The third woman to feature in the Heroine Project is Laxmi Hussain- artist and London mama of 2. I stumbled on her work via Instagram and can never get enough of her intricate water colour and ink based art which she posts regularly (visit http://www.thislakshmi.com/ where many pieces are available to buy as prints and greeting cards). Laxmi has drawn for as long as she can remember, all the way back to her school days when she’d sketch at the counter of her dad’s shop. Whilst she never stopped drawing, it wasn’t until she became a mother did she turn her love of drawing into a profession. Away from the artwork, Laxmi is one of the warmest and coolest mamas in our little community – I’ve loved getting to know her and also own a couple of pieces of her work myself. As with all the Heroine interviews so far, Laxmi does not disappoint, I absolutely love to read about what goes on behind the scenes, our heroines’ secrets and guilty pleasures. Thanks Laxmi for sharing!
Self portrait, 2016
From Laxmi’s upcoming ‘relationship’ series
Who’s in your family? Zain, 6, Layra Asha, 3, Walid my husband and myself.
Where do you live and why? We have always lived in North West London, moving to Wembley 2 years ago to live in the home I originally grew up in. My parents had lived here with my sister until 3 years ago, when we used some money my parents had set aside to extend the family home. Walid and I then moved in with the kids, meaning my father, now retired and entering his 80’s would have more company in his retirement, and eventually my mum (although she looks about 40 – good genes).
Tell us about your typical Sunday. Sundays in our home are slow and calm (except at the moment with the constant bickering). Usually it is the kids, my dad and I. The kids often wake around 7am on Sunday (what I call a lie in) and usually ask for pancakes, much to Walid’s envy. Breakfast is usually followed by us getting ready at leisure and usually meeting my best friends from school, one of whom has a daughter the same age as Zain, so the 3 kids are quite close and get on well. Us girls will often catch up in the kids favourite playground over coffees, taking it in turns to help the kids climb, swing, rock etc. Sunday is usually my cooking day, and so the kids and I will usually do some shopping on the way home, pick up a mean leg or shoulder of lamb and I’ll prepare a roast for dinner as this is usually the night we all sit down as a full family and eat together, including my parents and sister.
What is your family’s favourite meal? Definitely pizza, we’re all pizza faces.
Tell us your favourite place to go in your neighbourhood. Living in Wembley we don’t have a very lively neighbourhood, so we tend to spend weekends in the lovely country park which is 2 minutes from our home. We did live in Maida Vale for most of our married life however, and when we get a chance we will often pop down to Queens Park, which has so many nice cafes and the lovely park which the kids love.
Tell us which brands you love to wear most? COS is definitely my weakness, I also used to love Urban Outfitters a lot because it sometimes features these small brands you would otherwise never know of. I love a brand called Oak, which is based in the states, and have a few staple pieces from there. We love our basics and we will often buy plain, good quality sweatshirts, t-shirts and jackets from Amazon – think your favourite printed clothing brand type of tops but without the prints. Right now I really want to purchase a Palace t-shirt, but am afraid this is going to set me off on a downward spiral as I have always admired their brand.
What is your biggest extravagance? My car
Do you have any guilty pleasures? Plants, I’ve had green fingers from an early age, and there is no end to my plant obsession – my mum and I actually carried a metre tall Croton plant home from Brighton once because it was such a bargain, and you very rarely see them.
Tell us a secret about yourself. I’m actually 16, haha – I wish. That’s a hard one, I don’t think I have any…
If you could have dinner with any 3 women, fictional, real, dead or alive, who would they be? Both my grandmothers – I never met my dad’s mum, nor his dad in fact and have very limited knowledge of my Indian side. I met my mum’s, but my mum left the Philippines at 18, leaving her family behind, and so I only met her a handful of times. I have good memories, but I wonder what it would be like to have been closer to her and known her more. The third woman I would love to have dinner with would be Sophie, the character in the Ghibli movie – Howl’s moving castle, I am thankful that my child-like imagination never completely left, and I believe is what inspires me as an artist, perhaps she would take me on a trip to the skies in Howl’s castle…
Laxmi’s tribute to Sophie, Howl’s Moving Castle
Lastly, who would you nominate to be a Heroine? I know so many incredible women, it seems a little unfair to pinpoint 1, but an old friend of mine, Dafna Steinberg, and a woman who as an artist inspires me through her medium which challenges and provokes womanhood and how we are perceived.
Thanks for tuning in you guys, hope you enjoyed reading about the beautiful Laxmi. Next time, an incredible young philanthropist in black…