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@afkayt, 33 – FUNDED

She calls herself a “makeup shapeshifter” and that is 100% accurate for @afkayt, a makeup and body painter who specializes in trippy optical illusions and creative editorial looks. You’ll probably also find her playing games and the ukulele, too. The BroadcastHER Grant winner started streaming to help battle anxiety and depression — and to have time to do and share what she’s passionate about: being creative!

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

My dream as a digital broadcaster is to create art that moves and inspires.

How will the BroadcastHER Grant from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals?

I will be able to take masterclasses to further my skillset and techniques as well as purchase upgrades for my stream setup.

What does being the recipient of the BroadcastHER Grant mean to you?

It’s an honor to receive this grant and I’m so grateful. It means that I will have the resources to dig into my craft, learn more through masterclasses, and continue my work without worry that my tech will fail me.

Women are underrepresented in gaming, broadcasting, and e-sports. What can we do to change this?

Support other women. Lift each other up and continue to push for change. Take up the space you deserve and push forward with your dreams, even when they might not fit within society’s expectations.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced along the way is harassment. As a body art streamer, I face a lot of negative commentary and trolling with comments targeting my body, my artwork, and my worth. I have a thick skin but I have experienced hours of harassment while creating my art. It can wear a person down. I struggle with self-doubt and confidence, which makes for a tough combination.

A lot of people pass judgment on body painting and it’s a difficult thing to deal with. It’s important to me to educate others about body art and it dawned on me that a lot of the negativity is born of not knowing how it all works. I believe in what I do — and knowing that the work I’ve done has made an impact makes me realize that I can’t let others bring me down. People will always have something to say, but keep doing you.

What advice do you have for women who want to start broadcasting?

Just go for it! I tend to overthink everything and it can stop me from doing anything at all. You don’t need to start with the best of everything; just put together whatever equipment you already have and go! It’s important to figure out if you like broadcasting in general and you can find yourself along the way. You don’t have to do things like everyone else, either.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I’ll be real… I’m not always motivated. But, some days, it’s just that way and it’s okay! It’s important to make goals. I make big-picture goals, longer-term goals, and short-term goals. Having things to check off my list — no matter how small — pushes me forward and keeps me focused on my ultimate goals.