Cinnamon Girl: Lindsay O’Brien

Gabe Diaz

Cinnamon Girl is a series of profiles on the people who are helping bring this project into being — aka your chance to get to know the early members of this blossoming collective. The title is an homage to the Neil Young song, but we’ll update it for boys, non-binary and all other preferred gender presentations.

1. Hi, what’s your name?

Hi! I’m Lindsay, but everyone calls me Linds.

2. How are you involved in Cinnamon?

I’m the resident witch in charge of our Tarotscopes, where I combine elements of traditional astrology and tarot for a fresh take on self-reflection.

3. Wow, what a cool talent! When did you first get interested in that?

My mom had the classic Rider-Waite tarot deck when I was a very little kid, and she gifted me a deck of my own about ten years ago that I still use in private readings. She gave that deck to me during a period of my life where I was desperate to understand myself and tarot became a tool for healing I didn’t think would ever be available to me. I wanted to find a way to provide that feeling for others, so a few years ago I started thinking about how to take tarot more seriously as a career. Now I read almost full time, and Cinnamon has been the biggest blessing for me when it comes to making tarot more accessible for anyone and everyone!

4. Can you tell me about the food and drink you like to put into your body?

Without getting into it too deeply I’ll say that I have a complicated relationship with food and eating, and the best way for me to navigate that is to think about eating for joy. It brings me joy to eat beautiful and decadent princess cakes, and it brings me joy to eat food that directly and positively impacts the way my body functions. It brings me joy to shop for and cook a meal from scratch to feed to my loved ones. I love foot-long hot dogs, cheap beer, and green juices that straight up taste like a front yard. Fully separating what eating means to me from the way I feel about my body is going to be a constant, conscious process for the rest of my life, but I strive to love the body that carries me through it. I also drink more coffee than the human body should be capable of and I love every chaotic moment of it.

5. Can you tell me about the kind of art and literature you like to put into your brain?

I’m constantly getting hounded and harassed by my friends for not being very good at watching TV as it airs, a good example of this being binging Mad Men in full as the last season was airing. I loved it, duh. It takes a lot for me to get jazzed about new shows and movies because I feel overwhelmed by how much is out there, but I usually end up kicking myself for watching and loving something like, six years after the zeitgeist. Most of the books I read are about tarot for the work I do, but the piles and piles of other books around my house would like me to remember how much I used to love reading for fun! So many of my friends are brilliant, prolific writers and musicians, so their work is always going to be a priority for me. I’m a textile artist and metalsmith, so I try to spend a good chunk of non-working time reading or watching videos to learn something new or scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration from artists that blow my mind. 

I’m also a secret hardcore gamer. It’s not a secret because I’m ashamed, I just don’t want to hurt your feelings because I am so. good.

6. How do you like to care for yourself?

The little things I love to do to take care of myself are the first things that fall by the wayside when I’m feeling less than my best, so indulging in something slow and ritualistic always reminds me how important it is to tap out of stress and think about me especially when I don’t want to. Long, hot bubble baths, sitting in the sun all day with my friends, ten-step skincare routines, stretching my body, working with my hands— anything I can escape into purely for myself. I’m trying to make it a priority, because I usually don’t realize how much I need it until I’m overwhelmed by work and the news and everything else.

7. In your dream world, how would you spend the majority of your time?

Making art. There aren’t enough hours in the day to explore all of the crazy ideas I have even if I could spend every waking hour on them. I’d like to be locked in a room full of yarn and come out three weeks later! Sometimes just making the time for art is more empowering than what you actually end up creating, and that’s okay.

8. Tell me about a living creature you’ve had a lot of love for that wasn’t a human, or about your favorite plant.

My handsome black cat, Spooky, has the soul of a golden retriever in a family movie combined with an ancient, mysterious wizard and I love him more than life itself. Everyone says their cat is the best once you get to know them but Spooky is, objectively, the greatest cat that ever lived. He’s my constant companion and a total freak of nature.

9. Speaking of the L word, what does love mean to you?

There’s a quote from the movie Punch-Drunk Love: “I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine.” Love means giving someone the space to be brave in the face of all the rest of life’s bullshit. It can be so hard and painful to be a person in this world, and every aspect of my life is made easier by the love I’m lucky to receive. I don’t think it’s always possible to fully love yourself before you can love another person, but you absolutely can want to be better every single day because of the standard love sets for you. 

10. What were you like when you were a little kid?

Just the absolute definition of a theatre kid. A born star. I spent the first like, nine years of my life in a leotard for no real reason. Loud, weird, funny, kind, always singing and yelling and putting on a show. I loved boys and being a drama queen. I LOVE to think about what kind of kid I was and still am, on most levels, and try to protect those same qualities in myself all the time.

11. Where do you live now and why did that place call out to you?

I live in the greatest city on earth, Los Angeles! I moved here almost five years ago and it’s sincerely my greatest accomplishment. I was born and raised in Las Vegas and it’ll always be home, but the woman I’m meant to be is here and I just have to meet her. Life will be difficult at times no matter where you live, but it’s worth it to struggle and love and learn in the place you want to be. I’m sure it’ll change someday, but I can’t imagine not living in LA right now. 

12. Tell me about your personal style and how dressing your body is part of your life.

I’m a Leo sun/moon and turning out a fire look has to be one of my greatest pleasures. I can and will wear anything, as long as I feel good as hell in it. I love to say my style sits somewhere between rodeo clown and rich, opulent widow. I buy ALL of my clothing secondhand, mostly from the Goodwill bins and the Downtown Women’s Center resale boutique where I volunteer. It lessens my impact on the planet, is kind to my wallet, and allows me to constantly cycle funky and unique pieces into my wardrobe. Fashion and clothing will always be my first art form, and I live to serve looks. The process of getting dressed is so important to staying in touch with myself and my body. 

13. Tell me about a record that changed your life.

Love Is Overtaking Me by Arthur Russell has been the soundtrack of the greatest moments of my life. Those songs sound like falling in love, with my soulmate, a new city, and myself.

14. Tell me about a person you admire with your whole heart.

One of my very best friends and the Rihanna of my life, Erika Paget, is my number one hero. She’s an artist, musician, writer, activist, model, DJ, curator… I could go on for three days about everything she can do and does everyday without even covering the tip of it. Every move she makes holds me accountable for pushing myself toward a bigger and more meaningful life, and I can’t imagine my life without her. Hot, hilarious, brilliant, and the best dresser I know!

15. Tell me about a time you showed resilience and grace, even if it was tough.

I’ll say this: I spent a major portion of my life believing I would never, ever live as long as I have. I never thought I would make it here, but I did, and that is resilience. Grace is forgiving myself for being wrong, and being proud for fighting to be here right now.

16. Who is your favorite rapper? (Oh yeah? Name five of their albums! JK, continue.)

Missy Elliott is a significant percentage of why I am the way I am, she’s a top to bottom ICON.

17. What is the best skincare or makeup item you’ve ever encountered?

As I mentioned briefly before, I take my ridiculous skincare routines very seriously. Slathering myself in acids, oils, and creams is the closest I’ll ever get to being a mad scientist and I’ll try literally anything. My latest obsession is overnight masks, which work while you’re sleeping so you wake up with the smooth and glowing skin of a baby angel. My favorite splurge is Alchimie Forever’s Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask, but I’d fully waste away without Yes to Superblueberries Sleeping Mask in my cabinet.

18. What is your favorite place to visit?

There’s a big property in the California desert I’ve visited with my friends a few times and it’s the most sacred place in the world to me. I never feel more free than when I’m there. I also went camping on the beach in San Luis Obispo for my birthday this year and started scheming about how to come back before I even left!

19. Who in your family are you the most like or closest to? (If it’s no one, pick someone else relationally close and describe why you’re similar or have a close relationship.)

My brother has got to be the coolest person I’ve ever met. He’s three years younger than me and we’re complete opposites on almost every level, but everything I do is driven by me wanting him to be proud and think I’m cool, too. 

20. Is there life on Mars?

Maybe not on Mars, but I think it would be arrogant and dumb as hell for humans to think we’re fully alone in the universe. I like to believe there’s some advanced species out there that has all of this figured out a little more than we do. 

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