Interview: Marine Edith Crosta

As a part of our new series of blogposts, celebrating the 100th anniversary since the first women got the right to vote in the UK, we will share a monthly interview with a woman we find particularly inspiring. 

First up is Marine Edith Crosta, who you might recognise from one of our weekly discoveries blog. We got to know Marine and her work when we worked in neighbouring studios, and we have loved following her and her work since. 

Hi Marine! Can you describe what you do and tell us a little bit about your creative process? 

I'm a painter and a maker. I mainly paint miniatures, it started because of the lack of space (and of a proper studio), and it stuck. I also just launched the studio fragranced candle and I am in the process of designing and producing other object that will -hopefully- come to life very soon. 

What inspired you to start painting?

I grew up in the South West of France, close to the ocean and the sea has always been very special to me. Painting the sea or an ocean related subject, is a very satisfying experience, it's very soothing. Each painting takes me on a journey. I also love the fact that so many people can relate to this subject, and I always enjoy finding out why people feel connected to the ocean. There is always a story there.

Can you tell us about any women that you find inspiring, and why?

In all honesty, my friends! I'm very lucky to be surrounded by talented, kind hearted, genuine ladies. I'm very proud that I can call every single one of them a true friend. It's truly inspiring and moving to see them grow, find themselves, make mistakes and bounce back. They are all very strong in their own way. 

Has it been important for you to have other women to look up to?

Yes and no. I think it is quite tricky to look up to people growing up, because it can be so intense and selfless that the very day that person makes a decision you don’t understand, takes a path that you don’t recognise or does something questionable, it can be very unsettling. It happened to me and it took be a long time to get back on my feet. 

What's the best advice you've been given?

‘Sleep on it’. - my boyfriend. I’m very impulsive and impatient and I can sometimes make decisions on a whim. This advice made a big difference numerous times, I still need to work on that though!

‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ - my mum. People aren’t waiting around trying to guess what you want and why. Express your needs clearly and things will happen easier and quicker than you think. 

Do you have any advice to give to other women?

Not really, but something really strikes me as soon as feminism comes up in a conversation. Men are immediately stigmatised and set aside, I mean it happens often, and it’s so wrong. There is no enemy here, and most men I know feel strongly about gender equality, togetherness and respect. 

We sometimes feel that women are exposed to unnecessary competition against each other. What do you think we can do to instead support other women around us?

I know and I really reflected on that a lot lately! As a result, I have decided to always speak out when I have something nice to say. Whether I think your opinion on this particular subject really moved me, or that I think your hair looks nice, I always say. It makes such a difference on a daily basis. 

Is there anything you wish you could say to your younger self?

Chill, stop hating yourself so much, and it’s ok to say no, people are not going to go anywhere if you put yourself first from time to time.

What's your biggest hope for the future in terms of gender equality?

Equal opportunities obviously…  Someone shared an article the other day about transgender men being arrested, shaved and forced to wear men’s clothes to ‘teach them a lesson’ in Indonesia.

Things like this happen everyday, and we don’t need to travel that far to witness it. This question raises so many other, races and religions included, and I do not only hope for gender equality but for equality for all. 

 Images: 1 - 5 from Marine's Instagram, the last photograph is by Morgane Lay