In a period of time when we're inundated with what feels like consistent bad news, we wanted to put some emphasis on the positive. This is another instalment in "Collective Conversations," a weekly series focusing on a woman we think is awesome + what she's all about. This week we're talking to Nynno (or Nonny) Bel-Air, multi-disciplinary artist, photographer and budding musician. Self-taught and based in Melbourne, she uses her art to explore a vast range of the world's subcultures, specialising in fashion and portrait photography. And we're not the only ones who think she's incredible- she's captured the likes of Vogue Australia, Frankie, Nylon and Forbes.
1. Describe yourself in three words?
Curious, creative, conscientious.
2. What does heritage and tradition mean to you?
Heritage and tradition are storylines, like keys points on a map that give context to your journey through life.
3. Who do you most admire?
I admire people who have learnt the ability to love themselves unconditionally, they are the most resilient.
4. What is a weekly/monthly/fortnightly ritual or tradition you do for yourself?
I don’t have any rituals at the moment. I’m taking every week as it comes and making space for whatever my body and mind need on a weekly basis.
5. What is something you’re proud of?
I’ve had the opportunity to work on a few amazing projects this year, which has led to some of my photography being featured in magazines like The Design Files, Frankie, Nylon, Vogue Australia and most recently, Forbes. It’s slightly surreal.
6. What's something you do to be kind to yourself?
I’m a firm believer in self-care. This can be anything from going on a scenic hike, journaling, consuming art, or taking a day to just be and sit with myself.
7. What are some traditions that you’ve adopted from somewhere or someone else?
Weekly Whatsapp check-ins with my family. I have a big family and we’re all spread over the globe, so the chat group has become the best way to catch up on all the tea.
8. How do you align and connect with your intuition?
I’m a long-term lover of lists, I firmly believe in them. If I’m serious about achieving something, it has to be written down. I also find that making time to meditate, manifest and be mindful is important. All of the above allow me to check in with myself, make sure I’m on track with my plans and not get too distracted.
9. What's an assumption others make about you?
That I’m extroverted. Extended periods of social interaction actually leave me drained, I need solitude to recharge.
10. Is there an item that you would like to see from Collective Closets in the future?
I love everything you’re doing at the moment. But if you ever decide to release swimwear or bedding capsule collections, my bank account will be ready.
11. Something that you’re passionate about?
I’m passionate about expressing myself creatively. This includes my photography and my Creative Studio, but extends to my music as well. I’m currently finalising my next release, “Defeat” which comes out on Friday 4th of September on all major streaming platforms. You can also find out more via my music gram (@nynnogram).
You can follow Nonny on her Instagram here, listen to her music here or visit her website here.