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Behind the Scenes: On Set/At Home with Model Ari

Tell us a little about yourself. We know that you model, but you are also an artist. What inspires you the most and fuels your creativity? Where can we find out more about your artwork?

Really, I am just a creative person in general. I really just love making things, whether that be drawing, sculptures or meals. As for my personal art, I am a surrealist. I love creating images that don't exist, or that make people question what they are looking at. I think my art tends to be quite dark and for the most part it represents my demons, but I really try to express my own issues and personal struggle because I think people recognize it and are drawn to it. I just love to make paintings and when someone connects with it and sees a part of themselves in it, it means everything. Currently the only place to see my art is in my home, but hopefully one day I can focus a bit more on that part of me and see where it goes.

Since the pandemic, several industries have had to pivot to adjust to new ways of safely being able to do business. What would you say has been the most challenging part for your industry and you personally?

I think our industry is really trying its hardest to get creative and make our art. Luckily the industry is overflowing with talent and drive, so I think we are all figuring out how to get it all done. For example, this shoot should have taken at least 4 or 5 people on set, but instead we have a whole team coordinating clothing drops and picks up, hair and makeup ideas and inspiration boards all over the phone. It became a big puzzle and there is some satisfaction in making something that seems like a disaster into a really interesting and one of a kind project.

How has becoming a working mother changed your life? What advice do you have for working parents out there?

Giving birth 2 weeks before the Los Angeles lock down went into place made for a very interesting welcome into motherhood. I think the best thing for me was to just kind of just accept the situation and go in knowing that there was no chance of getting work done in the same way I could before having a mimi human around. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I knew I could do it. I just had to be patient and when things got really hairy or I was really falling behind, I just had to ask for help. Sometimes asking for the help is the hardest part of it all, so I am so lucky to have partner who was more than happy to take a break from his work to help me with mine.

How did you juggle childcare and the photoshoot? There was so much preparation that went into each day. How did you manage?

It was not easy. Haha. It took a lot of planning and a lot of patience, but we did it. I think my situation might be pretty specific because my husband and I don't know what it is like to have childcare. We became parents at the start of this pandemic so we didn't have any help around We aren't sitting here thinking about the good ol' days of babysitters, we are just living the life we have. So even though it was a lot of work and his lungs are VERY developed, it worked. I was able to figure it out and I think that is just a part of who you become when you are a parent. You just have to figure it out.

Walk us through setting up for the LBLC shoot. What did the average shoot day and set up consist of? How many looks were accomplished in a day?

Each day was very different. Some days I would get ready and get up to 15 looks a day, but other times I would get ready for a day of shooting and get nothing done. That's kind of just life with a baby. I would wake up a 3 am everyday and I come down and clean the front room and kitchen while pumping and getting bottles clean. Igby usually wakes up around 5 am and we would eat and I would start my makeup. While he played with his toys, I would finish my hair and start planning what outfits I thought I could probably finish that day. At this point its really up in the air, maybe a little nap so I can get some shots done alone or more likely he's up and trying to party in the room while I try to shoot. It would go from shooting to feeding to pumping over and over until about 4pm when we would usually wrap up the day. On the hardest days I would have to have my husband take our son for an hour or so and I would finish what I needed to. Overall, slow and steady was the only option.

What was your favorite part of the shoot? What was the most frustrating part?

I honestly loved the clothing. It was so easy to shoot and everything fit well which makes for such a smoother process. I think the hardest thing was just the fact that I had to self direct and style. It was interesting trying to be the client, and the stylist and the model all at once, but it will be nice going back to normal shoots one day. My favorite part was being back in front of a camera doing something I enjoy. I really do love modeling and I feel very comfortable in front of the camera and it was so nice getting to do this after so long of being unable to work.

Do you have a favorite look from the collection or a favorite style? We know that the Ari is named after you, how will you personally style your namesake jacket?

Ahhh. That is a hard question because I really do love so many of these pieces. The "Ari" is such a nice cut and I am beyond honored to have my name on a piece of clothing. I plan on wearing it with some black cutoffs with a sheer tight and a chunky black heeled boot. The LM Oversized Moto is also one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe at this point. Its so good thrown over a dress or with a Maiden Tee and jeans. I'm way more excited about getting into this cooler weather now,

Does Ethical fashion mean anything to you? Has this been a personal call out for you?

As a model I have had a pleasure of working with vegan and ethical brands and it has really helped to inform me on the options out there. I think it is our duty as humans to try our best to take care of our planet and every action, no matter how small, makes a difference. I think small changes create huge movements and ethical fashion is a huge part of that. You don't have to be vegan to care about the planet and our future and as long as we keep up a demand for ethical items, the easier we will be able to move towards a sustainable future. For me, this was a reminder that where we spend our money makes a difference and that being nice to the Earth and all of its inhabitants will always be worth the price.

After all of the photographs were done, do you have a favorite image? Have you had a chance to see the Billboards at Little Pine? What does it feel like to be on a billboard?

I am always quite critical of my own work, but seeing it all finished did feel good. I don't have a favorite image from the shoot, but I do feel proud of them overall. As for the billboard I was stoked to go visit Little Pine with my husband and son for a tiny little outing and get some pictures with it because I usually don't get to see them. Most of the work i've done as a model just kind of floats by and you don't get to see the finished product, so being a part of it all was a very different and nice change of events.

While you shot, was there any music or background noise (TV, lullabies, etc)? If so, was there any sort of playlist or anything that you recommend we check out?

When I was alone I would usually just throw on an episode of Arrested Development or something like that in the background. When my son was in the room (which was most of the time), we would listen to a lot of Aerosmith with a splash of The Doors because Igby is obsessed with Jim Morrison's voice. Sadly, I have nothing to offer in a way of playlists to check out because I don't use online streaming for music, but I am sure there are some slapping Doors playlists out there. One day I'll join the future and figure out Spotify, but for now, a scratched CD is still my comfort zone.

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