by data mapping war and conflict zones. She is also insanely lovely, and gave such in-depth and inspiring answers to my questions, as well as calling me an ‘Epic. Woman. Fuck yeah.’ which I will be making into a badge, thank you very much.

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How are you? What have you been up to recently?

I’m well! It’s a good few weeks in the studio. I’m on a plane every other day. It’s the very end of the year and somehow things just really ramped up in a wild way. It feels like a really good place to be, lots of really diverse projects, all in the beginning stages of development. I’ve just finished a project data mapping the oil fires set by ISIS south of Mosul, on the Tigris river basin. I feel really excited about what that project will become.

 
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What is your process when it comes to creating your art? How do you map nuclear disasters?

With my practice, there is a lot of research. There’s a lot of development before you even work on the ground, and there are a lot of logistics around that. And after, there is always a lot of research prompted by what you found, or by thoughts that experienced triggered. Sometimes you need to go back and forth, and keep resolving things. With mapping the nuclear zone bodies of work - they were both really different methods.

That’s the hardest thing with working in difficult places - you can’t really have a standard way of working or methodology you apply to places. Security is limited, time is limited, exposure is limited. So you have to be quite nimble and adaptive. In a way, I’m really glad for that - because it gave me a pretty big crash course in surveying pretty quickly. So in Fukushima, I very much had to map the land and the fresh layers of new earth topography that were created in removing the radioactive topsoil. I had a little more time, that that worked really well for me. And with Chernobyl, which is a much earlier nuclear disaster, I was able to map how different ground retains radioactivity with geigometers and plots. There, I only had 30 minutes at Reactor 4, and strictly no recording or photography - so I really had to work with what I had, and it turned into a really incredible data set. And that was partly from research, and partly a hunch and being really aware of your surroundings and what you’re looking at.

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Your work focuses around places that you call home, no matter the dangers within them. What does the concept of home mean to you?

It’s a funny one for me. I don’t think I have a strong concept of home, in the way of most people. I didn’t grow up in one place, and I travel pretty permanently. I have two passports, and I’m not ethnically really a part of either country. I’m actually pretty grateful for this - so I feel really home everywhere. I like that a lot. So mostly and very strongly, I feel that my body is my home. And my chosen family, creative family - in whatever city, that is my home. I’m lucky to have deep friendships in a lot of places as I move.

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Why did you decide to set tattoo solely around trade with friends?

I find tattooing a really intimate thing. There’s a lot of trust, and I give it so much of myself. So it’s not something I felt, from the start, ten years ago - that I could put a financial amount on. And it never felt like something I could provide for strangers, or people I didn’t know. And it still doesn’t.

Who was the most interesting person you’ve tattooed?

Every tattoo and every friend is interesting to me. I think it would be a huge disrespect to tattoo something I wasn’t excited about, on someone forever. So I really only agree to do things, if I feel genuinely inspired and enthusiastic to do it and do a good job.

Describe your workspace…

I’m on the move pretty permanently. I don’t think I’ve been anywhere more than two weeks for about ten years. You’ve got to be pretty nimble when you live and work like that! So some days it might be a sculpture studio, some days its my publisher’s place in Paris, some days it’s the public library in New York, sometimes a hotel room or an airplane, some days a photo studio… and some days it’s my actual studio. Where I can, a clean desk and natural light is a bonus! Right now, and for the rest of the day, it’s a beach in Sydney.

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What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as an artist? What’s the best thing that has come out of being an artist?

Some of the hardest things that have happened to me, have fed me tremendously as an artist.

And some others - surviving them was enough, and I would never let them have the victory of appearing in my practice. In overcoming, building support networks can be a really difficult thing. Finding the right people and collaborators you can trust, or producers or galleries that can adequately support the work. It takes a huge amount of capacity to have a sustainable art practice, and an expansive art practice - and finding the logistical ways to make it real, and people who work as hard as you do, has been - and still is - a really big one for me. And I think it will be a challenge for the rest of my life, because the work should always keep moving and needing different things.

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The best thing as an artist, is that it’s a practice and way of living that lets you expand on every curiosity and every part of yourself. The ability to shape your job by braiding everything you are interested in and creating your own world, and being rewarded for it. And truly, I think one of the best things about being an artist - is that we really see the highs and lows of the world. I think we are really welcomed in, and invited in by people, to see a really huge strata of the world and ways of living. I would never give that up in my life. And I don’t think many other jobs give you that experience so deeply.

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If you could, what would you tell your younger self?

To worry a little less. That if you make things you really, really feel - and really smart work, that other people feel that, and want to be a part of it. If the work is strong, the rest falls into place.

When I was younger, I didn’t believe this so much, when older artists said that to me. I thought it was just an older generation that had it easier. But now, I really see it.

art, film, film/music, interview, NGV, I Want Your Job

I Want Your Job - Episode One

The FIRST episode of my new series I Want Your Job. I’ve been working on this for a while and am pretty happy with how it all turned out. In this episode I chat to three people working at the National Gallery of Victoria to get an idea of what they do and how they got there. So excited to make the next episode!

fashion, interview, interviews, lifestyle

I asked three influencers what drives them to share their lives with complete strangers.

After a brief dinner party conversation with my next door neighbour over a bowl of homemade pasta about what ‘the blogs’ are, she begged the question why would people want to share so much with the world? I knew my answer, but it did leave me wondering why so many people do do it. It is an odd concept, and even weirder to explain… So, this week I decided to interview some pretty cool kidz (added the ‘z’ because that is obviously what cool kids do) about what drives them to share their lives with complete strangers.

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1 / I would say that there is a lot of confusion and misconception about what an ‘influencer’ is or whether it’s a proper job. What is it that makes you an influencer, when did you begin and how and why do you do it?

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Maggie: To be quite frank, I don’t really like the term influencer – I think it can insinuate that followers are mindless, sheep-like or easily influenced. But I guess Instagram allows people to showcase their life, educate or entertain their followers. That’s how I would I could describe what I do. I began Instagramming four years ago when I was 15. I grew up with Tumblr and Twitter and was always invested in social media sites. I love Instagram because it allows me to showcase my fashion and my photography and connects me to all these amazing people globally. And to be honest? I just love the whole process of picking an outfit, finding a location, shooting and editing photos. I find it therapeutic.

Denilson: I mean I never realised I was an influencer until later. I never knew anything about being an influencer (but I was always into fashion), until I met a friend of mine Tara Chandra. She was one of the biggest influencer when it comes to fashion I mean she was an iconic. I never used to post photos of me, I was always used to takes photos of places, people and nature stuff. It all started when I uploaded a photo of me with an outfit and I realised it starting to get more likes than my previous photos. I did it because I felt like i would be able to get to meet people/hanging out with the same vibe that I was into.

Tara: I think influencers are essentially any people online that have the ability to sway the actions or decisions of viewers of their content – this could be through their purchasing decisions, lifestyle actions, or way someone dresses. I started my social media nearly 5 years ago, but probably didn't start properly doing influencer work till around 1.5-2 years ago. I do social media as a hobby, but influencer work is something I do on the side which helps me create new outfits and be more creative in a business-minded aspect.


2 / Everyone has their own style when it comes to blogging / instagram / youtube etc and some people portray more of their life online then others. Do you ever find it weird sharing where you are, what you’re thinking or even eating to complete strangers? Or are you more self conscious about other things?

Maggie: (This is a great question btw) I totally know that I overshare online but we’ve grown up with social media playing such a heavy part in our lives that it’s almost second nature to me. I’m pretty desensitised to it all and am happy sharing parts of my day with my followers; I think being open and genuine is really needed in an industry that typically showcases one’s ‘highlight reel.’ As with anything, balance is key. There are things I don’t share either. In terms of safety, I don’t usually post in my Stories where I am at the given moment, rather I’ll post it later when I’m not there… justtttt in case.

Denilson: I personally think it is weird but at the same time I feel like that’s just how it is now a days - everybody has their own perspective.

Tara: I think it has become normalised to me - whether this is a good or bad thing, I'm not sure. I share what I want to share and I don't share what I want to keep personal or private. Social media will never capture the full picture of someone's life - so no, I don't get self conscious about what I post, because I consciously posted it there for it to be seen. I like sharing these aspects of my life because it can see another country that someone may not ever visit. Using social media as an outlet for my thoughts creates discussion - and sharing food is a way of inspiration for other students making food or places to eat 😊


3 / Has instagram become more comparison and copy rather than compliment?

Maggie: Yes and no. Some days I reckon majority of influencers look exactly the same and are shooting the exact same content… But honestly,  I think it can be a really positive and uplifting environment where people do genuinely compliment and boost others.

Denilson: Yes, unless you’re a celebrity then it’s a complement if that makes sense.

Tara: That's a really interesting way of putting it. I think there is a large part of Instagram that is focused on comparison and copy – but for the most part there are a lot of people on there who are doing their own thing and what they want to be doing. However, nowadays - everything is a copy.


4 / Do you ever feel as if you need to watch what you say or how you portray yourself online?

Maggie: Yes, for sure! There are times where I stop myself from posting because something’s quite personal or confronting or I’m worried about how others will view me too. I’ve gotten better about not caring over the years, in high school it was way more difficult.

Denilson: I always do because it represents myself offline, and also because I’m bad with captions.

Tara: Yes, mainly for the sake of the wrong eyes seeing things. But for the most part, I'm not that scandy so I don't have to do this too much.

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5 / Would you say the way you present yourself online accurately represents who you are offline?

Maggie: Above all, I always try to accurately portray myself as real as possible. In person and online, I would say that I’m a very happy-go-lucky gal. I try to spread that positivity through my account. That being said, everyone has their shit days – and I’ve had my fair share. Without ranting and raving to my followers, I’ll sometimes share the lower moments too. It’s important that people know that life isn’t as perfect as it appears in these little squares.

Denilson: No, I’m totally opposite when it comes to represents myself on online. I’m more myself when I’m offline than being on online

Tara: Yes I definitely do think my 'online self' represents my 'offline self' to an extent. I am definitely more outspoken and confident online because it's a space I have curated for myself to fit in. In real life, you're constantly placed in situations you can't control which is where I think my reactions and ability to respond to situations are different.


6 / Lastly, what has been the best thing that has come out of social media for you?

Maggie: Oh, so many! The friends I’ve made, the opportunities it’s given me. Without a doubt, it’s helped me to the position I’m in today. Getting into my course, getting internships and jobs… I definitely owe some of the credit to social media.

Denilson: Meeting the coolest people around the world with the same mindset. Getting the opportunity to collab with my favourite brands such converse / all star - it was one the biggest and coolest brands to represent, and a few independent brands from around Australia.

Tara: The opportunities and people. I would never have imagined working with the brands I have, or making best friends for life through social media.

Find Maggie here, Denilson here, and Tara here.

Street Style // NYC 08

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It’s been a year since we were in NYC last and I miss it so much. I love this Street Style series because I really like people, and clothes and New York… It may seem a little stalkery and probably somewhat illegal but I hope you enjoy these pics of complete strangers with cool looks.

It’s weird writing here again. I’m a bit rusty so excuse the odd flow… I had a huge break but hopefully I am back to create lots of cool stuff on both this blog and on other platforms (Youtube * cough *). I think I was going through that annoying teenager stage where I thought everyone was judging what I was doing, and because of that I only wanted to do things that were perfect. I didn’t want to write or post here because I thought it was kinda weird, (even a bit lame as the cool kids say) and the idea that literally anyone was reading it made me reconsider whether I was being cool or interesting enough.

But NO MORE! this is something I love doing and a platform where I can literally post and create whatever the hell my little heart desires, so that my friends is what I’m gonna do.

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lifestyle

The Inspiration Station

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Boom bam I'm back baby. It's been a while but I've missed it and I'm very excited to create some cool content for you all. I am really hoping to create some new films, and be able to interview interesting people, as well as creating more interesting fashion posts that don't consist of me finding cracks in the cement ridiculously interesting or the camera hilarious... 

As it has been SIX FLIPPING MONTHS since I've last posted on here (I feel guilty) I thought I'd give you a little run down on what has been happening. I'm also going to steal pictures off pinterest that take meh fancy because I feel like it lays a nice grounding of what I'm liking at the moment. Also it just makes this post look really pweetty. 

I got a job! I am the social media manager for @aqof

My family bought a house!

I'm in year 11 now so am beginning to think what the hell I am going to do with myself after high school... I have dreams of studying film, art/design or fashion journalism in Paris or NYC and being an actor for beautiful films but that means I've got to have the $$$ and I ain't got no $$$$...

I just want to meet cool and interesting people and create amazing thanggsss

I would love to make my own clothing

So there you have it folks - enjoy the pretty pictures and videos and I will see you soon! 

Possibly one of my favourite music videos - the colours, the costumes, the cinematography and the overall message is just so good!

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I know this video is from The Feed (grade 5 anyone?!) but 'Miso' is one of my favourite artists and it is pretty cool to see where she gets her inspiration from. (I wold also love to get a tattoo from her one day...) 

*dreams of being as cool as Coco*

fashion

Street Style // NYC 07

Because it is currently New York Fashion Week I thought it would be appropriate to post a NYC Street Style. This may be one of my favourite ones, mainly because of the abundance of Comme de Garçon and a lot of denim. 

I'm back at my old school in Melbourne and am in year 11. I'm hoping to keep on top of Urban Arcade and begin to post some new, interesting content! The classes I am taking are English year 12, Literature, French, Media, Vis Com and Theatre Studies, so I am pretty excited about the next two years and what I'll be able to create aside from at school.

Hope you enjoy this post - sorry if the camera quality is bad, it was at this point in the trip that the camera started to stop focusing... 

Point Lonsdale

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The holidays are over and school is tomorrow (year 11 :/ ) so I thought I'd lighten up the mood with a fun little video I made whilst at the beach with my pals for a couple of days. 

Hope you enjoy the film!

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art, film

Barton and Bones

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2017, let's just say, was a hell of a year for everybody. It was difficult, upsetting, discouraging and presented us with multiple opportunities to curl up in a small ball in a tight little corner and cry. But because of all this it made people stand up and speak out about rights and wrongs, which brought groups of people who wanted change in our society together. I think that 2017 was the year of women. We stood together and supported each other this year, beginning with the international women's march all the way to the #metoo campaign, which really opened our eyes and ears towards, and in support of the victims of sexual assault. I really hope that in 2018 we can stop the dwaddle and begin the sprint towards equality for everybody!

On the topic of women, I think I'll make a nice clean segway into what the post is actually about. Today I went the the Ian Potter Centre and the NGV and looked at some insanely cool exhibitions. The first, at the Ian Potter Centre, was Kathryn del Barton's "The Highway is a Disco" and oh my god I was so excited. Del Barton is most probably my favourite artist (or at least in the top 5) so I was really really stoked that I got to see her art in person. Her work showcases the female body and she presents it in a way that makes it feel goddess like. I made a short vid and took a few pics so you can get the jist of the exhibition (and it's free entry so you have no excuse not to go!!). 

The next exhibition was at the NGV for the Triennial. You've most likely seen it all over instagram but it is still completely worth going. A room filled with skulls probably sounds a little Adams family-esque but it is so bloody cool - and contrasted with 18th century artwork is even better!!

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