In the heart of London resides a quietly active multimedia artist, bounteous with memories, life experience and projects alike. She dips herself like a strawberry into a pot of sugar across every sector of the Arts, be that musically, through creative direction, illustration, writing, photography or whatever other stream her Pisces demeanour paddles towards. Meet the founder of laitmylk, Darcy Behati.
At just 22, she has already managed to leave an imprint in the digital and physical world. To name just a few accomplishment, Behati has three successful independent magazines published, several small businesses under her belt, envious contacts across the Arts community - and the diligence to keep going… and all whilst battling chronic ill health.
On a sun kissed afternoon, I met with Darcy in the rose-tone drenched ELAN Café along Brompton Road to get to know her a little better, and ultimately, introduce our founder to you.
L: Let’s warm up with some quick fire questions, shall we?
D: Shoot like a shooting star, baby. Go!
L: Define yourself.
D: I am a scattering of glitter floating aimlessly, yet orbitally, upon Saturn’s rings… In other words: I’m on track with life, but simulateanously feel lost and detached at the best of times.
L: What are you drinking right now?
D: I am drinking the infamous Blue Sapphire Latte, minus the condensed milk, from ELAN Café. It’s made up of crushed sapphire, blue flower petals, and matcha.
L: Soundtrack to your life?
D: Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me, Lana Del Rey.
ON CREATIVITY AND HERSELF
L: Tell me about your creative process as an artist, in general.
D: Depends on the project and the medium, but more often than not, everything starts with research. I am a textual and visual whore. Reading unconventional and cultural based magazines inspires me hugely, favourites being LOVE, Hunger, i-D, A MAGAZINE, KING KONG and Lampoon. I read every inch of these magazines and plaster them with pink post-it notes scrawled with ideas that are conjured for projects based on what I’ve read. I watch a lot of world cinema, news channels and documentaries. I’m interested in nature and people from different cultures who push their bodies and their minds in a way we don’t understand… weirdness attracts me. Once the foundation of my research is done, I simply go and do.
L: For those unfamiliar with your history and your work, can you roughly fill in the blanks?
D: Since I was able to walk, I would be busy creating something. I hate doing nothing - plain and simple. Paintbrush or pen in hand I’d be drawing, or writing. This hardworking and focused demeanour seemingly never faded, and lead to me graduating high school as an A* student, then flying onto study a course in Fashion Design at The University Arts London, and then Makeup Artistry at The London College of Beauty Therapy. I took a stint away from art and design for a while and explored the more logical portion of my brain, through which I have manifested an academic understanding in psychology, neuroscience and clinical medicine. Other random achievements? I have attended TED talks, published magazines totally solo, built multiple brand concepts, creatively directed advertising campaigns for major corporations such as Coca Cola and Fiat… and now stand as an individual just waiting for the next shooting star to cross her sky. I’m limitless, and will not set myself boundaries - academically or creatively.
L: Now, the past has not been an entirely pretty picture for you in regards to mental and physical wellbeing. How do you define these experiences?
D: Being a hopeless poet: The clock hands of my beginnings are infused with ghosts and skeletons, stirring a potion in a cauldron, which seems to keep finding a way into my morning coffee to this day. There are many vaults and chapters that both haunt and form me. Sexual abuse from ages 3 to 9, bullying at school, an eating disorder forming aged 14 and, now, the daily struggle of living with the scars or each of these things - physiologically, emotionally, mentally and physically.
L: How has sexual abuse broken or built you?
D: For me personally, the experience has destroyed what I believe would have been a relationship with someone that would have been for the rest of my life. We were so in love, so in sync… but the memories of the abuse prevent me from being intimate. I just can’t do it. It’s odd though, because from an artistic perspective, I love the erotic, classic nudes and nude photography. But when I put myself in the frame… I’m alien to it.
L: And the eating disorder?
D: This vault of my must be influenced to some extent by my sexual abuse as a child - it being totally related to the body after all. Coupled with emerlad envy and jealousy of my childhood friends who were skinnier than me whilst growing up (having developed faster and being ownership to a cushy amount of puppy fat), I had all the bullets loaded for an eating disorder to fire off… and eventually, some sooty spirit in the ethos decided to pull the trigger. Funnily enough though, it’s not the having the disorder itself that saddens me - it’s the places I have been and the things I’ve endured and witnessed that scar me the most.
L: Such as?
D: Hospital nights restless with beeping, probing, peering and injecting. Nurses and doctors who purposefully traumatise you and torment you. Tubes in and out. Being dragged from appointment to pillar to post. Not being listened to and being infinitely judged and labelled… honestly, an eating disorder unit, and even mainstream hospitals, are places I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy upon to endure. Your dignity is stripped. Your independence, shattered. Your mind, warped. People have this pre conceived notion that medical ‘professionals’ know everything - and the fact of the matter is, they don’t. They’ve read textbooks and graduated - this doesn’t make them a superhero or some Earth bound God with all the answers to your medical woes. I’ve essentially had my ability to trust people within this field ravaged, and consequently am enduring the long term physical consequences of a body battered far too young - on my own now.
L: But you fight on… what creates this trait?
D: There is no choice. I will always conjure the energy to keep going. My Chinese zodiac is the Ox, and my sign is Pisces - so I will push to maintain an image of endurance, honesty and diligence… all whilst being a stubborn, cautiously hesitant, moody mademoiselle, simultaneously blessed with a natural-born empathy, interest in human nature, creativity and massive imagination.
L: When did you realise music was something you wanted to do?
D: Music was always playing in my household, from jazz greats like Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong, to ABBA and Tchaikovsky - so this undoubtedly planted a seed in me which grew into my want to discover my own music taste - which is totally eclectic. I’m inspired by the weirdest blend of musicians: Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Amy Winehouse, Kylie Minogue, Michael Jackson, Queen, Lana Del Rey, Aerosmith and Bring Me The Horizon being the top contenders. I’d spend endless hours writing lyrics, creating performance ideas in my head… It was just something I craved and wanted. And I wasn’t going to stop until I’d made at least one stamp on the industry - which I’m proud to say, I have, and am still doing.
L: Your last album release Snow and Kush had some very enticing visuals and concepts… walk me through it.
D: The concept behind the album was based on the themes of fame, money, luxury and demise. The ominous side of what it means to be lavished and dipped in extravagance. The media drip feeds this gold flaked, crushed diamond notion of celebrityism being a lusty wonderland. But the truth of the matter, I think, is that majority of ‘icons’ we aspire to and follow like sheep wear masks. Fame, in my eyes, is a Venetian ball of dishonesty and hypocrisy… but is still something we all want a taste of.
L: Do you have a concept for the next album release? D: Fantasia meets Quentin Tarantino. That’s all I’m giving away until the Fall.
ON PROJECTS AND INSPIRATION
L: What projects do you currently have going on?
D: At the moment, I am curating my fourth magazine, working on a new album and composing illustrations for a fashion book… all whilst suffering a severe and chronic health condition. I don’t look for pity, however. A true artist must experience pain in order for creativity to manifest.
L: Who inspires you in your life?
D: There are three dominant people of inspiration in my life. My late uncle, Garo Keverian. He was and remains to be the most noble and breathtaking individuals to touch my heart, mind and soul. He was a gentleman, cultured, finer than any wine, was always immaculately presented, generous beyond reason and had a heart rich with love. He taught me so much, and I loathe myself for not asking him more about life and it’s lessons when I had the chance. My mother, of course, is an inspiration to me. She’s Herculean in strength mentally, and that fuels me to be of the same caliber. And lastly, someone I sadly do not know personally (yet): Marina Abramovic… I live by her Artists Manifesto, and the words she speaks in this document act as my religion.
L: Departing message you want to instil into others?
D: Become one with yourself, because no matter how many people claim to love you, you are ultimately alone. SO, polish your bones into pearls. Kiss your own skin like a mother would kiss their newborn child. Adopt habits and create routines that make you feel good. Expect nothing of anyone. Learn to dance in the darkness and throw lightening back at Zeus when he strikes you. Instead of drowning in cerulean days, become the colour itself and paint the day like a canvas. Write down your thoughts - and do not be bottle in the ocean.
Oh, and one more thing? Make your fucking bed in the morning.
10 FIVE FAVOURITES WITH DARCY BEHATI
L: Five favourite foods.
D: tapioca balls, honeydew melon, sweet and salty popcorn, custard apple, avocado.
L: Five favourite drinks.
D: Iced coffee, honeydew melon bubble tea, basil seed drink, chocolate milkshakes, fizzy lemon and lime.
L: Five favourite musicians.
D: Lana Del Rey, Freddie Mercury/Queen, Shahin and Sephr, Lady Gaga, Aerosmith.
L: Five favourite books.
D: Wind Up Bird Chronicle, Shantaram, Dante’s Inferno, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Bible.
L: Five favourite luxuries.
D: Red lipstick, my macbook, earrings, body oil, candles.
L: Five favourite smells.
D: Hawaiian Tropic body oil, Califia XX Espresso, J’adore by Dior, cardamom, baking bread.
L: Five top places you want to visit?
D: Cambodia, Japan, China, India, and more recently: Miami
L: Five favourite films? D: Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, The Devil Wears Prada, The Godfather, Some Like It Hot.
L: Five favourite flowers?
D: Peonies, Chrysanthemums, Roses, Succulents, Berry stems.
L: Five favourite words… to describe you. D: Creative, Melancholic, Whimsical, Brave, Cerebral.
Follow Darcy Behati on her personal Instagram
Listen to here music here
Watch her videos here