@Ddaanat by Natalie – Rays of Sunshine

Reflections of inner worlds, and personal explorations of the soul, a warm and nostalgic aesthetic, represented in a personal archive with the beauty of the traveler’s lens exhibited in a reel made like a true art painting. Breathtaking moments curated by Natalie.

Rays of Sunshine is Truly Yours.

Amira Hassan: Tell our readers your artistic background

Natalie: Since childhood, I was weirdly attracted by the idea of intellectuality and gaining knowledge. It started with an admiration for history, especially Egyptology with the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, exploring then to all the other epochs like the Renaissance and new age, where I started to indulge in art history and music history, and now I am currently into literature, psychology and developed an interest for theology. Secretly I dreamed to archive a place among the greatest in history. I saw myself standing in my atelier and discussing technical and philosophical topics with other artists, or with a shovel and brush at a burial plot, or in a café with other writers… incredibly ambitious for a child, no? *chuckles*

These light-headed ambitions turned into ash but even now, I think deep down behind all my actions these left-behind daydreams of my past are unconsciously influencing my creative endeavors and goals.

2. How did you come across your creative side?

I think it’s been always there. I cannot pinpoint a moment of revelation or recognition for my creative side – it was and still is an ever-present desire. The only difference is that I did not take it seriously in the past but more like a “little hobby” or a “typically girlish thing” until I recently realized that it takes me unnecessarily a lot of energy to hold back, to ignore it and maintain an “average disposition”. That being said, I do not want to compare myself to others or display some sort of advantage, I only recognized a force that wants to break out – and what choice do I have, other than to pour forth? Else I will suffocate.

3) Why have you chosen this aesthetic theme for your Instagram page?

I think aesthetic always changes and develops, so mine will probably too. But I try to archive a warm and nostalgic aesthetic. Most likely described as a mix out of Studio Ghibli sceneries and film aesthetic of the last 4 decades of the last century combined with insightful captions.

The first impression should be preferably a welcoming and inviting feeling, in hopes to drive the visitor to stay a bit longer and look at the things I have to offer. Someone said, that an Instagram page should be treated like a living room and I agree with that, because I do think that my interior choice would have the same vibes and colors as my page.

4) What is the message you want to spread in the creative world?

The red thread – to use Goethe’s terminology – in my work is the desire to live, explore and understand the world, the people and myself. One suffers in life. It is hard and the world seems sometimes downright cursed. But still, there are reasons to keep living. With that in mind I wish to transmit the vague sense of this hope and beauty, of this depth and vulnerability – to inspire people to reach their potential, to commit to self-reflection and self-development.

I humbly “only” want to point to the moon, the journey towards it, is up to each person.

5. Can you share your creative process in making your posts, captions, and photo catalog?

I wish I could but that’s one of my under-developed areas. So far everything I’ve done was heavily influenced by my motivation, mood and the weather. Spontaneity and sudden burst of energy have been so far the fuel of my actions, which is not negative per se but leads to my inconsistency and chaos in keeping deadlines I set myself or wish to plan. 

Hopefully I’ll find a more balanced way where I have a decent organization and clear pinpoints in the process but still enough freedom to not disturb the flow of creativity.

6. Your captions are always inspirational, full of cultural knowledge. How do you research your rays of sunshine?

I usually do not consciously research my posts (except some blog posts). My mind is constantly brewing some ideas or thinking about topics, philosophies about life – puzzling and connecting all the knowledge I gained so far from books, films, interviews, podcasts, and my own life lessons. But besides that, I like to take notes and write down quotes that have expanded perspectives. 

7. When do you feel most inspired?

I am a night owl, so I get a lot of ideas in the evening or during the night. I also prefer to work in the evening at my desk because it feels like I am getting more done than during the day. My main inspirations are the films of Studio Ghibli for a positive outlook onto my life but also classic literature for the spiritual and philosophical depth. Besides that I like to observe my surrounding and I like people watching when I am sitting in a Café or waiting on a station – there is so much that one can overlook. 

8. Share a quote from your favorite Writer that resonates with you.

“May you be forever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn’t such a moment sufficient for the whole of one’s life?”

-Fyodor Dostoevsky

9. What value would you like to add in this world through the rays of sunshine on your page?

I want to remind people that it’s important to detach themselves from the superficialities and problems of today’s system and put some effort into the development of character, solidifying one’s dignity and personal philosophy in life. You have to take things into your own hands if you want to get the best out of life and with confronting good change you might also inspire and do good for others as well. The key for wholeness is not out there but within you, yet people fear to take a closer look at their soul and take responsibility for it.

10. What social media creator would you like to meet or collaborate with in the future? And how does their content inspire you?

I am an admirer from afar, so I do not think I have the guts to meet any creator I feel inspired by. But if I had a chance for a collaboration I’d be interested in the thought to work with photography creators like @vanellimelli or @wishwishwish because I love the way they create with film and they have sharp eye for aesthetic.

11. What would you love to archive in your dream plans?

In general, I wish to surround myself with good people and lead a balanced and peaceful life, where I can wholeheartedly share the things I have to offer with the people I love but also with strangers. But speaking of a more personal aspiration, I want to finish my academia and become an internationally acclaimed writer. 

12. Do you think there is something you can bring to this world through your rays of sunshine on your page which couldn’t in any other field of work?

Yes, I think – or I least hope so! It might be nothing big and touch only a few people’s hearts but I wish to communicate the beauty of vulnerability, tenderness, and small details in one’s personal life. There is so much good and a lot to be grateful for. It’s so easy to get lost in the stream of negativity and emptiness of today’s world but yet besides all the hardship, it’s worth to battle for one’s own bliss (in a non-narcissistic, noble way).

13. Share with us the most beautiful testimonial you’ve got from your audience that touched your heart deeply and added valuable insight?

I gladly do so! I’ve been blessed with so many heart-warming and genuine words of affirmation of followers, and people in the internet. I keep them all as screenshots in an album called “love letters” – a bit corny, I know but at the end of the day they are a sort of digital love letters.

I re-read them from time to time and rediscover every time that how amazing it is that people can express themselves and how much such a genuine moment of raw kindness and affirmation impacts my soul. I feel touched by those words, it’s an honor to get a respectful and positive recognition for one’s efforts, as small they are. 

The message: “What I wouldn’t give to have a cup of coffee and have a chat about life with you. I dunno why but something tells me it would be a very enlightening conversation for me.” – 26.Oct.2022

Follow her on Social Media

Natalie – @ddaanat

Rays of Sunshine – July 2023

Editor Amira Hassan introduce a new interview series on the uncoiled magazine website about a collection of instagram pages that have added an immense cultural value to our daily lives, they have added rays of sunshine in our intellectual mind with daily posts about inspiring poets, artists, photographers and writers. They enriched our world with quotes from heartfelt classic movies, from Breathless in French new wave films, to Studio Ghibli beautiful and colorful movies. We would like to give the spotlight to these personalities whose work is most valuable in the social media world, and their creative endeavors deserve recognition and appraisal.

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