Candy - Adorable Free Spirited Girl with a Heart of Glittering Gold
I even got my hat signed by Henrik Lundqvist once as he was driving away from a game, but if I ever got the opportunity to actually meet him face to face, I'd be beside myself!
Where are you from? How old are you? Something about your childhood.
Firstly, I wanted to thank Urban Art Nomads Magazine for the opportunity to be represented, It is truly a much-appreciated honor.
My background is a vivacious mix of German and Italian heritage, though I've spent my entire life living in New York. At the young age of 26, I am currently enjoying my days out on Long Island. However, the majority of my photo shoots always bring me back to NYC, so I spend most of my weekends galavanting the streets in the city of dreams.
My childhood was a bit short lived. My parents weren't the greatest match for each other which often led to fights, and eventually their separation. My little brother was only six at the time and so by 12, I was forced grow up fast. I felt I had to be his rock and stability. We spent all of our time watching movies and drinking tea. There was hardly an issue that cup of tea couldn't fix.
Right now - as we can see on your Instagram - you are in New York. What are you doing there? Business / photo sessions / and pleasure / Knicks games / ? Are you a big fan of Knicks?
I spend all of my spare time in NYC taking on any modeling opportunity that sparks my interests. Everything from on location street fashion, to ethereal fantasy shoots, all the way to implied/ boudoir and much more in between. I am a petite model which means, standing at a tall 5'4, I wasn't blessed with the height many in the industry prefer. It's unfortunate that many petite models are overlooked for opportunities because of this stigma. I have to work very hard every day to put myself out there. Any photographer or designer that has been open to giving me a chance, has always been thrilled the moment they meet me. Confidence and the way you carry yourself are everything. What I lack in height, I make up for in pure emotion and power in my photos. I always say, "There's nothing a pair of heels and a kick ass attitude can't conquer!" I have had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing people along the way and it only pushes me to go further.
You caught me, I do love the Knicks! I even had the pleasure the other night to watch the game from a private suite and to meet retired shooting guard, John Starks. It was a once in a lifetime moment! But I must say, I am a hockey girl at heart. The New York Rangers are my team, and You will hear me screaming from my seat if I'm at a game. It is so intense and I love every second of it. I even got my hat signed by Henrik Lundqvist once as he was driving away from a game, but if I ever got the opportunity to actually meet him face to face, I'd be beside myself!
When did you start with modeling? Tell us about your first photo session.
I've been on and off with modeling since I was young. My mother had actually even tried getting me into baby modeling. On a hot day, my mom drove all the way to the city with me in the car for a chance, but the moment we arrived they closed the door on her face telling her my look was "too exotic'. The same "exotic" look that now has some clamoring to shoot with me. Just goes to show you can't be everyone's cup of tea. I would say I've only really started taking the time and effort to put myself out there in the last year. To be honest, since the age of 13, I had spent my life in a relationship that had prevented me from pursuing any of my dreams. Yes, for over 11 years I was with just one person. I won't sit here and say that it was all bad, I was just too young and naive to be in such a vast commitment, and so, every chance that came along, I had to turn down because it would have "taken me away" from them. At the time, that part of me was all I ever knew. I never questioned it, I only listened. To this day, I regret it. I found myself unenthused with life, depressed and losing who I was as a woman. The night I left was the hardest night of my life. You don't spend half your life with someone and not care for them. To see that person hurt, and know I caused that pain by walking away killed me. But if I had stayed, I would have been the one to continue hurting. Sometimes the best things you can do for yourself require the most pain and sacrifice. I gave up my home and everything I had worked for. I moved back in with my dad and I threw myself into my job and my friends. Slowly picking up the pieces along the way, and rebuilding myself to who I am today. I look back now at who I used to be even just two years ago and I don't even recognize myself! I have grown into ten times the woman I thought I was, I am confident, independent and strong, often giving the men around me a run for their money! I'm one tough cookie and I work hard for the life I've always wanted. It's amazing what I've accomplished for myself in just one year and I'm excited and hungry for more!
My very first major photo session was with the amazing Mick Ackland, a London Based photographer that just happened to be in NYC for a few days and was looking for a muse to spend his time with. When he reached out to me, I could hardly believe it. I thought to myself "what could this man who has worked with major models and companies possibly see in me? The 5'4 girl from long island?" Boy, was I nervous that day! I can't exclaim enough how happy I am that my first real session was with this man. He was very kind and reassuring from the get go, always making sure I was comfortable. Though with that London accent, he probably could have yelled at me and I would have loved it! Haha! It was a boudoir/implied shoot. So mostly lingerie, and anything that involved nudity was more of a play on the eyes. Using lighting and angles to make every shot very classy and tasteful, never revealing too much. The shoot was in a gorgeous hotel room at The Paper Factory Hotel in NYC and lasted for hours! We moved all around the room trying to get the best angles and lighting. The whole time he couldn't possibly have been more exuberant about the shoot! He would take a few shots and then yell things at me like " Why the F*@% haven't you been modeling for years?!" or "After this we need to have a serious conversation about how freaking sexy you are!" or " Stop hold on, I have to show you this incredible shot we just got!" By the time the session was over and I was boarding the train to get back home, and Mick was begging me to come back to the city for a night shoot before he returned to London! His enthusiasm made me feel unstoppable! I dove headfirst into every opportunity with other photographers with incredulous confidence because of that first day. I have no doubt in my mind that Mick and I will work together again in the future.
You are an artist too. We can see some of your drawings on Instagram. Tell us about drawing talent that you have.
I've been drawing since I could first pick up a pencil. I have drawn all types of things. For a while, even sketching my own fashion designs while hearing Tim Gunn's voice in the back of my head saying "Make it work." Drawing for me is more than a talent. It's a total escape from reality. A much-needed form of meditation especially during rough times. I grab all of my mediums; my pencils, my charcoals, my markers, I even use white out pens. I sit there, headphones on, I click the "Break of Reality" station on Pandora, closing my eyes for a moment as I get lost in the entrancing music and then I pour my emotions onto the page.
What do you like to draw? When did you started or noticed that talent ? Have you go to the art school or you are just talented?
Most everything I do in every aspect of my life is self-taught. Because of the way I emotionally invest myself into my drawings they tend to be very fantasy based, with a deeper meaning than at a first glance. I also love to use color. Often, Inspiration hits me out of nowhere. Sometimes all it takes is hearing a song on the radio. I have what I call little "visions" where I can literally see in my mind a little moving clip of the scene I am imagining and then I put that vision on paper.
Is drawing just a hobby or did you publish your art?
At the moment it is just a hobby. I had a designer I worked for the offer to hang one of my pieces in her studio, and I still may take her up on that in the future. As of now, I haven't tried publishing anything. An artist of any form is always their own worst critic, so I suppose I never really looked at my work as something others might be interested in.
Let's get back to modeling. So far, what was your favorite photo session?
My favorite photo session so far is absolutely between my boudoir shoot with Mick Ackland or my Vintage shoot with Mark C. I've mentioned already why I had such a great time with Mick, so let's talk about Mark. He drove in from Connecticut to meet me at the Riverside Park in NYC. He first approached me saying he loved my old Hollywood glamour look and he'd love to do a 50's, 60's photo shoot with me. Just as Mick was, Mark was very kind and enthusiastic. He provided full wardrobe, a to die for collection of vintage pieces! It was like walking right back into the past. It was a whole new level of playing dress up, I had so much fun that day!
Have you ever been a model at some fashion event? If yes, tell us your experience.
I have modeled at a few events, all of which I have such great appreciation for and I hope to add much more to my future.
Your favorite brands and designers?
THAT IS AN IMPOSSIBLY LONG LIST! But, if I had to narrow it down to some of my top favorites I'd have to say...Karl Lagerfeld, Donna Karan, Zac Posen, Alexander McQueen, Zara, and Levis.
Vintage and boudoir photos that you have done are, when it comes to our web team opinion, beautiful. Tell us more about those photo sessions.
Thank you so much! I've pretty much-mentioned everything I can about both sessions above. All I can further say is that they were such absolute pleasures, just amazing opportunities, with amazing people who I hope to work with again in the near future.
What do you love about New York? What would you recommend to visitors from all over the world, what is a must see?
What is there not to love about the City of Dreams? I love the open doors to new paths. NYC is full of the most interesting and beautiful individuals, and so I even love to just sit at a cafe and people watch as I sip on my Venti Chai Latte. I love the structured chaos of the streets and the stoic beauty of the parks. I love it all! For visitors, I recommend to do and see as much as you can. Dine out, go to parks, go to museums, pick up some chachkies and bubble tea in China Town, EXPLORE!
Plans for 2017?
My plans for 2017 are to further pursue my dreams as a model. To prove to the world one shot at a time that you don't have to be 6 feet tall to create an amazing image or to make a design impress. To maybe eventually be signed by an agency. To continue to welcome opportunities with confidence and to always strive to be a better, stronger woman. To inspire those around me to never let anyone or anything stand in the way of reaching their dreams. Ultimately, my plan for 2017 is to be me and to be happy.
Instagram: Candice Elizabeth