top of page
  • Writer's pictureHakan Öztunalı

The Night Swallows The Day w/ Lotustwilight

The night swallows the day. But, what does it stand for? The aphorism stands for one reason to reveal oneself, the ephemeral state of what you daydream. Whatever you done, or will attempt, simply joins the homeland of nothingness at the very end. As dimness overtakes the light, the night will always swallow the day you live for. I should have planted your voice to the ground to hear you sometimes.. Enjoy the nightfall..


After everything, I would like to introduce you Lotus! An artist, actor and betweenwhiles a werewolf. Lotus becomes and takes many forms following she has a kind and delicate soul to share her artistic perception with others to support them. She was kind enough to respond back to my interview call. This is actually more than an interview, Lotus revealed herself with everything she has. It's her personal journey written on my blog page.



lotustwilight
(Courtesy of Lotustwilight)

lotustwilight
(Courtesy of Lotustwilight)

Hi there, Lotus! I am so grateful for your presence here in my Realm. And you’re a werewolf, so it will be interesting to listen your story. Would you like to briefly introduce yourself?


Lotus: Hi, Hakan! I am incredibly grateful as well. I'm Lotus, a multilingual Eurasian actress, voice actress, performing artist and freelance digital artist (my art account: @lotusyume). I'm currently in my early twenties and based in Vienna, Austria. At age six, I began receiving consistent training in classical music, various forms of dance, a diverse range of sports, and initiated my acting and singing journey not much later. But I guess we could summarise all that and just say I'm a werewolf, haha.


Tell me about your individual journey regarding lycanthropy in a sentimental manner, and how you define it in that sense?


Lotus: Well, this is going to be long, brace yourself.


I've always favoured werewolves over vampires in my personal hierarchy of mythical beings, and they remain one of my fondest interests. Going into detail, my journey with wolves and the concept of lycanthropy began during my early years, when I first got my hands on ‘The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess’ game, which eventually became the main inspiration for my account's username, ‘Lotustwilight’. Captivated by the transformative narrative of Link, six-year old me was enthralled by his character and the aesthetic in the game, particularly when he undergoes a wolf transformation within the Twilight Realm and is forced to spend most of his time there.


After completing ‘Twilight Princess’, my fascination was further explored when I watched my first Ghibli Studios movie ‘Mononoke Hime’ [Princess Mononoke], a film with themes of nature's strength and a main character with a deep connection to wolves. Then, I was introduced to the show ‘Monster High' when the first Monster High dolls were launched, and immediately formed an obsession with the iconic werewolf in the show: Clawdeen. It was so validating to see such a beautiful representation of a female werewolf, who simultaneously had a killer personality and fashion sense.


Additionally, she helped me accept my skin colour early on, as she is a person of colour (+ biracial like me) and I really grew to like my natural tan thanks to her. I still have her and her sister sitting in my room! I was around eight when the dolls were released, which is the same age I started listening to goth music and became incredibly interested in gothic media. But there was a slight disconnect as vampires often take center stage in the community and I found myself navigating a landscape that did not always align with my personal interests at first.


Obviously, I did not really understand the requirements in the subculture back then, as the local scene I was introduced to remained small for quite some time and I was unfortunately often met with a wave of bigots whenever I tried to interact with anyone. Therefore I had a hard time receiving any real information, which is why I had difficulty connecting with other goths until much later.


Thankfully, in 2019 - amidst the pandemic - I experienced a profound awakening, found an accepting community and fully embraced my identity as a werewolf enthusiast, haha. I don't mind how ridiculous it may sound, but being seen as a goth werewolf online goes beyond just mere fascination. That specific period of introspection and upheaval provided me with the opportunity to reclaim my passions and share them with the world.


Maybe because I'm neurodivergent and wolves/werewolves happen to be my special interest, but I have found such solace and healing in the influence they have always had on me, my character and my aesthetic. They've helped me accept my facial features too! There was a time when I despised my side profile, and sometimes I still find fault in it.


However, thanks to my childhood friend, who (when we were playing animal-themed games) always said I looked “like a big, bad wolf with my long nose and sharp teeth”, these features gradually shifted my perspective. His comments used to irritate me, but now, my teeth especially, are a source of pride. To conclude, werewolves have become an enduring obsession for me, and I'm immensely grateful for the opportunity to share this passion with the world.


You recently graduated from an acting academy. Will you assess all offers, or do you have plans for acting in a medium that reflects your style and identity with a specific role to unleash your potential?


Lotus: For me, it's about striking a balance between staying true to my aesthetic and embracing the versatility required in acting, which is something I'm hoping to achieve someday. While it would be simpler to pursue roles that align solely with my style, I understand the importance of being able to transform into any character, regardless of appearance.


This means embracing challenges and setting aside my desires for certain clothes, haircuts, piercings and/or tattoos to prioritise the broader range of roles available to me. It's not always easy to let go of these elements of my personal identity, but I've found that the more I'm able to immerse myself fully in the character, the more rewarding the experience becomes. I'm also pragmatic enough to understand the importance of seizing opportunities when they come my way.


Acting is a competitive field, and oftentimes you have to be willing to take on roles that may not align with your vision in order to keep moving forward and building your career. Voice acting, on the other hand, is a versatile form of expression that allows me to explore a wide range of characters and stories in a unique way. It offers a level of creative freedom and flexibility that may not always be possible in traditional on-camera acting. With voice acting, I have the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the character and the story without the constraints of physical appearance. This means I get to embrace my personal style and aesthetic while still showcasing my versatility as an actor through the various characters I portray.


However, my passion for film acting remains strong, and I'm dedicated to pursuing opportunities that allow me to showcase my skills in both voice acting and film acting roles. Ultimately, my commitment to my craft and to creating authentic, compelling performances outweighs any temporary sacrifices I may need to make in terms of my personal aesthetic. I do hope to play a gothic character sometime in the future though!



As you were inspired overly by pre-raphaelite brotherhood and shin hanga, what influenced your art medium that expanded your style?


Lotus: As a longtime traditional and digital artist, my journey has been predominantly inspired by realism (e.g. Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood), transitioning gradually to semi-realism before ultimately finding inspiration in gothic art and anime.


While realism initially served as the cornerstone of my artistic expression, my exploration of semi-realism marked a significant departure from strict adherence to lifelike representation. It was during this phase that I began to integrate anime into my compositions.


In recent years, I have been privately working towards incorporating a cool-toned gothic aesthetic into my artwork, as most of my published drawings showcase a vibrant and warmer colour palette. I still plan on occasionally revisiting realism as a stylistic approach, however only under specific circumstances that motivate me deeply.



You have an enticing fashion conception. It seeems to be affected by the Goth subculture. What are your main influences that formed your style?


Lotus: Yes, my fashion sense is deeply rooted in the Goth subculture. I've always been drawn to the dark, mysterious aesthetic of goth fashion, and I find it to be the perfect expression of my music taste, personality and interests.


One of the main sources of inspiration for my fashion is the 90s goth scene. This era, when ethereal wave music peaked (my favourite Goth subgenre) holds a special place in my heart, and I enjoy incorporating its dreamy, whimsy, romantic, and otherworldly elements into not only my outfits, but especially my pictures. EGL [Elegant Gothic Lolita] and EGA [Elegant Gothic Aristocrat] fashion also heavily influence my look, which I cultivated an interest in after getting into Visual Kei bands (e.g. ‘Malice Mizer’, ‘Buck-Tick’) around 5 years ago. Fur is another element that I find pleasure incorporating into my style, especially during the colder months. I'm particularly fond of my black Russian fur hat and my long gothic vintage leather fur coat. These pieces truly reflect my fascination with werewolves, and in some way even ravens, my favourite type of birds.


Additionally, beyond fashion subcultures, I draw inspiration from various forms of media. Video games like ‘Dark Souls’, ‘Bloodborne’, ‘Resident Evil Village’ and ‘Fatal Frame’, along with anime series/movies like ‘Black Butler’, ‘Black Lagoon’, ‘Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust’, ‘Jojo's Bizarre Adventure’, ‘Violet Evergarden’, and especially ‘Nana’ have all influenced my style. Similarly, the hauntingly beautiful visuals of Tim Burton movies have helped me incorporate elements of darkness and fantasy into my outfits as well. While I don't have access to sewing materials or a sewing machine to fully explore DIY fashion, I've made it a point to thrift and DIY as much as possible.



It's evident that you're really engaged with political and cultural issues in a very positive and motivating way. Are you aiming to embrace all ethnicities and traditions around the globe?


Lotus: Being of four ethnic origins (Austrian, Malay, Japanese, and Indian), I've always felt deeply connected to my cultural heritage. It was my upbringing, however, that shaped my passion for political activism. I was born in Vienna, but spent a portion of my childhood travelling around the world and living in countries such as Pakistan, Nigeria, Greece, (etc.), therefore becoming accustomed to various different cultures and lifestyles from an early age.


This not only instilled in me a profound appreciation for those cultures but also made me more aware of global issues, especially those affecting marginalised ethnic groups. My journey into activism began at the age of 16 when I participated in protests against the climate crisis, opting to skip school to join the demonstrations with a few of my classmates.


Soon after, I volunteered and managed to deliver a successful speech at the UN, advocating for human rights and environmental preservation. This laid the foundation for my ongoing commitment to addressing social and environmental injustices. Despite initially starting social media solely for sharing my artwork in 2014, I gradually began using my platform to raise awareness about various political issues around four years later. Even when I had fewer than 1.000 followers, I publicly addressed Palestinian rights, informed others on Black history, created an art piece in support of Ukraine, explored Asian narratives (mostly South/East/Southeast Asian), and listened to the voices and resilience of indigenous communities.


Now, with a much larger following on my new account, I try my best to amplify important messages and advocate for positive change on a global scale. My early experience delivering a speech at the UN reinforced my determination, leading me to become part of a Jewish-founded pro-Palestine movement group here in Vienna.


This proves that whether it's through speaking engagements, artistic expression, or grassroots activism, I am determined to use my voice and platform to amplify marginalised voices and champion social justice causes.


Well, you received and responded the question dozens of time, but I need to ask.. Do you have any family bonds with Adriana Lima?


Lotus: Ahaha, nope, there aren't any family ties between us! It is crazy though how much we look alike when I'm not wearing any makeup. We seem to share similar ethnic backgrounds - which could explain the resemblance - but I believe most of it is just a stroke of coincidence.


What are your thoughts about the overall dark art movements, are you fond of any of them, since you are a werewolf?


Lotus: Yes, I'm definitely drawn to dark art movements. There's a certain allure to the exploration of themes like mystery, darkness, and the supernatural that resonates with my own experiences and identity.


I'm particularly fond of those that delve into the deeper, more primal aspects of human nature and the unknown. I wish to not only appreciate but also contribute to these movements by creating more dark art myself!



What is your muse in the sense of creating a better form of yourself?


Lotus: Well, I'd say the way I've worked on improving myself is by really delving into self-awareness; understanding my strengths and weaknesses and learning to accept both. It's crucial for me to assess how I can improve myself in a way that aligns with my personal values and societal standards.


However, it's been challenging, considering I'm autistic and also manage a personality disorder (ASPD). My journey has been shaped by my disability and disorder, which aren't always seen as acceptable/approachable. So, I delved deeper into self-discovery, setting boundaries that align with myself rather than pleasing others, and accepting who I am without stigmatising my own disability or disorder, as I've realised that only worsens things in most cases.


Over time, I've learned to embrace these aspects fully, even letting them inspire my work (both in the performing and visual arts field). I've also made a concerted effort to integrate my likes, aesthetic preferences, and dreams into my real life as much as possible. This hasn't always been easy, especially living in an area where accessibility to certain things I like wasn't readily available.


Despite the challenges, I've worked hard to carve out my own path. Now, I'm recognised as a goth icon here, and a similar journey unfolded with my passion for acting. Despite the geographical limitations of pursuing acting from Austria, I've leveraged online platforms to showcase my talents and build connections within the industry. Many doubted whether I could receive quality English acting experience here, but I proved them wrong. I've also really connected with characters that I admired as a kid and as a teen, and I still continue to really connect with them.


Oftentimes, people associate me with those characters that I used to aspire to be when I was younger. It's kind of surreal how much I've become associated with them, haha. I firmly believe that anything that inspired you in your childhood to become a better version of yourself should be cherished forever. Despite what online culture might say about it being "cringe", it's exactly what has shaped me into who I am today - down to my personality, my looks, my approach to life, and my interests.


If you really connect with certain characters, just become them! Lastly, I've dedicated a significant portion of my life to reading, finding solace in philosophical realism and stoicism, particularly during the pandemic. This has greatly influenced my approach to my goals and my life.


Since you are an anime fan, do you have any favorite figures from animes, visual novels, or mangas?


Lotus: Discussing my favorite characters would be quite extensive, so I'll provide a summary by listing my favourite animes, mangas, and visual novels instead:


Movies:


  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

  • Princess Mononoke

  • Wolf Children

  • When Marnie Was There

  • Whisper of the Heart

  • Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll

  • Violet Evergarden: The Movie

  • Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

  • Perfect Blue

  • Tokyo Godfathers

  • Ride Your Wave

  • Time of Eve


Series:


  • Attack on Titan

  • Death Note

  • Banana Fish

  • Violet Evergarden

  • Nana

  • Black Lagoon

  • Wolf's Rain

  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

  • Monster

  • Berserk

  • Jujutsu Kaisen

  • Chainsaw Man

  • Beastars

  • Parasyte

  • Psycho-Pass

  • Aoi Bungaku

  • Samurai Champloo

  • Vinland Saga

  • Michiko To Hatchin (though the ending disappoints a little)

  • Orange

  • Now and Then, Here and There

  • Yuri on Ice

  • Asagao to Kase-san


Manga:


  • Tomie (and most of Junji Ito's work)

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

  • Innocent

  • Berserk

  • Chainsaw Man

  • Oyasumi Punpun

  • Death Note

  • Tokyo Ghoul

  • Black Butler

  • Vagabond

  • Slam Dunk


Visual Novels:


  • Ace Attorney

  • Your Turn to Die

  • Doki Doki Literature Club


lotustwilight
(Courtesy of Lotustwilight)

Lotus, thank you kindly for your participation. It’s truly an honor to have you over here. I would like to hear your closing words?


Lotus: Thank you so much for having me. It's been a pleasure to share my insights and experiences with you.


I must say, I truly appreciate the thoughtful questions that were posed to me during this interview. It's evident that they were crafted to delve beyond surface-level topics and really get to know me as a person. It's not often that interviewers take the time to research their subjects thoroughly and ask such important questions. I felt respected and valued throughout this process, knowing that I had the space to share my thoughts and that any discomfort could be addressed.


I highly recommend this interviewing approach to anyone seeking a genuine and insightful conversation. As I continue my journey, I look forward to exploring new avenues of creativity and growth, and I hope to inspire others to do the same.


Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity. All the best to you, Hakan.


CREDITS


Official IG page of Lotustwilight, tap @lotustwilight


Official IG art page of Lotustwilight, tap @lotusyume

Comentarios


bottom of page