Art was a huge part of my development. When I was 5 years old, we stayed in Florence for a little while, of course we went to all the museums in the area. Botticelli, Michael Angelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Paolo Uccello, Filippo Lippi, Rafael, Caravaggio… I was utterly captivated by how magical the renaissance was. From this point onwards, I was a fine arts junkie.
My mother was a very strong believer in letting a child evolve in their own way, away from the dysfunction and confusion of societies cage.
…I was to continue to draw naked men, women and chubby cupids indefinably.
Art was a way to express all the romanticism, magic and beauty, that was constantly spinning around through my head. Art was my childhood's career, leaving behind suitcases, and suitcases, and suitcases, of evolving artwork.
Over time my artistic vocabulary grew and strengthened. I fell in love with textures and the particular styles of artists…
These day's I'm a fan of Millais, Jackson Pollock, Sulamith Wulfing, Frida Kahlo, Picasso, Van Gogh, Renoir, John William Waterhouse, Gustav Klimt, Rossetti, Mucha, Monet, Matisse, Edward Sheriff Curtis, Studio Ghibli's work, Alex Grey, Rembrandt, and William Holman Hunt.
Fashion hit me hard. I could never seem to find a clique that described me enough to be mine. I wasn't a girly girl, skater kid, surfer bum, raver, emo, bohemian princess, or any label that usually comes with clothing.
I was simply Fate Rising, and I dressed as such.
I've always had a pretty clear sense of direction for my future. As a young child, I wanted to be a fairy princess pop-star. Life carried on, and then age five I was struck with a new found maturity and realism. I discovered that people actually wrote books and made movies. My mind exploded with ideas. My path was set...I was destined to become a fairy princess pop-star, writer and film director.
Little did I know that was just the tip of the iceberg for my creative future...
My mother wanted me to grow up away from the pollution of 'crap television’ and advertising. She raised me with the classics, films that she believed would enrich my creativity, my visual awareness and my understanding of character and story development.
Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, were my female idols. I loved what they represented; style, class and independence. She wanted me to understand what I could achieve, especially by simply being my unique self.
Sofia Coppla, Jane Campion, Almaldovar, David Lean, Scorsese, John Houston, Farah Khan, Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Kieślowski, and John Sturges, were my directorial influences. Especially Woody Allen's work.
- Photo shoot with Rick Cummings
- Fashion design for latest line
- Costume design and creation
- 'Layers' Screenplay
- 'A Simple Love Story', Acting and editing
- 2012 painting collection
- Countess Hedwig de Quelan born Princess of Lichtenstein becomes my patron of the arts
- 'Birth of Fate' is hung in exhibition at the Portland museum of art, and Obama visits!
- Volunteered at the Camden International Film Festival (2012)
- First book published, 'Baba Scrumptious and the Bamboo Baby'
- Photography exhibition at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland Maine
- Silver Arts Award
- Red in the Snow (book)
- Clink Clink (poem)
- Organized historical costume workshop at The Maynard in England
- 'Woof Woof', award winning first film (2010)
- 'Woof Woof' presentation at the Exeter Library movie night.
- Filming at Plymouth Art Festival and the Port Elliot Fesival in Devon
- UNICEF Fund Raising, the production of post cards about the importance of an education to raise money for UNICEF
- Teenage pregnancy video blog, thoughts on the subject.
- Performing as 'Caliban' in The Tempest
- Launched www.chillypepperred.com
- Idea Books
- 'Heart of Everything' first poem published, age 5.
EARLY LIFE - Boulder CO, Camden ME USA, Cambridge England, Copenhagen Denmark
My childhood was rich, and adventurous. Starting in America, I began to travel at only a few months old. From my dad’s side of the family, a few things were expected of me… to learn how to ski (not snowboard), play tennis and golf, and to immerse myself in the yachting culture. On my mother’s side of the family art, culture and inner goodness were what was important; it was hoped I would grow up to be a well travelled, successful, independent woman, with strong moral values; a Renaissance woman who did something of meaning with my life; something I loved. Art was in my blood from the start, originating with my artist grandfather, and fashion designer grandmother, it wasn't a surprise when I picked up the pencil.
ASIA - Bangkok Thailand, Chang Mai Thailand, Pi Thailand, Kathmandu Nepal,
My parent's split when I was six. For a year I lived in Colorado, then hopped between Denmark and England. Family problems made us return to the US. This led us to escape to Thailand where my mother got a job in Bangkok and we also spent time in Chang Mai and Pi. I got to experience much of Thailand's good sides and this was a golden time in my childhood. I continued to draw for hours every day and was now exposed to the asian school girl culture, becoming one of the wealthiest sticker collectors at my school (one of my favorite sub cultures that I’ve experienced).
Time went on, and for business reasons we took a trip to Nepal. It took a single day for my mother to know that she didn’t want to do business with the person we had come to Nepal to see, but at the same moment we looked around and could hardly believe what an amazing place we had found ourselves in. Nepal is rich in beauty and culture, with richly detailed architecture, and a culture of artisans. We fell in love with the fact you can get lost in Nepal. It was like being in a separate world from the West or the East. It was the Shangri-La we'd been searching for without knowing it. The morals matched our own. We lived in Patan, in the historic part of Kathmandu valley, for just about a year. Because of the daily riots going on in the city, I was home schooled and spent my days working on creative projects; math, reading, history and art, with a large dose of cultural anthropology. This was a time of visiting galleries and workshops where artists carved wood and stone, painted thangkas, and cast exquisite Buddhas, Gods and Goddesses out of bronze. I was in heaven.
As time went on, we knew it was time to ‘rejoin the world.’ My mother wanted me to reconnect with Western culture so that I remained an open, fully rounded person. We moved back to Thailand and spent a few months just outside Chang Mai at a cosmopolitan four star retreat center where I continued to be home schooled. I ran around the giant property biking and hanging out with ex-pats from around the world. In this time we also visited a few of the islands. Once we were fully ready we returned to Europe, flying into a cold, wet, dark Denmark, one week before Christmas, to visit close family friends. We arrived fresh from the East in tank tops and shorts, making a run for the department store immediately after arriving to shop for winter jackets. After a few lovely days in Denmark, hanging with friends, seeing the Christmas lights at Tivoli and wandering around the extravagant malls, we embarked on a chaotic, fun filled journey to England, snaking across the European countryside in a whirl wind of train connections. This madcap journey began when we found out we couldn’t fly into England with our chihuahua, Snowflake, and the fast EuroStar trains wouldn’t take him either. We made it to France and took the ferry across to England…carrying our entire life in our hands.
ENGLAND - Totnes Devon, Little Hempstead Devon, Ashburton Devon, Exeter Devon, Cambridge Cambridgeshire,
At last we made it to Totnes, an historical market town in Devon on a river that joins the moors with the sea. We stayed at a small Bed and Breakfast, sharing a Christmas feast as we soaked in the flavor of being home in England once again. Over a relaxed and happy Christmas holiday, we searched for a house and decided on a small barn conversion on a farm in Little Hempsted, a few miles from town. There I started at a Steiner school in-between Totnes and Ashburton. It was a happy time of fairies and growing up. Over the course of the school year it was soon clear I wasn’t ‘Waldorft’ enough. On the recommendation of an old family friend, we found Sands, a small democratic secondary school. At age ten, I was the youngest at the school by nearly two years. I had a fantastic time!
I lived on the edge of the moors in Ashburton, in a huge converted railway station. I attended Sands during the school week then went to the beach or the moors, and visited art galleries and museums on the weekend. Hosting the christmas dance at my house was a triumph and the school production of 'The Emperors New Clothes' was a great time. The only bummer was that my school wasn’t academically challenging. I longed for depth, for real focus like I had in my art. So we began to look for schools in Exeter.
Although I loved my friends at Sands, and knew I would miss them, I also longed for a real education. We moved to Exeter and I had half a term at the best school I had ever been to; Clyst Heath Primary School, before officially beginning secondary school at the Maynard, the third oldest girl’s school in England, founded in 1658. We moved from our converted train station into a converted ballroom, a beautiful house set in a park of magnificent trees and flowering bushes.
It was here I felt my rising passion for history and comparative religious studies, and in my free time worked on my Silver Arts Award, 'Woof Woof' short film, and my 'Type O' project. These were some of my greatest achievements. I would go to enriching events all the time, Killerton House was one of my favorites, I became exposed to the history of ladies undergarments; an exhibition curated by Shelley Tobin of the Royal Albert Museum in Exeter. Passionately inspired, I organized a visit with Shelley at the museum to see the collection of historical fashion housed there, and this led to me organizing a school event where members of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum came in to do a workshop with the students at The Maynard. I was the youngest in the history of the Maynard to organize a school event and did they ever give me a hard time, but the event was a great success. I made a short film that I entered in the SHOOT film festival in Dartington and it came fourth competing against adult, funded filmmakers and I created numerous works of art, including a detailed director’s notebook for a feature length film.
IMPRISONMENT - Camden Maine
As the summer came, a huge life event occurred and we knew things were about to change. Throughout all our adventures in Asia and Europe, there's one thing I forgot to mention. We were international fugitives on the wanted list at Interpol.
This was why we moved, and yet moved again. We realized they'd found us when we noticed an extraordinary amount of hits popping up from suspicious places across the USA. It appeared that we had been found through a blog post about a fluke charity event I did for a retirement home; a production of 'Singing in the Rain'. The blog mentioned my rather unusual name and the slip was irreparable.
So why were we fugitives? My father was a very bad man, who abused me terribly as a child. In the American legal system, the one with more money usually wins, and with the business, the house, the Porshe, and the yacht on my father’s side, we truly, truly didn’t have a chance. We fled when I was only a small child. After being found, we came up with a game plan. We would face our problems legally, in the UK, and with a head start. The Feds may have known we were in Exeter, but if we moved to Cambridge it would take some time before we were found. We packed our bags, I said farewell to the Maynard, and off we went to the city of my own mother’s childhood.
Which of course, was a terrible idea. England had fallen into the pocket of the US long before and the Hague court was a sham. The brief focus of the process was ‘re’ integration with my father, and no investigation of the facts. The judge ruled that jurisdiction was in Colorado and, with less than 48 hours notice, I was to be sent off to live with my profoundly cruel father in a small town in Maine in the USA; a man I hadn't had a relationship with since I was a child; a man who had hurt me more than anyone else in my life.
The morning I left my mother, was by far the worst day of my life. Forced to board a plane from London to New York, I was faced with the numbing reality that I had no idea when or if, I would see or speak with my mother again. The one silver lining was seeing my grandmother again and meeting my brothers for the first time. Of course I fell in love with the darling children and it was my love for them that kept me sane. My father took away my books, my art supplies and everything that I cared about and made my life a daily misery. Becoming a runaway was inevitable. Nobody would help me; my school, social services, or the police.
It took fourteen months of my mother fighting to get me back, before her endeavors were rewarded. Finally I was allowed to see my her, and within a couple weeks of this my mother filed a document with the courts that proved that my father had falsified information and lied to the courts from the beginning. Within days he was filing to give custody of me to my mother in exchange for her waiving her rights to sue him. I was able to move back in with my loving mother once more and turned my back on my father forever. Not one court, in all these years ever investigated the facts.
FREEDOM - Santa Rosa CA, Laguna Beach CA, Boulder CO
Truly free at last, we road tripped the US and moved to Santa Rosa, a small city in wine country, a little outside San Francisco in California. We spent the summer getting settled and this is where I painted my first complete painting collection. Having materials to create art again, after my time with my father, was a true luxury. Santa Rosa was an eye opening experience into the NorCal gang scene and artistic community. I went to Santa Rosa High School and got to experience a 2000+ persons American learning institution. Blah. Wonderful kids of course, but in my experience, kid's are usually wonderful. I was in the Video Arts program there and enjoyed that a lot.
We were still finding our feet and, although Santa Rosa had it's charm, I convinced my mother that SoCall was where it was at. We landed in Laguna Beach California, where I started at Laguna Beach High School. This was an unusual clique. As soon as I arrived, rumors circulated the school that I was an undercover police officer trying to bust the party kids, because I dressed differently and looked much too old to be a Freshman in High School. I flipped the table on this rumor by throwing a party at my house the first weekend there. Never again was I questioned.
Laguna Beach was a fast moving era of parties and drama. The highlights were the high society, surfing scene and insight to the night life of the Los Angeles area. Living the 'California Dream' can sometimes be unhealthy. Regardless, we would have stayed longer if my grandmother hadn't needed help with her school in Boulder Colorado. Leaving the ocean was the greatest hardship, but other than this and missing old friends, I welcomed Boulder with open arms, ready to experience the city of a birth as a free soul at last. Here I spent an enchanting summer in Boulder with my grandmother, working on the PTSD I had been diagnosed with in Santa Rosa. My time with my father had left it’s mark.
Boulder is a sacred oasis in Colorado, an interesting cultural anomaly that combines a social conscience (sustainability, fair treatment for the homeless and organic food) with small town lack of appreciation for creative expression. With immense excitement I started at Watershed, a very special, very elite private school that believes in 'hands on learning'. Here, I studied Body and Soul, a lovely program that the school created to explore what it means to be human. As the 1000 year flood in Boulder came, and went, I explored ancient philosophers, world religions and the mystery of the human body. Eventually I found that, although the course was extensive, it was, like Boulder, too small minded for my tastes. If I added material from my life experience in different parts of the world, that were not in the curriculum, I was downgraded as ‘wrong.’ My teacher wouldn’t look it up (he already knew) and his word was the ‘final word..’ After the one fabulous semester, the Body and Soul course was finished, and I found it impossible to continue at Watershed.
During my time in Boulder I fell in love with the Colorado EDM scene. Although I'd been to raves in California and Maine, the Colorado scene had more magic and soul than the other raves I'd been to. For a time, I got very into it making kandy, and rave costumes from scratch, partying with DJ’s and athletes in Denver, but all good things come to an end (or a pause) and with the changing of seasons after New Years, we decided it was time to take my education seriously, scrap the mindless hoop jumping American system, and move to Nepal.
BACK TO ASIA- Bangkok Thailand, Kathmandu Nepal
At the end of February, we flew out of Denver airport, making a connection in Seattle, and then from Seattle to Tokyo and from Tokyo to Bangkok. We stayed in Bangkok with my uncle for a few weeks; a great opportunity for me to road trip with a group of Thai girlfriends, experience the Thai night life, and spend time with my wonderful family. In early March, we landed in Kathmandu, Nepal and have been here ever since. Back in our little Shangri-La again, but these days I'm building my business, while studying and working on creative projects. The most wonderful part about it all? I'm only 16, and the world is my infinite oyster. There’s so much fun to be had, and so many things to experience. One thing I know, is I'm going to be a kick ass independent woman.