Why are you called SunflowerTeeth?
I was pondering over a domain name 5 years ago for my website and because Sunflowers are my favourite flower plus it comes from a quote said by one of my favourite actresses Shannyn Sossamon. Here it is: “I love sunflowers. I always thought that when God was making beautiful things, He messed up with sunflowers. They look like crooked teeth around a mouth that’s too big, kind of. But… just when He was about to start over, He realized that’s what made them beautiful. They were a brilliant mistake.”
That quote is kind of fitting to my Quirky or ‘Crooked’ unconventional life and sums up the beautiful imperfections of life in general.
Are you really a professional Artist?
Yes, I worked my way up through school and college studying arts and humanities subjects and then I qualified after 3 years in BA Hons Fine Art with an upper 2:1 and a primary focus on performance art, dance movement, video & room installations.
Right now I am setting up my freelance business involving dance and yoga; focusing on training to become a holistic teacher using belly dance, dance movement, the chakras, mental health, fitness, yoga and creativity to help Kids, Teens and Adults heal their mind, body & spirit. All my interests somehow connect beautifully and really represent how I visualize the world and also how it inspires my Art.
Why TEFL & what is it?
TEFL means “Teaching English as a Foreign Language”. So I am essentially now qualified as an English teacher to students whose English is not their mother tongue. Why? Because I love people from different cultures, I love to travel, I want to experience more what it feels like to live abroad and really grasp living in another culture, learn a new language too. I also love the flexibility of such a career and how I can teach English alongside teaching dance, yoga and art. I think schools and parents would love to find out I can also teach evening belly dance classes or Sunday morning yoga to their kids for example, why not? I could teach English in a local Thai school for example but also teach yoga once a week in a yoga studio near the school, anything is possible.
What are your current dreams?
Right now I am working towards leaving my part time retail job in order to travel and teach.
Essentially teaching TEFL will soon act as my main source of income and then I’ll have the freedom to set up yoga and belly dance classes as well as wellness workshops wherever I am in the world. Because my mum already lives in Bulgaria, I have connections with a few expats who are running retreat centres and I am discussing with them the possibility of teaching at their studios next summer, I also have a close friend in Cyprus who facilitates an arts & theatre summer school, who also wants me to visit as a guest teacher. Once I’ve made this dream come true, I’ll probably just rest and enjoy being in that moment knowing I *hopefully* won’t ever have to work in retail ever again.
On the side, I will still keep up with my writing, performing and art making too. The dream is to cultivate a life where I am my own boss, nobody tells me what to do and I have the freedom to enjoy creating a family where I can work from home and still be present as a mum, where I can go teach a class and bring my kids to watch or join in, that’s also a big thing for me too because of the experiences I had in my childhood.
Are you really English?
Yep, pretty much. Yet another frequently asked question. People always ask me where I am from and do not believe me when I tell them I am from Blackpool in England. I have been told I look Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Bulgarian, French, Portuguese, Iranian and Greek as well many others. It is really flattering and I love that I can connect with people through my face.
The truth is: My Dad’s father was Scottish and he was from Kircoldy. Ness is a surname that is very ancient and came from a Norwegian/Scottish tribe of Picts known for their dark hair, pale skin and painting woad on their skin for battle. We have our own coat of arms. On my mum’s side, my Grandmother was Irish from Kilkenny and my Granddad was a Romany Gypsy raised in France until his parents moved the family to Blackpool. I’ve recently done a DNA test that shows my Romany ancestors migrated from Iberia (South of Spain). I must have pretty strong genetics for all of that still present in my appearance to make me look mixed. Bloody brilliant though! I am really proud of my Celtic and Romany heritage.
Do you use facebook, Instagram or Twitter?
I do use Facebook. Here is my Sunflowerteeth facebook page, and here is my KatieSunflower instagram. I am not fond of twitter, although I may change my mind one day…
As a professional Belly Dancer do you teach classes?
I am setting up some taster sessions and I do perform around the UK as well, to promote my art. I am also creating workshops entitled “Wild & Free”, “Slow like honey” and “It’s all in the hips Deary.” and all three workshops are centered around the Chakras, the mechanics of belly dance, creative flow, ritual dance & group bonding as well as meditations and mild Yoga stretches.
What are you currently working on at the moment?
Apart from this life-style blog and keeping it updated and maintained I work as an artist making dream catchers, collages and botanical illustrations. I am a trainee Magdalene Priestess, this means I can facilitate sacred feminine workshops. I am a Prose Poet and I am working on an illustrated poetry book which I hope to be published. From time to time I make professional Belly Dance videos too. I am also trained in Indian Head Massage, attuned to Reiki and I am currently traveling a lot! I am also creating a new website that will showcase all my skills, where I will teach, what I teach etc. I’m a very busy Bee!
What do you love about life?
I love nature (especially in Autumn), the smell of trees after it’s rained, applying Henna on my hands, Tarot Cards, chunky rings, the smell of Henna and the sea and water falls. Travel and culture is important to me. I love to read as it reminds me of my Nanna who taught me to read. I love hand crafted things from jewellery to cushions or clothes. I love antique pieces of junk like old trunks, penny Farthings and cameras. I love Middle Eastern dance forms and Iranian poetry. I love the Spanish Language. Chocolate. Mermaids. The word ‘Quirky’. I love Learning about nutrition, well-being, herbal remedies, massage, Yoga, Mudras and Hindu Philosophy, I love listening to stories of love, eroticism & romance. I love loving my vessel & practicing Yoga in my underwear, yum! I love the magic of life and what dreams bring. I am a free spirit, although outwardly I may seem introverted I have a very wild heart that will never been tamed.
What are your annoying habits?
Hehehe I am extremely clumsy which in turn makes me messy. Not that I am not clean and tidy but I tend to accidentally trip up and spill things or when I am opening food packets the contents explode all over the floor. I tend to nick socks and I don’t always wear matching pairs either. I dance to music in shops. I also bite my lips when I am nervous. I am a terrible fidget in bed too. I am also stubborn towards unwanted advice.
What type of music do you listen to?
Dr Toast, Hozier, Shakira, Alanis Moressette, Sia, Poolside, world music, Kyla la Grange, Joss Stone, Beirut, Bat for Lashes, Solace, Beats Antique, Damian Rice, Regina Spektor Massive Attack, Muse…. I am quite eclectic really, I’ll have days where I listen to vintage rock and afternoons of classical piano.
Who are your hero’s/Inspirations?
Patch Adams, Shakira, Rachel Brice, Moria Chappell, Kim Krans, Eva Green, Meghan Currie, Krista Marie Starr, Hannah Mermaid, Dan Eldon, Shirin Neshat and Shilo Shiv Suleman to name but a few….If you don’t know who these people are or the work they do, do check them out, they are extra-ordinary people.
Any more questions you’d like answered just leave a comment or email me at Katie[at]sunflowerteeth.com and I will get back to you.