“I remember when I was 11 my father bought my postcards from his trip to the UK. Ever since then I really wanted to go. He told me he would take me but never managed to bring me in the next five years.
Even without visiting I knew I wanted to come here, and at the age of 16, pretty much the first opportunity I got, I made the move. The first time I moved in was also the first time I visited here. I had my bags and found a place in Brighton, where I could afford to start off by myself, and that’s it, I went from there. I didn’t have much more of a plan than that I just know what I wanted to do.
No matter what’s expected for you, if you have drive then just go for it. Otherwise you’ll never know what will happen. That’s what I did.
I moved 9 houses in the last 5 years, and my life changes massively every time. You have no idea. I’ve met so many awesome people along the way, honestly!
You get to understand different people and situations, how to adapt to them and mature. For me, exploring is key – if you have the energy and power, explore in every way possible.
London is busy place, it has productive environment. I need it. I’m a laid back person generally , so being in a city where everything is always on the move is what makes me get things done, otherwise I’d happily sit back and relax the whole time , and I wouldn’t have any of what I have to show now.”
I do street art exhibitions … well not exactly that, but exhibitions with street artists. Also I manage artists. I’ve done my shows here and now I want to expand. I run these out of the gallery behind me. I used to work next door, and this space that became available. I knew I wanted my own area and was encouraged to take this leap of faith. There was one small bulb, the walls were green, full of holes and the place filled with rubbish basically. So for three days I locked myself away and created my gallery.
I left Bulgaria when I was 16. I‘ve had a passion for art since I can remember. There isn’t the same platform for art and what I wanted to do there, and I knew I would leave at one point.
“I moved back to London last week after living in Copenhagen for the past five years studying spatial design. My interest all started, embarrassingly enough, because of my love for musicals and how performing can be so transcendental! But soon enough I realised I lacked the singing gene and I guess I thought, if I can’t be in a musical I can still be a part of it through set design – and that’s what drew me to spatial design! The idea that you can tell stories through spaces, paint backdrops for people to experience and to forever remember, is why my dream is to design exhibitions and installations.”
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 –
What you want to do / or be / or achieve: Living on my personal work
“Three and a half years ago I arrived in Brussels to showcase my first international solo exhibition. You can imagine how excited I was. If I knew how special that trip would be… Not only was the exhibition a big success, but it led me to meet the person who changed my life, in and out, completely. During a silly tour in Rome, I met my husband. As I get back to Brazil, I sold everything I had, and came here to live with him. Some people thought I was crazy, but I remembered my mother saying “go for it! how many times have you felt like this?”. And it was true. The only passion i felt so strong was towards my work. Life after that had its ups and downs, adjusting to a new country and life is not easy, but i don’t regret a thing. Now the goal is to get my old brazilian life back, but in here, making my living as a illustrator and an artist. I guess you never know, the smallest encounter can change you life. Just have to be a little brave and persist in it, nothing is for free.”
“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.”
“I became an animal welfare activist about a year ago. I have my own cat, who I adore, but I love all animals in general. I became a vegetarian too as I can’t say that I care for animals but then go around eating them. Nothing against the taste or health, but I couldn’t support it with my love for all creatures. So I help charities to market their causes; and even though I cannot go along to these places a lot, I give my financial and online support where I can.
Outside of my job I’m also in two music bands – the music always helps me to express my emotions, pain and anger about the world’s imperfections and the more people know me and my views the more they could possibly understand and start thinking in more compassionate direction.”
Check out Atashi Tada’s Instagram pages for more on her music: @dicepeople and @elysiandivide
“Once I finished law school, I worked as a junior lawyer back in Romania. I had shorter hair then.
But after that I got a project, in art – I wrote scenarios for theatre places and also played as an actor in a remake of Oscar Wilde’s book. We did an adaptation on his play, a Portrait of Dorian Grey – read the book if you haven’t done so. We adapted it to our day, with a modern version of the character. It’s a very psychological story, about religion, and power… and what happens to him once he takes his Uncle’s fortunes.
I chose to quit my both jobs – as a junior lawyer and as a manager in a big company involved in real estate construction. At that time I was engaged to a girl for four years, who was a judge. She fell in depression for a long time… and she saw things differently after her depression. You know, she studied a lot and didn’t go out anymore. After a long period of this, she didn’t have any more energy, any more power to fight against any of the difficulties. And you have to provide a happiness to your soul so you can keep good balance. She is now in a hospital for people with mental issues. So she came one day and said “I don’t love you anymore, I don’t want to be together”. And really I was doing both the jobs for her because I wanted to be able to provide her the comfort. As a man I do not need that many things, she needed more the make up, the clothes… I was just wanting to share the feelings with someone and have what I need, nothing luxurious.
After this I decided I can’t stay anymore in my country, everywhere I went we had a memory ‘we went there for the first time to eat’ or ‘we met at that corner’ and so on. So I knew I had to change places and start a new life. Then I got this project from a friend of mine, I met her in Milano when I was playing soccer for Inter Milan. She was a Director from the United States. So I showed her Milan and Italy, and we made friends. She knew I was writing poetry and other things, and she proposed me ‘you have talent, you should focus on this… look I have a good opportunity for you – we are going with a private theatre in the US. It is mostly with a charity but they are paying well, and you can help to write the scenarios with us’.
I accepted and started to work with them… and then they thought it was a good idea for me to also try as an actor. They gave me some training, and I started to let my hair grow, because it was for the role. Now the project has finished but I have decided to keep the hair.”
“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”.
We met in Thailand, about two years ago now. It was in March.
Was it? Yes around February or March.
Well it was actually March 24th. I always remember the dates that I travel to Thailand. And I remember this was the date I was flying home. I had seen her somewhere along our travels, but we finally only spoke at the airport when we were waiting for our flights. We sat together and we just talked and talked, about everything, what we do, our travels, our passions… common stuff, and we had so much in common. So then after about one hour we said bye to eachother, but hadn’t exchanged any contact information. What we didn’t realise, however, is that we had seats next to each other on the plane. In all our time talking we didn’t even mention what our next destination was. So it turned out we were not only going to the same place, but we were sat together also!
So we were able to speak even more now, she told me about her business where she is selling these Spinners.This time we did exchange information… we moved to London together, and now I am helping her with this in my free time. I’m a software developer – and right now this is a kind of sabbatical for me, so we found this spot in the market for Christmas to sell these.
Something I always really believe is if you want to do something, if you have an idea or a desire, then you should just do it, you won’t have a better opportunity than the present and you’ll never know where it will take you until you try.