APRIL - JUNE 2022
COBRA FILM PROJECT
Daniela Rota is the creative behind @damppstudio.
A Brazilian illustrator and graphic designer with a passion for curves, shapes, and simple lines.
Her conceptual and minimalistic approach is the launchpad for her self-ironic women with soft curves and full lips.
Inspired by the bodies and movements of dancers and by the strength and power of women and their femininity, her work stands for body-positive messages and features a subtle hint of humor.
A big fan of good food, coffee, yoga, and eager to learn new languages and cultures, she is lucky to live in Florence, Italy, where she works with visual communication, branding, packaging, and editorial design.
Dani / damppstudio
THE COBRA FILM PROJECT
INTERVIEW WITH WILLIAM A. MASHETER BY DEVON HARVEY
When discussing his recent project, I asked Will to summarise it in five words. He gave me:
inspirational, true-story, resilience, power, love…
These words capture the essence of the project perfectly.
I became initially intrigued by this project some months ago, I knew it was going to big and powerful… something that needed to be showcased on as many platforms as possible.
Therefore, when Will reached out to collab with Snippets we jumped at the opportunity. This article aims to put Will at the helm allowing him to guide you through the Cobra Film Project and link you to all the necessary material.
Last month Will and I discussed the Cobra Film Project, and I was able to ask the following questions:
What is the Cobra Film Project and what does it stand for?
The Cobra Film Project is an exciting endeavour founded by a group of friends and family that all work in the film industry. We have a huge emotional connection to this project, why, because it is inspired by an incredibly unique man, my uncle, Tiago Amorim—also known as COBRA. Tiago sadly passed away 7 years ago doing what he loved most—pushing boundaries of human limitation in the extreme sports world. We have established Cobra Film Project Ltd. to build a foundation to tell his inspiring story to the world.
Tiago had a terrible accident with fire when he was just a child—covering 84% of his body with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns. He was left with scarring that would be with him for his entire life. His physical limitations were clear in his mobility, his ability to grow into his body from a child to an adult, and even in the adversity he faced throughout his life... but that never stopped him from excelling at everything he did. Before the accident he already possessed an energy unmatched; not even an event like that could stop him from living faster than most of us can only dream. From a young age he learnt to love himself and embrace his misfortune in a beautiful way. He lived his life the way he wanted to—with unstoppable speed, radiant smiles and at the forefront of all his endeavours was love. This is the core message of the project, and the reason we are telling this story.
The Cobra Film Project begins with a book; written by Francisco Gomes de Amorim (Tiago’s father/my grandfather) which was recently translated by myself (Will Masheter), from Portuguese to English. All book sale profits will go towards funding the production of the documentary.
If you had to condense the project down to three main points, what would they be?
Three main points I think would be the fact that this man was a hero. People with facial scarring are commonly portrayed as villains in mainstream Hollywood movies. We want to show the world that a person isn't defined by what they appear to be; but by the radiance of who they are within. Therefore, we want to inspire a new trend of acceptance based on who we are, not what we are. Tiago is a prime example of someone who had no superficial ego and managed to be one of the most loved and respected people. His infectious energy attracted his peers, and his influence was undeniable to this day. Another would be the journey of someone with dyslexia, who against all odds managed to live his life so fully and then go on-to start a successful business which gave him the freedom to pursue his passion to fly. Overall, it is about the limitations we set, and that society sets for us; how these fabricated lines stop us from living how we desire. Tiago was a rebel with a cause, forever searching for meaning away from the constraints of societal demands. He found peace in speed, bridging the gap between life and death. After experiencing a near-death experience so young - I believe that gave him a different outlook on life, one that most of us will never see.
I know it’s important to you that you incorporate charities into this project, which charities have you chosen and how do you aim to do this?
Tiago always wanted to work with young burn survivors that had perhaps suffered similar accidents to his. He had such an amazing way with people, I can only imagine what an extraordinary job he would have done. We want to help that dream come to fruition, so we have partnered with the Children’s Burns Trust & The British Burns Association. They have been extremely supportive of the project thus far - offering advice and expert knowledge on Tiago's burn & recovery after his accident. Our goal is to inspire people around the world with Tiago’s story; and, to help raise awareness on the importance of burn prevention. We will be allocating a percentage of the film profits to their cause - as well as offering support to young survivors who are interested in perusing a career in film production.
Collaborations in the creative world are so important, to support one another, utilise platforms, and generally showcase upcoming works that will undoubtedly make an impact. Therefore, with this in mind, Will has some exciting predictions for future collaborations. Looking to work with the likes of Crocs and GoPro in the future, it isn’t hard to see that this project will be an amazing legacy to Tiago himself. As Will told me: ‘Tiago used to live and sleep in his crocs - climbing mountains and flying in them in many of his videos; all filmed on gopro.’
If you have been inspired by this project and would like to follow and support this amazing journey alongside Will and his team, please donate and follow.
Donations can be made via their website; or alternatively, any profits from book sales will be going towards the production of the documentary. For private investment please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - www.cobrafilmproject.com
Donations - https://www.cobrafilmproject.com/getinvolved
Project Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMLwo2bYCdI&t=3s
I’m an illustrator working in Seoul. I use bright color palettes across traditional materials and digitals and convey emotions through lines and textures. Work through various media such as illustration, comics, and animation.
WHEN IS A LADY A TRAMP?
Daisy Richardson (@daisyswriting)
When she writhes under the garish lights of the local club
On a Thursday night, eyes gleaming under smudges of black
Just beginning to trickle down her cheeks.
When anxious fingers tug down the hem of her favourite dress,
A silken shield from eyes which linger too long
And leave milky skin blistered.
When lips stained scarlet leave a stamp of approval
On the rim of a tall glass of Pimm’s, brimming with
Strawberries and cucumber and promise.
When she brushes past you on a quest to comfort
Whoever is crying in the toilet this time,
And leaves you in a fog of coconut body spray and
The feeling of wanting more.
Hi I'm Melinda :)
A dreamer with a thousand ideas that whisk in her head; chaotic ideas that run through many different paths. After years of continuous ideas and research, Little Mel was born, a little me who continues to dream and to seek beauty in small things. Little Mel is an illustrator who loves to explore, find meaning in what she creates and who tries to bring a bit of her world into everything she draws.
As a child my thoughts flowed on large white sheets, between pencils and crayons. I followed those papers arriving at the artistic high school of Porta Romana in Florence, continuing to learn. During the pandemic I started drawing again and along the way I met wonderful people, the first commissions and collaborations arrived; and today my dream remains the same, to be able to make my passion the job I love.
I love creating illustrations of picture books for children, making custom illustrations and recently I discovered the Surface Pattern.
THOUGHTS ON… “BODY NEUTRALITY”
“Body acceptance.” These two words have become increasingly important over the past few decades and can be especially noticed in the general media through avenues such as adverts and social media. “Be yourself” and “love yourself” are taglines that have become part of everyday language. But what exactly constitutes as body acceptance? It appears to have split into two avenues over the years – “body positivity” and the newer term “body neutrality.” Though both share similarities, they are quite different.
“Body positivity” is a term that is more widely recognised, so much so that it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in the first few months of 2021 with definition “an acceptance of the human body, especially one’s own.”The body positivity movement itself can be traced back to the 1960s, where it was known as the “fat acceptance” movement. Its main aim was to campaign against the discrimination against people with who were not conventionally thin and to draw attention to the stigma surrounding weight, which are still prevalent today. As time went on, this movement evolved to challenge pervading myths surrounding what the “ideal” body looks like and is perpetuated by the wider (commonly Western) media – i.e. ethnically white, slim, tall, able bodied people with toned muscles etc. Within this toxic culture of shaming people who “failed” to conform to these standards, people of colour, people who are plus-size and people with physical disabilities are amongst those who tend to be excluded and ostracised. Since its conception, the body positivity movement has sought to celebrate and promote a realistic body image, while and the acknowledging that most people’s bodies do not live up to this standard. And we can definitely see its impact in the inclusion of plus-size models and people of different races and physical abilities in a wider range of spaces including fashion, TV and film.
However, Michelle Elman, author of Am I Ugly?, states that the term has now become “diluted” and taken too literally: that you have to always be positive about your body and believe yourself to be beautiful, even when you don’t feel and though you are. This could be partly due to the growing commercialisation of body confidence and positivity, with marketing strategies settling on a mere “buy our products and you’ll feel beautiful too, regardless of how you look” message. The focus is primarily on selling products. What we’re still failing to dissect the oppression and discrimination that marginalised bodies experience. For instance, finding as many racially ambiguous models as possible is not going to transform companies into trailblazers when it comes to challenging Western beauty standards.
On another note, many believe that constantly repeating positive things about the parts of their bodies that they don’t like will magically get rid of their negative self-image. It can take a very long time to replace those negative thoughts with kinder ones, but if the person does not feel as though anything is changing, they could end up feeling worse about themselves. As we are generally taught to see our differences as flaws, rather than just differences, body positivity as we now know it is perhaps not the most productive way to combat negative self-image. There is a huge difference between being told to love your insecurities in spite of how they look and not seeing them as flaws in the first place. And this is where “body neutrality” comes in.
“Body neutrality” is a term that I came across fairly recently on social media, and as a concept, it is believed to have started circulating around the internet as early as 2015. It encourages people to focus on the body’s abilities rather than how it looks and is more about changing the language we use in regard to our bodies entirely. By neither hating nor forcing yourself to love your insecurities, body neutrality avoids making you feel good about your body when you don’t. However, it can definitely be an avenue into self-love and more positive body image. For example, up until my late teen years, I used to have clear skin, but continuously breaking out in spots all over my face in more recent years really started to get me down. I hated it so much and struggled with forcing myself to love it because I didn’t. But instead of saying “I hate my continuous breakouts”, I’ve opted for saying something more like “I have spots on my face, it’s something very natural and very normal that happens.” I’ll admit, I do sometimes get quite annoyed when my skin seems to be clearing up and doesn’t, but I’m on the road to accepting it as it is. Acknowledging that social media has only further warped our idea of what actual people’s bodies look like, that the majority of people do not have completely “flawless” skin because skin is naturally textured, that stretch marks and cellulite are both normal bodily things, that having a flat stomach is not entirely achievable because your vital organs lie underneath, is perhaps a gentler way to body acceptance. Of course, unrealistic beauty standards will still continue to be ever-present and definitely won’t crumble overnight, but taking more of a neutral stance on what makes you insecure about your body is what could give you the time you need to see that you are enough as you are.
Hi, I’m Lauren Marina, a freelance artist, illustrator, and pattern designer. I live in Poole, UK.
My bold black and white drawings are formed with smooth and flowing lines, generating a sense of calm movement. I tend to draw in my identifiable charcoal and oat palette and often use inventions of this limited palette to add interest.
I aim to evoke a gentle feeling of fluidity and calm. My work taps into my own inner vulnerability and softness, and I try to reflect that clearly in the work to encourage others to honour those inner depths of themselves.
My work is versatile and can work well in a whole host of commercial applications. My key interests are in creating bold iconography, illustrative branding assets, packaging patterns, fabric designs, decorative murals, and illustration for merchandising.
I also offer a range of eco-friendly greetings cards, homeware and giftware. I sell online, at markets, and with a curated selection of independent retailers across the UK.
Facebook Lauren Marina Studio
Judit Zengővári is a Budapest based illustrator. She loves to create playful illustrations which bring joy to people. In her work, she focuses on diversity, nature, and simple everyday moments. She enjoys exploring bold colour palettes and interesting compositions.
THINGS YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL INSIDE OUT
Daisy Richardson (@daisyswriting)
Cry, first and foremost. Reach out to someone you know won’t answer. Go to Google to see if it might be something do with the planets or the stars, mercury throwing a strop.
Run a bath. Let it get cold. Rinse, repeat.
Smash a glass and watch the blood bloom in your palm, slowly at first then all at once, forming ink stain patterns in the sink. Petals of scarlet against the silver.
Watch life keep moving and take offence at how the world doesn’t seem to stop for you. It definitely should.
My name is Miki. I am a Japan-based freelance illustrator.
I like to draw people with a bit exaggerated body shapes. My aesthetic is simplicity and playfulness.
I am inspired by nature and everyday life. I spend a lot of time with my children so they also give me some inspiration too.
My career is a bit unique. I was born and raised in Japan and studied abroad in Sweden.
After graduating from university, I worked as a Japanese teacher, a journalist, and an administrative worker. A year ago I took the leap and became a full-time illustrator. This was challenging but I am happy because I have loved painting and drawing since childhood.
See more of my works on Instagram: @hanyu.miki
Sophie Benmouyal is a French-Canadian illustrator living in Montreal, Canada. She specializes in children’s book illustration, but never says no to fun editorial or licensing projects.
After working a few years for different advertising and marketing agencies as a graphic designer, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a freelance illustrator. From her home studio, she started to explore colors and textures while experimenting with different techniques, and never got enough of it. Working mainly digitally, she enjoys adding a traditional feel to her illustrations by playing with hand-made textures. Her two full-of-life little girls are her main source of inspiration by reminding her daily the importance of dreams and play. They are also an excellent excuse for her compulsive children's book buying.
You can see more of her work here:
Represented by Becca Langton at The Darley Anderson Illustration Agency
BOOK REVIEW BY KATHY BALDOCK
People Person By Candice Carty-Williams
‘Dimple Pennington knew of her half siblings, but she didn't really know them. Five people who don't have anything in common except for faint memories of being driven through Brixton in their dad's gold jeep, and some pretty complex abandonment issues. Dimple has bigger things to think about. She's thirty, and her life isn't really going anywhere. An aspiring lifestyle influencer with a terrible and wayward boyfriend, Dimple's life has shrunk to the size of a phone screen. And despite a small but loyal following, she's never felt more alone in her life. That is, until a dramatic event brings her half siblings Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie and Prynce crashing back into her life. And when they're all forced to reconnect with Cyril Pennington, the absent father they never really knew, things get even more complicated.’
I have loved Candice Carty- Williams since I read Queenie, her writing is compelling, witty and gives you all the feels. People Person is no different.
I loved this book, the raw feelings that are portrayed when the siblings are forced to reconnect for the most harrowing of reasons creates a dynamic that you can’t ignore. The strong family obligation and the navigation of new relationships and different personalities create an unputdownable read.
I cannot recommend this read enough and the message it gives and the feelings it makes you feel. I cannot wait to see what comes next for Carty- Williams but at this point even if it is a shopping list, I will still read it!
Junoregen is a retro inspired Illustrator based in Germany. She wants to create a feeling of cozy nostalgia with her art. When she is not drawing, she is probably out looking at vintage books in antique stores or watching old french movies.