Despite taking on a full-time job, Naomi Stothard never forgets to leave room for her creativity to run free. Transitioning from a freelance model to an e-commerce market specialist, Naomi still uses her creative skills to wow her audience with her dark personas.
When did your journey as a creative begin (both personally and professionally)?
I honestly have not involved myself with any brand or company professionally and I only operate on a freelance basis. It is difficult to define what I do "professionally" as a creative, since most are personal projects with friends (who are fellow creatives themselves - be it photographers, content creators, videographers, editors, etc.).
However; to make things simpler, I delved into the world of photography when I was 5 years old and pretty much never stopped!
What is your life ethos and how does it relate to your creative journey?
I think I believe in doing what you will, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.
It's plain and simple. I don't believe in being forced - or forcing others - to follow a set of rules or ways just because that's how it has always been done. I don't believe in indoctrination.
I DO believe in being kind to everyone without prejudice. However; if someone is unjustly unkind to you, don't be afraid to fight back.
What are some of the things your artworks are constantly seeking to explore?
I think I would never stop exploring the boundaries (or lack thereof) of existence through my artwork.
Rules make things appear straight-forward for us who are living. Art challenges that because it never has to have rules. I don't believe art even has to have meaning all of the time.
It's like the saying which goes; "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" - well, art is to be experienced in the same way. Freely, and void of limits. My art will never stop pushing through these boundaries because I believe that they, actually, don't exist.
What type of artist do you wish to be, and what's your ultimate goal as a creative?
I have no wish to change and be a different type of artist than I am right now, if I'll be honest. I DO wish to create more freely - my ultimate goal is to get that spark (and the energy) back in my life and start creating as passionately and as often as I used to.
After playing characters of all sorts, most of my life, I am truly discovering my identity and embodiment through my work by acknowledging my experiences.
What was the most significant/impactful project for you thus far — why?
I think it would have to be "Kleo", a project I had started and then actualized with my dear friend John (@ronkamonkatao).
Kleo was my first truly deep persona created out of my own personal feelings and visions of what existence is.
I got the name from Cleopatra, whose name I read in a book long ago (when I still in like, primary school?) was really spelled KLEO-PAD-RA in hieroglyphs. I thought about how white-washed her name must've been to have gone from KLEOPADRA to CLEOPATRA. It's not a really big deal I suppose, but it got me thinking deeper into it and then later on, it got weaved into my look for a photoshoot (the Egyptian style eyes and garments).
Coincidently, I met John for the first time and almost fell to my knees in awe when I saw his work! It was like magic - we followed each other and immediately made plans to recreate that look. We then met for the first time and it was like everything clicked - the shoot was incredulous. It was like worlds smashing right into each other and every piece of human logic flew right out the picture.
It was the first time I, and John as he says, had ever created anything so real. I was finally able to express (through writing alongside the photos we made) my boundless understanding of existence - death, life, and beyond.
How do you see the world?
This is a loaded question! How do I even begin? Oh my goodness, it's a myriad of perspectives. Everyday is different. It also depends on my state of mind, I suppose.
I do look back and see so many different eras in my life - there were those times where I lived in bliss and had such strong spirituality. I embraced the world and the people I loved with both arms (literally and figuratively). There were days where everything in life was the complete opposite - excruciating, dark, and hopeless and I didn't want to continue. There were also normal-ish times where things seemed as ordinary as they could get.
Now? I think a simple way to put it is; I see everything truthfully. Gone are the days I envelope myself in the perspective of all things purely good and blissful, nor do I ever assume the worst things or people for the sake of guarding myself. It's not being guarded is bad in any way, it's just that I prefer to see things for what they truly are. It's a more...liberating way to live.
What is your favourite and least favourite part of the creative process?
I think the pressure of getting it done really kills the process altogether. Lately, I've been feeling burnt out in spite of having like, a million different moods and ideas to create. The minute I come up with a look, I'm like "oh, f***k me sideways in the eye, I have to make this from scratch and it's gonna take forever!"
What’s your guilty pleasure(s)?
Oh my god I have a whole list but here's a few:
1) Watching KUWTK while eating spicy hot chicken wings (it's so mindless and easy)
2) Buying new weapons for no good reason at all
3) Mixing all sorts of peppers and chilies to create the soup/dish from hell that I know no one else would be able to eat, but me (I hate sharing food)
4) Keeping receipts of old conversations with my favorite people and then re-reading it
5) Re-watching all of the horrendous videos/publications I've been in when I feel low (reminds me I've done worse and still winged it!)
How would you describe your creative and artistic style? Do you feel much has changed?
I think like me, my creative style is very eclectic. I often find myself shelving both sides of almost every extreme and I can't stick to one spot or aesthetic forever.
I'm definitely dark, but not in the generic way most people would assume. I see beauty in twisted things, in feared things, in misunderstood things. I don't ever do cosplay because I just hate how finite it feels for me to put on a costume and be that one thing someone else created (no hate or judgement to cosplaying, or cosplayers in general!).
I always come up with original ideas, which then form original creations. I then use myself as a canvas to corporealize those creations. So yes, my creative style definitely always changes!
Who is someone you would love to collaborate with and why?
For the longest time, I've wanted to be in a photo series with Al-Adam. I look up to him so much, I love his work and his delightfully dark mind. He's also amazing to work with and has an incredible creative process. I sometimes almost forget we're super close friends but I guess that's how it is when you're truly a fan of someone and their work and what they stand for!
Please share with us who/what you are constantly inspired by!
Tyler, The Creator (some of his music and music videos); including "SHE")
Lana Del Rey (so much of her work - including "Tropico")
My favorite TV shows (Xena Warrior Princess, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Charmed, Lucifer, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Rebeled Way, Malcolm in the Middle)
Lucas David (@lucasbavid)
Lee James (@leejmcknight)
Really old and lost languages
Certain close-combat weapons
Lastly, please shoutout 3 of your favourite local creative crushes and their IG handle!
- Silas (@robotinpyjamas)
- Al-Adam (@al.adam.g)
- Daniel Adams (@danieladamsphotography)