ART OF THE PHOENIX
Photographer: Koeal Braxton
1. What inspired you to get into this industry?
Getting into the modeling industry was a complete accident. I had owned my tattoo shop with my husband for a couple of years when a mutual friend asked me to pose with his truck for a website based feature. I had a ton of fun during the shoot and starting collaborating more with local photographers. I figured who better to market my tattoo shop than myself? One thing led to another and I was shooting on a continuous basis, modeling for some of the elite companies in the tattoo industry, hosting tattoo conventions both nation and worldwide, as well as appearing on countless magazines covers and websites. I always craved the opportunities that pushed my creative boundaries and networking abilities. This has been a dream industry, difficult at times, but a dream none the less.
2. How long have you been modeling?
I have been modeling since 2010 when I first appeared for www.SoCalCustoms.com and we just recently shot a follow up feature 7 years after the start of it all.
3. Who is your favorite model?
Aw man.... I can't pick just one. The greatest part about models is that they are all created differently. Each person bringing something new and different to the table to admire. It could be personality, creativity, wisdom, posing... the list goes on and on. I find different parts of different people that I love and channel.
4. Were you always comfortable in your own skin and in front of the camera?
I have absolutely always been very comfortable being me. Whatever that even means. People will either love it or they hate it but both views have no baring on how I move in life. I love being able to recreate different versions of myself and my moods in every shoot.
5. Did you have any mentors who really helped mold and guide you?
Yes. Amber Mannon was one of the first photographers I have ever worked with and still work closely with to this day. We even have matching moon tattoos. She is a very brilliant, creative soul. She really helped me learn the industry, she reviewed my images with me during shoots so that I could easily learn lighting and angles as a model, she told me I was beautiful when the internet told me I was ugly and she truly helped mold me and guide me as a baby and even established model. This industry never gets easy but it is always fun. I am so appreciative of her influence on me and the lifelong friendship I get to hold long after the lights dim.
6. Do you have any tips for aspiring models in the industry?
No means try harder. It is a weird day and age where entitlement plays a huge role in our daily mindsets. With the internet and social media platforms full of instant gratification, humility is very hard to swallow. My biggest tip and advice is to always remember to be kind and humble. Social media truly is your first impression and conversations are your resume. Anyone can take a pretty picture these days so it is very important to be remembered by industry professionals for more than just a pretty picture.
7. Do you have a WTF moment at a shoot?
I probably should, but nothing that stands out. My shoots are anything but boring. I am always having so much fun with whomever I am collaborating with.
8. What are some of the biggest revelations you've discovered through modelling?
Modeling is one of the most fulfilling creative outlets in my life. I consider myself an emotional creature so I am really able to tap into moods and settings and just move. I have also learned a lot about people. The truth is, most people suck. I have been fortunate to find really good people as well. I have found almost every type of person in this industry and though I don't allow myself to become jaded by the negative encounters, I still allow people to just be who they are with absolutely zero expectations of them individually. I have friends all over the world and have been touched differently by each and every one.
9. Tell us something random about yourself.
I really, really, really love to cook big extravagant meals
10. What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the many opportunities that continue to open new doors for me, my companies and the people closest to me. I am proud that I have found friendships that I cherish immensely with people I would have never met otherwise.
11. When it's all said and done, what do you want to be remembered as?
I want to be remembered as someone who inspired others to tackle this crazy industry or any dream for that matter. I want to be remembered as a wife and mom of 4 that was able to do the impossible as a young entrepreneur and dreamer. I want people to know that it wasn't always easy but it was worth it.
12. Any last words?
Please, Please, Please check out my companies and my websites. I have a tattoo shop in Glendale, Arizona that I own and operate with my husband and my tattoo artist Bobby Moss. Instagram @TimelessArtTattoo
I also own a merchandising company with one of my closest friends in this crazy world BigChrisArt Chris Wood. He is the artist of our company ChurchOfHorror www.ChurchOfHorror.com we also have nationwide distribution with one of our biggest stores being Spencers Gifts
Also I am always releasing new Heather Moss products and posters on my website www.HeatherMoss.com
Thank you for all the continuing love and support.