I wanted to be a director, or a writer, a dictator of the imagination, but a passion that I always had since I can remember is acting – you get to be anyone, anything you want. I can be a mother, or a teacher, or even a sick auntie. And when I get into the character, I really become them. And it is not just for the time I am rehearsing, but I practice to make my mind become that personality. And that’s what I love, it gives you the chance to understand, and to even be, so many different people. I lived in Tuscany, and then moved here at the age of 17 mainly to study acting and also to escape from the fake social bubble that italian towns tend to create. You end up believing in unnecessary things, thinking the world starts and end there, it’s such a joke.

I believe in this idea that all of us have a decade roughly, where you have to do the best that you can to reach whatever you want to reach.

After that, we can go in a small house in Masachusettes and die by ourselves, as we would anyway. For me is surely this what I want to do. Maybe later becoming a guru; people can and meet me and I can help them thanks to the wisdom that the passing of time will hopefully give me. Like those skinny guys with white hair… I want to be a skinny girl with white hair who has people coming from different places who hear about me, and then I can tell them “yes come and tell me what’s wrong, I’ll heal you… and you as well.” I can be content like this, once I achieve my goals and then use my days to help others.

I have thought this way for as long as I remember, and I guess it is what your family make you think as well. I have a wonderful family, even with its own painful mess inside, but they are wonderful. And they’ve always told me, especially my mum, she has always told me ‘ go for what you want to go for, and she would always say ‘when you have money, spend the money, and when you don’t have money, you need to go and make some money. And that’s fair enough, I mean I want to enjoy life, i’m a big hedonist, but I like small things, I don’t buy expensive clothes – I mean I’m dressed for £4 in total, I don’t eat out all the time. I like my small pleasures like my coloured cigarettes,  dark pink, purple, green cigarettes – I love smoking those . Living here is so expensive, I can’t even afford to, I’m late on my rent and I am to scared to open the water bill letter because of my baths mania, I mean i work in a cinema so I don’t make a lot of money, I need to find my shifts and all of that.

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Laurel Spiers, Artist, Photographer, Blogger.
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About Laurel
I went travelling by myself when I was 15. I quit college for a bit and went round France – Paris, Lyon, the Alps, then ended up in Amsterdam. And I’m back now to finish my course.

I was just fed up of being in college – and following the day to day routine. So I felt I had to change things up. It was crazy, really amazing, I know I’m still young, but I feel I can say it is one of the best experiences I will ever have.

I feel that, I wouldn’t say ‘rescued me’ as a person, but definitely changed and improved me. I feel I appreciate everything a bit more – and I feel like you realise there’s so much more out there than just your immediate surroundings.

We met five minutes ago for the first time

Luis: We studied together in illustration, she works for a newspaper that I illustrated for, he is a skill full illustrator and he is a fashion professional in character – is that a good description.

Rafael: We met five minutes ago for the first time. 

Manrutt: But it was planned. We have kept in touch through Instagram, and then Luis told us he was coming to London, so we all arranged this day to finally meet in person. 

Luis: I never been in London before so I came with my husband for three days and then I messaged the group to say I’m here and we should meet. 

Jeremy: Plan today? We don’t have any plan for the day. We don’t have any plan you know… artists(!)

Manrutt: It is really important to connect. Working individually as a freelancer can be very isolated. Sometimes we are treated very poorly by others in the industry. So it is good to meet other like-minded artists to share our stories, exchange opinions, and to know I have support and not to suffer in silence. This will build a genuine, loving, and supportive community. In the world of social media where everything is consumed digitally, I miss and value human contacts. This can become rare in the capital city and I would like to break this cliche and do it more often.

From left to right: Manrutt, Luis Camargo, Rafael Zugliani, Ana, Jeremy Combot

– check out the Profiles tab for more info. and contact details for on Manrutt and Luis –

The most memorable thing I’ve done so far was probably my first GQ shoot, and I was involved in a piece with Juergen Teller.

“I’m in full time modelling. I live over in Sweden now, and I’m back down for Fashion Week.

It wasn’t something I ever thought of doing – but once when I was out with my mum and someone came over and asked me if I’d ever considered modelling. I was 6ft 2 at the age of 15, so there was a lot of potential opportunities for me. So I kind of just fell into it. I’m 17 now, and the last two years have been incredible – my life changed like you can’t imagine. I had to leave school, because there was no way I could do both, with travelling to different countries on shoots, I was busy every day of the week. The most memorable thing I’ve done so far was probably my first GQ shoot, and I was involved in a piece with Juergen Teller. There were 4 of us, and we were flown over to Greenland where we had to pose without any clothes on, outside in the snow. Yeh, that was crazy, and of course, because it’s Jurgen Teller, you do it and know it’s also going to be an important art work that will be published.

I’ll probably do this until 24/25 I think, but I’m enjoying it, and will figure out later what I’ll do next. I’m quite chill with it. It’s what I advise other people too – stay chill and go for what you want, things will work themselves out along the way.”

Music is my life, my theme of life

“I came here first with the idea to stay for one year; that was 7 years ago. Back home in South of France, there’s beaches, weather is good, food is good and… that is it, nothing else to do.

Music is my life, my theme of life – I’m a DJ, producer, I do events, parties, record music, radio shows, it is all I do and it’s what I have. And over all these years I have seen that with music, it really does change lives, it can open people up and reveal their inner thoughts and desires to them”.

LSE students and full time besties

I was born in Hawaii, and moved to LA for my undergraduate.  I spent a year abroad in London, and absolutely fell in love with the city, especially the shear diversity of the people here!  I’ve met people from all over and I feel there’s no where else in the world where you’ll have the same opportunity.  So I’m living in East London now, but I’ve pretty much lived all over.  I love the amenities where I live now: different types of food, coffee shops, boutiques, you name it! My sister visited recently, and she found the area a bit ‘edgy’ with the graffiti and what not.  We walked around Notting Hill and Kensington recently, and she much preferred West London, just like Nayab.

My reasons for coming here are slightly different, I mean it is really diverse but that wasn’t really my main one. For me, it was the freedom; being able to go abroad and have my own space. And I always had my mind set on London.

We both really love London, it’s amazing that you can find neighbourhoods that cater to people’s different preferences, all in the same city!  It’s just one of the many things I love about London, its my favourite city in the world for sure. I would love to stay.

It’s so sad we only have a month left here.

We’ve both been looking for jobs here… we’ll need visas to stay. We have one month left to succeed!   

Kiana & Nayab

More on the 2 girls:

Nayab and Kiana are both recent graduates from the LSE.  Kiana completed her MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies and Nayab completed her MSc in City Design and Social Science.  They met this summer while on a lunch break outside of the LSE Library, while writing their dissertations.  They immediately hit it off, after sharing some much needed laughs during such a stressful time.  They both are enthusiastic urbanists and plan on being life-long friends.