Sep 13, 2021
Fuelled by creativity, community and caffeine, the city is a source of constant inspiration. It’s here that both our Moto Originals collection and three inspirational women find themselves at home. We chatted to writer and creator Liv Little, artist Charlotte Mei and sports reporter Jules Breach about where they are now, how they got there, and how other women can do the same.
Tell us about your journey into art — where did it all start?
Charlotte: I obsessively drew and painted as a young child, filling stacks of printer paper with my cartoons inspired by Pokémon and Sailormoon. But my journey into art as a professional practice was quite spontaneous and unexpected. I was really interested in modern history and politics at school and didn’t really know that art or illustration was something I could pursue as a career. After taking a year out to do an art foundation I was encouraged by my really supportive tutors to pursue art. I’m so grateful to those teachers to this day.
How did you get into sports journalism and presenting?
Jules: I studied media at university and discovered a love for presenting and journalism there. I followed up with an NCTJ (The National Council for the Training of Journalists) and did work experience at my local radio station in Brighton. That’s where I got my first taste of broadcasting and totally got the bug after that! As a football fan, I couldn’t think of anything better than combining my love of sport with presenting — dream job!
What got you into writing, and how did you establish your original voice?
Liv:I started at university and was particularly interested in telling people’s stories in an accessible way — that’s how I got into TV and journalism. Academia felt a little too rigid for me and I enjoyed how many people could be reached through these mediums.
You’re writing a book at the moment; how do you maintain motivation when completing a project?
Liv: Motivation and inspiration comes in waves and isn't always something you can force yourself into. But when I can't write, I read, and I watch and that usually helps me when I'm lacking in energy!
Are there any particular women who have inspired you?
Jules: There are so many amazing female broadcasters but growing up there weren’t as many as there are now. I was an aspiring tennis player when I was younger, so I loved watching amazing female players — my favourite was Steffi Graf! And then Sue Barker, combined her incredible sports career with broadcasting and I thought how amazing is that. My mum has always been a huge influence in my journey too, she always told me it didn’t matter if I was competing with boys, I could go out and achieve anything I put my mind to.
Charlotte: My single mother worked hard to support my sister and I growing up in the UK, where she made her home. Our small family of three looked after each other through lots of moving around. My mum and my sister are the strongest and funniest women I know, and they are my biggest inspirations.
Liv: Lots of, yes. My friends who are creatives, my mum and filmmakers and writers like Lena Waithe and Michaela Coel have been sources of inspiration.
Why do you think it’s important to be original?
Charlotte: I try never to compare myself to others. All our gifts and talents are different, so there’s really no point! I believe trusting yourself and focusing on what you love to do is the path to happiness and creativity.
Jules: It’s important to be yourself, to be authentic, and to be original. I truly believe the only way you can be 100% confident in everything you do, is knowing everything you say and do comes from the heart and is just you.
Liv: We all take inspiration from the world around us and the people in our lives — nothing happens in isolation. Taking the things that inspire us and channelling them into work is a beautiful and original way to create the work we want to see in the world.
Have you faced any hardships along the way to where you are now? And how did you overcome these?
Jules: There are always challenges in everyday life and in work and I think it’s important to not dwell on them, but to learn from them and move forward. Social media can be a challenging space for women in sport, as there is still unfortunately a lot of sexism towards female broadcasters, but you have to be able to rise above it.
Liv: Learning to prioritise my wellbeing has been the biggest learning curve. Sometimes it has taken being completely burnt out to realise the importance of this which isn't the best way to come to the realisation that rest is important, but I'm getting better at it as I go.
Charlotte: When I graduated from Camberwell, after working part time jobs for a year, I decided to take out a loan from the bank and put everything into my art. I rented a studio, bought equipment and focussed all my energy into making my art my career. Looking back, I can see how big a risk this was, but I felt like I only had two choices: give up or go for it with all my heart. A few years on, I’m grateful for the naivety and courage I was able to gather.
What are your favourite pieces from the Moto Originals collection to wear for a day in the city?
Liv: The Barbour International Solitude Jumpsuit, I have always been a fan of a classic jumpsuit.
Jules: I LOVE the Barbour International Solitude Jumpsuit from this collection. The gold button detailing is so me, and the fact that it’s so comfortable is just a dream to wear. The Barbour International Picard Dress is a winner for me too — it’s effortlessly cool and chic.
Charlotte: My favourite piece from the collection is the Barbour International Lineout Quilt because it makes me feel so cosy and protected from the elements as I explore the city.
What makes the Moto Originals collection perfect for the city lifestyle?
Jules: Comfort, style, but with a bit of an eye for detail — they’re all things I look for in my clothes and this collection ticks all the boxes!
Liv: I don't live in the city, but when I am in the city, I need to be able to move freely and comfortably, which this collection allows.
Charlotte: For me, it’s important that my clothing is comfortable and hard-wearing, so that I can spend long evenings in my studio making artwork. I appreciate well-made pieces that last years, like these.
Do you have any advice to other women who are following their own original path?
Liv: Don't be afraid of failure, I've had some of my biggest growths through things not working out the way I had envisioned.
Jules: Keep going! You can overcome any obstacles or hurdles, and every challenge will make you better and stronger.
Charlotte: Know your worth, trust yourself and take rest. I was taught the value of hard work from a young age, but I’m only just starting to learn the importance of being kind to yourself.