“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.” – Harry Edwards

Just a few months back, I and my husband were asked by my daughter, Patricia, if we were willing to pose for a photo as a subject for an interview about her. Of course we agreed…anything for our daughter, right?

We arrived at the venue and straight away we were photographed by Pat’s friend James Robinson. It was a bit daunting because of course, we haven’t done this before. And little did we know that the photos were to be published on a magazine that was to be released in London.

It was released just last month… and here it is.
(Still waiting for the actual magazine to arrive in the mail as it will still be sent by my Son through snail mail from London.)

Below is Pat’s interview that was featured on the Notion Magazine issue 89.

Pat Casten


J: Your parents are both creative people. Do you remember this rubbing off on you when you were younger?

P:My parents were both senior graphic designers in the Philippines. They moved to Melbourne during the recession in the early 90s and they were never able to return to the creative industry. I think this reality made them really sad, but they played the “We’re just grateful to have jobs” narrative to my brother and I. I think they stopped identifying as artists as a coping mechanism to be able to just get on, leaving their creative paths behind. They never found the time to paint, draw, sew and create their own projects at home. My parents released their creative outlet by helping me – dad had always been really tech savvy and taught me graphic/web design skills on Photoshop from the age of 12. Mum loved helping me on school art projects, meaning I always had the best posters and costumes in class. Their creative thinking skills encouraged me to open my eyes and see beyond what I thought I knew.

J: Was there ever a pressure from your parents to study toward more traditionally ‘secure’ industries?

P: There’s still ongoing conversation around “You should do law, medicine, engineering…” Obviously they want me to succeed, especially after everything they’ve sacrificed for me to be in Melbourne, so they tell me to follow these career paths – but do they truly believe in wanting me to pursue a career which doesn’t dit me? No, I never really believed their guilt trip, because they never followed up their words with much push. “Why aren’t you a lawyer like your cousin? Has almost become an inside joke within the family because I’m so far from being a lawyer (sorry mum and dad). Luckily they have a super laid-back attitude and an overwhelming sense of gratitude and ultimately they just encourage me to do what feels right. They’re also very aware they don’t have much control over what I do. I think my parents live by a pretty simple motto: Does it make you happy? Yes? Then do it.

J: Is there a particular family member who has influenced you, both as a person and as an artist? What are some of their qualities that you admire? And if you didn’t have your family, do you think photography is something you still would have gravitated towards?

P: My interest in photography is directly linked to my brother, Tim, who is a filmmaker in London. Growing up in the outer South East suburbs of Melbourne, there wasn’t a whole lot going on creatively and having progressive, artistic parents meant Tim and I always felt somewhat different to those around us. But in Tim, I saw a reflection of myself and a tangible path forward. When I was a teenager, Tim exposed me to coming-of-age photographers like Olivia Bee, Nirrimi, Tim Barber, Ryan Kenny and Ryan McGinley, which was a gateway into seeing how people across the world lived through the eyes of a photographer. I just wanted to start documenting everything. So I did. And so did Tim. We were two indie kids with #35mm cameras, posting to Tumblr, and I just never stopped. Now Tim makes the joke, “Damn, you got better than me.” I often say that Tim is just like me but smarter, more introverted, and has a beard.


  1. Jeshie2 says:

    When they grow up they are still our daughter, eh? I had one visiting with two of her teens last and left yesterday!
    Love your new blog look! Looks very spacious:) I see the difference in height, and like you, I ended up being the shortest in our family!

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks, I really like the new layout too.

      Haha and yes the height! That’s what I told my kids…I married a tall guy so they can have a chance!

      1. Jeshie2 says:

        The same here, lol!

  2. Ju-Lyn says:

    Wow! What an honour! I love it! to have one’s child include one in an occasion like this?!!!

    1. Teresa says:

      Truly a nice feeling, Ju-Lyn. Thanks

  3. lolaWi says:

    wow! this is awesome, Techie! congratulations! and i love the interview 🙂 🙂

    1. Teresa says:

      Yes, amiga…it is about our situation as migrants. Glad you liked the interview.

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