LAURA NEW MYERS
When did you know you wanted to be a model?
I have always been a creative. Anything to do with art and expression tended to flow natural for me. I grew up on a redneck farm in Lincoln, Alabama and was extremely poor. I developed quite an imagination from the sheer boredom and eventually from my severe discontent. I learned how to make anything beautiful regardless how foul the situation. All my elementary years, I indulged in many different arts: sculpting, painting, writing, expression, construction, and various arts and crafts. I was greatly socially awkward and even repulsive.
I was the kid who couldn’t say a sentence without fumbling through the whole thing – high anxiety and unnatural heightened sense of awareness: the smell of firewood, mildew, and well water. So around middle school all my artistic energy went to recreating me… making me beautiful. By age 14, I knew I wanted to be a model and found that I even had a natural knack for it. After shooting with a few local photographers, I discovered these online networking sites for models, photographers, hair stylists, and makeup artists and it was pretty much the freeway from there.
Of all the photographs you have taken, what is your favorite photograph or photo series?
I am not sure that I can answer this question. In just over a year, I have already done 183 shoots and most all have been equally enjoyable in their unique ways. My first celebrity shoot was rather interesting. My husband/business partner and I were checking the messages for the day when we got a request for booking by Nikki Sixx. At the time I had no idea who he was, but Sean said “No Way! That’s spam!”
So apparently he is the bassist for Mötley Crüe. We wrote back and it was official. The shoot was for “Black Veil Brides”. My favorite part about the shoot would have to be the set where I got to have a cute, dressed up monkey on my shoulder! Never saw any of the monkey pics though. I have so many adventures, each day is another clean palette.
What is it like to walk on the runway during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo?
We flew to Japan on a whim, approached it with the same persistence, and ended up networking with a ton of great people! I did somewhere around 7 runway shows while I was there. I did a lot of work with the charity group Runway for Japan. We mixed fashion and environmental awareness. I remember walking for several designers, including Alice Mignon as well as for the graduating class for the Vantan, where a panel of judges from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week picked a winner and would receive a variety of amazing gifts and opportunities. My designer and I won and I got a solo spotlight walk on my own! It was a dream!!
Can you take us through the process of what it’s like to do an editorial photoshoot?
There are many different processes. Some plan it out to the T with a set pose to be held for hours where as others shoot more on a whim and let it fall into place. In my professional experience, most of the high end editorial shoots are much more controlled and in my opinion too much. Makeup and hair have even exceeded 4 hours for even a simple smokey eye and tattered hair… and then a set pose for hours that in the end looks just as expected – stiff, tired, and posed out.
I find that depending on the different lighting setup, there are different shortcuts you can take. I travel with a full bag, each for wardrobe, hair, makeup, accessories, and shoes. I get most of my wigs on eBay and beauty stores (typically in seedier places). As far as wardrobe I design a lot of my stuff on spot. I sew hot glue and tie as needed. I have learned how to make things pretty efficient and am currently averaging about four looks in 2 – 3 hours. I always love shopping at thrift stores for new deals on interesting clothes and pieces.
What inspires you to do what you do and what inspires you to keep doing it?
I am an ultra Virgo minus the cleanliness and organization and my life path in numerology is a master 22 and my husband’s is an 11. Sometimes that stuff is eerily spot on. I have always been inspired by everything. She is me and I am her. Inspiration, creativity, and imagination. A quest to pain the world in all of her beauty.
Sean and I are currently trucking it around New york wrapping up the east coast tour before I return to Tokyo again in October for fashion week! When I return, we will be hitting the west coast on my next tour and settling a base in LA where we will establish a more concrete business. We will sell paintings, sculptures, strange wardrobe pieces and wigs, etc. I will also rent out the more extreme pieces as well. I look forward to hosting many art showings as well as dress up tea parties!