A few weeks ago, Teen Eye had the chance to talk to Isabella Stewart, the mastermind behind the online collection and blog and magazine Female Hercules.
Take a look into Isabella's life as we discuss her work, juggling her responsibilities as a student and the fashion world, and what subculture means to her.
TE: What is Female Hercules? What is the meaning behind the name?
FH: Female Hercules started out as a visual gallery on Instagram, (@female.hercules) but now mainly serves as an online magazine for culture vultures. I am producing creative content from all angles, shooting it but also predicting the new. I chose the name “Female Hercules” AKA HER-CULES GALLERY because I wanted to empower myself as a young female creative. I’m from a relatively small suburban community, and so I wanted to connect with people around the world through social media who have a similar taste in art, culture, and fashion. After I built up the FH community, I decided to focus my content solely on other young female creatives and to give them voice on this platform.
TE: As a student, how do you balance your workload and Female Hercules? What challenges have you had to overcome?
FH: School work is always the priority. That’s my job. Female Hercules is not my job, it’s a hobby and an experiment. I try to only work on Female Hercules over the weekend and during school breaks because that’s when I have the most amount of time to be productive with it. Often when creating content, I have to travel to meet people, write, edit, interact with my community on SM. It’s a tight schedule, but so worth it.
TE: Teen Eye’s upcoming issue is on subculture. Do you think you, as an artist, are a member of any subculture or group?
FH: Hm.. this is a hard question. I think as an artist I try to not fit into any particular category. Much of Female Hercules is focused on unorthodox art and style. It’s truly centered around people with unique lifestyles. I think anyone can go onto Female Hercules and appreciate the content because of its message, which takes our content out of a subculture.
TE: You’ve collaborated with others before. How do you think being young and female has changed your experience working with other artists, as well as interacting with the community in general?
FH: There is definitely a sense of vulnerability when you’re fifteen years old, female and taking the subway to the depths of Brooklyn by yourself to meet a stranger for an interview. Also, when I started out, I was often afraid that my age would turn people off from working with me or make people feel like they were doing me a big favor by collaborating. For that reason I open up about my age only after I collaborate, swap connections, etc.
TE: Who inspires you?
FH: Venus X, Rejjie Snow, Ren Hang, Harmony Korine, my boss at Office Magazine Simon Rasmussen, Bloody Osiris, Princess Nokia, my friend Colm Dillane (Kidsuper), Martine Ali.
Directors like Wes Anderson, Sergei Parajanov, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Petra Collins.
My aesthetic generally is rooted in gothic subculture, skate culture, and Japanese art.
TE: What advice do you have for other teens who are looking to run a successful fashion blog? How can they “break into” the industry?
FH: Isabella's step by step guide to start a blog.
Develop your own creativity: draw inspiration. Make art. Get a sense of style. Become a unique individual
Develop your self confidence and REACH OUT! It’s as simple as sending an email or a DM. Build a bridge and get over your shyness.
GET LIT: Go to concerts, parties, fashion shows. Meet people, exchange numbers, and seek opportunities to collaborate.
You don’t have to work with people who you think have more clout than you. Just find people that would be down to create content with you.
If you can do it yourself, do it. Don’t spend your bank. You don’t need a website developer. You don’t need a social media advisor. You don’t need a creative consultant. Save your money. Get your hands dirty.
Don’t take it too seriously. Take it slow and have patience with the growth of your following.
Stay consistent as you can with your content.