Me Oh My Girl
Could you please introduce yourself and share any hidden talents or something most wouldn’t know about you?
I’m Charli Burrowes (MeOhMy) and I’m an artist, photographer and film director from Brisbane, Australia. Something folks wouldn’t know about me is that I once got fired working customer service at Ferrari, for sitting in the cars + pretending to drive them on shift.
Where do you see yourself and your work headed in the next few years?
I’m not too sure- I’d like to keep creating films to tell the stories behind my artwork.
What are you working on at the moment? Any big plans coming up?
I’m working on my next artwork collection and a book, and another film (yikes- I don’t sleep haha). The next series will be released at the end of the year. They usually take 4-6 months to bring to life. The book will be out mid next year I think.
Have you been met with any challenges as an photographer along the way? (Personally or professionally)
Not as a photographer, no. As an artist I’ve had people not take my work seriously, or they dismiss it because it’s a bit of an unusual process. I work across a few different mediums, so people sometimes don’t understand the work that has gone into a piece.
Can you please share a little about how you go into creating work and how you’d describe your style?
I start with a story, always, and then look for a way to tell it visually with my style. I like metaphors and symbols, so my work is often tongue in cheek. I like to poke fun at commercialism and its influence on identity. Particularly in today’s era. It’s never been easier to succumb to being someone else. So I’m interested in that. My style is like a black and white movie, dipped in Gucci + presented like a Wes Anderson film. I usually create elements of my work by hand in a studio first, then I work digitally as well.
What’s it like being a woman in the creative industry? Do you find that it has its challenges at times?
No. Not really. Maybe I’ve been lucky. I mean I’ve definitely had an altercation with an artist where they were quite critical of the way I dressed (which has abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with my art). He said I was selling sex, not artwork. ‘No one will ever take you seriously as an artist, if you continue to dress the way you do.’ Naturally I took this oh so well, and said ‘thank you vert much,’ and stopped running around in no pants. Just kidding. I put on an art show for 300 featuring mostly nude females going to war in their underwear. Was bloody fun. But other than that, most folks are extremely supportive. I don’t think of myself as female artist, just an artist.
What’s your favourite part about your body and why?
My ass. And my hips. And my tiny little tits. Gosh, I love it all. I really do love my curves.
What’s your idea of empowerment?
Hmm. Feeling confident in yourself and your work.
What message do you have for those who are struggling with body confidence/self-love/weight or appearance issues? – What’s helped you in the past?
A long while ago I took my shower curtain down, so I could see myself when I was in the shower. I find it more empowering to look yourself in the eye and own your bod- as it is- then to hide from it. It’s helped my confidence a lot. So I’d recommend more nude moments where you can see them. Also lingerie. I have buckets of the stuff, and nothing makes me feel cuter than when my knickers and bra match. I think I can conquer mountains and kick ass on days when my silky drawers align.
Praise You isn’t just about raising awareness for eating disorders and celebrating body positivity – it’s also shining the light on female support in the creative community, in saying that, what does inclusivity and its importance mean to you?
It means going to events like this and seeing a diverse range of artists and art lovers coming together.
What inspires your style of photography/videography? What are the best ways you've found that have refined your practice?
Old cinema, mainly. All my artwork is black and white because of old movies. I like that old world sort of feeling. But also Paris, a city I’m always in love with, french films, Wes Anderson, Gucci, Kanye, and fashion. I love taking things that I’ve experienced and translating them in a fantastical kind of way. The only way to get better at anything, I think, is to do plenty of it.
Do you have any mantras or words to live by?
‘The only way out is through.’ Ira Glass quote. Has helped me with everything in life.
What advice what you give your 18-year-old self if you could?
Tequila is not a session drink.
Your dream job/project/collaboration – tell us about it? (Have you already worked your dream job?)
Gucci. That would be everything to me.
What the biggest risk you’ve taken to date? What were the pressure points and was it worth it?
Definitely my most recent show. I had an exhibition where I showcased a short film i wrote and directed, telling the story behind my artwork. It screened to 200 people across a few different cinemas in Brisbane. And it was f*cking terrifying. So that was probably my biggest risk. In terms of cost, timelines (it took a huge amount of work + labour and love to bring to life- I took a team to Italy to film it + then proceeded to live on noodles for several months after working on post production). It was 100% worth it. Just seeing the reactions people had to the work- the emotional response was incredibly rewarding.
What or who have been some of your main creative influences?
Wes Anderson, Gucci, Kanye West.
Where have been your favourite places to travel and have those places influenced your work?
Paris! 100%. All my work has a subtle wry french humour to it. Also a ridiculous sort of melodramatic feel.
As you’ve gotten older – how has your perception of your body and confidence changed?
Definitely have less fucks to give now. Just trying to enjoy wearing all the fabulous, ridiculous clothes I can.
Social media has been on a pretty interesting journey over the past few years - where do you see it now as opposed to two years ago?
I think it’s totally what you make it. For me, it’s definitely been more of a platform for sharing stories. I like to use the phrase on meohmy, that ‘you are watching art unfold.’ I think social media spaces should be unique, points of difference, little worlds for people to explore.
Do you think there should be more talk on body image specifically in the creative industry and what do you think is missing when it is in the spotlight?
I think the world is changing rapidly. I know I’m always looking for unique faces when I do commercial fashion work- for me that’s just what I like to gravitate towards. But I definitely feel like in fashion land, that’s the general trend now too- people want different. They want diversity. Which is great. I think we’re on the precipice of a really exciting, beautiful time.