BABE VIBES is an interview series all about bad ass babes. Where I chat with millennial gals and guys who are (for the want of a better phrase) ‘killing it’ in their life, whatever that may look like. Intimate questions, career questions, silly and fun questions. We delve deep and get to the nitty gritty. My hope is to offer insights into worlds we may not otherwise see and connect like minded souls with their kin.
Today I have a beautiful soul over here for BABE VIBES. Her name is Cait. And I've been friends with her for just over four years (I think). We met through blogging and though we now live in different cities I consider her one of my closest friends. We actually got tattoos together back in early 2016. We went to Wanderlust later that year. And she has offered me the best advice through my own dark time and just general "you can do it" vibes. Naturally, she was someone I wanted to interview; so, I would like you to meet Cait.
What is your spirit animal?
It definitely has to be the Australian green tree frog I have tattooed on my leg. I’d say it’s more how I want to be/what I’m working towards after years of stress. I was at Melbourne Zoo and came across this little frog that was just sitting in its enclosure with a little smile on my face - totally chill.
Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
My name is Cait, I am a 22-year-old artist making ceramics, crochet garments, and animations - all of which are in the very beginning phases of production. I live in New Zealand, take photographs and journal my life on my blog.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Some things just pop into my head as I go to sleep or when I first wake up and I’m never quite sure where they’ve come from. I am constantly inspired by other artists - to be motivated, to keep making and develop my work. I find a lot of inspiration from the natural world, particularly in textures, shapes, and colours.
Can you give us a peek into your creative process?
I’m still figuring out what my creative process is. I have a notebook which I write down all the things I want to get done, so I jot down a lot of ideas in there. I also have another one for notes and drawings, so when an idea for a ceramic object or an animation sparks I’ll quickly make a sketch. So I have all these ideas and when I have the time and energy I start making progress on them, which usually involves getting into the making immediately and fixing any mistakes along the way.
When you are stuck in a rut, what do you do to get out of it?
I can’t get myself out of a rut. I know if I go online and see people doing cool things or talking about having productive days that can get me out of bed and writing down ideas, but it’s not guaranteed. I just have to wait until some sort of inspiration or motivation hits.
You’ve been open about your struggles with anxiety before on Instagram and your blog; what gave you the courage to share that dark side of life?
It was when I realised that the majority of people online were only showing the good things about their life and that not being able to avoid that was not beneficial for my mental health. I imagined it wasn’t good for a lot of people’s mental health. Whenever I would come across people being honest online about how shit their day was or being honest about their struggles, it really made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I wanted to help other people feel like that too, even if it was just one person reading it. I was never good at writing down my feelings in a book, it just felt like I could close that book, keep all those feelings in there and pretend they don’t exist. I needed to be open about it, and putting it online felt like the best way to do it.
What do you think is one thing that helped lift you out of that dark space?
Meditation. I can’t tell you how much it has helped me. My mum is a meditation teacher specialising in a type called Integrative Restoration. I was a sceptic at first, I’ll be honest. It’s not just about listening to it, it’s about setting intentions and processing thoughts and emotions that come up during practice. I do it every day and it’s teaching me how to handle situations that I find difficult. I don’t think I’m fully out of that dark space yet but it’s definitely a lot lighter in my head.
How did you maintain ‘everyday life’ while inside it was chaos?
I look back on the period of time I would call my darkest, and I honestly have no idea how I managed to get through it. There were really two sides of me. There was the one who would sleep a lot, lie in bed and procrastinate because I found outside life scary. Who felt angry and frustrated and couldn’t relax. And there was the other side that just got on with the day as best as possible because I didn’t want to be left behind. Went to university because I didn’t want to fail. Went to work because I needed money and didn’t want to be a bad employee. I think I needed to take stock of everything that was going on and figure out ways of making it easier for me but I just wasn’t in the right mindset.
And one last question on the topic, if you could go back to you at the roughest point what would you tell yourself?
"I know you’re not going to believe me, but everything will get better. You just need to finish your degree, you’ll be back home and you can start to heal. Listen to Mum, seriously, she knows what she’s talking about."
I think you're incredibly stylish! Where do you get your inspo from for your style?
Well, thank you! I’m not sure I do, haha. I have this idea in my head of the kinds of things I want to wear, the only issue being I seem to have a hard time finding those items. Mainly because I would really like to only be buying sustainable clothes. I prefer comfort most of the time, so I wear a lot of loose fitting clothes so that in itself inspires my style. I'd love for my wardrobe to be filled with clothes by Olive, a UK clothing brand. I have one jumper that I absolutely love but I want more!
What is the main thing you want to share through your blog?
I just want to share my work, ideas, and write about things that are important to me.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up, at whatever time my body decides it’s time and I browse the internet for awhile. I look at my to-do list and decide what is achievable today, or what needs to be achieved today. I might do some exercise, and try to eat as healthily as possible. I spend the day trying to knock things off my to-do list - whether that’s making ceramics, or doing a bit of crochet. All depends on the to-do list.
You are currently working with clay; how do you take ideas/inspiration (like the seaside) and transform them into a creative project?
I really just work with shapes. If I’m taking inspiration from the ocean (which is most likely the case), I’ll look at photos I’ve taken and see which shapes interest me and what can logically be transferred into a ceramic object. The thing I’ve always liked about clay is the (huge) potential for imperfections - especially in hand-building. I recently did a wheel-throwing class which really is about perfection I think. But I made some wonky things and I really liked them.
What is one of your earliest memories?
I don’t remember how old I was but my step-grandad used to have this dark green jeep and he was driving my brother and I somewhere. We were living in Scotland at that time. American Pie by Don McLean was playing and we were singing along. I just remember being really happy. I loved that jeep and I love that song.
How do you pick yourself up and get shit done when you're feeling sad or overwhelmed?
Most of the time I can't do anything but wait until the feeling has passed. I know that it will eventually, or I'll get fed up with myself for still lying in bed. A change of scenery can sometimes help.
image from Cait's trip to scotland // Original here.
What keeps you up at night?
Thinking about the past, where things went wrong and how I could have done things differently. Occasionally freak out about my future, but I don’t take that very seriously.
What is your ideal day off look like?
On cold days, definitely staying in bed watching movies. In Summer, my ideal day off would be snorkelling and then relaxing in the sun.
What is the best piece of advice you've received?
My mum once told me there is no super quick fix. It’s really taught me that things can take time to get better, and that’s okay. If you need time to heal, then you need that time. You have to be gentle with yourself.
some of Caits photos from scotland // original post here
You travelled to Scotland, your mother country earlier this year; what was your main take-away from that visit?
That’s a hard question. I spent 7 weeks there and so much happened. When I look back on my trip, I think I found a lot of peace within myself. I’m not sure I necessarily felt it at the time, but there is definitely a huge change in me from before going and now.
What do you think next year holds for you?
Who knows, my friend. Who knows. I’m hoping for changes in a lot of different ways but I’m open to whatever comes my way. I’ve made a lot of progress in the past year, and I have no doubt that I’ll be saying the same thing next year.
What is your main approach to life?
Take it one day at a time (in a very easy-going manner).
Tell us about a moment in your week where you felt on top of the world.
I’ll be honest, it’s been a bit of a slow week for me haha (like most weeks). I’ve been doing some weight training exercises though and I feel very strong afterwards - starting to take care of my body properly makes me feel like I’m really turning the page on the last several years.
If you have someone you'd like to suggest for a BABE VIBES interview (heck even yourself) shoot me an email at email@example.com.