Bradley Stoke blogger and photographer, Bex Ward, will be a regular contributor to The Interchange. Discussing travel, fashion and life in North Bristol, here’s an introduction to Bex and what you can expect from her in months to come…
Hello North Bristol!!
I’ve always wanted to say something along those lines. I’m Bex, but you might know me as The Owlet . I grew up in Bradley Stoke, and my home here has been Owlet HQ since I started my blog last year.
I went to school at Baileys Court, and later BSCS, but joining Bradley Stoke Radio is what really fuelled my creativity. In 2010, before BSR started, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was studying textiles (if you ever saw my A-Level project, you would know why that never went anywhere), I was starting to get into photography and took a lot of photographs around our incredible nature reserve. The nature reserve has been my happy place for as long as I can remember and is now the backdrop for a lot of my photos on The Owlet. Fast forward to June 2011 when my dad (you may now know him as Mr Mayor!!) said: “You take photos, so you can photograph the BSR launch event, right?”. The photos weren’t my finest, but I enjoyed it and from there photography became my life.
Over the years I’ve been so lucky to get to do some incredible things with BSR, and through taking photographs for the station I started being invited to photograph other events further afield, and by 2014 I was travelling the country as a photographer, even getting to photograph for Vans (the shoes, not the white thing with an engine) in London. I ended up working with a charity called SomewhereTo which found spaces for young people to be creative, exposing me a lot more to fashion/art events, and I discovered a huge passion for this side of things.
Last year a friend asked why I didn’t do anything with the photographs I took while travelling, and with a bit of arm twisting I decided to set up The Owlet to post photos of what I get up to with BSR and on my travels. I do a lot of “Follow Me To” posts where I talk you through what I during a trip out of Bristol, or even what I do during an event. I recently wrote a post about being a tourist in my own city, exploring Bristol with the Bradley Stoke Twinning Association.
Through photographing these art events and writing my blog, I was lucky to be invited to a few press events. These were great, but the thing I noticed is that pretty much every event I attended I was the fat girl in the corner surrounded by these beautiful toned girls that looked like they’d borrowed a makeup artist for the evening. Clearly, that’s not me, but I thought that if I feel like that, there’s probably a lot of others feeling the same way, if not worse. I never knew what to wear – I didn’t have any plus size blogger role models, I didn’t even know they existed – so I kept adapting “normal people” fashion to my body and feeling like I wasn’t myself. I started to include more photographs of me when I was travelling, rather than only photos of what I was looking at, and started getting huge amounts of positive feedback.
More and more this evolved into me posting entire articles about plus size fashion and building confidence to help other people that struggled like me. I hoped that I could help people see that you don’t have to be one of these perfect looking people to be happy and being the awkward odd one out isn’t always a bad thing. I wrote a letter to my younger self a few months ago to show that things usually have a way of sorting themselves out. It seemed to work, as I was recently asked to become an ambassador for Girls Active – a charity that encourages girls to get active, because a lot of younger girls avoid doing sports due to confidence issues.
I’ve travelled a lot and since I started The Owlet I’ve been lucky to do some incredible things, see incredible places and work with some incredibly inspiring people, but I’ve always said that Bristol, and in particular Bradley Stoke, will always be my home. I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve been up to with you on The Interchange, as well as my amazing Owlet readers.