"The more we express and liberate ourselves, unhinged, the more we come alive…"
Music + Dance
City of residence, BERLIN, GERMANY
Date and time:
Q & A:
COL: How old are you and where are you from?
OT: I’m 29. Originally I’m from NYC, but I wouldn’t call that my home, as I’m a nomad and the seas and deserts feel like ‘home’. I’ve lived, traveled and moved all over the world for as long as I can remember, but I have found a home and base in Berlin.
COL: What do you do?
OT: Forever juggling, forever weaving. Jill of All Trades, Master of None . Music, dance, music + dance therapy workshops, tarot and esoterica, hypnosis and the healing arts, herbal medicine... At the moment I am deep in the process of working on my solo music project, finishing my own hand made oracle deck, as well as continuing to build my music set with Santana, whom I’m performing with at the festival.
COL: How long have you been doing it?
OT: Since my mother’s womb! Sometimes art is just a part of your DNA, your blood, and it’s either a gift or a curse you can’t quell.
COL: What inspired you to pursue a career in art?
OT: Although it was always understood for me as a child that I would be pursuing art as a career, in my twenties I kind of forewent the notion of art as career for several years, suppressing the urge and desire and instead focused more on an internal journey of healing, and utilizing what I learned along the way to help others in the healing arts. It wasn’t until the past few years that I realized I was suppressing a strong fire within, the desire to create and perform. I considered it egoic, and impractical; excuses to get in my own way. Eventually I realized that music and creation burned with an internal flame so strong, that if I continued to bottle it up, I would combust, and I would likely be denying myself and others of some joy and majik. So here I am, devoting to what I believe is something that keeps myself and so many others alive; music, art.
COL: Do you remember your first work of art?
OT: I just recall being full of ideas and creating as a child. Always illustrating, writing books, singing songs in the shadows, writing scripts to act.
COL: If you could have any piece of art in history, what would you choose?
OT: I’m a huge fan of Paul Gauguin, and I’m sure Frida Kahlo’s pieces are charged with a lot of energy. I also love the colours, madness and shapes of Picasso.
COL: What is your relationship with fashion?
OT: I grew up in the fashion industry in NYC, due to my father being a fashion designer, and my mother, a stylist who eventually became a fashion photographer. I also used to model briefly when I was younger, before I realized it wasn’t for me. I can’t say I care for the industry, but ofcourse I love fashion. It can be a great way to self express, alter your mood, raise your energy, raise endorphins induced by visual appreciation, create art... It can colour your internal world and the external world for those around you.
COL: What does the word “collective” mean to you as an artist?
OT: Collective is communal, it requires a certain consensus middle ground, or pertains to the collective subconscious or consciousness, and I feel this applies for art as well.
COL: What is the best and worst thing about being an artist?
OT: The worst - having idiosyncratic rhythms that don’t necessarily comply with the law of order society has assumed, such as coming alive and getting inspired at night. Or, how everything and anything can lift you to great heights and great lows; everything is felt deeply, ecstatically, tragically, fully, and those waves ebb and flow in a sea of intense sensations. The best- everything can be magical if you choose it to, everything can be a dream, and no one can take your own inner dream world from you no matter how bleak the external circumstances. As an artist, you have the flame of life force within you at all times, you need only choose to ignite it.
COL: Who do you admire?
OT: I love inspiring artists that live their passions to the full, carving out their own realities. I don’t even know where to start because there are so many, and you know them when you see them; they’re in their Tao, they live their truth, their mind and hearts are never ending furnaces of ideas, they march to the beat of their own drum , and they express their own unique voice and they throw themselves into the life force that is their passion.
COL: Who are you excited to see?
OT: My band member Santana is a dreamy guitar player, and he never gets old ;) I’m not sure much of what’s on the menu but I’m looking forward to what’s in store !
COL: How important is the ability to expose your art to you and your creative field?
OT: At this point in my life, I realize it is everything. The more we express and liberate ourselves, unhinged, the more we come alive, and the more we encourage and inspire others around us to take off those self prescribed shackles and express, express, express.