By SPECIWOMEN Illustration PHILO COHEN
"[The female role] has played into my life by making me stay under the radar in social situations and leaning towards letting others take the first step."
Who are you?
My name is Helena, I'm 17 and freshly out of school and into the world. I would but also wouldn't call myself an artist, but label me as you please, same with any aspect of me really. I am a creative being not just via what I make but also how I think, move, dress- everything, to me, is curated artistically. I enjoy that.
How did you first get into art?
I have always been into the creative side of things though not exactly art itself, but my desire to create and produce has always been strong. Even subconsciously at a young age. My parents, mostly my Father, guided me into the arts by buying me canvases, acrylic paints and numerous pads around the ages 9-12. I remember the neighbourhood kids would pile into my garage to watch me paint (what I know understand to be) utter crap. Now I just...I just make...As far as I know there was no 'first getting into art', it has always been in me.
What is the purpose of your work?
Sometimes it spreads a message but usually it is just little scribbles or expressions of my own emotions. I want to share and for people to listen to my feelings so sharing them to the masses online helps me relax and think clearer or get some weight off. That's about it, really.
What materials do you use?
Mostly just paper, watercolours and ink pens. I am young and kinda just getting my own money and spaces to work with/in, so hopefully I can explore this further. Same with all my art, it's just kinda like drafts of bigger plans...for now.
Who inspires you?
No one exactly, just things as a collective whole. Rarely does one person influence my actions or makings.
Where do you prefer to work?
I'd love to have a large sunlight work area for me to mess around in but all I have right now is my bedroom, this is the only place I make art but I feel safest here anyway- so here.
Who is your work for?
Eh, whoever wants to look at it or likes it vibe. Either that or my own self expression of emotion but once I make something I rarely review it, others see and observe my works more than myself.
Has your art ever been on display?
No but I am kind of glad because whilst I love my art styles, I do not exactly love any particular pieces of my work. I am still in development. I don't see my work on a gallery wall, not just yet in the state it is in- mostly due to money and space issues not allowing me to create the way I want (as previously touched on).
What are your favorite places in your city or around the world?
Thrift shops. They are very rich with energy and house items from many different times.
Tell us an interesting story.
What kind? I do not have many that would be interesting to others but when I was younger I was told by my grandmother that if I swallowed the seeds of an apple a tree would grow inside me. I use to be very concerned with such a situation arising. I reference a lot of plant growth and mish-mash of people and nature in my work, maybe this is why. Also hence the Instagram username Plantimal.
How has the female role played into your life?
It has told me to be feminine, that I don't act feminine enough. It has played into my life by making me stay under the radar in social situations and leaning towards letting others take the first step. It has also inspired me to praise the female body and see it in other lights beside the male based gaze.