QUARANTINE CREATIVES: Hannah Austyn

With wellness being at the forefront of so many of our lives, Hannah Austyn has taken to her platform to share positivity and engage in conversations surrounding wellness. This young blogger sat down in conversation with me and shared her journey and goal to help others pursue their own journey into wellbeing. From the comfort of our homes in Quarantine it felt like we were catching up for a coffee in the sun.

22-year-old Austyn was born in London, then moved to Buckinghamshire and now Oxford where her journey into the blogging world blossomed. Having indulged in theatre and performance from a young age, attending Stagecoach ensured that Hannah was in London on a weekly basis and was a catalyst for her first full time job after school. Starting her part time job by running theatre clubs for children, Hannah also invested time in her own blog.

Fashion was the initial muse for Hannah’s writing and used her initiative to gain further experience. Completing a fashion retail course after leaving school at London Fashion Academy, Hannah wanted to go on to pursue fashion styling. Initially thinking this sector would be easier to break into than it was Hannah’s rejection is what fuelled her own blogging career.

“I did get quite a lot of rejection and I think that was a good thing now, because I was quite early in the process… it gave me the motivation and drive that I have now”

After a self-identified “organic” progression with her content platforms, a milestone in Hannah’s blogging journey was her attendance to her first London Fashion Week. Following a lot of “persistence” to designers and brands, she was able to attend shows and has been invited since then to write.

“So many opportunities…have come solely from sending a message on Instagram, we wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for Instagram!”

Whilst working her part time job, at the theatre, the young blogger approached the marketing team and asked if she could work for free in order to educate herself. Continuing her blog, Hannah’s voluntary work resulted in a paid assistant role on the marketing team. Coming to crossroads in her education and future, Hannah decided against university in order to continue in the marketing world.

“That was the best thing I did, doing the marketing for free”

After educating herself in a new skill set, Hannah advises anyone to try and pursue experience in any field they would like to grow in, and even if it means doing a few hours for free if you can. 

Hannah’s fashion blog continued to grow and she decided to finally move away from her job and focus solely on her content. During this time, Hannah has covered different fashion and brand events, as well as growing her network. Becoming a content creator meant that Hannah was able to create a YouTube channel and evolve her network.

Following a period of time of solely blogging, Hannah learnt her preferences lay in working and loved the routine of having full time job. Revealing that she enjoyed having something else outside of her blogging, she engaged herself back in the marketing world.

“I think that’s why I chose to do another job at the same time so that my blog could be purely authentic”

During lockdown Hannah has been organising Wellness Wednesday on her Instagram Live as well as working from home with her marketing job. Wellness Wednesday Live comes paired with conversations with wellness industry experts. From fitness to food and drink, Hannah gives further insight with her wellness led conversations.

“During self-isolation there’s been a lot of content around staying positive… and that resonates with me”

Speaking with Hannah was a prime example of how consistency is key and to pursue your passion.

“Now is the best time to do it!

Quarantine Creatives: Nicky Rose Roshini

Nicky Rose Roshini

Quarantine graced Nicky Rose Roshini and I with the beauty of a dodgy Wi-Fi connection and a video cut off, but after our resilience I finally manged to get into conversation with this gorgeous theatre head and actress. With a beaming smile and a mound of curly hair, Nicky delved straight into how she became integral to the Paines Plough team.

As a Londoner, Nicky has become used to diversity being part of her day to day life, but this wasn’t always the case during her school years. Her girls’ school didn’t surround her with many people from South Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds which meant a contrast from the culture of her home life. It astounded me to find out that Nicky was a shy child in school and didn’t fully come out of her shell until university. Pursuing Performing Arts for a-level, even Nicky’s peers were surprised to see her grace the subject.

 Going on to graduate in 2018 with a Bachelors in Drama and Theatre Arts from the University of Birmingham, Nicky pursued her passion and love for acting and theatre and had flipped her earlier shy persona on its head. Embracing her talent early on has stayed with Nicky through the rest of her journey and her creativity still continues to ooze.

At this point our Wi-Fi then permitted us a forced break and upon my return, a quick change of scenery. Nicky took our conversation in to the garden where all was well and good until a bee decided to scare the shit out of her and gave me a first hand look into her theatrics!

Nicky’s energy during our conversation was cool, calm and collected. This actress and all-round creative powerhouse, admitted she is constantly bubbling away with her ideas. Her journey into her first theatre role, was through Creative Access. With the initial application being for an administration role at Paines Plough, it came from a space of getting her foot in the door with a theatre company, but the interview panel saw more in Nicky.

Not thinking anything more of the interview, Nicky went on her way. The next day Nicky received a call from Paines Plough suggesting she might be better suited to the role of a Trainee Producer. “oh ok cool” was Nicky’s reaction (playing it cool) when deep down she was ecstatic, shocked even that a company had considered her to still come on board for something else. After acing a second interview Nicky went on to become a Trainee Producer at Paines Plough in spring 2019. Smashed it.

As a Trainee Producer Nicky had to be “very organised” and was thrown into the world of agents and actors and soaked in all the theatre. As described by Nicky a producer within a theatre company is “embedded in the creative process of creating a production”. Paines Plough provided Nicky with opportunities to educate herself and even experience Edinburgh Fringe!

“The producer is the person you go to for everything”

Nicky delved into her experience about Edinburgh and highlighted how it was an amazing immersion of all things theatre and a relocation of “the whole office”. Although it was a highlight of Nicky’s time at Paines Plough, she admitted it was difficult as she had to navigate her work mode and relaxation mode. She balanced this by making the most of the Fringe on her working days and using her days off to zone out and not puting any pressure on herself to be productive or even leave the accommodation if she didn’t feel like it.

Loving her job hasn’t stopped Nicky from pursuing extra projects outside of Paines Plough and has showcased her creativity in an array of art forms. From dance, to sketches, to singing and acting, Nicky has still kept her creative cogs churning during lockdown.

Although, Nicky’s professional creative journey is continually developing, there is a life-long condition that often tunnels and is the muse for a lot of Nicky’s creative indulgences.

Eczema.

Having suffered with severe eczema for her whole life, Nicky has often worn a mask to protect her skin and give her sense of comfort when leaving her home in London. The pollution in the air is very triggering for her skin and revealed that quarantine brought about her feeling comfortable going out in public as so many people are wearing them in lockdown. She documents her experience wearing a mask on her social media pages and gave me insight into her daily life in a mask, even outside of this pandemic.

THE WOMAN BEHIND THE MASK

Going on to chat to Nicky about her future plans,she delved into her idea of staging a one woman play where one of the primary themes would indeed be eczema. I for one am ready to see what the future has in store for Nicky.