She floats in and out of spaces with the distinctly otherworldly grace of an alien, or perhaps a very, very secure vampire. Disarmingly beautiful and addictively complex, she can’t actually be ignored (in fits of envy I have tried, and failed). It takes just moments to catch her contagious, ebullient passion for self-expression and genuine interaction. With a single look, Eliane Medea Findley can make you feel as though you’re in on a little secret. Her bewitching and insinuating air could make any mortal shrink, but like any high, her presence is addictive, and her laughter is irritatingly charming. You can feel her pulling you into her world as she shares genuine confidences and real advice with the nonchalant ease that one might spout clichés. Perhaps she has mastered this over time, or perhaps this has come as a consequence of her well earned and freshly minted confidence. A third year fine arts student and Toronto native, Eliane walks among us here at Queen’s, temporarily calling Kingston home. Applied to Eliane, “Campus Cutie” feels like an inadequate appellation. It’s like calling Jeremy Lipking’s Reclining in White a doodle. Yet, I laughingly bestow this title upon her for the simple, selfish pleasure of being able to fully pick her brain. I can unashamedly commit some of her thoughts to the enduring record, writing some of her magic into the permanent, ever expanding and celestial internet. Like Lipking’s masterpiece, I hope to capture Eliane, fully fleshed out.
Olivia: Here’s a stupid little speed round. I told myself I wouldn’t do this, but I really want to know. Consider it a warm-up.
Favorite Joni Mitchell song?
Eliane: All I Want.
O: Last movie that made you Cry?
E: Can’t Remember, probably Inside Out.
O: Celebrity Crush when you were 13?
E: I want to say Jared Leto. Maybe Gerard Way.
O: Favorite constellation?
E: I want to say Orion.
O: Favorite painting?
E: Ophelia by J.E. Millais
O: Something stupid that makes you think of your childhood:
E: Paramedic Barbie.
O: Something that makes you laugh every time:
E: Rendering people speechless.
O: Say something nice to me.
E: You’re wonderful and worthwhile.
O: I was kidding, but my soul just left my body a little bit. Thank you.
O: I’m going to try to give you the Proust questionnaire. If I ever get super, super off track – I mean half an hour into fruit or TV ads, I’m making it your responsibility to stop me.
E: Alrighty then. (Stupid, infectious laughter.)
O: What is your Idea of perfect happiness?
E: Probably just being totally free but knowing I have a solid safety net. Happy friends and family around me, eating good food. I don’t know. Happiness is hard to peg down.
O: What is your greatest fear?
E: Total failure. Probably also extreme poverty, because it would mean that I’d have no freedom.
O: Which fictional character do you most identify with?
E: A cross between Elizabeth Bennett and Luna Lovegood. I’d say Luna all the way but I lack her self-confidence. Also I identify with Lizzie’s particular brand of inadvertent cruelty.
O: What trait do you most deplore in yourself?
E: Procrastination. No wait, indecision. Probably procrastination.
O: What would you say, is the most overrated virtue?
O: What, or who, is the love of your life?
E: That’s the big question, isn’t it?
O: Who is the living person you most despise?
E: I don’t think you could be considered a reasonable person alive on this continent today and not say Donald Trump.
O: When and where were you happiest?
E: Wiccan fest, in the woods, any time between 1996 and 2001.
O: Which talent would you most like to have?
E: I’d like to be an incredible musician. It’s universal and pure, tangible magic.
O: If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
E: Probably an alien. Everything on earth has too much to worry about. That or the most beautiful male bird.
O: What quality do you most like in a man?
E: Blunt honesty.
O: What quality do you most like in a woman?
E: Blunt honesty.
O: What do you most value in a friend?
O: Favourite authors?
E: Holly Black, O.R. Melling and Alyxandra Harvey. Also Tolkien – he gave the world a great gift.
O: Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
E: Depends on your definition of hero.
O: It does. What’s your definition of a hero?
E: Someone who overcomes great difficulty through virtuous means. Probably Sir Gawain from Arthurian legend, or Wonder Woman.
O: Who is your hero in real life?
E: Anyone who fights for good. In their own lives or the lives of others. Extra shoutout to those who are living with illness and still find joy and comfort in the world, and still find ways to make the lives of others brighter.
O: How would you like to die?
E: Old, and happy, and fulfilled.
O: What is your motto?
E: C’est la vie.
As transcribed, Tuesday, February 7th, 2017.