Tylor-Mason James and Farrah Cruse are not what you would expect to find whiling away the lockdown hours in White River. Farrah, stunningly lovely, could easily be mistaken for a Vogue cover model, while Tylor’s leonine good looks would not go amiss behind the wheel of a sleek, pristine white yacht cruising through azure Mediterranean waters.
Speaking of yachts, he is indeed quite at home among them, having obtained his necessary yachting licences in 2017, and also being the photographer for the International Yacht Show in Palma de Mallorca. “I remember how it all started,” he smiles. “While in Spain I attended the yacht show as a crew member and noticed they didn’t seem to have a photographer. I found someone who ‘looked’ official and asked about taking a few shots, and he said, ‘Sure, go ahead’.” It turned out there was indeed a photographer, but they liked Tylor’s work enough to ask him to do a few videos for them. He jumped at the chance. “I had never done anything quite like it before, but I firmly believe in saying yes to opportunity, then figuring out how to make it work as you go along. Fortunately, they loved what I came up with and now I do the videography and filming every year.”
This intrepid go-getter and adventure junkie has also completed his Accelerated Freefall course in skydiving, is a qualified jet ski instructor, freediver and licensed drone pilot. At the tender age of eight, he entered and won a National Geographic photography competition, and since then has had his work published in National Geographic Wild and The Islander Magazine. While Tylor has filmed all along the Med, including Palma and Monaco – where he did a bit of freelance filming for the Grandprix, and the Monaco International Yacht Show, his heart lays firmly in wildlife and conservation work.
“My long-term plan is to focus on NGO filming and conservation documenting all around the world… Building my visual artistry brand, RayIve, dedicated to rays of perspective by utilising the amazing adventures and sights I’ve been privileged enough to document. But I can tell you, there is no place like home, and the bushveld calls to me like a siren.” As an adventure photographer and travel enthusiast, Ty is constantly chasing the perspectives of light and life, growing and adapting with each sunset and sunrise.
At his side sits the lovely Farrah, a serious look on her upturned face as she watches a coral tree covered in jewel-red blooms as weaver birds skitter in and out of the branches. The sun catches her hair just so, transforming it to burnished copper, and she turns to tell Tylor something. Her smile is infectious. Farrah may be a Boss model and quite at home in front of the camera, but this young woman is going places. She has featured in magazines, television adverts has walked for Elle, and won more than her share of modelling competitions. The top-achieving visual artist at Uplands, her artwork has a whimsical yet fierce quality.
Farrah proudly displays a piece depicting a weather-beaten face with a deep gash running down one side. The image is in full colour, excepting what lies beneath the open wound, which is in stark black and white. The face appears almost in awe, apprehensive of something only he can see. “Art has always been a passion of mine. Ever since I was a young girl, I loved to paint and draw everything around me. My love of it grew as I did with age. In high school, our art studio was a safe haven and space for creativity, consisting of 12 inspiring girls and our magnificent teacher, who influenced and fuelled my love of the visual arts.”
It was during this time that Farrah achieved an award for top art student and received colours for culture. “My expressionist style shows evidence of texture through contour lines, and I create an out-of-world experience with the abundant colours I use. Glancing at my art enables you to enter a new realm and gather a new perspective on our world and the human body. I see myself as a storyteller as I tend to draw others in. I showcase their emotions and tell their stories rather than my own.” Her dream is to be a success in all her ambitions which include modelling, art and to open her online store of eco-friendly products, which she hopes will ultimately become an international flagship brand. Lockdown has given Farrah the chance to have some me time, doing yoga, studying kinesiology and concentrating on letting her creativity flow.
Being mindful is something that they both try to incorporate into their lives, by turning every experience into an opportunity and being present in the moment. “We are both ambitious, and our dreams are far-reaching,” Ty says. “This can sometimes cause limitations to take hold. In this day and age, it seems that everyone is always hungry for more and no one is ever satisfied with what they have. Goals are important, don’t get me wrong! But while in pursuit of our dreams, we need to always be conscious of what we have and appreciate the things we have already achieved… Not to take health and well-being for granted. Running from achievement to achievement without stopping to appreciate the success along the way leaves us dissatisfied and empty. We both believe that only if we are willing to listen, will we be able to grow. Our goal is to influence our audience as much as possible on the needs of the world, while living mindfully and insightfully. Education is key – the greatest gift we can give ourselves is a deeper connection with nature, and man’s relationship with it.”
This young couple is perfectly poised to do just this. Success in visual arts comes with the perspective that you can learn from anything and everything if you open yourself to the possibility. Capturing, learning and adapting, drawing inspiration from every shoot, every artwork, and every day spent adventuring allow them to bring their own special brand of awareness to the world – one which is ripe for the taking.
Tylor: 082-348-6380, www.rayive.com or @tymasonjames
Farrah: 072-563-3988, www.barefootbeings.com or @farrah_cruse
Follow them: @thesolarsouls