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In Conversation with Self-Taught Melbourne Artist, Jara Segal

Jara Segal grew up as a child in Guatemala surrounded by rich culture and colour. Upon finding herself here in Melbourne, she, like so many, struggled with placing her identity as a multi-cultural woman in Australia influenced by two very contrasting environments. 

In her early 20's, Jara embarked on what she now refers to as her "self-discovery phase", an idea that most of us can relate to in some way. On her journey to combat her past trauma, she began delving into ideals of femininity; exploring herself as woman and unpacking what womanhood meant to her. This exploration inherently fed into her creative process, which is visually evident today in her work. 

Now as a practising artist, Jara draws inspiration from her past, explores her heritage, and celebrates womanhood through mixed media and digital illustration. We sat down with Jara for International Women's Day to speak about self-love, manifestation, and main character energy.

When you were little, what did you dream of doing or being when you grew up?

I was always fascinated by the arts, not necessarily fine art but all things that allowed expression. Whether it was being an actress, musician, photographer, or a painter (or all of the above). All I know is that I wanted to express myself and be creative and share that experience with the world.

What does your day-to-day look like as an artist?

My day-to-day looks different every day. Some days I don’t want to get out of bed and some days I wake up inspired and spend the whole day in my studio.

Whether I’m on my own or surrounded by people, it’s imperative I’m expressing myself; this can be through my thoughts as I lay in bed, as I socialise with people, I feel share the same energy, or creating something tangible. I don’t believe my days are different because I’m an artist, it's merely an outlet and passion that I share with everyone.

You talk a lot about being inspired by the feminine and your experience of womanhood. Tell us about the woman who has inspired you the most?

My mother has always been my number one influence and inspiration. From the small examples she’s set to the big ones.

Watching her struggle and find herself through her own womanhood as an entrepreneur and her own boss taught me that women are capable of what they set their minds to. Her unwavering kindness and love taught me how to not only love myself but everyone and everything around me. I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for her.

How can we help young women see themselves as role models and be their own inspiration?

Creating a healthy relationship with social media and the content you choose to consume is a huge factor in my opinion. Having healthy boundaries with consuming things that you know can trigger you into unhealthy spirals of self-doubt and unworthiness.

Honestly, it sounds corny but bringing some main character energy into your daily routine. Start romanticising your daily mundane activities. Manifesting confidence, even when it's not how you truly feel! And affirmations, they really do work. I say, therefore I am.

How can we learn to celebrate ourselves as women more? How do you show yourself appreciation and respect?

By being kind for starters. I treat myself the way I treat the people I love. I try to only use kind language and affirmations. I try to check in with myself as much as I can and allow myself to feel what I feel without shame. We can be very harsh and judgemental on ourselves which I find to be counterproductive, the more understanding and love we show ourselves and each other, the more we thrive.

What are you most proud of achieving-both in your personal life and in your career?

Through my independence I’ve learnt to express myself in all avenues authentically, I’m proud to say that I am not easily influenced by a capitalist society and its expectations of me. And as far as my career goes, my greatest achievement is creating a platform for other women to live through my experiences and know that being their authentic selves should be celebrated rather than shamed.

SHOP JARA'S WORK

Tell us a small daily habit that makes a big daily difference.

Skincare! This has been something that has completely changed my life in multiple small but key ways. It allows me to spend at least 10-15 minutes of time on myself a day. It’s an act of love and kindness towards myself. It helps me to stop, slow down, and be mindful of how I’m genuinely feeling. Skincare has helped myself soothe and get myself out of many self-doubt spirals.

What are three physical things that you couldn’t live without? 

Honestly, jewellery is number one on this list. I remember when I was a little girl, I used to sneak through my mum's jewellery box and think “my mum has the coolest treasures” and I guess that’s inspired me today to curate the treasures in my own jewellery box. I spend a lot of time curating my pieces and I take a lot of pride in what I choose to wear. Coming in second is a set of ethically sourced bamboo sheets. Third is cruelty-free skincare products.

Tell us about your favourite female artists/creatives...

My all-time favourite creative inspiration is and will forever be Frida Kahlo. She is such a great example of someone who unapologetically expressed who she was through not only her artwork but how she dressed, her jewellery, and the people and animals she kept close to her. An icon when it came to exploring tokens of the feminine and masculine and finding her place within those social constructs.

My favourite artist of this time however is French painter Ińes Longevial. She explores female portraits through colour and different fluid forms. The way she portrays women is true poetry on canvas.

What's your favourite piece from our new collection?

All the pieces from this new collection are beautiful! My favourite is the Juno Necklace. It has a timeless feel to it - delicate yet a statement in its own right.

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