Cara Ellison


The top 30 young people in digital media: Nos 10-1

The Guardian’s 10 trainee digital journalists invited Alex Hern and Matt Andrews from the Guardian, and BuzzFeed’s editorial director Jack Shepherd to help choose the most exciting people under 30 in digital media. Here’s their top 10

(1) Farea Al-Muslimi (2) Jamal Edwards (3) Dina Toki-O (not pictured) (4) Sorted Food (5) Hannah Wolfe (6) Jim Waterson (7) Mosa'ab Elshamy (8) Hannah Hart (9) Jerome Jarre (10) Cara Ellison 

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James Joyce said that Yes is “the female word” and that the word yes indicated “acquiescence and the end of all resistance.”

It was perfect. Yes. Yes! It is a female word, it is the opening up, it is the allowing in, it is the optimist’s creed, it is the change of course, it is the acceptance of something new and better.

Everything is either yes or no.

Say yes.
I really enjoy Cara Ellison’s casual, funny, rambling tone. Her upcoming book, Embed With Games, is a self-described “gonzo crowd-funded itinerant travelogue” that she wrote about…

TEG: I notice that many people interviewing women who work in the gaming industry tend to ask questions focused on their gender. What, if any, are your thoughts on this?

CE: Ahahahaha I see what you did there!

Well, my opinion is that it removes focus from women’s work and puts it on their feelings, which means that people will walk away having read about you as a person, but not knowing anything about what you actually do. Which is why you’re interviewing them right? Because their work and their thoughts on their work is relevant to your interests. I read an interview at the NYT the other day where the interviewer condescendingly referred to Nicki Minaj’s term for herself, ‘boss bitch’, as being contradictory, whilst ignoring the fact that intersectional gender politics has moved on from a kind of simplistic ‘stop oppressing yourself, stop oppressing yourself’ mantra. Talk about the breadth of the person’s work. If she wants to address gender issues, leave the gate open. But an interviewer’s job is largely to get the interviewee *out* of a box, not put them in one. Or at least that’s how I thought about my role when I interviewed people.

Interviewing Cara Ellison.

I’d like to say that feeling shit about your own work or self worth goes away, but I don’t think that it does, and I don’t think even POWER era Kanye West was totally devoid of self-doubt. I think what is valuable to think about is how you only have to explain yourself to people you admire and respect. There are a lot of people out there waiting to tell you that you are worthless. Sometimes they are even peers. But if you can’t help but be someone who creates things you probably have no choice to make, and if you do make it’s important to give yourself space to play and the motivation to do it. I use music as ammunition, but you could use almost anything. If you surround yourself with ideas and people who have ideas and people you trust and love, there isn’t that much around that can stop you.
This has been how Drake helps me. He could probably help you too.

-Cara Ellison, from THINGS DRAKE’S TUSCAN LEATHER TEACHES ME, which is definitely worth a read