Creatives can thrive off of many outlets in their life – you are a musician, skater, a model and more. If you could just pick one, which do you think helps you the most creatively?
This is tough because I feel like I pull out of many different outlets, but I’d say mostly from music. I’ve been playing music for a long time and I feel like it’s the one thing that turns my headspace right around. Whether I’m playing, listening or watching shows, it opens my mind up and gets the creativity flowing. It’s the one thing I can always count on to pull me out of any situation.
Tell us about your life growing up. When did you decide to move to LA?
My life growing up was quite a different story. I was raised on a farm in small town Iowa. I mean, the kind of small town where I knew every kid’s name, who their parents were and probably where they worked or lived. I didn’t know that half the things I do now even existed. I was a pretty typical small town kid though – played sports and spent a lot of time outdoors, but I developed different interests that none of my friends had. I fell in love with skateboarding, music, fashion and sneakers at a young age and never lost the love for them. Funny enough though, I knew I wanted to move to LA when I was six years old. My mother bought me a skateboard and I became infatuated with it. I somehow got my hands on a skate video that was filmed around Venice/Santa Monica, and I told my parents I was going to move there one day. Sure enough, almost 20 years later I did exactly that.
How do your parents feel about your tattooed body?
My mother loves them (haha). Well, at least that’s what she says. My father took a lot longer to come around, but I think he digs them now. They’re pretty clean-cut, Midwestern folk so it was probably quite a shock when I started getting really blasted, but they know I put a ton of thought behind all of them. I also spend the money to get tattooed by very good artists. I think I even inspired my mother a little bit – she got her first tattoo at the age of 59! I want to get my neck done so I think that’ll be the true test if I actually follow through with it. That might be the first one that they’re a little “iffy” about.
On a scale from one to super painful, how bad was the lower stomach tattoo?
The question everyone always wants to know (haha). Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t terrible. It definitely sucked (as pretty much all tattoos do), but I was expecting much worse. Directly over my stomach wasn’t bad, but once you get up on the sides a bit, it’s pretty gnarly. I think I ended up putting in about ten hours on it, so I’m definitely glad it’s over and done with. So I guess to answer the question, I’d give it about a seven on a 1-10 scale.
You have “roll the bones” in your bio on IG. What’s that about?
Roll the Bones is my favorite song from one of my favorite musicians, Shakey Graves. In addition to being a great song, I’ve just always loved the phrase, and the last time I saw him play in LA, he explained the deeper meaning of the song and it just really hit home. The expression has always been tied to gambling; rolling the dice, and so he explained how he wrote the song when he moved to LA. Long story short, the song is about him taking a huge gamble moving to LA to make his dreams come true. I think that resonates with any person/creative coming to this city with no connections and working their fucking ass off to get what they want. I even have the phrase tattooed across my back.
Where does your inspiration come from when it comes to your personal style?
Oh man, it’s all over the place, really. I’m a huge fan of the classic rockstar YSL look, Americana, cowboys, punk, and 1920s/30s. I think what makes my style a little unique is I try to blend all of those styles into an outfit. One thing you can almost always count on though is that I’ll have a pair of boots and a leather jacket on.
Photographer | Eli Rae