The publisher, writer, and part-time cleaner takes the Dazed 100 quiz and shares her thoughts on creativity, the queer community, and climate activism
Publisher, writer, and part-time cleaner, Tori West has done it all. Whether she’s smashing the stigmas around working-class creatives and the jobs they do to support their art, calling out the British Fashion Council and London Fashion Week for their lack of focus on sustainability, or championing young queer creative talent, the 27-year-old wants to change the creative industries for the better. Now a Dazed 100er, West wants to open up IRL and URL community studio spaces for working-class, queer creatives. Read on to learn what advice she’d give her past self, how she overcomes a creative block, and what’s overrated.
What issues are you most passionate about?
Tori West: Global human rights and the environmental crisis.
Who do you think is making real change in the world?
Tori West: Mari Copeny, Greta Thunberg, and the youth climate activists from the UK Student Climate Network that are on BRICKS recent magazine cover.
If you were in charge for a day, what law would you invent?
Tori West: Non-binary people deserve to have their identities legally recognised, now. They’re valid. It’s not a debate. So I would pass through my dear friend and BRICKS contributor Jamie Windust’s petition to allow people to identify outside of ‘male’ and ‘female’ on legal documentation such as passports and on company forms like the NHS and HMRC.
Explain your Dazed 100 grant idea in one sentence?
Tori West: I want to create a queer-led studio through the BRICKS community that working-class and other queer creatives could pitch their ideas to us and use our resources for free to create work for their portfolio.
Why should people support your idea?
Tori West: Because it doesn’t just support me and my BRICKS community, it will help support the ideas of hundreds of other creatives who will desperately need the help post-pandemic.
What song hits you the hardest?
Tori West: Julia Jacklin’s entire Crushing album makes me cry.
Which living person do you most admire and why?
Tori West: Desmond is Amazing. His entire energy and positivity is amazing for just 12-years-old and how much abuse him and his family receive just for him identifying and being entirely himself. I remember on set once, he pulled me aside and was like, “Tori, just you wait until the comment section, the haters are going to love this,” and was basically telling me to take haters comments with a pinch of salt and don’t let it destroy your energy, something of which previously always bothered me and I let happen. His mother is also incredible.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Tori West: Mechanic or Britney Spears.
What clique were you in in high school?
Tori West: I was definitely the weirdo emo kid and I hung out with the nerds.
Who gave you your first break?
Tori West: Ashleigh Kane.
Why do you do, what you do?
Tori West: I make content that matters and started BRICKS magazine because it’s my coping mechanism to help counteract how negative I feel about certain issues in the world.
When do you feel most creative?
Tori West: 7AM, I’m a really annoying morning person.
How do you get over an artistic block?
Tori West: Drinking lots of caffeine, cleaning, and reading news articles that make me angry.
“I make content that matters and started BRICKS magazine because it’s my coping mechanism to help counteract how negative I feel about certain issues in the world” – Tori West
Name three things that inspire you?
Tori West: My BRICKS team, the people within our creative community, and Welsh history.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever seen?
Tori West: I’ve seen Laura Marling so many times I’ve lost count.
If you could own one piece of art, what would it be?
Tori West: William Eggleston, “Untitled, 1984”, from the portfolio, William Eggleston’s Graceland.
What’s the last thing you made?
Tori West: It’s too inappropriate.
What’s a lesson that you learned the hard way?
Tori West: Accidentally sending something to print in RGB.
Which fictional character do you most identify with?
Tori West: Susan from Desperate Housewives when she becomes a cam-girl cleaner.
What’s your secret talent?
Tori West: Only finding emotionally unavailable men.
Tori West: Lad culture.
Tori West: Viakal limescale remover, Barry Island, and the Welsh language.
What keeps you motivated?
Tori West: My queer community and emerging creatives.
Which film do you never get bored of?
Tori West: Withnail and I and Spider-man.
What song is stuck in your head right now?
Tori West: Charli XCX, “Claws”
What did you dream last night?
Tori West: That Grimes texted me to be on the next cover, I was upset when I woke up and realised it didn’t happen.
What piece of clothing means the most to you?
Tori West: My friend bought me pastel pink silk underwear for my birthday a few years ago with my name printed on them in diamantes, I’ve never worn them because I’m saving them until death. I want to be buried in them.
What advice would you give your past self?
Tori West: To stop doubting yourself, just because no one around you wants to do the same things as you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
What’s your favourite slang phrase?
Tori West: I’ll be there now in a minute.
What’s your ultimate guilty pleasure?
Tori West: People make me feel guilty about my newfound love for Harry Styles, but I’m personally not feeling guilty about it.
What will the world look like in 2050?
Tori West: I’m just currently hoping there is a drastic change in our lifestyles and governments implement tighter environmental laws to make sure we’re not under water in 2050 and can actually breathe air.
What’s a misconception people often have about you?
Tori West: That I’m a rich bitch because I run magazine, but it’s non-profit.
What book changed your life?
Tori West: Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie Yearbook.
What does community mean to you?
Tori West: Acceptance, love, and mutual growth.