Photos by insanely talented Gabi Mulder
Cartia Mallan is a perfect beach day in human form. Her smile is like sunlight- her energy is fierce, chaotic and yet calming, like crashing waves mellowing out to the shore, and just observing her live life makes you reflect on yourself, she has that sort of impact on people. So many of her comments and inboxes are flooded with words like “You have taught me to let go and have fun,” “thank you so much for constantly reminding me what is most important in life,” and even today I sent her a text message that said “You really refocused me & help me think about my true life goals”. Just through a screen- she makes you want to listen to your heart and do things you have wanted to do for a long time.
How did she become so fearlessly herself?
She started exploring her goals and passions accidentally, when she posted a makeup video that was just meant for friends on public instead of private. From there, she stumbled into a deep love for film creation. Video is her medium for expressing ideas and things she has going on in her head. Whether she is showing you her outfit, taking you along for her road trips, or holding the camera and dancing at a festival, you feel like you are part of her journey and want to go out and make your own adventure.
It’s impossible to harness her energy, her laugh, her life advice, and the way she says “fuck it, do what you want” to me over facetime in her twangy Australian accent, but get to know Cartia- and you might get to know yourself.
Describe your perfect morning
Waking up to bright blue clear skies (this instantly puts me in the best mood) followed by my morning coffee, big plate of avo toast, then a trip down to the beach to get nice and salty. I live for mornings like this…
What inspires you
EVERYTHING! Seriously, I walk down the street and am inspired by every inch of my surroundings. People, nature, films, music, emotions, movement, touch, smell, heartache, the ocean. Fuck I can’t explain to you how much inspiration just life in general gives me. It’s overwhelming to think about, but just living brings me so much joy. I’m always deconstructing moments, places, colors to find out what inspires me at every encounter.
How often do you fall in love
Every single day multiple times… I am a bit boy crazy, but it’s beyond that.
I seriously have a problem because it takes me like 1 minute to become infatuated by someone. Obviously it’s not real love, but I’d just like to call it appreciation of beauty.
It’s not only guys that I fall in love with on a daily though, I swear I fall in love with my Mum over and over again, with where I live, with the ocean, with my friends, with life in general. I am loved up 24/7
3 most important things in your life
My happiness, my mum, our world.
-ok lets get started-
At what point did you decide to say “fuck it” and turn your channel from beauty based into creating short films that depict authentic moments & memories?
It was after I travelled a bit and started exploring around Byron and Sydney. I met people that were so different from anyone I’d ever grown up with, and they changed me. I began living so much more then I was before, slowly my mindset switched and I really did have a “yeah, fuck it” moment. I wanted to show the world this side of my life, the way my mind ticks focus more on experiences instead of just making videos about makeup. Even though it was terrifying to completely ditch this whole ‘beauty guru’ name I’d made for myself, I can seriously say I’m so happy that I just took the leap and did it. It has helped me grow and develop even more as a person and as a creative.
My favorite video of yours is the ciggie butt brains- I forwarded it to all of my friends & my mom, I especially love that shot of your friend on the cliff zoomed in all blurry it reminds me of a 90s home movie. I think you manage to do something really authentic and genuine- in your vlogs especially. What do you attribute this to, or what are you trying to capture as you are filming?
To be honest, every video is different. It all comes back to what I want the viewers to feel while they watch it, which is really just me trying to capture how I am feeling at the time. Ciggie butt brains that was filmed when I had first started coming to Byron, I felt rebellious, wild, grungy, super carefree and open to a lot, so on that day I was experimenting with capturing shots that could depict that vibe. To this day it’s still my favorite video – it means a lot to me and it makes me feel extremely nostalgic. It was the start of me allowing myself to be me and to truly explore the freedom of what that meant.
How do you reflect on your creative process & make sure that you are creating something that is true to yourself? It seems like so many Youtubers fall into the same patterns and videos because they tend to get more views- so there must be some doubt with doing something out of the box.
Oh completely I’ve sat back and watched the classic Youtube trap of everyone making the exact same videos over and over again! I could have easily stuck with doing makeup videos and have double the amount of followers and be making triple the amount I am now, but for me none of this ever had anything to do with money or fame. Obviously its sick that I can make money from it and I’m thankful it has become my job, but no matter what- the passion and the love I have for what I’m doing completely overrides anything that money or fame ever bring me. When I’m creating something, the main thing I’m thinking about for the final result isn’t, “ohh how many views can I get?” or “how much money will this help me earn?” For me it’s all about, how will this make people feel? Will it inspire them? Will it help them see something from a different perspective? Will it open them up to wanting to explore and living life to the fullest? THIS stuff is what matters. I love it and can stay true to it because it’s REAL! I’m showing the real me, and people are connecting with that, and I’m connecting with them. The positive flow of energy from my videos fuels me to want to keep creating more and more to continue to help other young people grow and flourish into the person they want to be.
What I really love about you is your ability to be completely yourself, how did you get to this point of confidence with your personality, style, & content?
It was a gradual process. I grew up my whole life suppressing the person I really was just so I would fit in with the crowd. Once I began opening up to the public, I learned more about myself. By then I was so sick of putting on this facade. I think I got to this point because of the frustration I had kept inside from not showing the real me… personality, style, and content wise. There are so many positives of being yourself online. People can much more easily connect with you because you’re being real and upfront. People can tell when you aren’t being genuine and they won’t stand for any bullshit. Well at least that’s how I see it.
What would your advice be to someone who wants to cultivate a creative career that is authentic to them? What have you learned from your experience, being able to essentially build your dream job without following a traditional route?
I’ve learned that the most important part is trusting yourself and not allowing other people drag you down. It’s super easy to allow negative comments get to you, but you just have to remind yourself that at the end of the day people only ever put others down out of jealousy. Take it as a compliment that you’re doing something that others are too afraid to do!
At the end of the day- college isn’t for everyone, office jobs aren’t for everyone, and the path most followed isn’t the only way. How do you know yourself & have the drive to just take a risk and do something different with your life. How do you know if you are doing the right thing?
To be honest what even is the ‘right thing’? I believe it all comes down to people’s perceptions. I know within myself that I will succeed because I’m doing something I absolutely love, so there is no way it’s not going to work (touch wood)! No but seriously, as long as I’m having fun and enjoying life that seems pretty spot on to me!
When do you feel most like yourself?
When I’m near the ocean, listening to music with good company all I ever need in life. xx
Also a big thank-you to Gabi Mulder of Oak and Bone for photographing.