Saturday, February 07, 2015

Meet Katie Oldham.

I'd like to take this oppurtunity to introduce a lady who is a constant source of inspiration, courage and often provides a 
reminder that the world is beautiful, even if you do occassionally have to search for said beauty. The lady in question is, of course, Katie Oldham - the mastermind behind Scarphelia. Scarphelia is neither a fashion blog - though, Katie's sense of style is second to none - nor is it a music blog, though, like fashion, Katie also has her unique music style. Scarphelia embodies all that is right with blogging. The fact that blogging should be done for the love of writing, regardless of topic and content. Katie is the type of person to inspire the future generation of writers to actually put pen to paper, and not just hide behind a computer screen with your fingers tapping the thoughts of your mind. She's old school, classic and mesmerising.  I often bring you my favourite fashion brands, or collections that you should check out. Well, today, I bring you one of my favourite people on Earth, and one of the best blogs of the current time. Introducing.. Katie Oldham. The beauty, the mastermind, the girl..

What made you fall in love with writing - who or what inspired you to do so?
I guess I was just born with it in my bones. My earliest memory of writing was when I was in reception actually, perhaps 4 or 5, and I wrote and sellotape-bound my own book about Spot the dog getting gunged and secretly slipped it in between the books in our primary school reading room. I suppose I've always felt this desire to write and be heard. 
Throughout growing up I've always kept journals and diaries, and I was 13 when I started something called 'My Emotion Diary' (HA) where whenever anything bothered me or upset me or excited me - anything which created a feeling so intense I felt it spilling out of me - I wrote it in this diary. It began after I returned from a holiday to Brazil and had visited the Amazon rainforest, and upon returning felt I had genuinely left a piece of my soul behind and could not function back in the UK. Bless me. 
I read a quote once which has resonated with me forever, despite not being able to recall where I actually came across it - 'A writer does not write because they want to, a writer writes because they have to.' That idea is so familiar to me. I genuinely get this nagging urgency in my chest and my head if I don't write for a while, and once I actually release it all on to paper I feel so liberated and so pure. 
It's an essential part of my life and being alive, and even if I had zero audience I would continue to fill notebooks until my final breath. 
Where do you get your ideas from? What inspired the social media postcard project?
Most of the time, my articles come out of stuff that bothers me. I'm lucky I'm just an eternally bothered person haha. A lot of things about this world and me as a part of it I don't understand or I dislike, and I have so many questions about reality and the universe and the purpose of life, that they just all tumble out of me into these pieces. 
I suppose my posts could be classified as 'advice posts' but that's never really intention. Usually I'll start writing about something that has bothered me, then I'll come round and have an epiphany about it whilst writing, then turn the article around to be some kind of lesson of life that I've just learnt. It's like therapy and a problem-solving exercise in one. I write the lessons at the exact moment I've learned them so I'm not exactly wise to be some kind of life coach ha. I'm just a serial mistake-maker and over-thinker that accidentally discovers the laws of the universe by complaining enough about them. 
The NYC Postcard Project was one of my favourite things I've ever been able to do as a blogger. The idea that I could have a connection to enough people across the world to make this happen was such an exciting prospect for me, and the fact that it all actually came together in the end was just about the coolest thing EVER. I definitely want to do more projects like this in the future and have a whole notebook bursting full of ideas for similar projects. 
What does 2015 hold for you?
After meeting and connecting with some seriously inspiring and badass female writers and online content creators last year, 2015 is ALL about throwing caution to the wind and staking your place in the blogosphere with an important and profound message. Toward the end of 2014 I think I truly found my writing voice and figured out who and what I want to be - I strive to always be the voice of brutal and often over-opinionated honesty, a pillar of anti-bullshit, truth-seeking and risk-taking. In some ways I want to be the anti-blogger, the complete opposite of this pretty picture-perfect mega preened webstar we've become inundated with. I want to be gritty, real, and talk about inspiring, empowering things that really fucking matter you know? 
Let's just say you won't catch me comparing my fave lipstick shades of the season or writing an ode to my new Topshop boots any time soon.
Is there a book in the pipeline?
A writer can dream!
I mean, if you're asking if I have plans for a book then a MILLION TIMES YES I have two very distinct books that I've spent many years crafting and working on, one fiction and one non-fiction - a self-help/life coaching-y memoir type thing based around the philosophies I operate on and the lessons I've learnt and blogged about since turning 20 and deciding to never live another unremarkable day. 
But these two books currently remain in fragments in two heavily stuffed dropbox folders at the moment and don't look like they'll be born into the physical world any time soon, but this year I'm going to make a real effort to finish and perfect them and start sending them out to publishers, so who knows! 
Does it frustrate you that bloggers such as yourself don't always get the recognition they deserve, whereas there are other bloggers out there who aren't the best writers but earn £££?
To be honest, it did for a long, long time, but now it really doesn't. For example when Zoella released her book I was heartbroken, and when I found out it was ghostwritten I was furious, but I realised a lot of that was based on the envy that she'd got what I'd always wanted, and I guess a bitter part of me thought it wasn't fair. 
But then I really looked and who she was, what she stands for, the life she leads and the audience she has, and I realised none of that was anything I really wanted at all. Don't get me wrong, she's a lovely girl and a great inspiration for this generation, but I wouldn't want to be in her shoes. I would never want to be treated like a 'celebrity', have people chasing me down the street, to call the people who take their time out of their lives to read my writing, 'fans', or to attend these vacuous events and glitzy glam parties contractually obliged to film every day of my entire life or feel the wrath of millions. 
Just, nah. It's not for me. 
I would never ever want someone to say 'I'm your biggest fan, I love you' - because isn't that a bit fucking weird if you think about it? The best think I could ever hope to hear in life is 'I love your work. What you put into this world, changed mine.' I think with bloggers the line between celebrating who they are and what they do is completely blurred and convoluted because they are what they do. They are pretty much professionally alive and living y'know? Like, I wouldn't call them artists in any way. They don't 'create' they just 'do'. 
I would only ever want something I have created to be celebrated, not I, the creator. 
So yeah, they get money for what they do, but what does it really mean? What do they mean?
I would rather be poor and be doing something important, living my life, inhaling positivity and exhaling creativity, than to be rich, famous and... well, pointless.
And as soon as I figured that out, I felt completely free of all envy and frustration and focused all my energy instead into creating and curating my life and my purpose.
Music, writing, blogging, fashion - all of which you have accomplished. Anything else you want to add to your successes? 
Well I wouldn't say I've 'accomplished' them! More like taken a half decent stab at them haha. Thank you for thinking that though. I just think if you truly enjoy something you're innately going to be good at it, so why not put practice with passion and try to create something truly magical?
Discovering and honing all these creative outlets has been one of the biggest changes in the past couple of years of my life and I could NOT be more grateful for the insanely talented and passionate people I've had the joy to come across, work with and befriend. 
Creative energy is so contagious and influential, and when you're with a bunch of people that are just so fucking excited about doing things and making stuff, it seems like the universe kind of aligns and you find that anything you turn your hand to actually tuns out pretty decent. 
Me and my best friend (who's also in my band and an INSANELY talented musician) have recently delved into the world of sketching and painting to some very exciting results, so at the moment I'm drawing every day to try and conquer expressing my creative energy in as many different ways as possible. The future is very exciting. 
 

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