Real Talk with Nadeesha

Brisbrane Photographer

I'm Nadeesha; I'm 27 years old and I was born and raised in Sri Lanka, a beautiful island in the Indian ocean. when I was 16 years old, I moved to Australia with my parents and my little brother. Although I spent most of my childhood in Sri Lanka I always felt out of place. I felt as if people are judging me because of my quirky and weird personality. I always wanted to try things that were out of the normal, but people around me made it difficult. Once I moved to Australia I felt more at ease. I was able to express myself and feel accepted more. 

Since I was about 5 years old I have been on the edge and really 'sad'. Every day is a new kind of sadness. At that time, of course, I did not know that this was depression. There were many possible reasons that might have affected me to end up with depression and anxiety. These reasons are extremely personal to me. My anxiety was mainly due to not being accepted for who I am in the society. I felt left out. As I grew older I got more depressed and anxious. I would have panic attacks very frequently. I also became very violent as a defence mechanism. I always felt neglected, because no one understood why I was this way. I have been called crazy, stupid, attention seeker and much more. The more I received these responses the more I became depressed. I grew up not knowing what was wrong with me or how to deal with it.  

When I was at the age of 22 after a serious relationship breakup I ended up extremely sick. It was a physically and mentally abusive relationship. Although the relationship ended my mental health deteriorated rapidly due to the effects of it. My parents eventually took me to a psychiatrist. There, I got to know why I was the way I am, what was wrong with me and how I can help myself to get better. Although I have been in and out of therapy sessions and taken various medications I still struggle every day. Not knowing how I will feel tomorrow is the hardest thing. 
Many of my life events increased my health issues. Some days I am extremely energetic and happy, but most of the days I am feeling down and do not want to get out of my room. When I am depressed my mind is telling me to do things that I typically would not want to. Suicidal thoughts play a major part in my depression. Certain days I hate seeing or talking to anybody.  I am often unsure when I will feel better again, but when I do feel better I am anxious about the thought of being depressed again. 

Still to this day he is the only person that can completely understand me. He is the only one I can be 100% myself with and bare my soul. However, our relationship and beautiful marriage has taken a toll due to my recurring depression and anxiety attacks. He feels frustrated not knowing how to help me. I have felt even more depressed as I feel like I am failing my marriage. I feel as if I am not being the wife that he deserves due to my mental health. Certain life events that occurred recently has lead to a very difficult journey for both of us. I am scared for my life as I do not know how things will turn out. 

Depression is not just being sad. Anxiety is not being dramatic or seeking attention. These are two major issues that certain people struggle their whole life to deal with. If someone is vocal about their depression and anxiety telling them to 'Get over it' will only make the issue worse. Try to listen to their story and understand what they are feeling. Show them that they are not alone and you will help them overcome their difficult time.  

Brisbane photographer

A person who struggles with these issues need a great support group. Partners, families and friends should listen to their loved one with depression and always be by their side. Make time for your loved one before it is too late. Every day is a new low with depression and anxiety

However, you cannot let it overcast your life. Keeping yourself busy with a job, family, friends or hobbies are simple ways to divert your focus away from the difficult times. Trying new treatments that are allocated for people with depression and anxiety and sticking to one that is helpful is a good way to decrease the effects of the low mood. Simple activities such as taking a walk or watching a movie that you like can help lift up your mood. Trying to understand the reasons behind your mental state helps you to treat the root cause. Meditation and yoga have helped me enormously to calm myself to a certain degree. Spending time with your loved ones is important rather than being alone by yourself. If you feel depressed and suicidal always seek help, talk to someone you trust or your psychologist or contact the help hotlines provided by the government. You need to find out the best-suited method to help yourself. 

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NEXT GENERATION || Daniel & Sam Gabriel

Meet Daniel and Sam Gabriel. They are two young creative men who have a heart for the younger generation and fashion. I have the honour of being a part of their photography session and helping them out. I decided to find out more about them and their new clothing line which is releasing early 2017. 

The whole thing came about when I (Dan) was working in a fast food restaurant. I had some burger wraps sitting on the bench and the words “With Love” came to my mind that I wanted to translate the phrase into different languages. As I wrote them down on paper in Japanese, French and Greek I wondered what it would look like on a t-shirt and it all kind of snowballed from there. I went home that night and spent hours drawing different variations of the translated phrase onto T-shirt templates and I guess that’s when I decided I wanted to start up a clothing label and produce what was in my mind. I must say it was one of the most creatively raw moments I’ve had in my life so far and it’s stuck with me ever since. The next day I brought all the ideas I had to my younger brother Sam and since then we’ve never looked back, he partnered with me in creating numerous designs and concepts for the brand (more than we can count) and out of that place we’ve birthed Next Generation.

The Name “Next Generation” was really something planted in our hearts by the hand of God. The whole brand is about future thinking, building a legacy rather than an empire. We have a heart for the future generation of youth that will grace the earth and we want to do whatever we can do now in this industry to make an impression on the generations to come. The back bone of our brand name is Psalm 78:4 which is found in the bible, if you take the time to read it you’ll no doubt find out what we mean and more importantly what we’re about.

Next Generation has been in planning for about 2 years. It’s been a long and challenging process but we finally feel like we’re in the right time and season to bring our debut release to life which is what we’re planning for in early 2017. 

Essentially the vision of next Generation is to see people influenced for the better, to see perspectives shift positively and to see this influence transcend generations beyond our own, it may sound like a big vision but we’re both big believers in the fact that with God anything is possible and we are really believing for this vision. The mission for us is mobilizing the vision, displaying the reality of God through clothing is what we’re setting out to do and its coming together well. We’re not out to religiously smother people, you can tell from our clothing that we are not about that but what we are about is relating with youth through clothing and fashion while at the same time incorporating the encouraging truths, statements and principles that are ultimately derived by God. We try to be more relatable than religious because that’s where you win, you win by forming a good relationship with your audience and I think if we can get that right then we are half way there in getting our vision across to people in a deeper way. If all they ever see us for is the fashion and the clothing that’s completely fine because we’re not out here to force feed anything to anyone, but again we just want to relate with people while incorporating our beliefs into it. 

A massive draw card for us is that the fashion, clothing and design industry is so progressively creative. We’re both extremely creative individuals who constantly want to grow and to learn more about how we can better what we do and so this industry is the right place for it. I’ve personally found that there is no right or wrong way to design things as such. Everyone is born with their own fire and this industry is a great way to express and grows yourself. There is so much inspiration around as well, it’s quite infectious when you think about it, sure you won’t agree with everything or everyone that is doing something but that’s just life in general. We have even seen that we have something of substance to add to this industry which is why we are pursuing this avenue, we believe we can positively contribute something that will last and carry on into the next generation. It’s been an underlying interest for myself (Dan) but for Sam he’s always had that evident take towards both design and fashion. The birth of the brand has fueled and grown the passion for creative industries that we have now. 

This industry inspired myself (Sam) because I just genuinely enjoy, seeing how it all works and learning more about the industry opened my eyes to how much fun it could be designing and creating a line of clothing that is completely unprecedented. For Dan and myself we see where we can make our mark on the industry and that’s what inspires us too, the sheer opportunity to do something new and pour what’s in our heads out into the world is a driving factor behind why we do what we do. Above it all its a call of God on our lives. We genuinely believe that this is what we are called to do as a creative career venture and we want to do it to the best of our ability through creative ability and Christian principle. Again, it’s something that we feel is completely unprecedented and we really want to share it with the world. 

For me (Sam) people like Craig Green, Stephan Ashpoole & Christophe Lemaire inspire me (Sam) and for me (Dan) it’s people like Yohji Yamamoto, Chris Stamp, Jerry Lorenzo (real awesome one) and Steve Savocca just to name a few. They’re all pretty inspiring to say the least

Sam most definitely does a lot of graphic design and creative groundwork as well as financial projections, whereas I deal more with the business and relations side of the brand along with general planning. We complement each other in the sense that we don’t particularly operate separately but instead we aid one another in every process making it a combined effort. A lot of the time we’ll have a look at each other’s designs and add what we think may be missing, or remind one another of upcoming deadlines or schedule planning. While we have our unofficial separate roles, we work in cohesion.

Our focus is that the message we’re trying to convey in a designed piece is translated in a visually appealing manner. Our design spectrum is quite wide spanning anywhere from free hand artistry to linear and  cleanly calculated prints, so when we’re designing first comes a concept that we want and the creative process that follows that is quite wonderful because it’s almost always different every time which I think is important where being creative is involved. Conceptually we really want to influence young people in the way they think and the perception have they have on what’s socially or culturally appropriate and acceptable. Getting that across is done through the designs and clothing we create which is something that resonates with a younger generation that takes to how they look and what they wear. By having (Godly) truth on display through fashion and design items we essentially have people wearing our message and wearing our concepts and something like that has the potential to spread like wildfire and when it does, so does the influence. We want to reach out and positively influence people through the vehicle of creative industries, we want people to go against the grain and think with more purpose, to believe more in themselves and what they’re capable of because God has great plans for people, all they need is the truth about it.


JUST GO FOR IT. I know it sounds pretty standard and maybe even a little cliché, but it’s honestly the best way to go about it. Just have a go. Find what you want to do specifically (a niche is super important) and then find out what it is you need to do to accomplish the overall goal. Start by doing all the small (and sometimes seemingly tedious) tasks because it’s those small things that ultimately make up the progression towards the dream. Stay focused and stay hungry but also have fun, I’ve found the hardest times to design have been when there isn’t a lot of joy in my system, so don’t be afraid to take your time with things and allow these small frustrations you may face to grow you. Have a crack at it and remember that it’s progress before perfection. 

I hope you enjoyed and been inspired by reading Dan's and Sam's story behind The Next Generation Label . Be sure to check them out on Instagram and be a part of movement. 

Instagram: @nextgenerationlabel



..We want people to go against the grain and think with more purpose, to believe more in themselves and what they’re capable of because God has great plans for people, all they need is the truth about it.
... to see people influenced for the better, to see perspectives shift positively and to see this influence transcend generations beyond our own





Joshua Russell

There is always light in the darkness.
...Chivalry is not just how you treat women, but it’s a lifestyle...

As a kid, I grew up differently due to a disability called Asperger's. This caused me to relate to people and even God differently to other people and made it harder to understand that relationship aspect with people and God.

I grew up in the church but didn’t understand the relational side of the faith until I was a bit older. I have always believed in God, but I have had doubts, not so much who He was, but more so His plan for my life and why things happen the way they do; and yea I’ve had moments I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, just like everyone else.

There have been times that I have felt alone, broken, sad, despair and even abandonment and this mainly comes on when my last relationship ended and all these emotions lasted about three years. There were so many questions after the breakup that didn’t add up and that is what made it hard. But in the end, we all struggle. No one is free from struggling, but we have the ability to focus on the struggles or even our emotions - or look to God, who is still good and always will be - we can have a hope in Him and it makes it a bit easier to move on even though we may not understand things.

 I love being creative; - it has helped me in many seasons in life. For me, it really came out in school as a natural way of dealing with my stress and anxiety and allowed me to express myself without a filter and it would help me express myself creatively. I believe there is an ability to create something and have no limitations. There are no rules or any boundaries when creating something and you can go far with it, I believe you can create something new and fresh and it has the ability to bring forth emotions to not only the creative person but to everyone who sees it. Sometimes when I paint, there may not be a story behind the image until sometimes the very end, and it can even show the colours. At the time, I may not understand it, but in the end, it can show something deeper.

 I don’t just paint, but I also love the film industry. I have always loved movies and even the stories behind the movie. I didn’t know it could be an option until grade 11 and that you can actually pursue a career in film. Since then I have graduated from the New York Film Academy in the area of media and screen on the Gold Coast and I hope to one day director and produce films that influence people through impacting stories and messages, by raising issues that need to be addressed and starting conversations that start change. The best thing about a film is that you can bring people on a journey with you by creating characters and stories that people can relate to that open these doors.

 During my time at NYFA I was given a nickname which was “cowboy”. This started during the first two weeks of film school as it was raining pretty much all the time and being a film student you don’t really have the money to buy things such as umbrellas. So over those two weeks all I had was my Cowboy hat and my denim vest; so I became “Cowboy”. The thing is, I love the countryside. long grass, open fields. But this only really developed over the years. 

The people that know me, know that I aim to treat people and especially women with a sense of respect and honour. I am a romantic, some people think its stupid or that even chivalry is dead. But I believe chivalry is not just how you treat women, but it is a lifestyle and how you treat people altogether. This whole lifestyle was modelled to me by my Dad, I really admire him and how he treats Mum. Watching him has taught me how women should be treated. When you treat a woman right they bloom.

 However, over the years we have seen the general value of women become more and more distorted by images presented by the adult and porn industries to see unhealthy trends accepted as normal. They devalue women and who they are by making them objects of desire, rather than a priceless people. This has caused some major issues such as sexual abuse, and a general lack of appreciation and respect for them in society. For me, by being a gentleman and being chivalrous, I want to treat women with the respect they deserve regardless of their job, appearance or background. I feel like more of a man for that. I believe that we need to bring back values and realistic higher standards for ourselves.

If I could give advice to any guy when it comes to relationships or how they treat people during your walk in life it would be this; Guard your heart, listen to wise counsel, and make sure you set sensible boundaries. But most of all; Do it with God. Seek Him, trust Him and know that He has the perfect plan for your life.

 It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. 


...I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, just like everyone else.
When you treat a woman right, they bloom