Can you tell us a traveling horror story?
On the last day of my trip to Morocco I kissed a friendly baby camel on the mouth for a picture. The next night when I got back to my flat in London I developed an extremely high fever. I became so delirious that I had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The light at the end of the tunnel - I never got a bill! I love European health care.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
It's a tie. I swooned so hard when visiting Chefchaouen, Morocco. The village is a maze of alleyways and blue houses hidden in the Riff Mountains. It's the most beautiful city I've ever visited. Though, for sentimental reasons, I love Scandinavia. My family's friends in Sweden have a 200-year-old house in the middle of a forest overlooking a deep blue lake. There's no electricity so we use candles for light, rowboat around the lake, and hike in the overgrown woods. Being there feels like stepping back into a completely different time with the best possible company.
Do you speak any other languages?
I speak a little French but I can read it better than speak it. Last year in Paris my friends were shocked by my fluency when motivated to befriend French boys.
If the travel channel gave you your own show, what would you name it and what would it be about?
Dream job! My show could be called Art i Facts or something equally cheesy. It would be about exploring and documenting cool places around the world. I'd focus on seeing the world through an alternate perspective, noticing new things by looking closely, going off the map and getting lost in the hopes of finding something interesting. I would bring an arrangement of DIY documenting tools so that the end product would be really personal. If I saw something interesting I would stop and sketch it, photograph it or put it in a zip lock and bring it home with me. I would collect sounds, too. It would be a show for the curious. I'd rally a new generation of flâneurs! There would also be an extreme sports segment so I could bungee off of every possible bridge or mountain.
If you had to pick a place to live permanently (not including where you live now) where would you live?
I fell in love with London last year when studying animation and art history at the University of Westminster. Where else can you have a spontaneous flash mob pillow fight or a midnight sing-a-long on the tube with 30 of your new best friends and assorted strangers? I would jump on a chance to move back.
Have you ever traveled someplace where you felt culture shock?
When I was seven my mother took my sister and I to Mexico City. I was approached multiple times by random women who would run their fingers through my hair as I walked by. They weren't used to seeing light hair so they wanted to feel it. That was my first experience feeling out of place in a foreign country and it has happened many times since. My freckles and light hair always scream tourist. I have no chance at camouflaging in with the locals. I've found that if I keep a smile on my face most people will smile back. I try to be as polite as possible and always learn a few simple phrases in their language. Even if I butcher the pronunciation they usually appreciate the effort.
What is it like to travel and collaborate with your sister, Katie?
I love photographing people I'm close to because the added intimacy enhances the photograph. Katie and I are so close we can practically communicate without words. When an idea pops into my head she is usually there to help me realize it. She's a wonderful muse. Traveling can be stressful so it's comforting to be with someone I know so well. We love to people watch and to learn the history and culture of the places we visit. We're never at a loss for something to marvel over.
What are your five must have items for traveling?
- Cameras and film.
- My patchwork skirt - My mother bought it in India when she traveled around the world by herself before I was born. She gave it to me and now I take it on all of my adventures.
- Accessories – They take up little room when packing but transform your basic outfits you have to wear over and over.
- A sketchbook with graphite pencils and a small pack of watercolor paints.
- Sun protection.
Where are you traveling next and how did you choose that location?
I'm going to Israel later this summer followed by a few days in the Czech Republic. Israel is an amazing country both historically and geographically, so I want to learn more about it. I've heard that Prague is the Paris of the Eastern Europe so I'm dying to see it. I'm also visiting the small medieval town Ceský Krumlov to 'Czech out' a 13th century castle.
You interned for Disney, so we have to ask—who is your favorite Disney Princess?
When I was younger I had ambitions of becoming a mermaid, so Ariel was always my favorite.
What is a typical night out for out for you and your friends?
At some point in the night you can count on a sing-a-long, a house party, and sushi, though not necessarily in that order.
Describe your style in one sentence.
Stevie Nicks with a hint of the lost boys from Peter Pan.
On your website you say you want to learn something new every day. What have you learned today?
I was researching for my upcoming trip and I learned that Israel fits into California 19 times.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I just earned my BFA from Otis College of Art and Design. I was an animation major in the Digital Media department. I also did independent study with photographer Siri Kaur my senior year.
What is the best part about going to art school?
The Digital Media department at Otis is a family. After four years of intense classes everyone grew really close to each other. Everyone was so passionate and innovative in his or her own way. Being around all that creative energy was a catalyst for so many of my projects throughout the years. It turned me on and made me tick. I truly loved Otis and suggest it to anyone else with an overactive imagination and tremendous self-discipline.
What do you want to do now that you've graduated?
I plan to juggle CGI/animation work with photography and see where it takes me. I have a handful of collaborations coming up that I'm really excited about. I hope to participate in L.A.'s creative community as much as possible. I'll also continue to travel the world while I'm young and not tied down. No reason to stay is a reason to go.
What is your favorite medium to use?
Photography with my 1956 Rolleiflex Automat.
What was the first piece of art you created?
When I was three my mother would put me naked in the backyard with my easel, paper, and a big bowl of chocolate pudding. I would finger paint and snack and get really messy. It's safe to say I have the best mom ever.
What projects are you working on right now?
I just finished my animated short called The Sandman that was my senior thesis project. Now I'm working on a new series of photographs called Far Away that focus on the themes of youth, fantasy, and adventure. I want the series to be romantic and transcend time so that viewers are left with a nostalgic feeling.
What was your favorite photo shoot so far?
It was in Queenstown, New Zealand this past February with my good friend Jac Vanek. We had an epic photo shoot in a forest on the side of a fiord and then bungee jumped off the mountain all within the same hour. That's how life should always be.