her work-life integration:
believe, balance and bloom.
By Àshworks and Natasha Gott
Is it possible to tackle two passions at once? Can you do two things equally well, or do you have to make a decision? To bloom or not to bloom? Natasha Gott decided to bloom. Working as both a passionate social enterpreneur and an upcoming actor/screenwriter/movie producer, Tash consider growth as her largest factor. Openly and sincerely, this season’s muse tells Àshworks about her journey in expressing authenticity and celebrating imperfections.
So Tash, what inspired you to choose the creative pathway that you chose?
Where to start. From seed, I guess? My parents thought I fell on the spectrum of autism— I was unable to express as much as other children did— sustained impairment in social interaction and developed restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities— at the time, it was horses, animals, science and trying to define ‘perfect.’
It all changed after I was enrolled into a theatre class at school where I began to grow my confidence. Funnily enough, being a prisoner of the performance liberated me from the judgments I had subconsciously built.
Theatre became a safe basis for me of open exploration and play. The flow of creativity fostered flexibility, calmness and confidence in learning— creative problem solving, expression and lifelong learning that has definitely impacted my career path towards an actor/writer/producer.
Creativity and confidence in learning and accomplishing goals has been the soil to my growth— hence why I chose the creative pathway. As an actor, I am able to express myself openly. I do believe that without acting, learning about “living truthfully under imaginary circumstances,” I would not be who I am today. Imagination and art are both expressions of reinvention; fusing both creative activities with new ideas and concepts. Why I chose to be a writer and producer is because I believe with the advancements of media, serving now as modern education, the content itself became more important to me than performing. It was no longer about the self, but what I could do with myself, for others. The main influence of why I aspire to be a social entrepreneur. The degree of control is different— as a writer, I can write things that matter with the hopes of planting the seed of meaning and truth. As a producer, it’s about doing— making those dreams happen, whatever the condition.
You created a eco-brand of artisan goods called Sadar Market. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
“Sadar”— meaning conscious, was a medium of self reflection for myself— hoping to catalyse others to reflect themselves— a pursuit to helping others (makers & customers,) to help themselves.
Sadar market is a platform where I curate and empower local artisans that produce locally made goods, ethically, sustainably in the hopes of bringing more meaning in our consumptive behaviour. There’s no stopping human consumption— but providing a solution, or an option, to buy smarter, to support, is something that is important to me. It’s important to me to support home industries so that they are active participants In the economy.
We’ve participated in dozens of markets, collaborated with AKSARA, which growing up, was where I would spend hours reading books, learning— growing. We host workshops so participants can learn new skills— making soaps, flower bouquets, gardening— because that is the key to life. To yearn for more to know, to have gratitude. I started selling plants because those who find beauty in nature, will ultimately find beauty within themselves and be at one with the secrets of life itself. Whether it be patience— waiting for a seed to grow. Or being ‘Sadar’, of when a plant needs care. It helps you connect in the midst of the chaos of modern day. Connection. Consciousness. It’s the basis of humanity.
Is there any connection between the writing that you have produced, or the movies that you would like to produce, with your work in Sadar Market? What do you want to inspire with your talents and business?
Absolutely. Everything is connected. Non nobis solum. “Not for ourselves alone are we born.” I try to do everything I can to help others. Whether it be through my writing, my work at Sadar Market. I aim to inspire others to start believing in the wheel of kindness— working towards an ideal, even if the steps are small, they are still justified steps.
A lot of the themes in my writing are to raise awareness for mental health, doing the right thing and how to be more human.
Recently being an Ambassador of the learning farm, I am honoured to represent a foundation that supports the learning organic farming to vulnerable youth. I’ve been in a position where no one has helped me— so having the privilege to help others is the most satisfying feeling. True from the heart. I want to create content that makes a positive impact, raising awareness for the causes I believe in.
You have a range of careers that you are currently pursuing. How do you balance them all? What is your secret to staying authentic to yourself?
People call me crazy for doing so many things. But that’s me. And I believe that is the definition of authentic, isn’t it? I never wanted to be one of those social-media influencers because I believe it is dangerous— in the sense that we try to be instead of just being. People follow your tracks and I try to be as responsible as possible. Integrity is a word I would define myself. The world has too much bullshit, might as well use it to sell fertiliser while you’re at it.
It takes courage. Truth is often rejected. But that’s exactly what I am— what I try to be— truthful— in my writing, in my business, in my work, to myself and others.
For our current collection, Àshworks is inspired by the process of self-growth. What is your own version of “self-blooming”? Have you experienced it before?
Funny question, I almost named my business “overbloom,” because I felt like I had so many interests, but I wanted to bloom nonetheless. Absolutely, I’ve experienced “self-blooming,” but just like flowers, we reflect on the truths that nature provides— we have to give ourselves enough of the right nutritions and conditions to grow— sometimes it’s a mindset, but sometimes it’s a fight— the way a stem will bend backwards and forwards just to find light— to survive; sustenance.
Bouts of depression isn’t a stranger to me. Owning it, growing from it through mindfulness and gratitude has helped me see that when it’s muddy, you’ve got to be a lotus. I changed my career path, got on a train to Jogja and saw a disabled man, a victim of the 2006 earthquake, rolling up newspaper, using super glue and cardboard to make what I perceived to be art. A potential for a circular economy. When I offered to buy his self proclaimed “piece of trash,” he was astounded that his actions had potential that he couldn’t see. “Really? People want to buy used newspapers that are rolled and put into cardboard?”, and that’s when it clicked for me. Why I started ‘Sadar’ — because most of our country, aren’t able to see their potential, the fruits of their labour, to be respected — to grow despite extreme conditions, and if I could somehow be a ray of light— why would I let depression stop me? Gratefulness, witnessing and accepting the truth allowed me to self bloom.
The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.
Is there any quotes that you live by? Especially when facing adversity during your blooming process?
Two quotes I solemnly swear by! Have you ever heard of the analogy of the seed?
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”
“To laugh often and much: To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.”