I AM FIVE

 

‘ I Am Five ’ marked Conquer’s fifth anniversary as a label. To celebrate, we brought together a diverse group and asked them to recall their childhood ambitions for what they hoped growing up would bring. Are we doing it wrong? Or do our imaginations feed our life ambitions still? Through the medium of drawing we hoped to channel their inner child again!

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We should all re-learn the value of being childish once in a while. At Five most of us dreamed of a future path formed purely from the imagination and not tainted by the pessimism of what we call grown up reality. What we can achieve is so often what we have been told is feasible or what we limit ourselves to.

Christian * DJ BBQ

Christian Stevenson DJ BBQ ponders being five for Conquer Gear

“I’m Christian Stevenson, I’m a bit of an entertainer, presenter, host, DJ, Chef and I work for skate shoe companies, and when I was five I wanted to be a Geologist or Spiderman.”

Presently: Chef ‘DJ BBQ’ on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube, Extreme sports host and general all round personality.

At Five: Geologist/Spiderman

“I used to collect rocks and so I wanted to be a geologist. Rock collecting turned me into a hoarder – look how I live!”

“I enjoyed skating when I was young. I had no aspirations to be a professional skateboarder – you know, that didn’t really exist when I was a kid. I just wanted to skate. But now I have three boys of my own, which is why I spent years building a skate park across the street. It gives kids in the village something to do.”

Christian Stevenson DJBBQ Drawing WIDE PORTRAIT for Conquer Gear

Christian Stevenson (DJ BBQ) with his I Am Five Sketch

Gillie

Gillie Im Five Conquer Gear drawing

“I’m Gillie G. When I was five I wanted to be a ballerina and a gardener. This is my garden.” “Today I’m a dental nurse.”

Presently: Dental Nurse

At Five: Gardener/Ballerina

“You don’t say, at five, I want to be a gardener. I just liked gardening. The ballerina stuff was just impossible. They said I wasn’t really suitable. I kept my little red shoes, and I wore them all the time, but I was never going to be a ballerina because I was too heavy.”

“I’d be horrified if someone said I was going to be playing with people’s teeth. It’s not something at five I visualised I’d ever be doing. Going to the dentist when I was a kid was not a pleasant experience. It’s a painless process now.”

Conquer Gear Purple Vaj-Apple illistration Design_Im five project

Gillie Wearing the Vaj-Apple Purple Pullover Sweat from the I am five collection.

“There’s nothing from my childhood that I actually did. My job is nothing I ever dreamt that I would be doing so there’s no connection at all; except there is this theme of the gardening going through – and that is the one thing: I do intend to have a garden one day and I do intend to landscape it, and have rooms within the garden. It’s all in my head how it’s going to be.

I am going to get this garden, somehow.”

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Gillie shows off her garden drawing for the I am five project

Rosita Bonita

Rosita Bonita MID_DRAWING for Conquer Gear I'm Five

‘Sometimes my happiest moments are just sitting for hours just drawing.’

Presently: Artist and Jewellery Designer

At Five: Artist

“There’s one picture in particular I remember doing. It was a picture of a witch and my mum had it up on the kitchen wall for about ten years. One day it fell off and the rabbit shredded it. I’m going to try and recreate that picture for you.”

“I think if I met my five-year-old self today and they came into the studio, they’d probably just want to sit down and start making stuff, because that’s all I ever did when I was little.”

“How is it now, that if we wish to pursue a ‘childish’ goal that someone would end up telling us to ‘grow up?’ Is there a pinnacle point in time that we officially become grown up? The reality is that the older we get, the more aware we become of fear. This fear leads to us worrying about failing and being ashamed of our actions. We have become afraid to embrace our childhood ambitions. Our excitement and drive has become overruled by us conforming to these negative beliefs. Furthermore to these points, how would our five year old selves be viewing us now?”

“I wanted to be a figure skater for a bit but I think knowing that I could grow up and spend every day making stuff I’d be very happy.”

Rosita Bonita with her I am five drawing for the Conquer Gear project!

Vasili

"Everyone is putting on a show anyway, so I thought 'why not make it a good show?''

“Everyone is putting on a show anyway, so I thought ‘why not make it a good show?”

Presently: Finishing a PHD in the history of skin deformation in comic books

At Five: Adventurer/Storyteller/Warlock

“My five-year-old self would look at me now and say ‘you haven’t improved in drawing!’

I’m regressing not progressing! I’m clinging on to the things from my childhood!”

“I wanted to have adventures. And I never really had adventures, so I had adventures by reading comic books. And how can the real world be better than that? I wanted adventures and it could only happen through stories, so I wanted to tell stories.”

Vasilias I'm Five drawing Picture for Conquer Gear

Vasilias with his drawing for the Conquer Gear  I am five project

Mel

“I’m Melanie Toogood and I’m currently a vicar in North London. When I was five I wanted to go around the world and collect animals and make my own zoo.”

“I’m Melanie Toogood and I’m currently a vicar in North London. When I was five I wanted to go around the world and collect animals and make my own zoo.”

Presently: Vicar

At Five: Collect animals and have her own zoo

“I think my five-year-old self would be a bit stunned. I think a bit like a child now – excited by the possibilities of life.”

I went to an Anglican church school. One day my mother caught me in the garden, standing on a box with a broom in my hand and a teacosy on my head and I was shouting hell and damnation at the dog and my mother was a little alarmed that this might declare something of my future.

I did lots of things but I kept being pulled back to the church.

I always imagined there was a better world than the one I was in. So I invented little worlds for myself and I inhabited those worlds. Like all kids, you wanna be happy. No-one wants to be miserable, but you are because life is difficult.

When I’m preaching, I have to engage people and help them to discover their inner child. We crucify our inner child too much. We sacrifice our sense of wonder and adventure at the possibilities of life. So I try and open people up rather than shut them down.

In the age of mass entertainment and thirty second attention spans, unless you grab people, they’re going to go into their own little worlds.

I grew up with dogs around me. They were my playmates. They were in my fantasy world. I’d go on pretend safaris round my garden with my dog. My treat every year was to go to London Zoo with my mum, so my dream as a kid was to go round the world and collect exotic animals.

Melanie The Vicar With her I'm Five Drawing

Melanie The Vicar With her I am Five Drawing

Xavia

“My name is Xavier and I am the Spitalfields Market manager, and a part-time DJ. When I was five I wanted to be a footballer.”

“My name is Xavier and I am the Spitalfields Market manager, and a part-time DJ. When I was five I wanted to be a footballer.”

Presently: Spitalfields market manager and DJ

At Five: Footballer

“Music was always just a social thing. We put on parties and so I got into the music.“

“Music is a good life experience. You learn about lots of different cultures. And you wanna share that.”

“When I was younger I never had a mentor with regards to football. I could have carried on and carved a career in it I suppose. But if I didn’t change direction from football to music then I wouldn’t have had all the life experience with music.”

Xavier with his I'm Five picture among his records

Xavier with his I am five picture among his records in the man cave!

Have you got an interesting story of what you wanted to be at five? Why not share it bellow this article with a bit about what you do now as well!

 

I AM Five Credits:

Project Director Sebastian Stobbs (Conquer Gear)

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Photography by Liz Seabrook

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Video + Secondary Photo’s by Philip Wright

Design by Hassanayn Rauf of Mansions of Wickedness

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Illustration by Tomoya Hiramatsu (Conquer Gear)

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