A few years ago, on a hot and sticky day during my summer holiday at my parents house on the outskirts of London, I was restless. ‘I’m too creative to be bored’, I reminded myself. Oh-so tired of watching films and all shopped out, I took pen to paper and began to sketch. I had always been quite artistic and enjoyed painting and drawing, but had never been a natural at rendering anything decent without a physical subject in front of me. Maybe it’s due to the way I was taught – I don’t know. ‘Be objective’, Mr.Welstead would constantly drum into our heads during art class. So I always was. And for some reason I rarely left that box. But on this particular balmy afternoon in August, I took a new approach. With no tangible subject before me and no teacher to reprimand my act of rebellion, I allowed my imagination to take control of my pencil. This was the very day that I released my inner crazy and set myself free.
Okay, it’s really not that insane… I’m just setting the scene. I created some simple line drawings of awesome girls which each personify little pieces of me. Exaggerated versions of my own self, they are my super heroes… my alter egos – and everything I am but at the same time will never really be. The drawings may be basic, but it’s the fantasy behind them and their importance to me that tell the tale.
There and then I decided that all my creations from that day forward would be designed for one of my alter egos. If Freyja, Elinor or Minnie wouldn’t wear it – then it’s not worthy of execution. At fashion school I was always taught not to design for myself. I hung on to that advice. Instead I design for them……
Freyja: The Fashion Bitch
Long legged, intimidating and career driven – Freyja runs around busily in cute designer dresses with a coffee in one hand and her embellished clutch in the other. A total fashion snob and obsessed by appearance – she’s the girl about town. She always chooses cocktails over wine and never looks anything less than impeccable. She turns heads.
Minnie: The Slender & Sporty Type
Minnie is relaxed in her style and her attitude. She’s kind natured but direct in her approach and has a contagious laugh. Always smiling and positive – she’s your go-to girl for advice. She opts for high-waist trousers or jumpsuits over dresses and chooses a long run or a gym session over a night out with the girls. Her drink of choice is sparkling water with a slice of lime. She has sparkly eyes and a killer body.
Elinor: The Established
Ever-so-proper, and stylish to the core, Elinor is a mature woman who knows herself well. She is breathtakingly elegant and her every move oozes sophistication. The only flats she would ever be seen dead in are are her ballet shoes (used for dancing – not the fake fashion kind that were once considered stylish by so many- never them), and fine dining is right up there at the top of her priority list along with collecting art. Full circle skirts and tailored blazers define her. She wakes up at the crack of dawn, she wastes no time and she doesn’t own a television.
Granted, my illustrations have come quite a way since that day, at least I hope so. I’m no pro – I know, but I believe they’ve developed and evolved and become more lively over time. Yet those original scrappy, and crumpled sketches that live at the bottom of my drawer which are worthless and silly to others are amongst my most prized possessions. Because I know they’ll always be sitting there waiting to come to life like Woody and Buzz – full of power and potential…there to remind me that my greatest power is being me…so that’s all I’m ever gonna be.