PHOTOSTORY

CAOILAINN, 19, @caoilainn_oreilly

Being a female in the creative (modelling) industry...

Being a female in the creative industry definitely has its pros and cons, I think. Pros being, it’s incredibly empowering these days, like the amount of women now that you get to look up to, particularly in the modelling world, is amazing. You’ve got so many people like Slick Woods, Rihanna and Weng and all these beautiful women and to think that you’re a part of that industry is amazing. Then, of course, you have your cons like misogyny and body shaming. There are a lot of male photographers who are very old fashioned and just expect you to be this beautiful human being with no flaws and that is just incredibly hard. My roommates and other models that I know, young Russian and Brazilian girls that are only 14-16 - their bodies are still developing and they're still learning about their bodies. To be told by a man that your body is not good enough is damaging, it’s just mentally damaging. It’s those things that men don’t realise are hurtful to women, you know? Like, this is my body and you shouldn’t be allowed to criticise a woman's body, just as I shouldn’t be able to do the same to a man’s body. So, yeah I guess that’s a huge con in this industry.

Working towards goals...

The way I would work towards my goals would be working hard at everything I do. Also, people shoot down photographers that aren’t well known but these are the people that get you to where you are. For example, my first ever shoot in my portfolio was with a photographer that wasn’t well know at all and that's the picture that got me my Gucci job. So, I guess to work towards my goals, I make sure to go for every job and not just go for the job based on the amount of followers they have and all that, because every opportunity you get is important.


MELINA, 23, @melinamalone

Importance of diversity in music genres...

I definitely feel that Neo Soul is underrepresented in Dublin especially, but it’s really important for me. It’s the music I love to do. I’ve always known that my voice is soulful. I’m really glad that Ireland is opening up to new sounds and it’s not just the same thing you hear on the radio. There’s so much more to Irish music. Especially female Irish music, there’s so many amazing female creatives in Dublin doing what they love and it’s great to see collectives like GXRL CØDE representing us and giving us a platform and I love that!!!

Finding inspiration...

I get my inspiration from a lot of different places. I studied in BIMM Music College so I was very lucky to have amazing friends that played different genres that I’ve learned. My main inspirations now would definitely be electronic R&B and Soul, so artists like Tom Misch, Kaytranada, Mahalia,Jorja Smith. I think they’re definitely paving the way to new soul definitely and it’s becoming more mainstream, which I love. And, then, obviously, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Jill Scott, I think she (Scott) has one of the best voices of all time. Donny Hathaway would also be one of my favourites. Amy Whinehouse, too! So, yeah, they would be my biggest inspirations.

Advice for up-and-coming female creatives...

The advice I would give would be not to compare yourself to everybody. Last year, as I was writing my new songs, I would compare myself to almost every other musician. You are your own person and don’t ever think that just because someone else is doing something better than you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it too. Also, work with as many people as possible. Just network and take other people's advice and get help from them. Don’t be afraid to write songs with other musicians and don’t think that you’re less of a musician because you got help from another artist. Try new things and, yeah, support Irish music!!!


SHEIKINAH, 23, @sheikinah.bb

Finding inspiration...

I get my inspiration in the shower! No, I really get my inspiration from other photographers and seeing what they do. Recently, I went to the art gallery and what inspired me was artists’ ability to capture people’s personalities in their paintings, and that’s something I want to do more of in my photos. I also get inspiration from watching the bts of movies and TV shows - the composition, colour schemes and the set design. The amount of work that goes into creating the final product really inspires me to put that much work into the photo I’m creating.

Being a poc female in the creative industry...

Being a black person in Ireland is like a blessing because there’s this amazing creative community where we can work together, grow and create beautiful content.

A lot of people refer to me as a guy if they don’t know who I am so that’s why I have female photographer down in my bio. I don’t understand why being a woman should affect anything but, unfortunately, that does happen. However, I’m still quite new to photography so, thankfully, I haven’t experienced anything too disappointing in the creative industry yet.

Advice for up-and-coming female creatives...

Be obsessed!! Only obsession will drive you to not give up easily. I was outside one day trying to take a photo and it was SOOO COLD, and I spent so much time outside trying to figure it out, but when I did the feeling it gave me was amazing! And, I hate the cold so much. There’s nothing in this world that could make stay outside and take those pictures if I wasn’t obsessed. So, be obsessed and be confident in yourself and believe that you can do anything.

 

Fiona-Louise Ntidendereza