"A writer is a world trapped in a person." -Victor Hugo
I'm sure most of us who live in this world, feel as though we are not of it. That is the case for my beautiful friend, Rhiannon. When we originally began exploring her characters, little did I know that we had only scratched the surface. Once again, this became so much more about her and the tug of war she deals with between reality and fantasy.
Rhiannon is a fantasy/sci-fi writer, and this is her story.
"I am always kind of living in two worlds as a writer. The real world, where I live with all my insecurities and imposter syndrome. The other is where all my stories live in this crazy fantasy landscape. When I am writing and living in that other space, I feel totally different. I don't think about being a 'writer', I am all of the characters, the landscapes, and the relationships. Sometimes it can feel like there's too much inside me fighting to get out and I feel a little crazy with all of that
bouncing around in my head. I am still trying to marry the two parts of me, because I know that the fear I have in the real world can push me to be a better writer, but I need a little of that madness and separation to get my work out."
Without question, Alice in Wonderland is the ideal setting for what Rhiannon deals with. In real life, she is Alice. Trying to be who the world thinks she should be, trying to do what the world thinks she should do. However, when writing her stories and being consumed by her imagination and creativity, she is the
Mad Hatter to her core.
"I looked and felt beautiful as Alice, but when I transformed into the Mad Hatter, I was me."
She was stunning as Alice, and she could not believe how beautiful she truly is, but as the photos progress you will notice her confidence radiates when she becomes the Mad Hatter. She was not acting, and there was no pretending, here. Her softness and weary expressions as Alice are true and portray her reality of constantly walking on eggs shells. As she transformed into the Mad Hatter, she became more playful, and definitely more confident! She was in her true element and shined as her most authentic self.
Rhiannon's writing and imagination are her Wonderland. She is Alice, she is most definitely the Mad Hatter, but above all she is true. It takes a lot to break down barriers and allow someone to view your most inner-self, and all that comes with it.
"Writers and photographers are both storytellers. They just use different mediums." - Rhiannon
That was a huge complement for me, and I am so honored that she was courageous enough to not only be vulnerable with me, but she was so real with herself. A lot of us tend to hide or disguise the most raw pieces of our souls in fear of the world rejecting us. We must stop doing that. We will all be constantly late for a very important date if we continue to reject our true purpose and desires.
Our world bashes imagination and creativity because everyone has their own definition of what it should look like, but we're missing the point. There is no right or wrong when it comes to being creative or self-expression, and it flat out sucks being someone with that beautiful of a mind, living in a world as close-minded as this.
"You, he said, "are a terribly real thing, in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain."
Take risks, be curious, be absolutely MAD because "...all of the best people are."
Rhiannon, thank you for baring pieces of your soul with me. You are absolutely stunning INSIDE and OUT.
"Every adventure requires a first step." - The Cheshire Cat
Please click here to view all of the images from Rhiannon's amazing fantasy shoot!