Tavi Gevinson, Rookie
Tavi Gevinson Interview
I’m not sure what can possibly be said about Tavi Gevinson that you don’t already know, which is why this particular Inventory is one of my favorites. Tavi is obviously unbelievably smart, but moreover she’s generous and kind. I love Rookie so much, and I’m excited to share this installation of the series with you.
How do you define success?
Satisfaction with both process and product, satisfaction regardless of public attention, appreciating positive attention without depending on it, ignoring negative attention that can’t help you, understanding that you are not entitled to an audience and your audience is not entitled to you.
Can you tell me about your backpack, how long have you had it? Who gave it to you? What’s your favorite memory with your backpack?
I got it in Norway when I was very little. I used it in preschool and then found it again when I started high school and realized how perfectly it went with everything I own and now it goes with me everywhere. My favorite memory would be wearing it (with the badges on) to see Moonrise Kingdom on this past summer’s Rookie staff road trip, because I was dressed as Sam and my friend was Suzy.
You had a bunch of pipe cleaners in your purse- gold ones, silver ones… What do you make with them?
I had them with me when you saw me because I was braiding them in my hair for a couple outfits I wore on that trip to LA. The gold ones blended in with my hair color and created a secret glimmer! I love to use them for making crowns, too.
You travel with an assortment of notebooks and sketchbooks, does each one serve a specific purpose? Or do they each contain a series of random sketches and thoughts?
I think it’s nice to have different kinds of paper with you. Traveling with just a Moleskine is stressful in a silly way because they make you feel like everything you put in them has to be GENIUS. So I like to bring a cheaper book as well, usually, and loose leaf paper.
My journaling system used to be that each journal I went through had a different aesthetic. For a month (or however long it took me to use up that journal) I would be very specific about what types of pens I used, what colors I used, what clippings I pasted, what doodles I drew, my handwriting, etc. And I would usually also dress to match that aesthetic, and listen to that kind of music, hang out in different parts of the school or neighborhood, all over the course of that month or whatever. I haven’t done this in a while because at some point I stopped feeling the need to curate my experiences so carefully and I just wanted to be able to write. Now my journals are more mixed up. But it’s nice to look back and see a whole kind of movie play out as I’m reading about what was happening and imagining it all fitting together in this synesthetic way.
Witches, Bitches and Hos oil- what does it smell like? What does it do?
It’s a vanilla elixir. Three drops under the tongue every day. A woman named Dori Midnight makes them and I got mine from Otherwild, one of my favorite stores in LA.
You have Jay Z’s Decoded in your bag, what do you admire about Jay-Z?
How thoughtfully he considers his role as both an artist and someone with influence. How he doesn’t leave it all up to intuition, he also puts a lot of work and thought into what he’s creating. (The pages in Decoded where he goes line by line and explains a song that way are really great.) And his taste in women, of course.
Let’s talk about your Bass shoes by Rachel Antonoff, they’re brilliant. Rachel is a pretty neat person. What do you like about her designs?
Rachel said she started designing because she wanted to make the clothes she imagined herself wearing whenever she daydreamed about one of her crushes. I love that. I just really appreciate anything that is cute and makes you feel like a children’s book character and that comes from a pure desire to make lovely things.
Where is the most interesting place these shoes have been?
Inside a drugstore coin-operated rocket ship.
Rookie Yearbook One is quite an achievement on so many levels. How would you describe it?
Thank you so much! That’s very kind of you. I guess it’s sort of a yearbook, sort of a scrapbook, sort of…a recent article about it said it was like “inhaling a sleepover,” so I might just say that. With credit to the writer, Eva Wiseman.
Words to live by?
Lately I’ve found that I’ve been saying “This is how this is supposed to feel” to myself a lot. So I guess keep your expectations low and know that this was never meant to be easy and the world is huge and people are many and now is such a small moment in time so learn about science and let it put everything in perspective instead of making you feel insignificant. But also, be okay with feeling insignificant. And also, consider what every situation is truly about, even if it’s unpleasant. This requires a lot of energy, so sleep often and don’t waste time on dumb websites or with bad friends who make you feel lousy. Most importantly, don’t listen to me.
Inventory is a project designed to feature strong, beautiful, creative and inspiring people who have an interesting story to tell. This series gives our readers an inside and intimate look at the lives of the subjects, through everyday objects that hold importance and have meaning.
If you liked this interview, stay connected by following our Facebook page.