Scientists believe that the microbiome, weighing as much as our three-pound brain, is a “second brain” just as important to understanding who we are. The organisms comprising the microbiome aren’t simply passive passengers in our body or disease-causing entities. They are integral to digesting food, educating our immune system, and resisting disease. An increasing number of studies are demonstrating that a diverse, balanced microbiome promotes health, longevity, and positive behavioral traits. Conversely, individuals with less healthy and diverse microbiomes have been shown to be more susceptible to a wide range of physical and mental illnesses.
“I do feel very comfortable as I think just like physical health, mental heath is something to also be worked on and strengthened. I generally consider my mind to be just like my body, in constant need of some exercise so I’ve gotten comfortable having those conversations.”
This week on ATEM we featured up and coming artist @shoopy.studio . Laetitia Rouget is a French creative living in East London. Favored by tastemakers from Vogue and Town and Country, Rouget’s art studio is named after her nickname for her husband: Shoopy Studio . Laetitia’s work is all about celebrating women and female form as well as sustainability, with all of her interior pieces focusing around recycling materials and fabrics she already owns.
We talk about her journey as an artist, how sustainability and womanhood informs her art practice, and her thoughts on mental health and anxiety.
Hip-hop, funk, and soul artist and community force, Freakquencee talks wellness and mental health: why she evangelizes the use of affirmations, why she is such a proponent of hugging as a performer, and her experience with poor mental health and her ongoing healing from physical trauma and sexual assault. We chat about how she has spent the last years using her unique gifts and story to inspire and uplift others.
Seohye Lee is a multidisciplinary artist from South Korea, living and working in Berlin.
Seohye uses the mediums of sound and illustration to experiment with new forms of narrative, creating playful pieces that challenge the idea of listening. Coming to terms with her own sonic identity led her to take ownership of sound by incorporating it into her practice. Drawing inspiration from her hearing loss experience, Seohye’s works aim to show the difference between hearing and listening; regardless of your hearing skill, one can always listen in variety of ways.
We chat about mental health, grounding her artistic voice, and inclusivity & diversity amongst the artist community in Berlin.
“We typically think of vision only in terms of grand 10-year business schemes or long term life goals, but the reality is that vision is a fundamental component of daily life. I was recently speaking with a friend, Matt, who’s the CEO of a media company in Los Angeles. Outside of entrepreneurship, Matt’s passion is the martial art Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Recently, he was sparring with an adversary who was larger and more experienced than he. On paper, this opponent should have defeated him easily. However, Matt had other ideas. As the sparring started, Matt looked intensely for weakness in his opponent’s structure and for possible areas where he was off balance. At a certain point, Matt literally had a vision of the sequence of steps he could take to maneuver the adversary into a rear-naked chokehold. That vision gave him the belief, calmness, and clarity to act decisively, and a minute later he had his opponent pinned and tapping the mat in submission.”
“We see purpose as a transformational element that is defining the identity of a whole new generation. Young people are aware of the importance of social and environmental impact and see them as existential topics. They define their identity through purpose and authenticity, and this will change global economic frameworks fundamentally. We are passionate by the possibility of building viable financial products for this generation. Investment products that are underwritten by impact. Not by impact narratives or theoretical models. But by real, verified events. Both of us had various attempts at defining such models in the past. The emergence of blockchain technology provided a technical solution to some of the structural problems that come with this model. We could now use impact verification as a proof of work for a new type of financial asset. The timing was perfect, so we pulled the trigger and embarked on this wonderful journey.”
Is there is such a thing as being too open?
“I believe there is a difference between being vulnerable and being open. To me being vulnerable means allowing yourself to have a human connection, being open means over sharing. I do think there is such a thing as over sharing, especially in today’s social media era. Ironically there are many people being open but not emotionally connecting. I do not however believe that there is such a thing as being too vulnerable because having human connections with each other is why we are here.”
“In essence, the key to this strategy is to turn our focus outwards. Rather than being continually consumed by the idea of ‘what’s in it for me,’ you focus entirely on the other people you interact with. You empathize with them, you’re genuinely curious about their hopes and dreams, and you respect them deeply. You act as a leader with their best interest in mind. Operating with this external focus also liberates one from the discomfort of painful of self-awareness. Adopting an inquisitive external focus frees our mind and energy to serve and create in the best possible way.”
The importance of championing diversity and/or people of color daily: “I focus specifically on the North America market and for me it’s important that women of color not just feel included but to also feel a part of, feel a sense of belonging, feel truly seen. Everything I do is led with that being the priority. I want to continue to see beauty brands move far beyond tokenism, I want to see women of color also be known and seen as the standard of beauty, I want to see representation across ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, body shape, all of it. I want to see women of all backgrounds celebrated, their differences and cultural nuances understood, their beauty put at the forefront.”