This month, we spoke to London based designer and illustrator, Micaela Alcaino about Self care, Community and her Heritage. Here’s all the tea on our conversation with her.
Micaela, as you know we’re huge fans of Tea and the fact that, like food, it can bring people together in community.
What would you say Community means to you?
Community is a sense of belonging but also a support network. I think it was Simon Sinek who wrote that Community is like a safety net. If you have a strong community behind you, no matter what risk you take, you will always have a net to fall on. And I think that’s the best analogy out there for what I think Community is. And it's so nice to be the net for others in my community as well.
So what does your Tribe/family/group of friends look like? What’s unique about them?
I've always been a very tight-knit group type of person. Maybe it comes with my personality type (INFJ), as Myers Briggs put it; INFJ’s are very carefully selective in who we surround ourselves with. I am so proud and happy with the amazing group of friends I have. As well as I have the most incredibly supportive family. What makes them unique? That no matter whether we talked yesterday or it's been a couple of weeks, they are always cheering me on and are there to support me.
What’s your approach to Self-Care? Do you have a Self-Care routine?
YES!! Self-care means various different things to me! One, it means looking after your skin, and I give all that credit to the Korean Dramas I watch haha, now I have a 7 step face care routine morning and night. The other side of self-care is making sure I get 7-9 hours of sleep every night (the benefits of sleep are endless, from productivity levels to longer life, to lowering health risks etc), as well I make sure to exercise 4-6 times a week. Even on days I don’t feel like doing weight training or HIIT training, I make sure I get my 10,000 steps in and eat well. I also meditate and do breathing exercises to help with Anxiety and above all else, I make sure I keep in touch with the people I love.
It’s amazing that you can find the time for all this! What would you say your favorite Self-care secret is?
These are some of the few things that changed my life:
- The Korean Skincare Bible: The Ultimate Guide to K-beauty by Lilin Yang (taught me everything I need to know for a good skincare routine)
- Calm app (https://www.calm.com/) my favourite app for meditation
- Wim Hof app (https://www.wimhofmethod.com/wim-hof-method-mobile-app) is my favorite app for breathing exercises. I do this every morning and it gives me sooo much energy.
- Doctors Kitchen Podcast - This changed me life in how I look at food a lifestyle and the effects on my body. (https://thedoctorskitchen.com/podcasts)
Oh wow! Thanks for those great tips! I love that you have a real balance of body and soul care in there. Speaking of soul, when you look back and reflect on the evolution of You, what stands out in your mind?
Oh goodness. I wouldn’t recognize myself. I had some very hard and problematic teenage years and I had to overcome some really steep obstacles from a young age, which forced me to learn in my early twenties what my triggers were and what were the best tools to process things for me. Even now in my thirties I'm learning new things and being constantly challenged. Character growth is important not just for you but for the people who surround you. Right now I’m on a journey to learn more about others' points of view and how my own bias can affect how I view others.
And how do you feel about Change?
I’m one of the rare few that love and embrace change. I think it’s necessary and important for personal growth. The moment we stop challenging ourselves and stop learning is the moment we stop living. I tend to challenged myself every 3 years to move on to a new challenge, whether is taking the leap to freelance life, learning a new skill, thinking about raising a family, to learning more about things I don’t yet understand. To be creative is bringing the unknown into the known. Creativity is not just the arts. It's problem-solving, and path creating. The unknown is scary for every human being, but it’s the most rewarding when you pave out your own path and take the road less traveled.
So, we’re huge fans of Òríkì, a Yoruba poetic tradition that literally means to greet/praise the mind/soul. We do this by speaking out the beauty in our heritage, our individual identity and declaring our legacy. How would you describe:
I am proud of my South American (Chile and Argentina) and German Heritage. My parents are the ones that taught me to go get the best and most in life. To strive to be the best I can be in myself and in my career. From immigrants who immigrated to Australia and had to start their life and careers again from scratch, I am proud to have seen them build something from the ground up and make a name for themselves. And growing up surrounded by the Chilean community in Sydney made me realize the importance of community. The Latin culture is all about keeping your family close and a part of your life.
Your individual identity/personality?i
Creative, Stubborn, Adventurous. I also try and be as generous as I can with others as well.
What do you think your legacy will be?
I hope it is to inspire creativity in others.