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To thine own self be true...

Nikki Lilly's photograph collage

Who created it?

Nikki Christou, but online most people know me as Nikki Lilly.



“I am a vlogger, presenter, charity campaigner and baker! These are also things that make me feel happy when I’m having a bad day and allow me to express myself in the ways truest to me.” 


My creative response

My photographic collage

“I chose to do a collage as my response to Shakespeare's famous quote because collages are a bit messy, always different and are full of colour - there’s so much that you can add to them and they never really feel finished. I think that is almost a reflection of life.”



About my creative response

“I first thought about all of the things that allow me to express myself in different ways. First, I thought about the things that make me happy that I enjoy doing, then the people that make me happy and support me, the harder things in my life that I have grown from, my struggles and so many other things which are all pieces that make up what makes me, me and allows me to be who I am. It's just a big A3 piece of card with lots of pieces of paper and glue stuck onto it – nothing too exciting! But this way I had so much fun with choosing what pictures I wanted to add. My thought process was to start off with the things that quite obviously allow me to express myself like baking, make-up and singing and then think about the other things that don't first come to mind, which have shaped me into who I am today…  like the lots of operations I've had or growing up looking ‘different’.”


When have you been ‘true to yourself’?

 “Growing up as a child and now a teenager who looks ‘different’ I always struggled to feel accepted or let myself feel free to be who I truly was. When I was younger, I always tried to follow what other people my age were doing because I felt like that’s how I would be liked or the same as everyone else, but as time has gone on and I have grown up I have realised how important it is to be yourself even if it can be tough at times to do that. Everyone in this world is different and I learned that you should never change yourself to make other people happy or because you feel like that is how you will be accepted. There is only one of you and you’re special - so remember that. I have really struggled to let myself be my true self without worrying about what other people would think of me or what I think they'll think of me but at the end of the day the only opinion and happiness that matters is yours.”


What is your favourite Shakespeare quote and why?

“My favourite quote is ‘It is not in our stars (to hold our destiny) but in ourselves.’ I love this quote because to me it signifies that if you follow your heart, persevere and are determined you have the power within you to achieve anything you hope to or put your mind to. You are the one in control of your destiny and not those around you, none of your dreams have limits. You are capable of finding the power within you to do anything and to write your own future how you dream of it to be.

“Honestly just don't be afraid to share and celebrate what makes you who you are and express yourself in the truest way to you. Take it from someone who once was (afraid), that is where happiness properly begins.” 


Watch this!