Sunday, September 6, 2015

Instagram's Martina Gutfreund: Social Media, Chantelle Winnie, and Handling Stress

Every now and again you bump into a social media account that just changes your life; whether it's a Twitter account that makes you laugh until it hurts, a Youtuber who gives the actual best tutorials on hairstyles, or an Instagram star who makes you want to up your makeup game, sometimes you just find a go-to favorite. For me, one of those go-to favorites is Martina Gutfreund of instagram/enchanted.forest
Martina is many things- part modern fairy, part hippie, part artist. She creates paintings, jewelry, and beautiful pictures that she shares on Instagram, all from her stunning Canadian homeland. Her 25k+ followers know they can look to her for inspiration in magic, purple hair, great lipstick, and brightly colored paintings, and there's a sense of easy girl power about her circle of friends and social media presence. And she loves sci-fi! (Super excited about that, as a science fiction author myself). I reached out to her for an interview, and we talked about cultivating a social media brand, spirituality, her favorite model, and how she upkeeps her gorgeous hair...

I’ve been following your Instagram for quite some time, and have found myself having the following conversation with friends, “Look at this… isn’t this beautiful? This girl is amazing.” You’ve curated such a beautiful, peaceful social media presence, both because of the content of your pictures AND the color palette. What is your secret to making a cohesive Instagram presence?

I definitely started my theme from the very beginning and improved the quality of what I was posting over time by browsing through popular blogs and other Instagram accounts. It really helps when you can take inspiration from other popular photos and re-create them in your own unique way! I figured I wanted to share the things that I found most important in my life, which are art & the environment, so most of my photos generally relate to those themes. I’m not sure why my colour palette is so cohesive, I’m not the best at editing so I will give all of the credits to my camera and the Valencia/Aden filters. The best tip I would give, is to choose a theme that you seriously enjoy in your own life, so that creating the photos never becomes a chore… the only times I struggle are when I can’t find the time to paint enough new stuff!

You are very interested in spiritual matters. Do you have any rituals for happiness or peace when you are feeling stressed out?

To be honest, I have very strange spiritual views; they can appear very dry to most outsiders, but I find a lot of comfort in my ideas of existence. Usually when I’m getting overly stressed, I just remind myself that I’m a tiny blip of nothing in the midst of more nothing in the grand scheme of things, really what I’m going through is just another incredibly insignificant moment within the space-time continuum. It sounds a bit dark and pessimistic, but man the universe is immense and there is so much more you could be doing than spending your energy stressing over little things. I’m not sure if I’m making much sense at this point, but being so incredibly infinitesimal tends to put things into perspective.

What is body confidence to you, and what do you do on days where you feel less confident?

Ahhhh the never ending struggle of body confidence! This is a tough one for me, as I have really only begun taking confidence in my appearance and personality in the last 2 years or so. It is a constant battle to stay positive about those aspects and truly love myself, I’m not even sure how to define what that would look like if I were to ever achieve it. I suppose not putting myself down would be a good start; I usually deal with it by throwing on a flattering outfit and doing some stellar makeup. It’s not the best solution, but it’s something that has always worked for me… I know it’s a Band-Aid more than anything else, and that can be bad when those feelings build up over the years of being covered up and pushed aside.

Martina Gutfreund

Stellar makeup and a standby favorite outfit do it for me too. No shame there! Your hair is gorgeous. What do you use to upkeep the color?


Ooooh noooo, not this question! Well, I dye it about once every 2 months with Manic Panic dyes, but it’s really my washing habits that keep the colour. I wash the actual dreaded part once every 10 days or so with a really gentle dread shampoo and lukewarm water, so the colour lasts foreeever. My non-dreaded section gets a lot more attention though since I hate it when my hair feels greasy, so it’s usually really faded compared to the dreads.

(Some of Martina's beautiful creations)

You make jewelry, but do you have a favorite jewelry designer? Clothing designer?

Hmm, I would have to say my favourite jewelry designer is Studiolil on etsy (her insta is just @Studiolil ) she makes the most beautiful septum rings! I bought my first one from her when her shop was just starting to gain traction around 2 years ago, and I am so impressed with how much her work and business has grown since then. I can’t say I specifically have a favourite clothing designer; I do a lot of shopping in second-hand stores or re-purpose old unwanted items from family members. I really admire anybody who sews or crochets their clothes from scratch, it such an amazing skill set to have. A few of my favourite instagrammers that do this are @cosmicsun_ & @voodoufairy & @maya_gipsygreen … they’re all so talented!

You live in Canada, and in the winter, it looks like you live in a snowy fairytale. How do you keep to your aesthetic in winter?

It’s a little tougher to keep up in the winter, since most of the flora and fauna disappear under the snow and I can’t find as many interesting things to photograph. I try my best to travel to the Rocky Mountains on a regular basis, since it’s so incredibly gorgeous there year-round. I guess things just get a little less colourful for those months, I really love the beauty winter, but it’s that dreadful grey period that kills me. Right before the snow and right after the snow…everything looks so dead and lifeless - it’s honestly a little depressing for me during those few weeks.

(Just try to tell me that this isn't a winter fairytale!)

What are your go-to natural remedies and tricks for when you have a cold?

I am a stubborn nut when it comes to sickness, I will do all it takes to let my body fight it off without any help. I recently tried that and ended up sick for 3 weeks; eventually a pretty little hospital trip made me take some antibiotics… not kidding when I say stubborn! Perhaps it’s a sign that I should start to use some mild herbal remedies?

Ouch! Yes, herbal remedies for sure... Sambucol, vitamin C, and Zycam are some of my standbys. Who are your female heroes?

I’m not really sure how to answer this one, I want to come up with some big name that people will resonate with, but all I can really think of is Chantelle Winnie. She is an international model from Canada who was born with Vitiligo and has become such a positive role model for anybody struggling with low confidence related to appearance or bullying. I mean she’s obviously freakin’ gorgeous, but I love her level of maturity and depth when she’s speaking about contemporary issues – definitely somebody to check out if you haven’t heard of her!

What is the greatest life advice a woman has ever given you?


Yikes! I don’t have a very fantastic memory when it comes to the specifics. I suppose I can definitely look to my sweet Mama for the best life advice, she’s the only one that kept telling me to stay true to myself and pursue what I’m passionate about. I highly doubt that I would still be painting and creating if it wasn’t for her constant support many years ago… believe it or not, I was actually trying to go into business school before pursuing the arts.

What would you like to say to all of your many, many fans who follow you, create art inspired by you, and love your pictures?

A lot. Too much, so get ready for some soft cheese, because what you have done for me has melted my heart! You guys have no idea how much my perspective on both my career and self-image has changed since gaining a presence on social media. I’m quite an introvert so I never had much outside input on my work besides family and a handful of peers, having the encouragement and support from thousands of people has really helped me break out of that shell. It feels amazing to finally have the confidence to bring my work to festivals and display it for so many people to see… and to actually be able to talk to strangers (that has been a struggle my whole life, but interacting with all of the beautiful souls via the internet has helped my socializing skills immensely – people are pretty cool I guess!) hopefully it will all stick for a lifetime! I will be forever grateful for the endless kindness I’ve been shown, and am on a mission to internalize that and continue to pass it on to others for as long as I can. I want everybody to feel that they don’t need to put up walls, and can be comfortable with who they are… so thank you all for showing me so much love, you’re absolutely amazing! <3

Fun questions:

If someone wrote a science fiction or fantasy book based on your life, what would you want them to name you?

Ha! This is a great question since I’m a huge fantasy and sci-fi fan - I’m going to have to choose wisely. First off, I’d obviously be some sort of weird creature, because I’m only human in this particular reality… hmmmm. Zorbina of Blagdalon! Blagdalon being my home planet, which is covered with small tree caves that each hold a different dimension within them. I think I’d probably be covered in lots of eyeballs and would resemble a sea cucumber or starfish… Zorbina seems to suit that!

Pretend MAC cosmetics is going to make a lipstick for you. What color would it be?

It would be a pink & purple pastel glitter galaxy!

Finally, what is your current favorite:

lipstick: I mostly wear Sephora’s nude shade of lipstick with a darker liner underneath; I’ve been trying to rock a more natural look lately

book: Shantaram by Gregory Roberts

song: Dubuasca by Bassnectar

drink: Sparkling rose lemonade

online store: Rage On
Listen to Martina's current fav song:


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  2. I really enjoy your creations. Your work is always unique and inspirational. They always make me want to go out and create something of my own. I hope you keep up the beautiful work and continue to offer your inspiration and expertise to all of your fans. By the way, I'm really enjoying the purple hair.

    Simon Quinn @ Marine Dealer Solutions


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