personal

What have I been up to?

12:00 pm


WHAT A QUESTION.

I would make a joke and say something like 'the question should be what haven't I been up to ha ha ha ha ha', but I really haven't been up to much.

Summer sunshine overseas actually touched my skin after I jetted off to Mallorca after six(!) years without a toasty holiday in a foreign clime. It was what can only be dubbed as the best holiday I've been on, with iced tea on tap, lots of poolside reading (and napping) time, and terribly cheesy hotel entertainment (Best of Broadway night happened TWICE and we very sadly missed the magician). We didn't win any of the bingo, I got my first ever suntan at the ripe old age of twenty-four (still present three weeks later, very smug to not be the pasty one for once), and I'm now itching to get back on a plane. An aside: A whole lot of reading happened on holiday, and I'm definitely out of my slump. Many, many reviews to follow! It's been heavily contemporary science fiction, and now I can't get enough of the stuff.

I've started going climbing with my friend Emily, whenever I've got the time, and I've fallen in love with it already. Alongside swimming and weight training, I'm feeling pretty buff! I understand how you can love and enjoy exercise when you find the right activities for you, and it's a pretty great feeling.

Cinema-wise, there are three films I've seen recently: Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Baby Driver. Long story short: Wonder Woman made me cry with joy and I need more films like that in my life (I also felt SO kickass walking out of that cinema and want to take up some sort of martial art), Spider-Man: Homecoming was the truest live-action adaptation of Spider-Man that's been made so far, and the best part of Baby Driver was the spectacular score (the story itself was a bit underwhelming).

By the time this goes up, I will have been on another (mini-) holiday to the Cotswolds for the wedding of a friend of my boyfriend. I shall be wearing a dark coral and sipping on non-alcoholic bevvies (I've had three drinks in 2017 and am considering going tee-total, but that's a whole other thing) as I dance the night away.

beauty

A bargain haul and brief skincare excursion: I'm Real Korean Sheet Masks

12:00 pm


Everyone and their dog is talking about sheet masks and Korean skincare at the moment. Sheet masks are simultaneously hilarious and terrifying, transforming you into something out of Total Recall/Halloween/another film with some kind of mask or weird face transformation. 

ENTER ME.

I've tried a sheet mask before after receiving one in a Blurt Foundation box a few moons ago. It was Coconut Water-based and pretty much the best thing I've used skincare-wise, except maybe the Pai Rosehip Oil. That stuff is liquid gold. If you're unfamiliar, it's like your regular face mask, but the product is smeared onto a fibrous sheet that sits on your face and is cut-out like some terrifying demon. Because the sheet is saturated in product, you supposedly get to experience more of the effects, plus it's fun because you can scare your friends. There are even some brands that make them with designs on so you can look like a dog. We've reached peak 2017 here.

I picked up a selection of 11 TONYMOLY masks off of Amazon for about £11 (even though I swear the pack said 10) because I was eager to try a couple of formulas, but wasn't sure which to pick. A few of them do different things, like pore-tightening and hydrating, but the majority of them promise more radiant skin. I think I'm most intrigued by the seaweed mask because to me that always screams CLAY MASK rather than anything more watery, and whatever ones say they're going to get rid of my spots. Looking on their website, it appears they've released some more versions, this time a floral range, including cherry blossom and lotus, which I'm immediately sad I don't have. 

If you're in the UK you can buy the masks for £5 each (!!!) from Cult Beauty, which definitely isn't what I did nor is what I am going to do in the future if these masks turn out to be life-changing. Amazon seems to be a really good place to trial Korean skincare if you're interested but don't want to pay the premiums. Obviously I would like to always recommend getting them straight from the source but...we can't all afford that all of the time.

I'm now about to slap a red wine mask on my face and pretend I'm a suburban soccer mom.

interview

Interview: Laura Babb on Wedding Photography, SNAP Festival, and Analysing Your Own Work

12:00 pm


Photographers are some of my favourite people to interview, perhaps because personally I completely lack the skills they have, however much I try! Today I chatted to Laura Babb about her wedding and event photography, the festival she founded to help others develop their skills, and how to look at your own work from a different angle. I'd really recommend you take a look at her work on her website; you never know when you'll need a photographer!

Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Laura! First of all, for any readers who don’t know your background, will you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are today?

Laura Babb:
I'm Laura but my friends call me Babb. I'm a photographer and I also run alternative training events for wedding and lifestyle photographers, including SNAP Photography Festival which is a week of glamping, workshops, seminars, activities and parties. I live in Bath and when I'm not photographing weddings I love to travel. 

Magic & Musings:
If you could describe your photography in three words, what would they be?

Laura Babb:
Colourful
Quirky 
Documentary


Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into photography? Is this something you’ve been formally trained in?

Laura Babb:
I bought my first proper camera in 2008 on a bit of a whim and I decided to take an evening class in photography. I spent weekends on photowalks and took my camera almost everywhere with me and a while later a friend asked me to photograph their wedding. I decided to do it as properly as I could and I bought books, planned the day to the best of my ability, and I hired in the equipment I needed to do a the best job I could. I really loved photographing that first wedding and decided that I wanted to find a way to be a photographer full time. 

Magic & Musings:
Did you have to overcome any self-confidence barriers in order to get to that place where you could share your photographs?

Laura Babb:
Weirdly, no. It's weird because I have pretty low self esteem but it's never really impacted on me sharing my work. I have regular periods of classic creative self-doubt but that's never really stopped me putting my work out into the world. I am not sure why but I am grateful as it's allowed me to promote my business pretty hard, even when I was very new and still had a lot to learn!


Magic & Musings:
Of all of your projects, which are you the happiest with and why?

Laura Babb:
I still love shooting weddings and I love working with diverse couples. That's been theme that I have tried to carry over into other aspects of my work, like SNAP for example. This year we had a big focus on topics around diversity, including marketing to diverse clients, inclusive language, non-gendered posing etc and it's really important to me to be able to bring those discussions to the mainstream wedding industry. SNAP does make me feel incredibly proud - the community is really special - but so does the wedding work I am able to create for my couples.

Magic & Musings:
On Magic & Musings I love talking about female-identifying or non-binary artists and their work. Which photographers, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look at when you need a spark of inspiration?

Laura Babb:
Emma Case has been someone that's inspired me at every step of my journey. I have always followed her work and I love the authenticity of it, but more recently she's launched the I Do Community which is a place where members of the online community can give their time, skill, and profile to raise funds and create awareness for various projects and causes. Her motivation is massively inspiring. Outside of the wedding industry I love photographers who create work that's raw, like Nan Goldin and Darcy Padilla


Magic & Musings:
This is a question I like to ask purely because of the variety of answers I get! I’m really interested in how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done, like a milky cup of tea or a particular album of music you listen to? 

Laura Babb:
In theory my working practices are shockingly bad. I often work from bed and some weeks I don't leave the house for a few days at a time... I do manage to get shit done though. I use Trello as my to-do list and regularly prioritise tasks. I also have short, medium, and long term aims.  My other thing is complete silence. I can't listen to music while I work, as I lose concentration. Regular cups of tea help too.

Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively? 

Laura Babb:
Keep creating and critically analyse your own work. I've been working with a mentor this year to get feedback on areas that I can improve and that's really helped when I have felt stuck. Also creating something where there's no pressure. Creating something without the intention of it being good, just for the pleasure of it, can be very liberating. 

Magic & Musings:
What are some things you like to do in your spare time when you’re not working?

Laura Babb:
I love to travel and when I'm not doing that I like to spend a whole day on my couch watching Netflix. Because I travel a lot (which sounds glamorous, but actually involves groundhog day moments in the same M4 service station!) I really love just doing nothing when I'm home. 

Magic & Musings:
What tools do you use to keep yourself organised?

Laura Babb:
I have a customer management system that deals with my accounting, invoicing and customer workflow and then I use Trello as previously mentioned to stay organised with general business stuff.


Magic & Musings:
Have you ever explored working in a medium other than photography? Is this something you would consider in the future?

Laura Babb:
You know, I haven't. I feel a bit scarred by the art classes I took at school and prior to finding photography I always assumed that I wasn't in any way creative. I would definitely consider trying something new and different for fun. 

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out as a photographer?

Laura Babb:
Nothing, really. Every mistake I have made has informed my journey and I wouldn't actually change anything. I guess knowing more about the business side of things would have been useful early on and I would have loved to have found more of a community in those early days. 

Magic & Musings:
Onto a fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you've enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song? 

Laura Babb:
My poor, neglected Kindle... I miss my old commute to a day job because I always had time to read. I don't read enough now but I did recently read the 5th Wave series by Rick Yancy. Brilliant if you like dystopian teen fiction! I also just read The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, which was brilliant. 

Magic & Musings:
Dystopian teen fiction are the words I like to hear!
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work? What’s on the horizon for you in the next few months?

Laura Babb:
You can find me at www.babbphoto.com and also www.snapphotofestival.com and my Instagram is @bisforbabb

I have a busy wedding season ahead and several events this year but outside of that I am looking to shoot more 'Artist at Work' portraits, so if anyone wants to collaborate get in touch!

--

Enjoying this series? Want to keep it going? Consider supporting me on Patreon for lots more exciting things in the future. Find out more here.

review

Have a hygge week with Hoogly Tea!*

9:00 am


* This post was kindly sponsored by the lovely folks at Hoogly Tea! All opinions are, as always, my own. *

Surely you've all heard of 'hygge' by now? There's books about it, blogs dedicated to it, and furniture companies trying hard to forge their own version of it. In short, it's a sort of cosiness and comfort that promotes wellbeing and that sense of home, derived from aspects of Danish culture. It involves soft blankets and pillows, warm roaring fires, hot drinks with friends, maybe some board games, and calming music. It's very natural-feeling, with wood features, warm glowing lights, and that cosiness that only autumn and winter can bring.

Hoogly Tea ('hoogly' being the pronunciation of the Danish word 'hyggelig', the adjective for 'hygge') is a brand that's inspired by the 'hygge' lifestyle and feeling, aiming to bring comfort, warmth, and that feeling of happiness and contentment all year round. Its founder, Tina, is from Denmark, and now runs Hoogly out of Brighton, creating exciting blends using luxury natural ingredients. I've been lucky enough to try some of their signature blends, as you all know I adore tea, and I thought I would show you all how to bring a little bit of 'hygge' into your day-to-day with these marvelous blends...

--

Sunday - On Sunday I didn't have any solid plans except my driving lesson, which means I need to be ready to hop into that car at 9am (on a Sunday!!!). My first tea pick was Apple Strudel, which by the name alone creates a feeling of wintery warmth, even in the height of July. This blend wasn't too overpowering in the sweetness, as I was concerned about for a dessert-flavoured tea, and got me ready for the day. A good start!

Monday - First day of the work week, and I needed a bit of a pep, so I reached for Chill Out Mint. I'm a huge mint tea fan, so I'm always excited to try out a new one. This one was a great combination of both peppermint and spearmint, with eucalyptus and pine needles. The steam from this one felt like it was opening up my sinuses and got me breathing clearly before I even had a sip! It was nice to try a mint tea that wasn't just peppermint or your regular garden mint leaves. A definite winner.

Tuesday - I had Tuesday off of work and spent a lot of the day tip-tapping on my computer. I thought I would give Baked Apple Chai a go, which tasted like a revved-up, smokey version of Apple Strudel. Chai is one of my favourite teas, and this one didn't let me down as there wasn't the overpowering sweetness you usually get with a coffee shop Chai.

Wednesday - English Breakfast tea is always a winner for me. Hoogly's blend masquerades as your regular black tea, but surprises you with a little smokey kick at the end. This was my first double tea test day as I cracked into the big box of Rhubarb and Vanilla, also known as my now go-to herbal tea. This one is an absolute gamechanger (which I had previously tried in loose-leaf form in one of my teatourist boxes), and at the time I'm writing I've nearly finished the whole box. It's sweet, but has the subtle tartness of rhubarb and hibiscus which you can amp-up if you brew it for longer. It's so so very good and would be my #1 recommendation from Hoogly.

Thursday - More Rhubarb and Vanilla, obviously. In the morning I tried Jasmine Dawn, a soft and inoffensive green tea blend made from Chinese jasmine green tea, rose petals, and cumin seeds! I think this is a good morning go-to as it is quite a delicate wake-up, rather than a kick up the behind like you get from a coffee. In the evening I went for the Vanilla Chai. There's something about the Chai spice blend that can't help but be 'hygge':  ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves. I can smell Christmas on the horizon. Another lovely blend that doesn't depend on a sweetness or a sugary kick because the natural flavours alone do the job of creating a strong and memorable taste.

Sunday - Thanks to a busy end-of-the-week, I didn't get to try and more blends (except ploughing through those Rhubarb and Vanillas) until Sunday, when I had managed to get ill. For a comforting treat, I reached for the Marzipan tea, which smells exactly like you'd expect. Hoogly have managed to perfectly capture that marzipan flavour, and the tea itself looks absolutely gorgeous. You can see all the wonderful ingredients that go into each blend through their fine-mesh teabags, some scattered with dried fruits, and others with actual flowers.

Monday - A new week, a new blend. Lemon & Ginger is a bright yellow blend when brewed, and exactly what you need to wake up your brain on a groggy morning. The smell of lemongrass actually filled my room which this one, and I immediately felt reinvigorated. To finish off my 'hygge' tea journey, I enjoyed a mid-morning Green Tea. It was simple, and exactly what I come to expect from a green tea...relaxing. I was back in the zone.

--

Hoogly Tea blends range between £4-5 for a box of fifteen teabags, or you can mix and match four Teapods (each containing five bags) for £8, which is a great way to decide which ones are your favourites. My recommendations to start with would be (obviously) Rhubarb & Vanilla, Chill Out Mint, and Vanilla Chai. They also sell a lot of their blends as loose-leaf packs, if that's more your style. There are so many other great flavours in their range I'm eager to try (Around the Fire and Spiced Orange!) , so it looks like I'll be placing my own order very, very soon...

--

You can learn more about Hoogly Tea via their website, Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter.

reading

Book Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

12:00 pm


Hold on to your hats. I'm in love with another series.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is one for lovers of complex characters with deeply-explored backstories, contemporary science fiction that deals with time-and-space travel, and a universe and its inhabitants that you can feel completely at home with.

In the first volume of Becky Chambers' Wayfarers series, we're introduced to Rosemary, the new clerk for the ship The Wayfarer and its eclectic crew, in a universe where Earth is a far-off memory, and people are travelling via interstellar tunnels. Rosemary herself is from Mars, and harbouring some personal secrets she'd rather leave behind.

Aboard the ship we have an adorable AI (Lovelace), two energetic techs (Kizzy and Jenks), a strong and sassy pilot (Sissix), a grumbly scientist (Corbin), the mysterious navigator (Ohan), a captain always striving for something more (Ashby), and the lovable doctor-cum-chef (Dr Cook). They all have different backgrounds, covering different species from different planets, and that's the number one thing this book does best. The diversity of the crew is something to be marveled at, and really is the driving force of this novel. Rosemary serves as the perfect protagonist, aware of her own biases as she meets new friends, and comments to herself when she finds an assumption or judgement being made. One example is that she never assumes the gender of any of the new species she meets, using the gender neutral term 'xe' in such a casual way that it doesn't seem like anything but the norm. Another is that other characters are from completely different species' to the ones she's used to, so they naturally have very different ways of doing things, for example 'coupling' (mating), which Sissix does in a much more open, and unashamed way than Rosemary is used to. Through the book we experience her thoughts on this and how her attitude towards this changes as she realises her way of living is not the only one, and looks toward everything with such acceptance and openness. It really is such a refreshing perspective to read.

Although the novel does have a clear storyline (The Wayfarer is a tunneling vessel and is called upon to create a tunnel between two parts of space, one previously separated from the rest of the universe not just by distance, but also by their controversial beliefs and attitude), we spend the majority of the time learning about these characters and witnessing their interactions. It's like being introduced to a new family, and I came away from this book desperately missing the world I'd been welcomed in to, and the characters that inhabit it. 

I saw someone post on Goodreads that re-reading this book for them was like coming home and had become a comfort read. I think I can now safely say the exact same thing.

interview

Interview: Emma Orland on Photography, Everyday Inspirations, and Being Your Own Worst Critic

12:00 pm



One of the great things about living in a world where it's so easy to be online is the discovery of young talent, with platforms constantly available for teenagers to share their work when they're still learning, rather than waiting for gallery space or the validation of 'grown-ups'. Today I'm chatting with Emma Orland, a 16-year-old upcoming high school junior with a passion for simple, saturated photography. You'll find all of her links down below of how to discover more of her work, and you can follow her wonderful journey so far...

--

Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Emma! First of all, for any readers who don’t know your background, will you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are today?

Emma Orland:
My name is Emma Orland and I am a 16-year-old photographer and filmmaker based in New York City. I attend an arts high school with a focus in film and media and am an upcoming junior. I have been actively working as a photographer for 3 years now and have shot for various publications and outlets, both online and print-based. Since then I have grown further in my photography “career” and have branched from music photography to event photography, and portraiture as well. 

Magic & Musings:
If you could describe your photography in three words, what would they be?

Emma Orland:
Oh my, this is definitely hard. I put my work down a lot, but I would have to say, “saturated”, “strange”, and “simple”


Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into photography? Is this something you’ve been formally trained in?

Emma Orland:
I first got into photography as a notion many, many moons ago. I was probably 7 and my dad and grandpa would let me use their DSLRs so I could play around with them -- obviously nothing good came about from these. Though, as I aged, my skills progressed and I was eventually taught by my grandpa how to shoot on and develop film, and just showed me the world in a whole new way. I wasn’t officially trained until freshman year of high school when my film teacher had started us out with photography -- which allowed me to expand my prior knowledge and get more technical and deeper into the subject. 

Magic & Musings:
Did you have to overcome any self-confidence barriers in order to get to that place where you could share your photographs?

Emma Orland:
Definitely, definitely. To this day I constantly put down my work and berate it. Regardless of the amount of compliments I get on my work, I find myself staring at photos until I no longer believe they are good, alhough I usually post them anyway and grow to love them again. It was only once I began doing everything in manual (for digital) and developing my own film (for analog photography) that I felt comfortable sharing it since it was something I felt proud of because I had complete control over its outcome.

Magic & Musings:
Of all of your projects, which are you the happiest with and why?

Emma Orland:
I find that with every new shoot I do I tend to like them more. So, in light of that, my favorite project would have to be one of my two most recents -- one I did with my friend, Sophie, in my apartment where we utilized fairy lights, color gels, as well as simply natural lighting, or on the 4th of July I brought my camera to the fireworks and took some portraits of my girlfriend, Suzy, in front of them, and I just love the way they turned out.


Magic & Musings:
On Magic & Musings I love talking about female-identifying or non-binary artists and their work. Which photographers, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look at when you need a spark of inspiration?

Emma Orland:
When I feel uninspired I find myself often looking at Savana Ogburn’s photos since I find it incredible how she takes ordinary situations and makes them extraordinary, Lauren Tepfer’s because I love the way she can make anything look like another world, and Hannah Diamond’s because she makes everything she touches into something more precious than gold. And even though this person isn’t a female nor someone who is well known, my biggest inspiration for my art would definitely be my grandpa because he just introduced me to everything and gave me the courage and knowledge I needed in order to be where I am now.

Magic & Musings:
That's so, so lovely to hear.
This is a question I like to ask purely because of the variety of answers I get! I’m really interested in how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done, like a milky cup of tea or a particular album of music you listen to?

Emma Orland:
I definitely find myself being productive in the weirdest places and at the weirdest times. I most frequently find my best ideas while sitting at a desk in school, desperately trying to pass the time, and really just going through my thoughts and experiences to find ways to express them creatively. I definitely look within lyrics and books for a word or a phrase that will spark an idea for a shoot or a video.

Magic & Musings:
I can relate to that a lot. I once got a whole idea for a short story by looking at an album cover!
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively?

Emma Orland:
When I’m stuck in a rut creatively I always revert to this video. because it will always get ideas flowing and somehow is able to make me feel so good and all around inspired.

Magic & Musings:
What are some things you like to do in your spare time when you’re not working?

Emma Orland:
Even when I’m not working, I definitely am subconsciously working. I am always looking at situations thinking 'How could I make this into something more? Something beautiful, or intricate, or something just out of the blue'. Even something as simple as going to the store gets me thinking 'This would be a great location for a shoot.' Though I very much enjoy listening to music and watching TV/movies when I can, I can’t even say photography feels like work, so I tend to drift towards that in my free time.


Magic & Musings:
What tools do you use to keep yourself organised?

Emma Orland:
I wouldn’t say I have any tools to remain organized, though I have recently begun making “moodboards” of a sort where I will, in a sense, draft a shoot, or an idea I have and reference it when I plan on acting on the idea. Additionally, whenever an idea comes to mind, I will always go straight to the notes in my phone and will write it down, and when I want to shoot but have no ideas, I will go back to them and grow the ideas further.

Magic & Musings:
Have you ever explored working in a medium other than photography? Is this something you would consider in the future?

Emma Orland:
I currently would consider myself an aspiring artist in two forms: photography and film. I would love to branch out and expand my knowledge and skills in another medium, I just don’t know what that would be.

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out as a photographer?

Emma Orland:
I wish someone had told me that it was okay to not like your photos, even if everyone else does. You are your own worst critic and very few, if any, people are zooming into the individual pixels of your photos examining them for flaws. By putting something out there, people are already impressed because we all know how scary making yourself and your art vulnerable is.

Magic & Musings:
Onto a fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you've enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song?

Emma Orland:
I just recently reread The Bell Jar for the first time in a while and I was reminded just how much I love it. As for movies, one of my favorite films, that I have seen too many times, is definitely Heathers because it just has some of the most iconic lines in the dialog and is such a distinct storyline that is generally incredible.


Magic & Musings:
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work? What’s on the horizon for you in the next few months?

Emma Orland:
I am currently working on co-curating an art show with my friend Caro called “Sonder” which will be taking place in Brooklyn in early September - for information on this, check our website: sonderexhibition.com. Secondly, I am currently in communication with adolescent.net and will hopefully be working with them in the near future as well! Further than this I have yet to know what the future holds for me, and yet I am extremely excited for what it might be. My work can be found at emmaorland.com and I can be found at @emma.orland on Instagram.

tea

teatourist June Subscription Box*

9:00 am


Another month, another fan-tea-stic (tried a bit too hard with that one) delivery.

I've been in a bit of a tea frenzy recently. My boyfriend and I went through three varieties whilst marathoning a few hours of Lost the other evening, which is a nice way to negate the stress of being trapped on an island by sipping on some herbal brews. But whenever I worry my tea collection is getting a little thin around the edges, there's always a beautiful new teatourist package winging its way to me. 

The theme of this month's box is 'Cool & Quirky', including some interesting and sometimes eyebrow-raising flavours. Let us delve...

Rhubarb and Vanilla from Hoogly Tea - This one is absolutely superb as I'm partial to any tea with rhubarb, hibiscus (this one has both!), or red berries in. There's a tartness to it, that's topped off at the end with the sweetness of the vanilla. I think this could be both a good morning and evening tea, which is always a bonus. You'll hear a little more about Hoogly Tea from me in the future, so stay tuned...

Assam Tea with Vanilla from Pure Leaf - Madagascan vanilla and marigold petals, blended with Assam leaves gives you this strong black tea, perfect for a morning kick-up-the-butt. They even recommend you serve it with chocolate...what's not to love?

Earl Grey Blue Rose from Rutland Tea Company - This is another black tea, mixed with pieces of pineapple and grape, and finished off with pretty rose petals and cornflowers. This tiny company produce wonderful loose leaf teas of the finest quality and aim to introduce their customers to new and interesting blends.

Time for Bliss from Caley's Apothecary - This is a really special one, combining so many natural, floral flavours to create a sweet and spicy combination. It contains lemon verbena, passion flower, lime flowers, rose petals, and wonderful crushed cinnamon. Try this one if you need something calming, and uplifting, maybe for a lunchtime meditation. They also recommend trying this one over ice.

Flexibilitea from T-tox - Another lemon verbena and flower tea, but this time with a base of nettles. I'm a big fan of nettle tea, this one with a very mild taste. T-tox claim this is good for relaxing and easing muscle pains, and there's only one way to find out of this is true...pop the kettle on!

Mint Chocolate from Cheshire Tea - Now, I love a rooibos, and I especially love this rooibos that's blended with peppermint and pieces of cacao beans. If you want a tea that could pass as your post-dinner dessert, this is the ethically-sourced tea for you.

--

If you've somehow missed my previous teatourist posts and don't know what this wonderful service is, please read on...

Teatourist is a fantastic way to discover new teas from specialist companies all across the country that you may not have otherwise heard of. In each monthly box, teatourist select one of their bestselling teas and pops it in the box for us lucky folk to try. Every month will treat you to different teas from different companies. As you can see in March I received a few redbush teas, which I didn't have the previous month, so it's a wonderful way to discover new tastes. Each sample gives you about four cups, so that's a whole lotta tea-love to share. 

You can choose between a rolling subscription (£15), fixed 3 or 6 month ones (£40/72), or purchase a one-off if you just want to give it a try (£15). Easy squeezy. Free delivery and usually ship around the 20th of each month, but if you're ordering a one-off you'll get it within three working days.

Each tea comes with a mini profile telling you where it's from, what it tastes like, how much you need, and how to brew it. You can really tell these people care about their tea being made properly!

You can find teatourist on their websiteFacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or follow along with their official hashtag #beateatourist

Don't forget to use the code MAGIC30 at checkout to get 30% off your order!

interview

Interview: Celeste Noche on Travel and Food Photography, Books in Scotland, and Taking Your Time

12:00 pm


In one of my favourite interviews so far, I chat to Celeste Noche. She's an incredibly talented photographer, whose warm and inviting style captures people in their element, being comfortable in themselves. I was lucky to hear more about her project photographing books in Scotland (amazing!), and the travels her trade takes her on. 

Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Celeste! First of all, for any readers who don’t know your background, will you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are today?

Celeste Noche:
Sure! I’m a photographer from San Francisco, living in Portland, but currently in Scotland for an artist residency taking photos of bookshops, libraries, and private collections all over the country. It’s hard to classify the type of work I do, but my range usually falls within food, travel, and weddings.

Magic & Musings:
If you could describe your photography in three words, what would they be?

Celeste Noche:
Soft, quiet, real.


Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into photography? Is this something you’ve been formally trained in?

Celeste Noche:
My earliest memories of taking photos were during summer camp when I was 13. I loved that time and place so much, I wanted to do everything I could to preserve and remember it. So I started with disposable cameras and went from there. I was too afraid to study photography at university, so everything I know now is a mix of constant practice and learning from friends.

Magic & Musings:
Did you have to overcome any self-confidence barriers in order to get to that place where you could share your photographs?

Celeste Noche:
I was always okay sharing my photographs, especially when I started blogging in college, but mostly because I didn’t think of myself as a photographer. I felt unworthy of the title, so I just said I enjoyed taking photos and that seemed to take the pressure off. I think removing labels and recognizing myself as a constant work in progress was key.


Magic & Musings:
Of all of your projects, which are you the happiest with and why?

Celeste Noche:
Superlatives are always difficult and always changing, but I’m really proud of a piece on Filipino desserts I wrote and photographed for Food52, and I’m really excited about my photo series on books in Scotland that I’m working on right now.

Magic & Musings:
I'm sorry, you lost me at desserts...haha! I've got to say, your Scotland in books photo series is absolutely stunning.
On Magic & Musings I love talking about female-identifying or non-binary artists and their work. Which photographers, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look at when you need a spark of inspiration?

Celeste Noche:
I have an endless list of female photographers who have been a great influence but lately I’m really loving Daniella Zalcman and Jenny Baquing, both WOC. Not only is their work stunning, but they use their art and platforms to have really meaningful discussions.

Magic & Musings:
This is a question I like to ask purely because of the variety of answers I get! I’m really interested in how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done, like a milky cup of tea or a particular album of music you listen to?

Celeste Noche:
Before I began freelancing full-time, I had a day job and would shoot on weekends and edit at night, and I haven’t been able to shake the habit since. I’m my most productive just when I should be getting to bed, preferably with a snack and a favorite TV show playing in the background. Usually in bed!


Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively?

Celeste Noche:
I try to distance myself from whatever it is I’m working on and try something else. Lately, for me this has meant taking a walk with some of my film cameras and practicing with those.

Magic & Musings:
What are some things you like to do in your spare time when you’re not working?

Celeste Noche:
Sometimes it feels like I’m never not working, but I love reading, having picnics, taking care of my plants, and dabbling in Asian skincare products. Oh! And making music videos with my besties.

Magic & Musings:
I've got a soft spot for those Korean coconut water sheet masks. Baby soft skin in a snap!
What tools do you use to keep yourself organised?

Celeste Noche:
An inconsistent mix of bullet journaling, my google calendar, and impending anxiety.

Magic & Musings:
Have you ever explored working in a medium other than photography? Is this something you would consider in the future?

Celeste Noche:
Sometimes I fantasize about other lives I’d like to have: a painter, a location scout for films, singing in a band. I haven’t really explored them or ruled them out, but I really love what I do now so I’m focusing on that.


Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out as a photographer?

Celeste Noche:
Take your time. Don’t be afraid to ask (the worst answer you can get is “no”).

Magic & Musings:
Onto a fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you've enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song?

Celeste Noche:
Book - In Altre Parole by Jhumpa Lahiri
Film - Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Album - Alvvays’s self-titled album

Magic & Musings:
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work? What’s on the horizon for you in the next few months?

Celeste Noche:
Don’t underestimate the power of what you’re doing and why you’re here! Recognize the value in your work and make sure you get paid for it.

I’m wrapping up my Scotland photo series but hoping it’ll be an ongoing project in the near future. I’ve got some open time this summer, so I’m looking forward to filling it with meaningful work and collaborations with like-minded people. (If you want to work together, please HMU!) As for finding me-- I’m all over the interwebz: my blog is celestenoche.com/blog and I’m @extracelestial on twitter and instagram :)

--

Enjoying this series? Want to keep it going? Consider supporting me on Patreon for lots more exciting things in the future. Find out more here.

beauty

Unboxing the No Make No Life (nmnl) Japanese Beauty Box!*

10:38 am


* Thank you to the team behind No Make No Life for sending me one of their lovely boxes for review! Links to their website and to buy a beauty box are affiliate links and if you buy anything by following them, I'll receive a small commission. *

As you'll know by now, I like talking about self-care over on Magic & Musings, and part of that for me is pampering and making yourself feel good in your own skin. I've really been going make-up free since coming back from my summer holiday, saving it for going out with friends or evening events, so when I do use it, I want it to be fun, but also still quite natural. So when I saw the make-up that accompanied the tools and skincare in No Make No Life's latest Japanese beauty box, I was really excited to give them a go. A brown alternative to my old faithful black cat eye? Yes please! A mascara that doubles up as a treatment? Go on! If you're a Japanese beauty fan, or are interested in giving some new brands and a variety of products a try, read on...

--

Mentrum Petroleum Jelly - This is great because, simply put, it's like a tube of Vaseline, which is a lot easier to apply than from a tin or tub. I'll be using this on anywhere that's dry, and my hands throughout the winter. I don't know if it's just because it's in a tube, but this seems to have a smoother texture to other petroleum jellies I've used in the past.

Brigitte Smoothie Lip Tint - Apparently 'Fig Coral' is going to be the biggest shade in Japan this year, and that's the shade of this lip tint. It's quite a pretty pink, which isn't a colour I'd usually go for, so I may give it away as a gift. It does, however, have a nice texture and the applicator actually works well! So many glosses have terrible, foamy applicators that just absorb product.

Brigitte Lasting Liquid Eyeliner - I like this a lot. It's a light brown, almost auburn, colour which is a huge change from the black eyeliners I usually go for. Having it in the form of a pen makes it easy to apply and I noticed it dries pretty quickly, so there's not a lot of time for making small changes or adding more layers if you need to. This is definitely one I'm going to be trialing a bit more.

Love Switch Oil Treatment Mascara - Do eyelashes need an oil treatment? Probably not, but sometimes a bit of a pointless pamper is fun. This is basically a black mascara with oils in (including avocado and hazelnut) to treat your lashes. I was initially put off by the very strong lavender scent as that didn't seem like something that was smart to put near your eyes, but a few hours later there's no signs of irritation so I think we're okay. The applicator, again, is surprisingly good and the mascara itself isn't too heavy or clumpy, which is a huge plus for me.

Lucky Wink Super Cover Foundation Brush - This is the 'trendy' brush type at the moment from what I've seen across the internet, but I don't actually own any foundation at the moment to try it out. What I can say is that the bristles are so super soft.

--

The No Make No Life box sells at $29.99, with free international shipping, and contains between five and seven products each month. The theme of the products changes each month, so this one was quite make-up heavy when I was really interested in trying some Japanese skincare, but I'm still happy with the quality of the products. You can try one of the boxes yourself by following this link (which if you do buy via, I'll receive a small commission).

haul

My new favourite place to buy vinyl

12:00 pm


Depop, who knew? I'd only really considered using the app Depop in the past to buy vintage clothes, but stumbling further into this technological adventure I've found old school cameras, art prints, and, you guessed it, vinyls. This little selection you see here cost me a grand total of £6.50, including postage, and they're all in great condition. A lot of sellers will offer you bundles and postage discounts if you buy more than one item, so it's worth browsing their wares to see if there's anything that catches your eye. I got 'Let's Dance' by David Bowie, 'West End Girls' by Pet Shop Boys, and 'September' by Earth Wind and Fire from the lovely seller @sogoodvinyl, who I would heartily recommend. He puts new things up every day at fantastic prices, so it's really worth a peruse. 

lifestyle

P-P-P-Pick Up a Podcast #4

12:00 pm



It's been a long, long time since I've chatted to you about the podcasts I've listened to, and oh, how things have changed. Hold onto your ponchos and galoshes and other fun clothing words, this is going to be a long one.

Here are the ones that have stayed the same, by my side, through it all:

Call Your Girlfriend - Cortex - D&D is For Nerds - Rerun - Mystery Show - 99% Invisible - Invisibilia - Hello Internet - Plumbing the Death Star

(You can find out more about these and find links to them in my previous podcast blog posts here, here, and here.

And here are the ones I've not mentioned before that have made it through my very specific filter over the past couple of years:

The Allusionist - If you're a word nerd, The Allusionist is for you, covering the history of words and phrases, and the science behind speech. 'Small adventures in language' they call it, and of course they're right.

Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything - This is impossible to describe. It's journalism, it's storytelling, it's fiction, and it's non-fiction. It's surreal and musical and plain and simple and eclectic and eccentric.  You never know what you're going to get episode-to-episode, but it's always enjoyable. Just give it a go. You might enjoy it.

Desert Island Discs - The old faithful for music fans everywhere. The long and short of it: a recognisable name chooses the eight discs they would take with them to a desert island, and tells us why. We get a lot of their life story and inner workings. I usually only listen to the people I know, but sometimes I'll dip in on a stranger and it'll be pretty eye-opening.

Every Little Thing - I think we should just admit that Gimlet make the best podcasts. I think there are three or four of their podcasts on this list. The production value is second-to-none, and their presenters are always so endearing and fun. Every Little Thing teaches us about the small, everyday things we might not give a second though, like the ecosystem that lives on our faces, through office plants, to the badassery of the flamingo.

Heavyweight - Heavyweight is pretty special. It's the podcast about finishing those conversations you always dreamed of finishing, returning that favour you always meant to return, and telling that person how that thing they did really made you feel. Jonathan Goldstein helps you fix these situations, with some really interesting results. It's a very personal-feeling podcast, and I cannot wait for a second season to throw myself into.

Hidden Brain - Now, I love a science podcast, especially when it comes to the way we think and interact with the world around us. Through stories, presenter Shankar talks to us about a wide variety of topics, from face recognition and search engine algorithms, to coincidences and money spending, and how all of these things and more relate to us as human beings.

Movie Maintenance - A bunch of hilarious Aussies pick films and franchises that could have been better, and make them, sometimes astoundingly, better. Start with the recent episode about James Bond, have a giggle via the Fifty Shades of Grey live show, and then download all of the ones about the films you've seen. These people are ridiculously clever, imaginative, and creative. I leave every episode feeling blindsided by the fact these films weren't originally made in these ways, or disappointed that some of these films will never exist. Seriously, listen to the Bond one.

My Dad Wrote a Porno - If you listen to podcasts and haven't heard of this, I don't know what you're doing. Jamie's dad wrote some erotic fiction, and now he's reading it aloud with his friends to broadcast to the entire world. And it's bad. It's really really bad, but oh so addictively good. You'll never look at fruit, blue fluids, or the Titanic in the same way again. This podcast is the highlight of my week and actually makes me look forward to Mondays.

No Such Thing As A Fish - The podcast of the QI Elves, also known as the people with the best job in the world. The four presenters bring their four favourite (namely weird and wonderful) facts they've discovered from the last week and share them around the table. It's always funny, and I enjoy feeling smart when I tell people I know the things I've learned from the Elves!

Oh No Ross and Carrie - If you're into conspiracies, fringe science, the paranormal, cults, and religious groups, you would be mad not to listen to this podcast. Ross and Carrie, two of the most endearing people you will ever encounter, experience the strange and fantastic so you don't have to. They've experienced Scientology, gone to anti-vax marches, joined UFO conferences, awaited the end times, and vaped essential oils, just to name a few. I was lucky enough to interview the lovely Carrie a few months ago, so you can read that here and find out a little more about what she does.

Portrait of a Freelancer - Another of my lovely interviewees! Ariel chats to her listeners about her forays into freelancing, whether it's regarding money, taking risks chasing your dream, or interviewing other creatives about what they get up to.

Reply All - 100% no doubt about it my favourite podcast of all time. Reply All feels like home. It's a podcast about the internet, technology, and all of the weird things that come along with that. Their stories are so human and touching, with Alex and PJ treating everything with respect and a lovely sense of humour...except when it comes to weird tweets. They're just weird. The investigative journalism that goes into their stories is second to none, as they attempt to phish each other, intercept missing parcels, post their phone numbers online and answer all calls for 48 hours, and find out who are the people behind the viral photos of internet past. Among the fun stories are heartbreaking ones, and through the heartbreak there's always hope. They tackle topics like the death of a child, depression, and degenerative diseases, but always with grace and humanity. I'll always love Reply All.

Rookie - Rookie is the best place on the internet, and now there's a podcast, hosted by Tavi Gevinson, and discussing all topics for an audience of teenage girls, even though we all know anyone and everyone loves the loving safety of Rookie.

Science Vs - A relatively new addition to my queue, but it's already wormed its way into my consciousness. A topic is taken and put up against science, to find out the truth behind the claims. Nuclear power, artificial sweeteners, meditation, abortion, ghosts, and antidepressants are just some of the (sometimes controversial) topics covered. 

Song Exploder - Another pretty special podcast, this time chatting to composers and musicians about breaking down one of their creations. Now, I don't listen to every episode of Song Exploder, but here are some of my favourites: House of Cards theme music, 'Anna' by Will Butler, and 'In Cold Blood' by Alt-J.

Soundtracking with Edith Bowman - This is one for the film and music lovers out there! Edith Bowman interviews directors, actors, and composers about film music, whether music in their films, the music that has inspired their films, or their favourite film scores and soundtracks. James Gunn talks about the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mixes, and Edgar Wright chats about the soundtrack to Baby Driver.

Ungeniused - I don't know about you, but I love finding the weirdest Wikipedia pages possible, and now there's a podcast about it! Myke and Stephen read their favourite pages sent in my listeners and discuss their content. The episodes are short and snappy, but will give you that weird knowledge about very specific subjects that you can talk about at dinner parties and pretend to be real smart like.

interview

Interview: Allana Clarke on Conceptual Art, Critical Inquiry, and the Dynamics of the Art World

12:00 pm


Today's interview is with the conceptual artist Allana Clarke. Her work is so incredibly varied, covering many disciplines, and is used as a conduit to explore colonial theory and the body. Allana's expressions of herself and the work she creates are intelligent, thought-provoking, and passionate. Read on to find out more about how she creates, the stories she wants to portray, and the realities of working in the art world. I hope you feel as inspired by Allana's words as I do.

Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Allana! First of all, for any readers who don’t know your background, do you want to tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are today?

Allana Clarke:
Well, I’m a twenty-nine year old, single, black female. Just kidding, but I am. I grew up in Queens, NY and I am of Caribbean descent. I am an interdisciplinary conceptual artist. My work speaks to discomfort. My practice incorporates colonial, post-colonial, political, and art historical texts through video, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and performance. Searching -- not for answers -- but to feed my obsession with this idea of being unbound, being more than my body. Ironically, I must look to my body if I want to escape its limitations. I must engage in the dynamics of voyeurism in order to wrestle with spectacle. I am an educator, for the last 3 years I have taught 35mm analog photography at New Jersey City University and taught at an amazing non-profit in New York called the Lower Eastside Girls Club. In the fall I will be transitioning to a new position at Williams College as Visiting Professor of Art specializing in performance art theory and practice.

 Then and Now Seem to Shift Inside Me, and I wonder How Do You Imagine We Can Live Together in the Future. Digital Print 4x6, 2016
Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into art? What first drew you to the field? Did you study it formally or come across it as a hobby?

Allana Clarke:
I suppose it was a bit arbitrary. I never went to museums as a child, I didn’t grow up in an artistic household per se. My father is a musician and I dabbled in piano, drums, and guitar but I was so very terrible at all of it. I can’t make two dimensional representations of the three dimensional world or three dimensional representations of the three dimensional world for that matter. Which is all hysterical to me but I bring this up to reveal the extreme improbability of me becoming an artist. I was a high school senior looking at colleges, not knowing anyone that had gone to college before, and not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life because up until my discovery and participation in art I was moving through the world, basically, dead on the inside. I had no purpose, no direction, life was a bit meaningless and looking through college catalogues I came across the photography department at a SUNY school and in the catalogue they displayed some student work and I just felt so drawn to it. I can’t really explain why but I decided to become a photo major and I enrolled in a community college in Queens and it was a huge learning curve for me, being forced to think critically for the first time and being forced to slow down and deconstruct my environment was life changing for me.


Magic & Musings:
Did you have to find yourself overcoming any hurdles regarding your confidence when you first started displaying your art?

Allana Clarke:
Sure, but I think for me the biggest hurdle was making the decision to actually become serious about art and to do that I had to make so many huge changes in my life. I grew up in a really abusive and dysfunctional home with my mother and younger brother and discovering art and finding purpose in life gave me the strength to escape that situation and use art to heal myself from those psychological scars. After that as far as my art work I was making photographic images that were rooted in formalist street photography or work about my community which had been beneficial for me, but if art and photography’s purpose was to function as my salvation or liberation then I had to continue to push myself and my boundaries and tackle the things that made me uncomfortable and scared me. So I started making work about and with my body. Reflecting on myself as an individual but also myself in terms of a collective cultural identity. So when my body entered the work I was terrified to show it and I didn’t really have a vocabulary yet to discuss it I was working very introspectively and intuitively without a very sophisticated background in art necessarily so that was very difficult.

Magic & Musings:
Of all of your work, what are you the proudest of and why?

Allana Clarke:
I am most proud of a series of letterpress works that I’ve recently created. I am proud of them because I, for the first time, made language the forefront of my practice. It was always in the background and conceptually aided my other works but I never revealed my writings to anyone because I was afraid. Writing and language has always been difficult for me because, for me, it epitomizes my anxieties about my intellectual capacities. I think I had a better education than most within the New York City public school system but I wasn’t socialized in privileged spaces so I wasn’t formally familiar with the language and critical inquiry that is provided to individuals that have access to elite institutional spaces. But I used my art practice as a way to investigate my cultural and social environment this type of inquiry lead me to build a research based practice in which I looked to philosophy to contextualize and deconstruct and make connections etc. So I’m always stressed about my ability to understand philosophy because it seems as though to be a part of that realm your arguments, thoughts, and perceptions have to have a certain air of pretension, vagary, and exclusion that accompany your intelligence. But again my art practice motto is, if it makes me uncomfortable I have to engage, so I’m using my practice to engage with these internalized anxieties. If I want to feel comfortable with language I have to take control of it. Language is used to describe and understand. If I can not control and manipulate language then I can not control my narrative. And I can not be an author if I can’t control or create meaning. My work conceptually has always been interested in doing these things, an examination of signs, signifiers, and meaning so the addition has been natural and extremely fulfilling and enjoyable.


Magic & Musings:
This is a question I like to ask purely because of the variety of answers I get! I’m really interested in how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done, like a milky cup of tea or a particular album of music you listen to? 

Allana Clarke:
Ideally, I love to work outsides barefoot in nature, which I get a lot of if I do artist residencies. I have a studio in Brooklyn that I work from when I’m back home in New York so any 'making' of objects happens there. I need a cup of coffee of course. I need music to work. Usually jazz, Coltrane, Mingus, but also FKA Twigs, Esperanza Spalding, and Johnny Cash. And of course I must have a hardy studio whiskey on hand for when things get intense and I’m a night owl so my best moments happen at 3am. If I’m just doing research I love to work from the Poet’s House in Lower Manhattan. It’s an extremely beautiful open space overlooking the Hudson, so I like to read there.

To Negate/To Negotiate, Digital Print, 40x80in., 2015

Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively?

Allana Clarke:
I question my entire existence and purpose on earth. And then I find a good book and everything usually falls into place.

Magic & Musings:
That sounds like something a lot of creatives can probably relate to.
What are some things you like to do in your spare time when you’re not working?

Allana Clarke:
Lay in bed.




Magic & Musings:
If there was one thing you could want to say to the world if you knew everyone was listening, what would it be and why?

Allana Clarke:
Here’s a list:

There are perspectives outside of your own. 

Nothing is absolute. 

We only exist in the known universe. 

We are insignificant. 

We all have bias 

Capitalism is a system that benefits from global iniquity

I’ll stop there.

ThatinItself, Video, 2016
Magic & Musings:
What tools do you use to keep yourself organised?

Allana Clarke:
Oof, I’m not problematically unorganized but I could be a lot better. Especially as a video artist I have so many copies of the same works, documentation in so many different sizes partially because when I apply to things there’s no uniformity so I’m constantly resizing and exporting clips of work at different lengths etc. So I got a Dropbox, I have spreadsheets so I can keep track of deadlines, and I try to date things obsessively to keep track but that is the extent of my organizational skills.

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out working in this field?

Allana Clarke:
I wish people were honest with me about the realities of the dynamics of the art world. I think the art world benefits from the myth of the starving artist making it and rising up from adversity when in fact this is just a hierarchical mechanism to maintain exclusion. Because the truth is many of the people who are at the top of the field were already independently wealthy or had access to wealth and privilege so yes they were and are able to dedicate undivided time to their craft because they can. They do not have to worry about income or working to just support their existence as humans. This enables an exclusion because if you are comparing yourself to these figures and you’re not gaining status and access like they are you might feel it’s because you’re not good enough but in reality the game is rigged. Of course this isn’t unilateral but it’s a definite truth. 

Magic & Musings:
Onto a fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you've enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song? 

Allana Clarke:
Oh yes yes yes. Maggie Nelson's The Art of Cruelty, such an incredible text. and S.C.U.M Manifesto by Valerie Saleres. The Administration of Fear which is an interview with Paul Virilio and anything by Chantal Mouffe.

Magic & Musings:
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work? 

Allana Clarke:
I think I would like to say we can find joy as humans on an equitable platform and we should strive for that and I want to give a shout out to my mentors Deborah Jack, who was my photography professor, thank you for always letting me borrow your books and enabling me to push my artistic boundaries and to Frances Barth for being honest with me and always leading me to the edge of emotional breakdown and picking up on my every insecurity and bullshit. These two women have greatly helped shape my career and voice. A shout-out to my father for his part in bringing me into the world, my stepmother, although she didn’t bring me into the world she and my father have been the biggest support in my positive growth as a human being and believing in my crazy path. and last but not least to my sister Trystal, my nephew Mekhi, and my niece Isabelle who have all shown me what it means to have the love and happiness that comes with having family.

I have a website www.allanaclarke.com and a Vimeo you can keep up to date with my going ons.

--

Enjoying this series? Want to keep it going? Consider supporting me on Patreon for lots more exciting things in the future. Find out more here.