I’m 34. A mama. A photographer and an obsessive creative. I like to make ALL of the things. I live in the southwest with my fella Clay, daughter Zavian and our two guinea pigs, Ziggy and Stardust.
You’ve been very open and honest about your fight against cancer. How are you?
Last July I was diagnosed with an “incurable’ stage 4 bowl cancer that has spread into my lung, lymph nodes and extensively through my liver. The prognosis from doctors is grim. Definitely not what you want to hear when you are the mother of a young child. Day to day I choose to live in defiance of their statistics, I am simply not preparing to die. Others have healed themselves and have lived long, healthy lives after facing the big C and so I choose to live in the hope/knowing that I will do the same.
I share my journey partly for anyone out there who needs to hear what I have to say, and also for myself because there is healing in sharing. Daily I am sent love, support, prayers and well wishes from people all over the globe. I am blessed to have such a caring and supportive community around me.
So I guess right now, I am feeling amazing. Full of positivity and good vibes. Being faced with your own mortality makes you TRULY realise that each day is a gift. I’m not going to lie, it is a bumpy road, full of blissful highs and dark, dark lows. But you gotta ride the wave of emotions and try to stay present in each moment. Not fearful of the future.
You are truly amazing. How do you find balancing work with motherhood? What would your advice be for mom-preneurs?
Balance. Geez, when it comes to balance, I can only talk about what I have learned since being diagnosed. Because I have NOT been great at finding balance. I have been self-employed since my early 20s, I have ALWAYS burned the candle at both ends. Some nights after Zav had gone to bed, I would stay up creating until 4am because I was in flow, full of inspiration. I worked basically every day, for years. My advice now to any mom-preneurs would be, don’t forget to love yourself. Listen to your body. Rest. Meditate. Nourish yourself. Don’t live on coffee and adrenalin.
If you do find yourself caught up in those moments of inspiration where you want to stay up until 4am, that’s awesome. I can’t deny that those moments FEEL AMAZING! But make sure that you recover appropriately. Don’t make a habit of working late and eating badly every. damn. day. Burnout is real and stress is not your friend.
Your determination and drive is reflected so beautifully throughout your work. What ignites your creativity?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to be a fashion designer, a stylist and/or a photographer. So far, I have been lucky to have lived out all of these dreams to some degree of success. I think I was born with that creativity. I find myself obsessively seeking out and/or creating beauty.
Inspiration comes from the person I see in front of me when I have my camera in my hands. From nature. The flowers, the wild Indian Ocean and the changing light of the sun. I’m constantly inspired by the patterns and textures of vintage textiles, whether it be retro 70’s florals or a woven Rug from Azerbaijan. I obsess over beautiful things. I might be watching a horror movie with my partner and I will be paying more attention to the vintage curtains BEHIND the person being murdered on the screen. Or I’ll shriek “OMG DID YOU SEE THAT WALLPAPER?!”.
Your photo shoot turned out beautiful! How did you find being on the other side of the camera lens for your shoot?
I can be very shy in front of the camera. I’m definitely not a model. But I am shedding any hang-ups about myself every day - because life is too short to spend your energy worrying about having crooked teeth or a double chin. So I had a great time playing in the sun flowers with my amazing girlfriend Peach taking my picture. Thank you so much for inviting me to share my story on your blog.