Kimbra Audrey is an American artist living and working in Paris. After modeling for nearly a decade, Kimbra was frustrated with the superficial images constantly created of her, and working in an industry that was not at all in alignment with her values. She has struggled with depression her entire life and began taking self-portraits as a cathartic way to create images of how she actually saw herself. Kimbra shoots exclusively on film, which she develops and prints herself at home. She does not retouch her images and finds beauty in the natural imperfections that occur from shooting film.
With our infatuation with her art and soul, we couldn’t wait to explore self love through her unique point of view.
That is a challenging question, the short answer for me would be taking care of oneself, physically and emotionally, while not sacrificing your own needs to please others. I also strongly believe self-love can mean something else to others and can look very differently as everyone has their own unique ways of caring for themselves. Self-Love is nuanced and unique to everyone, to me it means always prioritizing my needs and well-being and not settling for less than I deserve.
I believe self-love and self-worth are deeply entangled, I don’t think you can have true self-love if you don’t value yourself highly and have a clear understanding of what things, people, spaces, etc. are worthy of your time and energy. Another important aspect of self-worth that is connected to self-love is how you treat and care for your physical body, how hydrated and nourished are you, how you feel in your physical body affects everything. Self-love is vast, it encompasses so many things and can look and feel completely different to others but I think that’s part of the beauty of it.
My self-love journey really began when I moved to NY at age 17. I was living and working as a model there and in my first few years there I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle. After a drug overdose at age 19, where I almost died and was hospitalized for a month, I was forced to completely reprioritize my life around my health. Even after I was released from the hospital I was still very ill and recovery and healing were my main focus. I became vegan, started juicing daily, practicing yoga, meditating, exercising and going to therapy regularly. Self-love is also deeply about surrounding myself with people who are kind, honest, and can respect my boundaries. It took me a very long time to learn that if I allow someone to violate my boundaries that is not an act of self-love. Self-love has also looked different at different points in my life, and will continue to evolve as I do.
I think nature does speak to us constantly and loudly but not everyone utilizes their abilities to listen deeply and actively. I think a lot of people don’t know how to listen to nature, but I believe everyone is capable. Nature constantly communicates through sounds, weather and elements. There are so many examples of nature screaming at us, for example the wildfires that have been taking place globally in the last decade. The planet is screaming and burning, begging us to take better care and be more respectful. Nature also communicates more gently and subtlety with the whispers of wind or rain, I take as gently reminders to be more soft and present. I think talking a walk barefoot on the earth is one of the best ways to connect and listen.
I connect with myself by being fully authentic every day, whether others like me or not. The most important way I connect with myself is through my self-portraiture, and authenticity is core part of my work, I don’t retouch my images and shoot only on film. I am my subject daily, even on days when I might not feel great, my body is new and different everyday, my emotions, perspectives are constantly evolving and growing there is always something new to explore and document and I want to capture all of it, the expansiveness and complexities of my own experiences. I also listen to my body daily to tell me what it needs, which can be different everyday. I’m currently recovering from Covid-19 so my daily practices have been changing a lot in the past few weeks and I haven’t had the energy to shoot as much as I’d like, but I’ve been spending more time than ever focusing on my breathing and moving at a slower pace. Some of my daily rituals at the moment are, starting the day with celery juice, playing the piano, caring for my pet snails, eating nourishing homemade meals, and drinking lots of water.
I absolutely love Bluem. The Finger Lime serum is really soothing I have extremely sensitive skin, I had bad acne as a kid and have severe allergies, finding any product that doesn’t irritate my skin is honestly a miracle, but Bluem has been lovely. What I love most about Bluem is integrity and commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. Those are things that are very important to me, it’s so refreshing to find a company that is so transparent and committed to improving the planet.