ANGEL MY DARLING

Confidence is really a powerful thing and I've seen it work in really crazy ways. It doesn't come naturally to me but as I get older, the more confident I feel in most situations. I was super shy growing up and I grew up in an area that had no Asians in it, with that I got teased a lot in school. The teasing really made me quiet and self conscious. It took me a long time to approach strangers without an overwhelming fear of them making fun of me. I feel that modeling and dance really helped change that; I think I was aware of my power in junior high. Being surrounded by friends helped me step out of my shyness and it shaped my humour. I could finally find my voice and I started getting noticed for other things other than my ethnicity and it felt good. I had to work on it really hard, but as I continue to practice my craft, the love for what I do comes out naturally and in that I can exude confidence. I think this industry forces you to become confident in one way or another, whether that means it's genuine or not, you have to walk into a room with your head held high. It's hard sometimes, I think everyone questions their power, especially in this industry. I think it will always be something I can improve on. 

 

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It was definitely a process and took time for me to become confident in my own skin. There were things about myself that I wasn't fond of growing up. I remember worshipping the all American look and hated my Chinese features. I disliked my dark skin, slanted eyes and flat nose. I wanted round eyes that were blue, big boobs and a pointy nose. As I get older, the more I love and appreciate my look and understand that beauty is not one person's idea; there is beauty in everyone. I may look different than the stereotypical definition of beauty but that's what separates me from everyone else and I really love that. Modeling really helped me become comfortable in my own skin. It helps me freely express myself and create art through pictures. With every shoot I learn something different about myself. I am my own worst critic, though. I am never completely satisfied in terms of my art. I never want to be stagnant, I only want to continue to grow. 

I feel that as I get older I have really started to appreciate my lips. I used to dislike them as I felt that they were way too big, but now I realize that they are a very strong feature of mine. I always try to accentuate them in beauty shoots. I'm a big fan of my freckles though and they always make me feel unique. 

 

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Some of my most memorable moments have been in Michelle Hébert's dresses. She's an insanely talented designer and one of the nicest people in the business. Her gowns are incredible and instantly make you feel like a captured princess, taking you into whatever beautiful fantasy you've always wanted to be a part of. Every time that I wear them I feel elegant. Every time that I shoot in body paint I feel very delicate, yet powerful. There's something really special in getting to expose skin while beautiful art is on it. It took me a really long time to feel confident in modeling with skin exposed; body paint is a celebration for me, I've come along way in self expression and self love. I am most comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt though. I also love wearing casual and comfortable dresses with combat boots. You will find me in boots most days as I feel it adds a touch a effortless edginess to every outfit.

 

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It's always been super important for me to push myself in all ways. I think the last four years have really challenged me in the most beautiful ways possible. I used to live day to day feeling super carefree and comfortable, I had my daily routine, went through all of the same motions as the week before, did the same evening routine each night, woke up and repeated it all again. Now that I live in LA and consider myself a true hustler, I feel that each day brings some new challenge. I have so many goals that are presented to me very quickly. I think pushing myself creatively though had always been something I wanted to accomplish as a model. I saw other model's portfolios and I knew I wanted to shoot what they were shooting. I knew that I could if I practiced. I wanted to challenge myself so I researched and practiced with every shoot, wanting to become a different person and showing a new side of me.  I didn't want it to be easy, easy was boring. I hold that to myself to this day, I love challenges and being challenged. I love when people judge me and don't feel that I can keep up, I like proving them wrong. I've always wanted to play with different aspects of modeling and the different characters that come from it. It's important to me because I feel that I can be very different people at times, depending on the situation. I like that expressing yourself isn't limited, it's important to show a range of creativity. I also don't like being put in a box of what I can do and can't do. I do things depending on my mood of the moment. I think it's very important to me because I like to know and prove to myself that I can do it. I never thought of myself as super competitive, but I do think that is also a part of it. I will never show it though, it's all in my head. I compete the most with myself; I want to be the best I can be. 

 

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Showing a whole lot of skin has never been my favourite. I actually hate it a little (laughing). It's weird though, I don't really prep myself other than making sure not to eat too much the night before. I really focus on what I want to accomplish from the shoot and I have very harsh standards for myself. If I know that I have to shoot bikini or show my stomach for any reason I try and eat light the night before as well as the day of. I used to never show skin but I've been warming up to it. I'm definitely not naturally someone who likes to show a whole lot, I was always the girl hiding in the P.E room, not because I was self conscious or anything but because I didn't want to show anything. I think you have to really get in the zone by being comfortable with yourself, the set, the photographer. The older I get, the less I give a fuck about it. All women and men have a lover at some point or another, meaning that someone thought you were sexy even if you don't always feel that way. It's like you have to take a deep breath and realize your power; you are as sexy as you allow yourself to be. 

 

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One of the most challenging aspects of my work is going out on auditions and not booking it or getting a callback but not knowing why. Most auditions you go out on, you never know why you didn't get called back. It's really easy to get in the mindset of putting yourself down; aka I'm not pretty enough, exciting enough, tall enough, interesting enough etc etc etc. It's really easy to feel shitty after getting a lot of no's. Plus, you go in and compete with some of the most beautiful people in the world; it's hard not to compare yourself to those people and feel not good enough. One thing I am grateful for is that you have control of growing. You have the freedom to schedule shoots, practice, reach out to people. You have the chance to shoot whenever you have the free time. You have the chance to network and make good impressions. You can challenge yourself all day and you can also rest and take some time for yourself. You aren't stuck in a horrible, boring day to day routine where you know everything already. Different things come up everyday and it's exciting. Getting an audition, a callback, a direct booking or having an amazing photographer contact you on the fly is so exciting and that's what makes this all worth it. 

 

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I am always optimistic about the future. I live my life trying to always be optimistic about everything, I don't believe in living a life of being pessimistic. I don't really see the point. I believe anything can happen. Surprises happen to me all the time; good or bad it's exciting. Not knowing what's around the corner is what gives me life. I'm happy with how things are going and I always think that things can always get better too. Life isn't over yet so that means there are more opportunities to come. Growth is what it's all about and as I get older (and wiser) I know that more good things are about to happen. I believe that for everyone. Controlling your thoughts and staying positive even in the worst times is what will prepare you for the next level of your life. I am a huge believer in the law of attraction. You receive what you give the world. Things happen in the most bizarre ways, but as you get older you see how things connect and why the things happened the way they did. Staying positive is what keeps life going though; if you think negatively you just spiral down and that's never a good thing. Start living positively and thinking positively and the world around you starts to change, it's a real thing.

 

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I think the end of civilization will be caused by: Hate. The world we live in is such a weird place filled with such hatred and stupidity. I definitely think that the hate will get so out of control that we will end up destroying ourselves. Humanity will destroy humanity. We cannot live in a world that will not grow or expand. People cannot change those that do not want to change and there are so many that will not change. Although we have come so far in so many ways, we have not come far enough. Hate will always exist, I think it's a part of human nature, but it's getting so out of control and it being intertwined with money, power and greed is just a recipe for devastation. I think it's always been that way in some way or another but something huge will happen and when it does, the spiral down will continue to destroy us until there is nothing left.

 















01 // Ty Levey // actualcat
02 // Ricky M. // mmmtangerine
03 // Ricky M. // mmmtangerine
04 // Shane King // shanefking
05 // Ricky M. // mmmtangerine
06 // Megan T. // megantaylor_photo
07 // Megan T. // megantaylor_photo
08 // Ricky M. // mmmtangerine
09 // Shane King // shanefking
10 // Megan T. // megantaylor_photoo
11 // Ricky M. // mmmtangerine
12 // Ty Levey // actualcat
13 // Megan T. // megantaylor_photo
14 // Ricky M. // mmmtangerine
15 // Ty Levey // actualcat
16 // Ty Levey // actualcat

 

Angel My Darling // angelmydarling // facebook.com/ewangel

 

JUNNNKTANK is an online zine which has existed in one form or another since 2006.
For over a decade, the focus has been on highlighting the efforts of inspiring individuals and artists from around the world.

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Submissions are always welcome to junk@junnnktank.com.