Athina Hostelet: Mindful Moments

Having grown up in a household with a mom who is a designer, adores art, architecture, style, and fashion, Athina was exposed to this avenue of work at a very young age. Although she knew that she enjoyed art, especially photography, she never wanted to pursue it as she did not want to feel as if she was living in her mother’s shadow.  Athina, naturally, felt a small resentment towards pursuing her creative side, and only started pursuing it in her senior year of high school when she decided to challenge herself with her school’s highest level art course: AP Studio Art. Prior to taking this course, she had taken all the photography classes and met all the prerequisites that were required of her at school in order to take this class.  However it wasn’t till AP Studio Art that Athina saw how she could blend her interest in art and creativity through her photography.

Using the photography and artistic skills that she’d acquired in AP Studio Art, she decided to photograph objects, and landscapes that meant the most to her. She wanted to work with what she saw everyday, and what she enjoyed doing the most. On the side, Athina she began to work on practicing Mindfulness. As a result of this, Athina was inspired to compose a book with the images she’d captured throughout the year.  She centred it towards mindfulness and what she’d been working on personally. Athina expressed that, “Art is a way for individuals to let out what is on their mind and express what they are feeling or thinking in that moment in time. Ultimately, that is what I try to accomplish in my own art, it is a form of my expression, a way for me to portray my thoughts and beliefs in a visual way.” It took Athina a year to compose the final book, however, it took around 2 years to gather all of the images for the book as she wanted to make sure that she was picking photos that suited the theme of her book as best possible.  Athina elaborates that, “My first instinct was to centre the book around mindfulness, and to take and choose all of the pictures accordingly. This changed when I did research about Mindfulness and understood the true meaning behind it. Mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” What she learnt through her research is that there is no right or wrong with mindfulness, it is up to perception and the way in which an individual sees it.

Athina is half Lebanese and half French, but was born and brought up in Hong Kong.  She’d been inspired by the artistic world and the business opportunities it offers inspired by her family and her hometown.  She hopes to one day work in an artistic field where she can work with digital art, handcrafted art, or perhaps even fashion -- she’s open to many opportunities.  Using her passion for photography and her creation of Mindful Moments, Athina sees her own path in life not defined by anyone or anything.