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Interview

babe of the month | photographer francesca allen

Babe of the Month is a monthly interview series created to promote inspiring women online.

BABE-OF-THE-MONTH-Interview-with-Photographer-Francesca-Allen

Francesca Allen is the lovely London based photographer who’s quickly gained recognition the past years for her playful portraits embodying youth, female friendship and true love. There is a joyful intimacy in her photographs that has enchanted large publications, galleries and brands alike, but foremost the female Internet community.

Being well versed in gender issues she portrays women in a careless and confident way that only the trust girlfriends between can evoke. However, she is also clear on the fact that just because she’s female and feminist her work shouldn’t be classified as ‘feminist art’. Speaking to Francesca Allen reveals that despite the moments captured in her photography might be coincidental, her work and values are not. 

You can see why I had to grab her for an interview. Over a couple of emails we chat about feminist porn, why sucking at art school was great and the pros of being a woman in the photography industry.

 

”I feel that perhaps people (men) view female artists as somewhat inferior to male artists, but it only gives you room to surprise people.”

Francesca-Jane-Allen-Girls-Girls-Girls

Hi babe, thanks for taking time to chat with me! How has your day been?

Hello! It’s been quite nice. I dyed my hair super dark, my eyebrows too, with the hair dye. It initially looked like it had all gone terribly wrong but I’ve come out looking okay! I’ve answered a lot of my emails today which I’m constantly behind on, also these questions, I’m really bad at completing interviews on time because I like to write quite a lot and sometimes I find it really hard to spit out what I’m trying to say. I’ve eaten two egg sandwiches, a pot of coffee and some biscuits too.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m twenty-two, I’ve lived in London since I was eighteen. I have a cute studio and flat in Seven Sisters and I take photos almost every day now, mainly of my friends, girls I find interesting and fashion and music.

Francesca-Jane-Allen-Instagram

What pros do you think there are with being a female photographer?

Honestly, I can’t think of any cons. I feel that perhaps people (men) view female artists as somewhat inferior to male artists, but it only gives you room to surprise people. As a woman I feel I can make my subject feel as comfortable as possible. Women have always been taught to disappear and be invisible and this way of viewing women means that you can be invisible. My photos aren’t about me, I don’t want to have a presence in them, I want them to be about my subjects.

 

What is it you want to communicate with your work?

I don’t really make conceptual work and I think that’s why people can relate to it so much. I want my work to feel overwhelmingly positive.

Interview with Photographer Francesca Jane Allen Porn Star Jessie Andrews

Interview with Photographer Francesca Jane Allen, Porn Star Jessie Andrews

Jessie Andrews by Francesca Allen

 

Tell us about your proudest project.

I think my ‘GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS!’ series, although I’m really bored of looking at it now. I want to turn it into a book as soon as possible and then never look at it again. I’m actually really happy with what I’ve shot in the past few months. I think the series I shot of my sister for i-D has become one of my favourite shoots, also the shoot I did with Jessie Andrews.

 

Who has been the most fun to shoot and why?

I recently did a shoot with actress Kiersey Clemons for i-D. Kiersey had so much energy and is really flexible physically! I think we really bounced off each other and the whole team that day was great.

Francesca Jane Allen Girls in Pink

You mentioned in the interview you did with It’s Nice That that you despised uni. What impact do you think it had on you?

I work really fucking hard now. It’s kind of nice to have come out with a bad grade; I feel incredibly motivated to prove them wrong.

 

”The kind of mum that is embarrassing as a teen is really the best mum ever.”

 

What has been your biggest learnings since you started?

Don’t ever get complacent or too pleased with yourself. Don’t be lazy. Get out of bed!

Francesca Jane Allen GirlFriends Francesca Jane Allen Alida

What projects are you excited for in 2016?

I really recently had a new idea for a project involving porn actresses. I don’t want to say any more about it as it’s a very vague idea for now, but I haven’t been this excited about a thought in my head for a very long time.

 

This feature is about highlighting inspirational women so I’d like to know who’s your biggest girl crush and person that you look up to?

My biggest girl crush is erotic actress Maria Riot, I met her on set with director Erika Lust in Barcelona. She was a total babe, super in charge of herself and her body and really fun to chat to. I look up to my mum; she knows how to reconstruct walls, just finished her phD and has never shaved her armpits. The kind of mum that is embarrassing as a teen is really the best mum ever.

 

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FRANCESCA ALLEN
INSTAGRAM
 | WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR

 

OTHER INSPIRING WOMEN:

Tattoo Artist TATIANA KARTOMTEN
Illustrator MARIA HERREROS

DJ HANNAH FAITH
Artist REBECCA LARSSON
Indonesian blogger ROSALINDA TIJOE
Fashion blogger CLARISSA HENRY
Instagram twins ELISABETH & VICTORIA LEJONHJÄRTA

 

 

 

All images are by Francesca Allen

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babe of the month | tattoo artist tatiana kartomten

Babe of the Month is a monthly interview series created by me Linn Wiberg to promote inspiring women online.

Interview-with-Tatiana-Kartomten-Stick-and-poke-tattoo-artist

Tattoos are nothing new and not much of a controversial statement any longer. Most of us surfing the online universe tonight are probably doing so with one regrettable tattoo or two on our bodies. I for one had a friend eternally etch in a wonky Harry Potter sign with a needle and ink on my arm, 4am on a drunken night. What is new is how the world has grown to respect these ink embellishments as works of art, at least the once who deserve it. And some truly are.

Tatiana Kartomten, a badass Californian tattoo artist and illustrator, is one of those who has pioneered in making stick and poke tattoos a respectable art form. The 27 year old, originally from San Francisco, has decorated her friends’ skin for years but only started tattooing professionally last year. Since however, her success has been exponential. With several album art works for bands such as Ty Segall, an Instagram following increasing by the hundreds every day, and appointments fully booked for months ahead, the high demand for her detailed designs shows no sign of slowing down.

Well, of course I wanted to pick her bewildering brain a bit.

Tatiana-Kartomten-Stick-and-Poke-Tattoo-Artist-interview

Hi Tatiana, thanks for having a chat with me! Where are you right now and what are you up to?

Hi, I’m in bed chillin’ with Alejandro Jodowroskys ”Where the bird sings best”.

 

I obviously think you rock, but for those unfamiliar with you, could you describe yourself?

I’m from the Bay Area in California and I support being open minded and questioning everything.

 

How come you started doing illustration and then stick and poke tattoos?

I’ve always drawn since I was a kid and stick n’ pokes came about when my friends and I were hanging out getting drunk etc.

Ty Segall – ‘Slaughterhouse’ illustrated by Tatiana Kartomten

Proudest moment/project?

Doing the ‘Slaughterhouse’ cover, because it was an honor to be asked to do it and it was awesome that people actually liked it.

Tatiana-Kartomten-Stick-and-Poke-Tattoo-Artist,-interview

What’s the weirdest request you’ve received?

Haha a little stick n’ poke butt with a dick ‘n balls you could see hanging down. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it!

You must meet a great deal of interesting or perhaps weird characters through your job. Do you have any strange moment you could share?

My favorite was when I wasn’t tattooing but working at Wasteland in SF and we ”caught” this motorcycle cover magazine babe screwing a dude in our photo booth with our roller skates on.. so funny.

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How do you deal with assholes professionally?

Tell ’em who’s boss!

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If you got to tattoo anybody, who would you pick and what would you give them?

Hmm.. My name on my boyfriends ass.. haha just kidding.

 

What’s your best tip for getting out of a creative rut?

Smoke a joint and/or relax.

tati cactus

You’ve done illustration work and album covers for musicians like Ty Segall and mentioned that music often influences your art. What would your life and art look like if you never got to listen to music ever again?

I’d probably die or be miserable.

 

You recently reached over 45k on Instagram, congrats! Let’s say you were able to gather the entirety of your followers, what would you do with them?

Whoa that would be super scary… I only do good in really small groups where everyone knows each other well. Our brains are only supposed to get to know around 200 people or something like that. If that did happen though I would get everyone together at a huge outdoor movie theatre or something and watch ”Cowspiracy”.

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Which track do you have on repeat right now?

Jack the maggot” and ”Silent sits the dustbowl” by Fuzz II

This feature is about highlighting inspirational women so I’d like to know who are your biggest girl crushes are and why!

Emily Epstein cause she’s a mega babe drummer, Ruby Quilter and Tamara Santibanez cause they are wicked tattooists, Reba Maybury cause she’s on fire! Otherwise I’m not telling who my real girl crushes are.

Tatiana-Kartomten-Stick-and-Poke-Tattoo-Artist-and-Illustrator,-interview

Any final advice for all aspiring kickass women out there?

Keep it real.

 

TATIANA KARTOMEN ONLINE:
INSTAGRAM
 | WEBSITE 

 

OTHER INSPIRING WOMEN:

Illustrator MARIA HERREROS
DJ HANNAH FAITH
Artist REBECCA LARSSON
Indonesian blogger ROSALINDA TIJOE
Fashion blogger CLARISSA HENRY
Instagram twins ELISABETH & VICTORIA LEJONHJÄRTA

 

All images are from Tatiana Kartomten

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babe of the month | illustrator maria herreros

Babe of the Month is a monthly interview series created by me Linn Wiberg to promote inspiring women online.

Babe-of-the-Month,-Illustrator-Maria-Herreros-Interview-by-Linn-Wiberg

Another inspiring woman with a brilliant attitude has appeared on my radar. Spanish illustrator Maria Herreros whose portraits shed a heroic light on who we’d previously see as misfits with shameful behaviours and make us question our societal norms. With two published books and commissions for big names like Coca-Cola, Reebok and El Pais, her portfolio is rapidly becoming a heavyweight.

I grabbed her quickly before she’d outgrow a basic email convo, two social media gals between. We talk about female identity, how to get out of a creative rut and what to do with 20k followers gathered in one venue.

 

Hi Maria, thanks for having a chat with me! I obviously think you rock, but for those unfamiliar with you, could you describe yourself?

Thanks! As a person, I’m very nervous. I talk fast and loud and smile a lot, apart from when I’m working with my art. Then suddenly I get super quiet and focused and can spend hours without uttering a word.

 

Where are you in this exact moment and what are you up to?

Right now I’m at my studio in Barcelona and working on my next book about Hollywood myths, that will come out on March with Lunwerg. I have a bright white studio (a room in my house) with good light and a nice balcony. Although I’m currently searching for space in a shared studio, because I need a more clear separation in my mind between my spare time and work.

“Nature is cruel. Apparently, women have an expiration date for some duties we have not signed up for. Are we angry? You haven´t heard anything yet.”

You have a few projects tackling the societal perception of women like ‘Women of the Future’ and ‘Black Widow, Red Bitch’. The description of your book ‘Botanical Rage’ read “Apparently women have an expiration date for societal duties they have not signed up for.” Can you tell us more about your thoughts around female identity?

It’s an issue that is reflected through my work, although not always consciously. I hope that one day we don’t have to talk about it, but nowadays, there is still some feminine qualities that society tells us we have to embody. Some of them are not even innate, it’s just society telling us how to behave, which applies just as much to men. Something as simple as there being different rules to how we are supposed to put our legs when we sit. It shouldn’t be this way…

Illustrator Maria Herreros

You recently reached over 20k on Instagram, congrats! What impact has the internet and social media had on your career?

It’s been good for my work, but in order for it to be beneficial I think your relationship with social media has to be honest and organic. You can’t just force it or pretend your work is something that it isn’t. People aren’t dumb and it’s dangerous to be too dependent on it.

 

Let’s say you were able to gather the entirety of your followers in the real world, what would you do with them?

Thank you! I guess we’ll start with drawing and talking quietly to then end up drinking beer and dancing around, watching crazy Youtube videos or talking about conspiracy theories or giant squids.

interview with illustrator Maria Herreros Fenomeno book

”A page from my first illustrated book FENÓMENO about human phenomenon. This guy was a Mexican mine worker with a tumor on his head, and they took him to the circus with this fake evil twin”

 

What has been you proudest moment in your career so far?

The first time someone told me they wanted to publish a book with my drawings. [Fenomeno, an illustrated book about the corporal human phenomenon.] I danced around the house doing crazy little steps like a raccoon.

 

What do you wish somebody would hire you to do?

The front cover of a good novel. Authors need their books to stand out on the shelves. I’d like the challenge of making an attention-grabbing illustration that says something about the novel but where you hide some secrets at first. When the reader has finished reading, they can then have a second look at the cover and fully understand. Plus I love the thought of reading a book, knowing that I’m working at the same time.

 

What’s the weirdest request you’ve received?

Someone offered me plane tickets to his isolated cottage house in the countryside to paint the headboard of his bed. I like Stephen King novels, so I obviously didn’t go.

Vote for Pedro Napoleon Dynamite by illustrator Maria Herreros

Woah! That sounds creepy. Have you met any assholes in your profession? And how do you deal with them?

Sure, but I consider myself lucky as it’s been relatively few. Some have tried to use a professional commission to flirt whilst more serious cases include artwork appropriation with commercial intentions. Then I simply reached out to them to let them know that they have to compensate for it or else I would denounce them. It’s always best to be upfront with these things and not feel fear. The law protects us.

 

What’s your best tip for getting out of a creative rut?

Effort, a lot of work and practice. Don’t try to imitate one single artist that you admire. Put your work out there once you are genuinely proud of it and can say it’s yours, then believe in it and have faith in yourself. You should be proud of your work because then you’ll wish to show it to the world and will have the perfect attitude to sell it.

Also, lead an interesting life where you can take inspiration from. Don’t only draw or paint, but watch movies, read, carefully listen to music. And start exercising because it’s plenty of hours on a chair.

 

Brigitte Bardot by spanish illustrator Maria Herreros

This feature is about highlighting inspirational women so I’d like to know who are your biggest girl crushes are and why!

FKA Twigs, Zendaya, Chloe Sevigny, Sofia Coppola, Sofia Loren and Georgia O´Keeffe. Strong women that are not there to reassure someone else’s insecurities.

 

It was lovely having you, thanks for being bloody wicked! xx

Thanks to you. It´s been a pleasure, I love this section, please keep doing it!!

Maria Herreros Illustrator

Maria Herreros on the internet:
INSTAGRAM
 | WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK

 

Previous interviews with inspiring women:

– DJ Hannah Faith
– Artist Rebecca Larsson (Dear Pravda)
– Indonesian lifestyle blogger Rosalinda Tjioe (Nine in the Afternoon)
– Fashion blogger Clarissa Henry (Vintage Doll Risa)
– Instagram twins Elisabeth & Victoria Lejonhjärta (@Lejonhjerta)

 

All images are by Maria Herreros

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analogue stories | Saga, July 2015

I’ve developed four rolls of film with my new Fuji DL-190. It is so exciting with analogue pictures, but I definitely want to invest in better film. Has anybody got a recommendation of fairly low priced light contrast film?

Some photos I particularly liked from this batch were a few I took of my lil sis Saga, whom I interviewed before about what it is is like being 14. Saga-in-July-2015,-StockholmSaga-14,-Stockholm-2015Saga,-Stockholm-2015

The windows were wide open, a warm summer evening breathing through it. The room was empty apart from her suitcases standing packed along the walls and the lone mattress on the floor. Just weeks before her and my parents would move back to Kenya.

As she got ready to meet her friends we talked about eyebrows and 14 year old boys sending out party invitations through Snapchat by throwing money out their parents windows. Saga tutored me in how to use the make up brushes like they say on youtube but would stop midway through to show me a new R&B track she’d found. She stood in front of the mirror shouting I LOVE MY EYEBROWS following up with a dance routine. I’m telling you, this new generation of girls will reach the stars.

Many of you who follow me on snapchat saw this in real time. If you also want to follow me my username is linn.wiberg

 

Archive:

Interview with my 14 year old sister Saga

 

Linn

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My 5 Most Popular Stories

Having had a blog for a while I’ve spent endless hours creating an insane amount of content that you’ve commented on and liked. Unfortunately it all disappears into the dungeon of oblivion that is my archive. It’s such a shame, especially with the texts I’ve written! So here are the posts you’ve liked and shared the most this past year:

Hackney Mornings – one of the mornings of our long distance relationship when I got to wake up next to him.

”I try not to wake you up even though I really want to. I watch the sun sweep over the worn concrete wall, over your well tailored jackets, a hat I’ve only seen you wear once and over the wooden beams we climb over to get into your bed. I wonder how the fuck it feels when you wake up here alone.”

My 14 Year Old Sister Saga – the interview I did with my baby sis on what it’s like being a teen.

Self Hatred & Asking For HelpMy most vulnerable text about how I broke down completely in March and led to me going to see a therapist.

How We Met – The story of how Daniel and I became a couple that got shared and commented on like crazy. <3

Overexposed Memories – A rainy summer storm in London.

”I only wore pants once during those days. It was when we ran the 150m in the pouring rain to the tiny off license to buy tortellini, canned soup and ice cream. Back inside we were drenched down to our bone and didn’t hesitate to strip as no flatmates would be home for days. The wooden floor wasn’t even cold against my skin.”

 

Which one do you like the most?

 

Linn

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