what’s pretty and purple and pierced all over? 22-year-old actress, artist and witch zheani sparkes
We catch up with the purpled haired, pierced beauty to talk body modification and being bffs with Grace Neutral.
A nomad at heart, Zheani Sparkes has travelled the world in search of like-minded and free-spirited people, settling most recently in London after meeting her now BFF: the indigo-eyed, pointed-eared, fork-tongued tattoo artist Grace Neutral. Like Grace, Zheani eschews all normal ideals of beauty. With 18 tattoos, which she refers to as talismans, two round ear plugs and a runic pattern tattooed to her forehead, Zheani is her own kind of beautiful. This uniqueness ultimately led to her being cast by Cara Delevingne in her capsule collection campaign for DKNY last year. An inspiration to young girls far and wide who celebrate her for daring to be different, she has over 63K followers on Insta. Having just landed her debut film role, it looks like Zheani will be setting sail once again, this time heading to the sunny climes of California.
Tell me a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
I come from the dystopia that is rural Queensland, Australia. Growing up I couldn't have been more mentally and emotionally removed from my small town surroundings. I spent most of my time dreaming of another world and my escape into it.
Why do you do it?
I want to share art with meaning and soul and I hold film close to my heart. It's always engaged me like nothing else and allows me to communicate and express myself with the world around me.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Futuristic, minimalistic, realistic, magic.
You've spoken about witchcraft and psychic abilities online. Can you explain a bit about this?
Everyone has the potential to tap into extra sensory abilities and recollections. I'm just vocal and aware of mine. My personal beliefs come from my understanding of scientific keys such as our chakra system and truths like our natural ability to manifest in all forms of life.
How many tattoos do you have and what do they mean?
18 in total, all time stamps and talismans.
What was your main motivation behind tattooing your forehead and what were you trying to express?
Its runic purpose is to counterbalance me as I walk this path, hence the placement. It holds personal sentiments but the main message I'm expressing is the consonance of balance (key to life).
Who or what do you aspire to look like?
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is a feeling. Beauty can be found in anything, it's in the eye of the beholder... you just have to know what you're looking for.
Tell us about your friendship with Grace Neutral?
Our friendship is the reason I came to London this year.
Would you ever venture into extreme body modification like Grace?
When Nikon works out cyborg eye vision you know my number!
What is it about decorating your body that interests you?
There's something primal about it for me.
Cara picked you for her DKNY capsule collection campaign, how did that come about?
She saw my pic and caught my vibe.
What would you say to young girls who feel pressured to look a certain way?
The society we live in capitalizes on our spoon-fed insecuritie$. Don't buy into the bullshit.
What are you working on at the moment?
My main focus for 2015 is filming The Dream Of The Guest in Palm Springs, California. I play the role of an 18-year-old girl with a dysfunctional family, challenged and pressured by expectations of the people around her.
What are your dreams for the future?
I'm going to leave it up to the universe to wait and see.