My newest feature in this series is Isabél, the creative mind behind MY WILD SPACE, a blog with the purpose of sparking conversation amongst readers. With me she talks about being outspoken of your beliefs, the media and its effect on self-love and chasing your dreams.
Fiona: Tell me a little about yourself, Isabél!
Isabél: Okay, here we go! Firstly, thank you so much for having me – I’m absolutely love the entire “The Person Behind” series and so I’m super excited to be a part of it. Introductions aren’t easy and I never really know where to begin, but I’ll try my best not to ramble and share my entire life story. A phrase I often use to describe myself is a “wild dreamer.” I’m an incredibly expressive and creative soul, and my love for art (film / photography / poetry / writing / music) is truly what fuels me in life. Alongside my artistic side, I love all things travel and adventure – I’m the kind of person who can’t sit still for too long. I need to explore, and my curiosity always drives me to connect with different people and try new things.
When & why did you decide to create your own platform and what is My Wild Space all about?
This ties in so nicely with your first question, because it’s really my curiosity and creativity that drove me to start sharing my writing online. I began as a contributing writer for magazines and blogs, and I guess I just reached a point where I felt that I was publishing some of my best work on somebody else’s platform. I ended up questioning “why don’t I create my own platform that represents who I am, as a writer and human being?” I published my first blog post on April 24th, 2016 and since then, it’s slowly becoming what I first envisioned it to be. My Wild Space is, in short, about giving myself, and all my readers, a space to be truly raw and authentic, unapologetically.
You’ve stated in a lot of your posts and articles to be a feminist. As this season of The Person Behind is all about feminism in the age of the internet, what do you think of the Time’s Up movement? How big of a role do you think social media plays in all of this?
Speaking up, as a feminist, is something I feel so passionately about. I burn so intensely for it, and anybody who knows me, knows this to be true. Seeing women succeed, in any business or occupation, makes me so happy. And when I see women not receiving equal opportunities, or not being equally recognised for their work, as their male equivalents, I just can’t hold my tongue. It’s baffling to me that in 2018 inequality and prejudice, towards anybody, still exists in the way that it does.
Time’s Up is a movement that I so wholeheartedly support, and it’s been a long time coming. Witnessing these brave women speaking up has been so empowering, and I’m so glad that they don’t have to be alone in their trauma anymore. It’s a wake up call: for those who still don’t understand the term consent. For all the men who disrespect women, and disregard our basic right to have full control over how we, and our bodies, are treated. And for anybody who’s witnessed assault and dismissed it, or chosen not to believe the victim because of “how drunk she was” or “the way she was dressed.” To quote Sophia Bush, “Asking what someone was wearing when they were assaulted, is like asking someone what outfit they had on when they were robbed. It doesn’t matter. It was a violation that was done to them, not because of them.”
Finally, so many women, and men too, have felt supported enough to break their silence and bring light to the magnitude of this situation; in hopes that change will come and those responsible will be held accountable. Social media has definitely helped to increase the outreach of this movement — it’s connected people across the globe and also, it’s made sure that these stories cannot be ignored. My biggest wish is that we see justice. I’m sick and tired of men, especially those in powerful, high-ranked career positions, getting away with mistreating others, because of their status. Your actions have consequences, no matter who you are. I could go on and on about the matter, but to round things off, I feel truly inspired and stand proudly alongside my fellow sisters.
In 2016, you wrote an open letter to the media which is (if I say so myself) a brilliant perspective on what it’s like to be an individual impacted by the media nowadays. What prompted you to write this?
That was definitely a personal one for me, and honestly, it came from pure frustration. I can’t remember exactly what was going through my mind at the time, but I think it’s similar to what often still goes through my mind to this day. We live in a world that quite literally profits off of our insecurities. They rise, when we fall. Whether it’s through social media advertisements, magazine covers or beauty campaigns, we’re constantly reminded of what we’re not. We’re constantly reminded that we need to change, before we can feel beautiful. And, excuse my language, but it’s all bullshit. I wish more people would realise that they don’t need to fit into these false, beauty ideals. And although, I’m glad to say that I very rarely feel personally triggered or affected by it… it really breaks my heart when I see those I care about, feeling as though they’re not good enough. I think our greatest power, comes from loving ourselves.
Apart from your blog, you also write for a couple of magazines, such as Affinity Magazine. Do you wish to work in journalism or the creative industry in general one day?
This is interesting actually, as I haven’t shared this with a lot of people, but I applied to study journalism in spring 2016. I completed all my applications, went to the interviews and I spent months thinking “maybe this is what’s next for me.” I received four university offers, and then I ended up declining them all. I said to myself, “if I regret this, it’ll hit me in about 10 minutes…” It never did. I guess, through the process of applying for journalism, I realised that what I love most about writing is my freedom of my speech and expression. I love that it’s up to me to express my beliefs and reflect who I am. Writing has always felt like oxygen. It may sound cliché, but I quite literally need it to breathe. And I didn’t want to jump into a course, all because I felt like “I’d be better off with a degree,” if it’d only drain my passion away. I, first and foremost, write for myself, and although I hope I’ll get opportunity to carry my writing into my other creative ventures, I never want to sacrifice the enjoyment I get from it, and the love I feel for it.
What made me fall in love with your blog is not only your strong writing voice but also your talent when it comes to music. Could you tell me a little about how your love for music was first sparked and how it has evolved since?
Just like writing, music has been a guiding light throughout my entire life. I’ve been writing songs and making music for as long as I can remember, and it’s actually through songwriting and poetry, that I really found my voice as a writer, and as a singer. As a kid, I did my singing lessons and took the grades, but it wasn’t until I started writing the lyrics that I really found what kind of music I wanted to make. My production and composition skills developed a lot when I was in college, studying music & music technology, and I think that’s when it really hit me of how determined I am to pursue my musical dream. I love music as an artist, but also, I love it as a listener. There’s nothing better than putting your earphones in, or your headphones on, and just being transported to another place. Through the most difficult times of my life, music has helped me through, and if I could have that same effect on someone else, it’d make me happy beyond words.
Right now, I’m writing and recording for my first EP, which has been the most fulfilling process, and I’m so excited to share it with everybody when it’s all done. So, watch this space.
I personally love your categories “Wild Thoughts” and “Conversation.” Which post of each category are you most proud of?
From Wild Thoughts, I’d say it’s between “It’s Okay To Not Have It All Figured Out,” and “Dear My Teenage Self.” Both of these posts were so reflective, healing and personal to how I was feeling at the time of writing them, that whenever I read them back, I can re-connect with myself (and try to take my own advice). From Conversation, I think it’s probably my most recent post, “Happy International Women’s Day.”
You are also a big promoter of self-love and care and have written a lot on those topics. Do you think they have an ever bigger significance now that social media is ruling our everyday lives?
SELF LOVING EVERY DAMN DAY GIRL!!! You’re absolutely right. Self-love and care is my jam and although reminding people of its importance often makes me feel like the responsible mum of every friendship, I ain’t stopping anytime soon. I definitely think, in a day and age, where our heads are so warped in social media, that disconnecting and forming some kind of self-care routine is necessary. Getting stuck on comparisons or being exposed to constant images of “perfect” people, living “perfect” lives (although falsely so) can unfortunately drain one’s self-confidence, and so stepping away from that is vital. Social media is also funny in a sense that self-love is often promoted and encouraged, which is great, but equally I think a lot of it is very surface-based and idealised. Because self-love isn’t always easy. It’s an ever-growing, changing journey. Some days it involves face masks and bubble baths, but other days, it involves crying during your yoga practice and staying in bed until 4pm. It’s about doing what’s right for you.
Being the avid traveller you are, where can we expect to see you next? Is there a place you’ve always wanted to visit?
I’m definitely hoping to squeeze in some travelling this year. It’s been a pretty busy few months, work-wise, but I already know I’ll need to succumb to my wanderlust soon. I want to spend some time exploring with friends this year, whether in the form of a road-trip or perhaps a European getaway. And I’m hoping to plan an exciting summer — it’s my favourite time of the year to disconnect and adventure. My top 3 travel destinations at the moment are: New Zealand, Canada and Iceland. Although I haven’t planned to tick any of them off this year, I can’t wait to do so soon.
Last but not least, what projects are coming up for you and My Wild Space?
My biggest project this year is the completion and release of my EP. I’m hoping to perform at more venues around London, promoting the original work that I’ve written, and when the time comes, hopefully direct and create music videos for my tracks. I just wrapped shooting for a short film, that my friend Olivia Blythe wrote and directed, and later in the year, she’ll be sending it off to film festivals across the country. I’m really proud of the work we did for it and I can’t wait to see it. My YouTube channel is still going strong — uploading music covers on there has been such a confidence boost for me, as well as a lot of fun. I hope to expand the channel in the next few months to include not only music, but also My Wild Space inspired content. As for My Wild Space, the plan is to keep on writing. My goal is the same as it’s always been… to encourage conversation and discussion, as well as offer inspiration and motivation to people, and a sneak peek into this wild mind of mine.
A big thank you goes out to Isabél for being such a pleasant interviewee! The continuous work she puts into her blog and her music is something I think we can all be inspired by.
(And check out her YouTube Channel while you’re at it!)
About this series:
Season two of The Person Behind revolves around fellow creatives and their individual experiences with social media and self-expression. This season aims to emphasize feminism and outdated social constructs and underline the significance of raising awareness and spreading the word.