(Y)ou don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful.
— Alessia Cara
In January, we launched the series #BareWithMe with Porcelain to celebrate a kind of beauty that we can relate to and champion: The beauty of being real, of being positive, of being you — fearlessly and proudly. In this series, I chat with women who have found their place in the world, who make their own rules, live on their own terms and dare to bare what they have learned, what they’ve overcome, what they really think, and who they are underneath it all.
Botanical artist Lucinda Law, who kicked off the series, encouraged us to experience beauty and to accept our imperfections. Following Lucinda was the ever stylish and darling Viola Tan, who served up a timely reminder for us to be present and grateful, to find strength in vulnerability. This month, we are thrilled to get to know Olivia Eleazar, or @elkantlers, as she is known on Instagram. In her own words, the 24-year-old creative (who works at Google by day and is an entrepreneurial creative the rest of the time) is a “first-born unicorn”, and “styling, photography and creative shenanigans” are her passions.
Before we officially met on the day of our shoot… No, scratch that. Let me rephrase: Before she burst into our hotel suite with her toothy smile like sunshine and hugs like warm milk with a sprinkle of cinnamon, I would probably recognise Olivia by her tattoos, most prominently, the Bodoni-font “O” on her right arm if I had ever run into her in
the streets. Heck, I could perchance even pick her out of an identity parade by her chin or knee cap, but I wouldn’t know her by her face. Not really. This is because you will find everything from avocado toast, flowers, candles and crystals to ping pong paddle (all impeccably styled) with elusive glimpses of parts of her (mostly from neck down) on her IG feed, but looking for her face? It’s a game of Where’s Wally.
On June 11, 2017, we finally found
“Hi everyone!🌿 I’m Oli, the face behind Elkantlers and it’s lovely to finally meet🖤 As part of my birthday resolution to vanquish self esteem issues, I’m posting a full portrait of myself with my actual face (!?!) I can still feel myself fiercely protesting this idea, but living in anonymity and timidity does nothing for me…,” she captioned.
Hi, Oli! 👋🏻 It was lovely to meet you — in person. Whether you realise it or not, on June 11, 2017, you became a hero — to me, and many other girls who saw that post, I am certain of it. So, thank you for your courage. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for baring your face for us in this photo shoot. For baring your heart.
To inspire and empower others to recognise and own their unique beauty, to own their scars, imperfections and all in spite of your own vulnerabilities — that’s strength. That’s humanity. And, I suspect, unicorn-ity. 🦄
In collaboration with
The short answer is, I’m camera shy. The more complex version: Growing up, I deeply despised how I looked in pictures…
Hello, Olivia, thank you for spending time with us for this interview. I have been a fan of your work for a while now. Your Instagram feed is a constant source of inspiration. It’s also very mysterious though — you never quite show your face. Why is that?
Olivia: Hi, Karman! Thank you so much for having me, and for your support. It’s so lovely to be a part of #BareWithMe. Haha, I get asked that a lot. The short answer is, I’m camera shy. The more complex version: Growing up, I deeply despised how I looked in pictures, and along the way I just directly associated picture taking with moments of feeling insecure about my appearance. Therefore I started making subconscious decisions to escape the lens as much as I could.
This great escape eventually became fairly permanent, and evidently, my work also reflects that through the number of neck-down-only shots I post, lol. I came to own this anonymity as my style.
So, what does your Instagram mean for you? What’s its purpose?
Olivia: My Instagram is a modern version of a good ol’ portfolio or visual diary with a networking function — it allows me to journal my creations and connect with people simultaneously. My purpose on Instagram is simply to connect with and, hopefully, even inspire other creatives with my work.
MY DREAM NOW IS SIMPLY TO BE THE HAPPIEST, MOST PEACEFUL VERSION OF ME POSSIBLE, EVERY DAY…
You’re obviously gifted in the creative respect. Has it always been a passion, and are you trained in any creative discipline?
Olivia: Creativity (and all things related to it) is definitely a passion of mine. I am trained in visual communication and I’ve focused my creative career specialising in brand identity design. Growing up in the age of technology, I think I am naturally accustomed and inclined to using digital tools and softwares, and eventually found my place in the world of graphic design. Styling and photography came later as a hobby.
What’s your creative process like?
Olivia: It changes depending on what I’m working on and the mood you catch me in. In my most recent project, the process was completely spontaneous. Other times, it may be carefully planned and followed strictly.
What or who inspires you?
Olivia: People who create and share fearlessly inspire me most. Lately, I’ve been fan-girling Jamie Beck and her still-life work. Her eye for detail and the results are mind-blowing!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Olivia: Over-analytical. Self-effacing. Cryptic.
Growing up, what was your dream?
Olivia: I wanted to be a mother of triplets, own one dog of every breed that’s printed in the dog encyclopaedia, be a classical percussionist, just to name a few
What is your dream now?
Olivia: My dream now is simply to be the happiest, most peaceful version of me possible, every day. And to someday retire to the mountains with my love, and own a white
Your tattoos are hard to miss. I know, very often, the stories behind one’s tattoos are very personal. But is there anything about them you can share with me?
Olivia: My tattoos do all mean something special and are very close to my heart. I have not divulged what each of them symbolise to many, but they have an overarching theme — which is to help me overcome my personal struggles. With every tattoo I get, I learn to love myself a little more :’)
You’re happiest when…
Olivia: I remember to love myself enough.
What makes you feel confident?
Olivia: Frankly, a workout and a good-hair day.
My idea of self care is indulging in and treating the self to anything it desires. It could be as simple as taking a nap or allowing myself an extra slice of cake.
We all have our vulnerabilities. How do you turn yours into strength and power?
Olivia: I try to call out my vulnerability and dissect it to learn how it came to exist. Often, after some introspection, I find they stem from fear-based thoughts and irrational emotion. I try to then turn them into strength by releasing it after realising they do not add value to or help me in any way.
Do you believe in self care? And what is your idea of self care?
Olivia: 100%! My idea of self care is indulging in and treating the self to anything it desires. It could be as simple as taking a nap or allowing myself an extra slice of cake. My tip would be to remember to tune in to your intuition for what you need, to always listen to your body and live life for yourself, not others.
Skincare is a type of self care, too. At least I think it is. Can you tell me what your morning and night skincare routine are like? What products/steps would you consider to be essentials?
Olivia: My day and night skincare routine are very similar. They consist of cleansing and moisturising. I throw eye cream into the mix at night, but sometimes I forget, haha.I always remember my cleanser and moisturiser though — those are my essentials.
REMEMBER TO TUNE IN TO YOUR INTUITION FOR WHAT YOU NEED, TO ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND LIVE LIFE FOR YOURSELF, NOT OTHERS.
Can you bare just a little more? 😉
Can you bare just a little more? 😉
NAME: Olivia Eleazar Tan An Ting STAR SIGN: Gemini What’s your greatest talent? My ability to maintain laser-sharp focus. What’s your secret talent? I can inhale without taking in scents/smells. What are you watching these days? Brooklyn Nine-Nine. :))))) What are your favourite colours? Dark grey and... purple. I’m a closet purple lover. Favorite emoji? ✨✨✨✨✨✨ What’s your pet peeve? Bad grammar. Do you have a mantra? Peace, love and light. What or who is your spirit animal? The lengendary Pokemon Kyogre. Ever elusive and mysterious, but a real unbeatable when you find her. AND THEN she disappears. Are you a morning or night person? Both. Which is a real struggle because I want to be awake really early but also stay up all night. I deprive myself of sleep as a result.
PHOTOGRAPHY & ART DIRECTION // KARMAN TSE
HAIR & FACE // ZANN THIANG
ASSISTANCE // EVA RISHON HO
PANTS // KATE MOSS EQUIPMENT VIA THE OUTNET.COM
OFF-SHOULDER TOP // ROSIE ASSOULIN VIA THE OUTNET.COM
LOCATION // WANGZ HOTEL
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That's all, folks! 👋🏻