So, what have you thought of all the nutjobs that we’ve met so far out here in the desert?
I think they’re so cool! Like that guy we met last night…
The cosmic cowboy?
Yeah, the cosmic cowboy! He just came out of the darkness, didn’t he? And told us that we were walking through a 1940s western film set and that he had his own recording studio and a couple of artists’ studios next door, and that he just lives out here in the middle of nowhere.
He sounded pretty spaced out.
He was so friendly, chilled… I think there are a lot of mushrooms and a lot of weed happening out here, which are the best drugs, I would say.
You were talking about the, uh, what was it, the mystic chocolate?
Yeah! You can get these amazing chocolate bars with home-grown, Native American-blessed mushrooms. You just need one piece of chocolate and it’s a good time.
Did you try some when you were last out here?
We did some in L.A. But it’s very mellow and I don’t want to be all pro-drugs, try to sound cool or whatever, but I think it just breaks down your human barriers a bit more, so you’re feeling more… vibrational.
In tune with everything, and it’s just very childlike. When we did them last time, we just wanted to get naked and lie around and play with hair, and say, “Wow, everything’s so beautiful”. It sounds stupid, but I’d rather be doing that than snorting 20 lines of coke. Disgusting.
You were saying you felt rejuvenated the next day.
When I looked in the mirror, I looked so young. Which is the opposite of when you’ve been out drinking whisky all night. Which I like to do as well. But, you know, different things for different days.
Do you get creative inspiration from things like that?
I think for me it’s almost more of a release. I don’t feel it’s that connected to the creative… I do, I do…. but I feel that my creative relationship is very sober, and I need to be really cognescent. Is that the word? I think it’s the word. I need to be really tuned into what I’m trying to say, so I can grasp it and focus enough on making it a physical thing. I find that really hard anyway, so if I was trollied, I probably wouldn’t get anything done.
Some people manage it.
I think different things work for different people, but it doesn’t work for me. I’m quite a good girl, really.
How important is your image to you?
With this shoot, it was lovely to push boundaries in terms of what you’re wearing, or body-painting… just being free and childlike. I like to do that in a fashion context, because in the fashion world there’s a lot of airbrushing bullshit and people starving themselves. I mean, I’m a skinny bean but that’s not purposefully – I like my food. For girls, young women, and men, for everybody, I just want to be like I can feel confident, and beautiful, and powerful, but I don’t have to conform to other people’s expectations. And I would like to push it even further, really.
How would you like to push it further?
I just think it’s important to remind people to play in the dirt, to get dust on your face, to sweat a bit and have hair under your armpits. It’s okay and that can be beautiful too, that is beautiful – the diversity of human bodies, and the diversity of sizes, and shapes and colors. It sounds cheesy but that’s the stuff of life, and so many magazines are working within such a narrow boundary of what is attractive to our society.
Do you enjoy the rest of it? Like sitting here, talking?
I do enjoy it. It’s like having a therapy session – psychoanalyzing your process. It helps you to compartmentalize things in your mind.
Nice – journalism as psychotherapy.
It helps you to be clearer and define the concepts behind your work. I think there are concepts behind my work. Today, I feel a bit weird because I feel a bit sun-struck or something! And I feel distracted. I feel a bit strange. I’m sorry if I sound a bit distracted.
You sound fine. I feel a bit strange, too. It’s been a pretty full-on couple of days, how have you found it?
I‘ve loved it. It’s been really fun. All the body painting… it’s really tribal, and dirty, and earthy – getting out in the desert among the dirt and getting to be this cosmic warrior goddess woman.
Yep, you don’t get to do that every day. Well YOU might, actually… haha…
Yeah! I just love being out in the desert – we’re very lucky, aren’t we?
Find the full Bat for Lashes story in the February issue of Dazed & Confused, out now.