Sunday, May 26th

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Hotseat - Chemaine Petit-Booi

825_hotseatCreativity runs through the veins of Chemaine Petit-Booi. The 29-year-old is fascinated by all things beautiful and has been keeping herself busy with her latest project – a new blog about living and loving island life (see related story). She gives an update on what she's been up to in this week's Hot Seat.

Who is Chemaine Petit-Booi?

So much has changed in my life since my first feature in the Hot Seat four years ago. I believe the best way to describe me now would be a happy, island-life loving mom.

How would you describe yourself?

Happy. After three years of trial and error; my husband and I finally get to call ourselves parents. I never thought those child abuse videos could upset me more than it used to. Becoming a mother has changed my life in many ways I never thought possible. I now truly understand what my parents meant when they would tell me wait until you get your own.

Fond childhood memories?

Growing up with my little brother and sister; playing Barbie, hide and seek, even when we fought like cats and dogs, all of it helped to build the extremely tight and loving bond we share today.

Where were you educated, what did you study and why?

My father shipped me away to Holland when I was 12 to attend high school. Living in Bonaire, the careers to go for were always something like doctor or lawyer. But when I first lay eyes on Microsoft Paint at age 11, I fell in love with the computer and creating digital arts. I have always been passionate about cooking – learning from my Aunt Jennie; experimenting from 12 years old and failing miserably. At age 17, I decided to take on culinary arts in Rotterdam.

Places worked and positions held over the years?

My first job was at Triple L Communication from 2006 to 2007. I realised that I was not the person for that type of work. I believed that I could do better on my own so I quit and here I am today.

Amongst other things, you are a photographer and graphic artist; to what do you owe your creativity?

I'm not sure how to answer this, but a change of scenery helps a lot. Taking exotic vacations to places such as Virgin Gorda and Costa Rica always helps. To be honest, I believe I was meant to be a creative artist from the start. I was always fascinated with creating weird paintings and then folding the papers to see what it would look like. I just like to have fun with what I do and it just happens. People love my work so I keep allowing it to just happen.

What differentiates you from others in your field?

Me.

What's your personal photography style?

I just let it happen; and it's all you when you let it happen. I love Disney movies, princesses and Barbies. Sometimes I feel like going with bold, bright colours like Barbie; and other times I edit softer and more ethereal like Disney movies. It all depends on the person, how I feel when I photograph and my mood during editing.

You recently became a mother. How has this changed you?

Lyla has turned my world upside down and inside out; and as a photographer mom, I've been going out of control snapping shots every second I get a chance. I'm obsessed with my little girl.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I hope to be travelling around the globe with my family, taking pictures and just plain enjoying living. You never know when it's your last day. I believe you should live life happy as much as possible doing what you love.

Top three things you want to do before you retire?

I'm not sure I'll ever retire from being a photographer/digital artist and of course you never retire from being a mom, but I'd like to build a happy home for my family and hopefully one day grandchildren; travel to as many places as I possibly can afford and just be happy.

Hobbies?

Cooking and of course photography. I have to admit I do enjoy my personal projects much more.

Biggest fear?

Something happening to my child.

What is your favourite type of music? What artistes do you listen to?

I don't have a specific type of music I enjoy more; but out of it all, my favourite artists would have to be Bob Marley, Madonna, System of a Down and Lauryn Hill. I can listen to any of these artists for days without getting tired of their music.

If you could invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?

I would invite Madonna, Bob Marley and Malala Yousafzai. I would make them my famous goat from my father's