When life gives you lemons in form of a global pandemic, a detour may be the only way out. At least this was the case for Kelsi, one of our inspiring ICONS on this Edition. She is one creative constantly carving a niche for herself and doing so with so much zest, beauty and grace.
Join us on this special Heart-2-Heart conversation, as Kelsi shares a truckload of inspiration on her creative journey on the Art of cooking in between inspiring a healthy lifestyle. Dig in, its about to be delicious.
Enjoy and Stay Inspired:
You glow effortlessly and radiate so much joy. A quite heart-warming kind. Please share some highlights of how you began your creative journey in your unique space cooking and sharing delicious recipes.
During the first COVID lock down was when I started. I had just finished the university. I actually did business at the university, and we were meant to be travelling. Me and my partner’s plan was to travel around and kind of avoid being an adult for a little bit and then obviously we couldn’t go travelling because COVID lock down was pretty strict. We couldn’t go anywhere, so we were at my parent’s house, and I was like I needed to figure out what I want to do now. So, I ended up starting this Instagram page because I really love food. I was like “oh, I might as well share some recipes online” and then I did that, and I was kind of looking at other food bloggers, and I was like oh my gosh! These are people’s jobs, and I had no idea that it was people’s jobs. During the lock down I was like “wow, I’m so determined to make this my job” and then I decided to write an e-book, and my dad was reading, and he was like “you should definitely send this to publishers” and I was like “I don’t think that’s how this works” and I ended up sending it to publishers and that was how I got my first cook book deal. I guess that was nearly three years ago now. It’s just crazy how I’ve spent the last few years just trying to grow my social media and making new food and coming out with new products and everything. Yeah! It’s been really fun. A great job that I didn’t know existed few years ago.
Can you remember the first ‘creative dish’ you made and what inspired it
Oh! My gosh, the first one. Oh, I don’t know. I have to figure this one out. So, my mum is actually an artist. She’s like super creative. She’s really good. She’s always been a painter. So, I was like “uh, maybe I’m not just that inclined”, but I always like clothes and fashion and colours and putting things together, and now I realise that I’m actually a creative just not like to draw… There’s so many other. More like my dad who is more business minded. I don’t even remember like my first dish, but I remember consuming recipes and ideas and colours and becoming good at photography, which is something that I really wanted to do… It is inspired by everything. If it’s going to be on Instagram it’s got to look pretty.
Would you say you started cooking at a very young age?
No, not really. I was actually very competitive sooner so, I didn’t very much my whole life, but yeah, I loved food. I was like a big foodie. I always went out of my way to eat good food, but I think my mum has always been an amazing cook so we just always had really good food at home. I never got much interested in like making my own until maybe a year before I started doing this as a job which is kind of crazy. That’s pretty rare.
And you became that good?
Yeah. I don’t know. I was quite good at putting flavors together and obviously doing it every day for a while and practicing and making it a thing. Now it is almost like a system, you know it needs this amount of something. So yes starting it was interesting it was just about experimenting, putting things together to see how it tastes good.
What does Art mean to you?
Like I said, my mum is an artist and my dad who is not good at drawing is amazing at like making things. Like for our house, he puts things together, and it looks amazing. They actually have built a couple of houses, and they are so good at that, and they always have both collected Art. And being really passionate about things and colours and the way it looks. And so I think like accidentally, I’ve always really, really enjoyed it without realizing it.
I feel like I love how Art makes you feel a certain type of way. So, I think that’s the same in like putting colors together, making it look a certain way with food to make people feel good. This is Art to me.
We are grateful to have you onboard this special ISSUE with the theme- Rise, in celebration of inspiring women in the creative industry. We understand how certain stereotypes, cultures, sentiments and faulty orientations have stood as subtle roadblocks for women to thrive boundlessly. Have you ever encountered any form of gender based discrimination? Any quick tips for women who may have been victims of severe circumstances?
It’s quite funny when you’re younger you don’t really realize it happens. I might just be like “no, that doesn’t happen as much where I am.” You know, you see things on movies or whatever. I’ve never had anything like really bad happen but there’s little things and like in a meeting, and they made me feel like different and they kind of made me feel like even though the other person was wrong, they kind of made me feel like I was wrong because I was a young girl or whatever. So, I’ve had a lot circumstances like that where they didn’t feel like the right thing, and I was like “oh, it’s because I’m a young woman.” Like I have to put two and two together, when you’re young you don’t even realize it. You’re living your life and going to school. So, it’s interesting as you get older you don’t notice it happening aside these little things, it makes me feel that I grew up. I have two brothers – an older and a younger, and I feel like this is what made me want to win. It’s made in such way that I didn’t let anyone speak to me in a certain sort of way; I’d stand up for myself often. So, I think that’s the most important thing.
A quick tip would be just standing up for yourself actually. Or even if you leave feeling a bit crappy and then realizing that “oh, I shouldn’t feel crappy” that wasn’t my fault or my problem. You know like, I used to use scenarios if I’m feeling a bit down. I tell myself “actually that’s not my issue. That was their issue.” So, it’s basically standing up for yourself and not letting it affect you in the long term.
You live an awe-inspiring life, one boundless, with so much glee and beauty traveling and living your passion. This is no doubt a perfect reflection of the dream life of many creatives out there. Please share any quick tips for young creatives battling with self-doubt.
I think actually it was quite funny when I first went into the lock down and realized we couldn’t travel, I had like a big breakdown of thinking “oh my gosh! What am I going to do?” Because I didn’t feel I was good at anything and my mum was like “that’s ridiculous, because you’re good at lots of things” and then now obviously, yes I am because sometimes you feel like you aren’t, which is just silly because everybody is good at something. When I’m feeling a little bit of self-doubt, I try to write a list of things that I really want, goals, what I really want short term, long term and then that kind of put them in perspective of maybe I can achieve them what am I going to do to achieve them and yeah I feel that really helps because it puts one foot in front of the other trying to reach those goals when you’re feeling really down or just doing what you like because when I’m feeling that way, I know it’s not real. Okay I’m going to go swimming in the ocean or go surfing or listen to some podcast. I always felt that when I come back I feel a lot more confident in myself and what I can do.
We love your mission of gradually building a community of people with a healthy and balanced life. What would you consider most fulfilling about your creative journey?
Oh, I think it’s like when I get messages from people that says you’ve changed my life with this recipe or inspire someone who said they were too scared to travel and work, but I’ve seen you do it and without you realizing, and now I want to travel and work, and I’m not scared to do it anymore. So, I think it’s messages from followers and people who know me, seeing any ways that I’ve helped them at all especially young girls. So, I think that’s the most fulfilling even if it’s just like the tiniest little thing that I have helped out with like maybe it’s really amazing. I never ever thought that that would be my job or purpose or anything, so I’m so fulfilled that it is now.
Do you feel creatives in developed countries are at advantage than those in developing countries?
No. I’ve never been that person before. I’ve travelled to so many countries, and I meant maybe the advantage of resources, but I don’t think creativity wise at all like we were in Vietnam last year and there was this guy making these incredible sculptures out of toothpicks and there were these tiny little things that piled up together, and I was like “WHAT? These things are insane” travelling to these places I realise how everyone everywhere is creative actually. So, I think resources-wise yes, but I think in terms of creativity in your brain, no. I’ll put it that way.
We understand balancing work time and rest time is a struggle for many Creatives. Please share a few tips on how you try to balance work time, rest time and family time?
Yeah, that’s something I always try to do. My Dad has always been super busy, still it hasn’t stopped him from being supportive my whole life! He would come on every single school camp, he would do everything with us on the weekends. He turns off his phone as soon as he gets home. He has made like a thing where all he does is to be present with his family. The older I get the more I realize that that’s really the most important thing, to be around family and friends and be present especially when your job is online, it’s quite hard to sometimes clock off social media because it’s my job, and it’s also like scrolling, and sometimes it’s just fun, so sometimes you got to separate times for work and life. I guess I usually have say hours in the day when I commit to doing something and other hours when I commit to being present with family. I think that’s something you learn as you get older you realise that the most important thing you can do in finding that balance. I think it takes a bit of like practice makes perfect type of thing to figure out what works for you. Yeah, I love family time and doing activities with everyone like surfing in the morning and things like that, so I do try to prioritize more of that now even though it’s hard. Sometimes you desperately want to keep working.
What does success mean to you?
I think it changes over time. I think success is almost along the way in making life feel fulfilling, making yourself feel good and love what you do so that the end product you deem as success is actually successful because if you’re just having a bad time along the way, it’s not really going to be successful. Something I recently learnt is that you’re always going to have things in life people deem successful. Myself, I think it’s living a fulfilled happy life as well as I think it’s the most important thing you can do.
Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow, and you have a choice of one color in that palette, what would that be and why?
I always change my favourite colors. I’m into green currently. I don’t know why…khaki green at the moment I’m not even sure if there’s any reason. Well, actually there has been heaps of rain in New Zealand, a crazy amount of rain and everything is looking very green outside. Or maybe that’s it.
Please briefly tell us something we do not know about Kelsi Boocock?
Although I grew up in New Zealand, I actually lived in Fiji for a little bit when I was younger which is a bit of fun fact. I was a competitive swimmer for like 10 years of my life, so I was getting up to train at 4:30 in the morning which is ridiculous, and then I got to travel the world and swim which is pretty cool.
Also, it’s funny that I love travelling and going out and about, but I’m also a bit of a home buddy, so I’m a mix of both which is quite interesting. I love going to the movies.
Massive Love Kelsi!
The ICONIC Team