Greg from W photography

Greg from W photography

Being naked in the nude. Oh dear. I’ve been making notes and scribbling down references on my thoughts and experiences thus far but haven’t committed the vastness via my laptop keypad onto Microsoft Word.

Words can really express my impressions.

Society is always willing to take the blame for many an injustice, imbalance and corrupted soul. Something as easy as blaming a fellow being’s mother for all the wrong they do.  As easy as the rhetoric: “Look what he did! Didn’t his mother teach him?”

Just as being a mother is not just one single entity (the title is pregnant with pretences and expectations) so is the title ‘society’. Society is not just one single entity. It is a collective. I will take this opportunity to grab that statement as a defence as to my being an individual. I am not just a single entity.

I refuse to be loaded and goaded with preconceived role-plays, biasedly based on social insecurities and self-loathing.

I’d always dreamed of ‘just fitting in’. For a while I was almost successful at mastering that trickery. I chemically relaxed my Afro with the ever popular “Brazilian Blow-dry’ process. My hair was long and I was finally considered pretty… beautiful even. I did a wardrobe revamp to pastel colours… but it slowly morphed back to black, grey and pink (my go-to colours). I purchased the highest quantity of denim jeans I have ever owned. I still have those two pairs, one of which I wear as I write this.

This aforementioned identity crisis happened most five years ago. Today I am ever grateful to have come back full circle to my inner confidence and have the strength to reject friendships based on the confining dreams and hopes of others for my life path.

Photagrapher: Alistar MU: Anidea

Photagrapher: Alistar
MU: Anidea

I am not blind to the snide remarks and comments from friends in sheep’s coats. I just choose to ignore both the friendships and the comments. Remarks such as: “Natasha, you’ve come so far, now you changing back to the way you used to be”. Instant friendship killer right there.

“You just want to show off your tattoos” I wear what I want, depending on the formality. “I’m prettier than you but you’re getting all the attention. But it’s just because of your tattoos” (I love being around people with strong personalities/ characters. “You have such a good husband, why are you doing this to him?” Didn’t know I was supposed to magically become a square the moment I said the proverbial “I do” and I’m amazed how many people who attend weddings do not pay attention to the vows spoken. Who knew. We adapted ours to our life. There were things we refused to say in a vow as it would make liars out of us both to each other.

There was nothing wrong with ‘the way I used to be’. The major change into trying to fit in was when my mentor crushed my spirit. She wanted a normal disciple. She wanted instant gratification in a can filled with dreams she wanted to experience vicariously through me. So I changed my life accordingly. But the ‘me’ inside never really died.

I am back.

What has this got to do with Alternative modelling?

Over the past six months, having worked with art, fine art, graphic art, street art, fashion & pin-up photographers. Having done nude to subject orientated work, I find that I enjoy being part of another creative person’s creations. I love being part of their story. Naked or not. If its art, it’s not porn. Even if it were the latter, it would be as classy as can get. I also realise I am to lose a lot of ‘respect’ and will be treated badly and rudely and crassly by men. And women.

I can only imagine that sort of vulgar reaction to my modelling vocation could not be indicative to the types of images I pose for, rather indicative that such self-proclaimed-Christian valued persons and advocators of augury have no decent or efficient actions and practices and prefer to act like uneducated beasts with sharp self-righteous tongues. I lay foundation not to point any fingers as I prefer to have an apt firm grasp on my creative drive.

Photagrapher: Alistar MU: Anidea

Photagrapher: Alistar
MU: Anidea

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”

-Edgar Allan Poe

I’m capable at being the jaywalking amateur hawker trading curiosity & willingness to experiment with photographic subject and drama as a model for payment in the form of time & constructive criticisms & digital copies of the pictures taken. I sincerely believe no artist should work or create for free as time is money and I respect the photographer’s work of whom I approach. But is a photographer trading in TFDC (trade for digital copy) really working for free?

 

One of the photographers here in Luanda certainly thinks she’d be working for free if she takes pictures of me for portfolio purposes and that I should pay her at least USD300 as she’d be doing me a favour, wear nice clothes and make up and find a location. Fair enough.

I do like her photography and affects. But if I had any disposable income culminating to USD300 I’d continue on my vision of ink on my skin rather than model or be photographed.

 

Art or arrogance?

 

It’s difficult negotiating collaboration with possible photographers living in a city that’s one of the world’s top 5 most expensive cities to live in. All I really want to do is market myself as an alternative model that works for ‘free’ (not exactly as I just want a digital copy of the work).

But I somehow get the telepathic note that if I don’t have a gazillion Facebook ‘likes’ on my page or if I don’t know people who know people who know people or if I don’t have some fame then I’m just not worth their time to work for ‘free’. From a creative point of view, I just don’t get it. The basis of two creative’s collaborating is: I trade my time for your time and we both build a portfolio right?

Wrong.

Things operate differently in the city of Luanda. Firstly, there is a CONCRETE idea of beauty AND what photographs of a female should look like. Alluring, cute, sexually stimulating in a carbon copy way, skinny, small feet, small chest, long hair (real or bought but never African short- shit gets too real then) and she need not have personality or be particularly attractive.

I have found a willing and artistically visioned photographer with Massalo of Massalo photography and he is open to experiment in using my form in one of his projects. He is virtually a rare find to me.

 

I have yet to explore more of the Luanda ‘arts and culture’ scene so I might be eating my words with extra chili & salt, but I do feel that the nature of the industry here is made up of it being an inner circle type of popularity contest.

Or maybe I just need to work on my personality and character more.

As far as popularity contests go, and the amount of ‘likes’ on Facebook, its water off a duck’s back to me. I’m mainly in it for the art, experience and all out curiosity and a pinch of hoping some brand out there stumbles across the likes of me and offers to finance my tattoo aspirations in exchange for modelling their brand… Girl can dream.

 

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