Interview with Kristie California
Kristie California is a sucessful alternative model & artist from Sacramento, California. In 2011 she was featured in the Even Tide’s music video for the single “Invisible Monster” and got her first publication in Snap Matter magazine (World Tour issue). Shortly after Kristie was featured in the Vicious Betty’s (Tattooed Vixens issue & the Lingerie & Latex Anniversary issue), and Radiant Inc (Vintage Vixens). Later this year you can expect to see her work in Glam Rock, Licked, TattooYou, Votive, Doin Life and a few others.
Hi Kristie, It is a pleasure to meet you. Can you tell us a little about when you first started to become interested in art?
I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember, within the last few years I started taking an interest in paint & most recently I’ve gotten into digital art.
Who are some of the artist that inspire you?
I’m often inspired by other artists (My boyfriend Ant, MILK- also known as Chiara Bautista, Tara McPherson, Glenn Arthur, Alex Grey, etc…), all different styles of music, my loved ones & events happening in my life, but overall, the smallest things can spark an idea in me.
How would you best describe your style?
I’d have to say that my style is similar to portraits with a cartoon edge. I believe that I’m best at & favor drawing & painting female subjects that have an alternative twist, either in style (tattoos/ piercings) or the living dead (zombies/ bloody/ monsterous features).
Two of my favorite pieces are “Carousel” and “Froggy Guy”. Can you tell us about those pieces?
The carousel painting was something inspired by my love for the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. I was born in SC & used to love riding the carousel when I was little. This painting turned into an idea for my tattoo, my boyfriend altered it a bit & made it happen.
Another of my favorites is alt princesses series. What were your thoughts behind it when you first started this piece?
That was a fun one! I drew up an alternative version of Snow White first, then some friends suggested I draw more to finish up a series, so I did. I later decided it would look better as a painting.
Also you draw and paint hands frequently. Are hands symbolic to you?
Yes! Very. I love them. The sketches are for another series I will eventually be painting, either for the 4 elements or 7 deadly sins. The painting I did with the banner that says “These Hands” are actually my boyfriends. If you sit and think about it from an artists standpoint, hands are worth alot more. For instance I use mine for art, (painting, drawing, sculpting) holding my boyfriend, picking up my nephew & soon they’ll be able to hold my son
When did you begin modeling?
I started modeling in August of 2010. I’m strictly freelance & have no desire to join with an agency. I’ve always had an issue with restrictions, I’ve watched so many creative people around me build from the ground up & fufill their dreams, that has influenced me to work for myself & never give up. I think I’ve done amazing things by myself thus far, it’s only getting better, so there’s no reason to change it. I’m not saying anything bad about the people who chose to work with/for an agency, but being an artist, it’s just not for me. I love to create when working with my photographers, hairstylists & makeup artists.
What do you like about working as a model?
I love being infront of the camera. I can be having a bad day, or not be in the mood to shoot, but when we start I feel a part of me come alive, I forget my worries & can just relax and focus on the task at hand. All my photos have stories & themes even if others can’t see it. I put together mostly all of my outfits for my shoots, but I have worked with some very talented designers & companies such as Iron Fist, Westward Bound latex, BAMF, Wicked Ladybug, Ajaile Couture, Chelsea Eden & Janelle Cardenas to say a few.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite shoots?
Recently, since I’ve been pregnant, most of my shoots have been with the photographer Jessica Michelle. We vibe really well & always have ideas that are fun to collaborate on. We’ve been working on many projects for magazine publications. Other than that, I always enjoy working with Starphoto, Scott Kline & the man who got me started, Jim Parks.
What was your experience like shooting the Music Video for Even Tide’s ” Invisible Monster? Tell us about the role you played in it?
Well in the beginning of my career I had a shoot to go to, but not many clothes to wear, so I grabbed a band shirt from a concert that my boyfriend Ant & I had recently went to. I was the Even Tide’s, so when the photos got released I showed them & they loved it! Quite a bit later they contacted me saying that they needed a model/actress for their new video, I was stoked! Luckly enough Ant got to play the male lead role with me It was a good time. I played a figment of the imagination. Ant played a man going insane pretty much, he had the perfect life in his head, but found out the woman he loved was a pill popper that was dead inside, as the video goes on, it continues to show that the wife was never there to begin with and none of it was real all along.
Do you have any advice for those who may want to move into the modeling industry themselves?
Make a Model Mayhem account, be professional, be on time, stay persistant, not everyone will like you & you have to make it happen, promote like crazy, nobody else will do all of this for you to start out.
You are a big fan of Tattoos. Many do not see it as an art form. What is it that interests you?
Tattoos are a big deal to me. It’s not just a trendy thing & they have absolutely nothing to do with my modeling career, even though I do like to show them off. I’ve always been interested in the art of it and not many people know that the industry is a huge part of my life. From 2009- 2011 my sister owned 2 tattoo shops where my boyfriend of 3 years had apprenticed. I would stay nights at a time helping out with sales or sketching throughout the day. I’ve had some great experiences & learned alot by being lucky enough to just sit back & watch. She eventually shut them down to make more time for her son, when that happened, my boyfriend moved on to a shop in Roseville called DV8. Since then I’ve been able to meet new artistic minds, help out at conventions & give second opinions when needed.
Do any of your tattoos have special or personal meaning to you?
My tattoos each have a very significant meaning, the ones that get the most questions would have to be the hourglass on my upper left arm, the pencil on my lower left arm & the all seeing eye on my stomach. The hourglass symbolizes that everything can get better if it has the chance. Only time will tell how. The pencil is for my love of the basics, as an artist I started with a pencil. The all seeing eye is a reminder to use my smarts & stay true to myself.
Your ears are also stretched. Does your love for tattoos also include other body modifications like piercings?
Yep! I really like piercings, but I don’t plan on getting any more. I don’t particularly like needles. I can handle tattoo needles, when you’re done there’s art to show & the pain is therapy, that’s more my thing.
I hear you have some wonderful news you would like to share. Can you tell us?
Last month my boyfriend & I got some great news, we found out that I’m pregnant! I’m about 3 months now & have been painting more than ever. I’m still modeling & there will be some maternity photos popping up soon! Meanwhile, keep an eye out for my modeling & art work in magazines nation wide!
Are you excited to be a new mother? Nervous?
Very excited. I think I’m more nervous about the whole giving birth thing than actually being a mom. I helped raise my nephew & having a little one of my own with the man I love will be amazing.
I understand you are Vegan. Is this a moral choice or a heath inspired choice? Were you raised this way or did it come later?
I was never raised to be a vegan, ever since I was a child my mom would hide meat in my veggies to try & get me to eat it, but I always spit it out. Eventually she gave up & let me do my thing haha. I’ve recently decided to go from vegetarian to strictly vegan, but now that I’m pregnant I’m actually back to being a vegetarian. I think milk, yogurt & cheese are important factors in keeping the baby in my belly healthy.
When you are not painting or modeling, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love spending time with my loved ones. My nephew is 3 & is always looking around for new things to learn, I like to help with that. I also roller skate. I used to compete but now it’s just for fun.
Where can we go to find out more about you and your work?
You can find me on-
& Twitter; https://twitter.com/KrisTCalifornia