Wednesday, March 16, 2016

We've all got Questions. But I have some Answers.

Today I'd like to highlight the many questions I am frequently asked as a model, an artist, and an individual. I think it's fascinating to consider the reasons why people ask me these questions - sometimes, I think they are genuinely interested in getting to know me. Other times I get the impression they want to feel that they are right about an observation about me or they ask me something they hope they had the feeling they knew the answer to. And yet other times, people are maybe just unobservant, maybe don't realize they are asking something potentially intrusive, or they are just wanting to strike up conversation. I am not always so easily offended.

In general, I enjoy interacting with people, regardless of race, gender, sex, disability/metal capacity, sobriety, age, socioeconomic status, experience...because I am mostly an extrovert, and I desire interaction with people on a daily basis, to feel charged and to gain understanding of the world around me and myself (but I am also almost equally introverted - I require alone, focused time to concentrate on reflection and projects that I feel I have my whole hand in). But sometimes, let's all just admit it - people ask you the same questions everyone else does, and it can get repetitive. This is not to say I'm bitter about it - but I have collected some of these questions, and should you chose to read them, will be all the more informed should we meet, and might not need to ask them!
(these are in no particular order, but by memory, so perhaps there is some weight to the questions most often asked and those I remember):

Q: Are you a dancer?
A: Technically, no. I never really know how to answer this in person, but on my blog I can easily write: I took 2 years of ballet in community college & I never got to pointe. I took modern, jazz, and ballet in high school as well, but did not keep up the practice. I enjoy dancing: I spent many years and nights going out dancing (not formally of course) and I do continue to dance with hula hoops. But no, I'm not a trained dancer. 
Q:  What does your tattoo mean/What is your tattoo?
A: I got my tattoo when I was 19 years old. It is a monster inspired by Hieronymus Bosch, a per-Reinassance painter from the Netherlands, whose work I always loved for it's strangeness. At the time I had just completed my drug-diversion program resulting in my (only) arrest charge erased from my record. I finally saw first hand how my overuse of ecstasy pills affected me and my life and was feeling that I had actually recovered - this inspired me to make a physical record of this, by means of a tattoo. I chose a monster by HB because his work fascinated me (this was the piece I took my monster from: ). But I drew my own interpretation of his monster so that it felt like mine.  Why a monster? Well, at the time I felt that I had overcome or faced many monsters of mine - insecurities, troubles from the past, etc. - and wanted to remind myself that though that Monster was Behind me, it was always a Part of Me, and I wanted to own that in order to accept it. Of course, the meaning behind my tattoo and whether or not I still like that I chose to get one is in flux, but that is the basic foundation & I believe the purpose of tattoos is to continually change. Which is what makes them beautiful.

Q: Are you Jewish?
A: No - though I may appear so (I guess it's the nose and curly hair?) I don't have any ounce of it in me. I do not practice it as a religion.
 Q: What kind of art do you do?
A: I primarily draw and paint. I have some proficiency in 2D mediums such as oil paint, watercolor, gouache, charcoal, and graphite. I prefer to work in traditional mediums such as these. My favorite subjects are people and animals.
Q: Do you model full time?
A: No. I have limited time for modeling because of school. Even when I wasn't in school full time, I had a part time job and between a long-distance relationship, trying to do my own artwork and other life-related things, I have a hard time making modeling a priority.
Q: You are over 21, right?
A: Yes........

Q: Are you a vegetarian?
A: No (I used to get this question more often when I was thinner, rarely these days). I used to be, but have returned to the dark side because I was sick of feeling sick all the time. 
Q: Do your parents/family know that you are a nude model? 
A: Thankfully, yes. I am happy that I don't have to hide this part of my life from them. They don't seem to be bothered by it, they just want me to be safe. However, I do not share with them my modeling alias, photos, etc. I try to keep my personal life pretty separate from my model life. 

Q: Does your hair that?
A: Yes, my hair dries in curls quite naturally. I do have to put some effort into making them look good, and this requires time and proper products and water...and plenty of drying time. I wish my hair wasn't so high maintenance. 

Q: Do you ever shave (you know, the naughty bits)?
A: No. I see no reason to do this, as my hair will grow back in a matter of days with a vengeance and I'd rather not spend the money on that many new razor blades each month (honestly, the only times I shave legs, armpits,etc are right before a shoot or when I feel like it, it's not regularly up kept). I used to have a "landing strip" but I gave up on that because well, I have some residual insecurities about my vulva shape and so I'd prefer to keep it as covered as possible. I do use clippers and at times it is shorter and more trim than others, but no, I will not and do not shave my pubic region for shoots.

Q: Would you ever shave (for whatever project)?
A: As mentioned 
Q: Have you lived in California your whole life?
A: Yes! I was born in Oakland and grew up in San Leandro & Walnut Creek. I adore the Bay Area - I'd love to travel more, but I am proud to call this place home. 
Q: Would you be open to a girl on girl shoot?
A: Always! I don't long as they are comfortable too!

Q: Have you ever been to Burning Man?
A: No, sadly. Someday when I can afford the damn thing...

Q: What's your favorite kind of music?
A: I never know how to answer this. It's true that no one feels completely comfortable with answering this question - for the fear of judgement...right? Well, what I typically say is "electronic music" but that's a very vague reply. I am open to all genres of music (not drawn to some styles of rap or country to be honest), but on my own I am most drawn to sort of chill ambient, down-tempo, dance music, trance, house, or mixes of electronic genres that I really don't know how to categorize. Some favorite groups/DJs include: Tycho, Emancipator, Nicolas Jaar, Bonobo, Cocorosie, Apparat, Baths, Bluetech, Lusine, Glass Animals, Four Tet, Ratatat, Justin Martin, Alex Zelenka ..........the list goes on. But remember, this is what I listen to on my own, and I think it's because it's like, good background music (my favorite times to listen to music are when walking, working out, driving, or painting/drawing. Or drunk laying in bed, haha.) I love to go out dancing, and though I haven't been to Burning Man, there are other music festivals I attend.
That's all folks. Feel free to reply with further questions or comments <3

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