Born in California and brought up traveling the world with deep cultural roots set in salty costal Mexico, Charlotte L. Mignot Hodges could truly be considered a citizen of the world. An explorer with incredible emotional sensitivity and curiosity for the world that surrounds her. To the delight of all those around her, her instinct to relate to others began to express very early in her life through writing and visual art. Fluent in multiple languages and cultures, themes of interconnectivity, solidarity and responsibility for the environment are common in her work. She’s honest with herselfand challenges her community to be the same way. On the floor and walls of her home, in countless journals, and recently through her travel blogs, website and various expositions, Charlotte has created as she lived, laying bare the evolution of her mind and personality. 

While it is certain that she could find inspiration in her own garden, her path so far in life has taken her around the world and back. Following her passions she has sought out various forms of hands on learning experience, as well as studied at multiple centers and universities where she acquired a yoga teacher certification at the White lotus Foundation, a PDC (permaculture design certificate) at Quail Springs, and a Community Herbalist Certificate at Pacific Rim College. At the moment Charlotte is currently enrolled in Naropa University, basedin Boulder, Colorado from which she continues to passionately express and pursue her art.

Photographers spoke to Charlotte about her upcoming trip to capture Epic Arts in Cambodia. 

WHAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT WORKING WITH EPIC ARTS?

As an artist working through various mediums and studying Early Childhood Education, I have always thought art should be an integral aspect to any education. Having volunteered in several different educational programs in the United States and abroad, I have come to realize the importance of art, and play, in our learning processes. From an early age I have aspired to become an artist of life, and have continued my seeking since to become involved in organizations and programs working along this path. What makes me passionate about helping Epic Arts is the opportunity it presents to help a society grow by shedding new light on a subject (on a people) who have long been misunderstood or overlooked. Although I have never travelled to Cambodia, I have felt many times before in my travels around the globe that humanity has missed many opportunities by segregating those we have labeled as ”different”. Perhaps it is only through encountering hardships and obstacles along our paths that we find our true strengths and inner gifts. I am amazed of the limited view our societies have construed around what it means to be human —and I am in awe and in complete admiration of individuals who have embraced their disabilities and developed other strengths in response. There is true inspiration for us all to be found and learned from in these journeys of self discovery and I feel very honored to be able to take part in the process. 

HOW DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THEM?

I would hope that my photography can offer a clear view of both the outer workings as well as the inner light of the students and facilities at Epic Arts. I truly believe that something as simple as an image presenting  a positive perspective can be life changing —in helping the subjects acknowledge and accept themselves and in transforming societies views of them. By portraying the truths of these people’s lives and situations while focusing on the steps they are taking to flip their fortunes, I hope to join a growing team of diverse individuals working towards bettering opportunities of empowerment and inclusivity. For, I believe we have much to learn from these experiences in accepting and growing from disability  —if we could open ourselves to this, our world would be much more complete and all the better for it.

WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEND TO YOUR SUPPORTERS?

 I think it is important to support that which we wish to see more of in the world around us, rather than fight what we are against. I believe that we manifest what we set our energies to. Hence we become that which we fight, or vise versa, that which we support. That being said, wether your support comes from your heart, your pockets, or both —I would  like to thank you for contributing to a cause beyond your own self. 

Visit Charlotte's Website