Day 21: Nastassia Simpson

Nastassia is a breath of fresh creative air. I know how hard it can be to stay original and inspired and not subscribe to what trends say that you should be doing, but she makes it seem effortless.

If you’ve been in her presence you’ve felt her grace and experienced her aura. She’s amazing in front of the lens, and proving herself more and more behind the scenes as a stylist and creative director.

I love following her because at times I feel like her energy and peace just radiates. There is always so much breeze, so much green, so much peace in everything she shares with us and I admire her not only for her creative vision but her ability to influence those positive emotions in others.


What industry are you in currently?

Fashion & visual arts. I model, creative direct, design sets, style, and I’ve gotten to dabble a bit in film photography this year.

Is your industry one usually dominated by women? How did you fight stigmas?

As a model, yes, but regarding the fashion industry as a whole, I still believe that men still play a big role in how women of today dress themselves. When I started as a model, I would’ve never guessed that I’d get into styling, or anything else really, but I felt my presence was needed. Miami’s fashion scene is one filled with the idea that women always have to dress sexy to get attention, when it could be so much more. There’s so much character, so much personality here in Miami and I think the world needs to know about it. I feel this generation brought about a great shift that we’re all feeling, because we’re all apart of the change, and I’m so happy about that.

I’m fighting the stigma that women can’t wear more than one hat. I think somewhere deeply embedded into my DNA is the explicit need to rebel, on the sole cause that I don’t like to be labeled. I don’t want to be labeled as just a model, because I know I can be so much more, and I intend on doing just that.

What are you most proud of at the moment?

I’m extremely hard on myself so this question was a bit difficult for me. I don’t see my accomplishments the way others see them, but I’m beginning to take a lot of pride in my work, especially the more extensive projects that require more time. I’d like to say I’m most proud of my latest project “Cotton Queen”. Based on the feedback I’ve received, everyone understood the message that I was trying to convey, and that’s an accomplishment in itself.

Any major life events in the last 6 months you’re working through?

I’m in the process of shifting my passion into a stable form of income for me. I love it so much, and I think I need to be doing it full-time. I think every creatives’ fear is letting go of their stable income to chase their dreams 100%, because we never know what the outcome will be. I feel deep, deep down, many humans fear change and love stability, but stability won’t always get us to where we need to be. Sometimes, MOST times, we have to take a chance…and I feel if we’re taking chances at other things in life, why not take a chance on ourselves?

What is your version of success? When will you say you’ve “made it”?

When I’m able to create freely without worrying about any limitations. I guess control is a theme in our lives that we can’t escape, but I really just want control of self. I don’t want anyone to be able dictate when I work, how I do it, when I do it…you get the picture. I’ve got one life to live, and I can’t see myself working under someone else’s construct or towards another persons’ goals and not my own too.

I said ‘too’, because I love to help others, and I foresee myself collaborating in the future with lots of different types of people, young and old, because there is a knowledge transfer with every interaction and I treasure that. BUT it’s also very important to me to chase for what I want for myself first.

What’s one thing you’ve realized with age/time in the industry? (and want other women to realize as well)

Just keep creating, and you’ll find your speed. Carve your own lane and don’t try to follow anyone else’s; here are two reasons why: it may or may not work out, and on the instance that it does, you won’t be as happy as you could’ve been doing what YOU want to do. There’s something very special about being yourself and not trying to be like anyone else. No one can be you, and I feel that should be a constant reminder to us all, even myself.

Love or success? Should you have to choose?

You shouldn’t, but it can be difficult to manage both at the same time. I feel it all depends on the person. If you need time to focus on yourself and your craft, then do that…but if you feel you can manage both and be great at everything, then do it. For me, it’s definitely a challenge, but I feel that in doing both at the same time I will develop a better sense of balance, because in reality, life isn’t just one straight path, but many paths that cross over, intersect, & intertwine.

Any new endeavors you’d like to promote?

My styling services will be fully operational as of April; book me for all your creative endeavors so we can bring your visions to life! 🙂

Where do you draw inspiration from? Any specific time periods or places? Or does it depend on the mood? 

I draw inspiration from pretty much anywhere. It could be from a textile I become particularly fascinated with to the hue of blue in the sky I see one day. It’s definitely much more difficult for me to find inspiration for commissioned work because it’s not my brain baby, but even with those, sometimes I just have to put myself in the right place and create somewhat of an experience for myself to then convey it through my work to the public.

Would you want to work in the entertainment realm? Or is your work preserved for more artistic endeavors? 

I want to be able to do it all. Balance is extremely essential as a creative because unfortunately, many of my creative endeavors go unpaid, but at the same time, it’s something that I enjoy doing, so it doesn’t seem like work to me. I think it’s essential to learn how to work with the entertainment industry and leave an impact where I can.

In what ways do you think there is room for positive change in regards to women in your industry?

Recently, I’ve been seeing a surge in women creatives, either coming together collectively, or doing their own thing…and killing it. I’m not sure if this has always been a thing, and we’re just forming a voice/movement in this age, or if more women are joining the creative squad. We’ve always been the muses, but we’re capable of so much more…& everyone is finally realizing that.

How does your experience modeling inform your approach to styling?

 

I feel like having a different perspective in any industry provides for more knowledge as a whole. Most models essentially have to style their own shoots when working with a photographer without a team, so in that, I was able to challenge myself and outdo myself every time I had a shoot. I didn’t realize it was something I was exceptionally good at until other people started pointing it out to me…and asking me to style their projects as well. Styling is a luxury most new models can’t afford but definitely need, and I’m here to bridge that gap and hopefully share some of my knowledge with other models/creatives.


You can find her on the gram Via her personal page and her styling page.

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