Giulliano Spitaletti

Everything starts with the urge to escape. Happiness is elsewhere.

Amongst all things family is the hardest to detach yourself from, both physically and ideologically. My father is a quite authoritarian figure. There was not much space between what you wanted to do and what you were expected to do. I started painting at a very young age, but followed my family’s path and became an architect. I then discovered that there was only the artistic side of architecture that appealed to me.

I used to paint landscape, but always got frustrated that I couldn’t create anything on my own. … Read More

Alena Mikhalkina

I first picked up a brush at an arts school in Moscow when I was 10 and in a few months I won some competition. 17 years passed until the day I felt I must paint again. In the meantime I started working in the arts and moved from Russia to the UK to do my Masters. London filled my lungs with the air of opportunity, I felt elevated with the variety of cultures, its mind-blowing arts scene and possibilities. For over three years I organised cultural exchange projects, worked with leading writers, artists and amazing professionals. I was doing … Read More

Elena Angel

When I was young, I was not terribly joyful. I was always perplexed by my existence, and I had a strong spiritual longing ever since I could remember. I was very sensitive. Quite early on, I could feel energy in my body. I didn’t know what it was, but it was very alive. Later, I realised that it was sexual energy, which, I also realised, was not OK to talk about. Mine was a fairly conventional family and an Orthodox upbringing. I was trying to look for role models among religious figures: Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, various Saints… but I … Read More

John Merriman

10 years ago, we opened the door of our music studio to our first client. My wife and I used to live upstairs and there was no facility for toilet or kitchen down here. People had to come up to use the facilities. At the time, we just had our first boy. Our client was a Jamaican Rastafarian Band. There were lots of them and they were big guys. One of them came in and said to my wife: I need a knife, the sharpest one that you’ve got. She was terrified. And then he continued: I want to cut…my … Read More

Catia Squarcia

I grew up in a small village in the mountains and always felt it was too small for me. However, I remain extremely attached to my roots and can never really define my identity without them. I have always searched for more, more knowledge, more answers, more myself, more solutions to my existential interrogatives and more human connection. That’s probably why I choose to study Philosophy and achieved my bachelor degree in it, and then my master degree in Philosophy, Sustainability and Environmental Studies. I used to love spending time in the garden with my grandparents, watching chickens and the … Read More

Anna Tveritinova

I was working in banking at the time. It was very stressful. I remember when I was studying in the university, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. But I was under pressure. There were lots of career fairs, services, deadlines, but hardly anything on unconventional paths. Everyone was heading towards banking or consultancy. Because it was so competitive, you felt like you should also be part of it. Later on, I spent nearly two years exploring different career options, jobs in non-financial sectors, online retail, entrepreneurship…but everything I pursued just faded away. The only thing left was … Read More

Keiko Yamamoto

I was always searching. I wanted to know who I am, why I was born, what I am here for.

I was once an English teacher, but my heart told me that this was not the thing for me.

When I was a kid, I drew everyday, on the street, at home, inside my mom’s closet drawers…wherever I could find a space. At the age of seven, I did one drawing of everyone putting their faces into the watermelon in the summer, and I got the prize.

I realised that I had to go back to the field of creativity.… Read More