“There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?”
― C. JoyBell C.

If you’ve been following along Ivy’s work on VSCO you might have noticed how beautiful she creates and curates her work; we had a conversation about it and this is what she shared with us:

Hey! My name’s Ivy Gathii. I’m a 22 year old photographer and art enthusiast.

What does self-portraiture mean to you?

 Self-portraiture to me is a personal art form that expresses yourself at the time. It tells a story that you yourself want to tell which is what makes it so personal.

 How did you end up in self-portraiture?

 I started during a low period when I wanted to keep taking pictures of people but had too much anxiety to do that. I quite liked taking pictures so it became a bit inevitable to take pictures of myself at the time. It grew from working with myself to bring out my ideas to a way of teaching myself to be vulnerable in my art because it’s very important, and I’m a pretty closed up person. To help grow out of myself and be open with myself, with people and my art.



What/who is your source of inspiration?

 For self-portraiture, I’d say that a lot of inspiration comes from me, as it’s me that I’m drawing from; my thoughts and these story-lines that I’ve created for myself and decided to capture in an image.

I’m also inspired by people who do the same, who teach this to me such as Teff . I love her work because she has this wild thing with her colors and composition. She creates this beautiful warm image that makes you want to be a part of it. Then she has these captions that lead you to feel like it is you in the image, you relate to it. The combination of this is surreal and beautiful. Another inspiration is Noemie Marguerite. She’s actually what made decide to start this at the beginning. I love how she composes herself in her pictures.

There’s also Wonoula Lawal who I actually got as a mentor a few months ago. She honestly taught me a lot, having done quite a bit of what I’d like to do, which is creating these lovely images that speak for herself and in that way, speaks for a lot of others as well.

 How goes your thought process from creating to conceptualization

I start a lot by journaling about what’s going on around me/with me. I draw inspiration from the mood in that bit of text then on composition from things I’ve seen, online or offline. Then from that, I shoot with the mood in mind. I’m trying to get a lot into post processing in a way that fits into the theme I’m trying to create.



How do you shoot? (I especially noticed a couple of complex images)

 I tend to have few props if any and as I said, try and capture a mood within the image. I usually shoot with natural light. I have a Nikon D5100 and a tripod so usually, I compose everything and get myself in front of my camera before it goes off (So yes, there’s a lot of frantic running :D). Then I go through and pick the pictures I’m satisfied with. So in a nutshell, it’s all about getting the mood right, getting a simple set up and getting in front of the camera. I usually have a pretty intimate set up during so I can get comfortable in channeling my thoughts.


 What do you get from creating this form of art?

 I get a lot of personal satisfaction. It just makes me happy to shoot and edit, I guess. Lately, it’s been helping with a bit of introspection plus it helps grow my other forms of art as I’m trying to be less closed up with this and myself, generally. Plus it makes me happy when people like it and relate too. 🙂


 Anything you’d like to add on?

 A little belief in yourself goes a long way. Love yourself like you bloody well should…All that nice stuff. ?

What inspires you from Ivy’s work? Share with us and don’t forget to check her out on VSCO, Instagram, & Twitter.