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Meet Sara Geurts, the 25-year-old woman with a rare skin condition who’s killing the modeling game

  • Around the age of 10, Sara Geurts started to notice how her stretchy skin didn’t look like anyone else’s. At first, she wasn’t insecure about it, because, as she told Mic in an interview, she considered it to be “so cool because no other kid could do the things that I could with my skin and joints.”
  • Soon, Guerts would be diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can affect the way collagen is processed. Collagen helps maintain the structure of the human body, in the skin, joints and also in the tissues that support internal organs.

  • Now 25 years old, Geurts has decided that this disorder isn’t going to stop her from living her life to the fullest. She’s been modeling and photographing herself since she was 22 or 23 as a way to take a stand against the “perfection” the fashion industry tries to promote. Read more. (7/17/2017 10:20 AM)

 
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Alright, so I think I’m happy enough with this to call it done! This is my 2'×2’ model based on Bleak Falls Barrow from Skyrim and the second terrain model I’ve ever made. The body is made out of pink insulation foam and paper mache to give the shape and stability I wanted, and all of the rocks are also carved pink foam. I used painter’s putty/spackling paste to fill in the gaps, and a mixture of putty and PVA glue to seal everything and texture the bricks. I used a sponge to layer on the grey paint for the bricks to give it a very old look, and they gave a dark wash to the recesses. The mountain was painted with blue greys to set it apart from the building and give it a cold look. Afterwords, I added white paint and snow flocking.

I may come back to add some more details to this in the future, the arches in-game have a few details on the sides that I wasn’t able to replicate with foam, one of the biggest being the Eagles on top of the center pillars. But I’m content right now.

All in all, I spent around $25-30 on this build. One 4×8 sheet of foam was enough for the framework and all of the rocks. I used a whole tub of putty on this, which I could have avoided if I was more precise with my rock shapes. Either way, I’m incredibly pleased with the end result, and I hope you all like it.

Any questions about the building are more than welcome, either in the comments on this post or on my blog directly. Also, I’d love to hear your suggestions for other things to make!

Interview: Abby Ramsay

Today we’re joined by Abby Ramsay. Abby is a phenomenal model and actress in LA. She uses her art to raise awareness of issues close to her heart. Her Instagram has recently blown up a bit after she gave an interview about social media. Abby is a fellow ace feminist, which is always awesome to see. She’s incredibly passionate, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, I am an actress and model out in LA. I show off my work mostly through Instagram. Just creating these images and stories, whether they be moving or still, really gives me this outlet to express my thoughts, feelings, and ideals that I can’t always put into words.  

I like to use my art to bring attention to topics like asexuality, body positivity, feminism, and mental illness as those are all things that are close to me.

I also like combining them. Everything I do is done with the mindset of “just because I am asexual does not mean I am not sexy or desirable.” but also “Just because I am viewed as sexy or desirable does not mean I can’t be asexual.”

What inspires you?

Just the idea that I can use what I love to help people. The industry that I am in has the potential to have your voice be heard by many people all over the world. If I have the opportunity to use my platform to change it for the better then I want to do it.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I have been acting since I was about 5 years old. Granted at the time the only reason I was in these musicals was because I was a really good singer at a young age, but they fed my love of storytelling. I would create plays at home and act them out for my parents, and it really blossomed into a passion by middle school. I fought long and hard with my parents (especially my mom) to let me try to get an agent, and they eventually gave in. I was a freshman in High School (2012 I believe) when I was signed with a small agency, and they sent me on my first few jobs. I was in love!

The agency also dealt with modeling, so the first photoshoot I ever did was with them. I was really shy in front of the camera at first. I had dealt with a lot of body positivity issues in the past, but the longer I was in front of the camera the more I enjoyed it. I actually felt really comfortable with myself.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Hmmmm. I guess I like to keep things natural. I have never been an over the top character actor (I mean it’s fun, but I have my preferences) so I usually try to take scenes to a more organic place. I do the same thing with my modeling. I always try to get a few pictures that represent me. There’s this idea that when you are modeling you can never smile and you always have to be sultry, but when I am working and talking to the photographer I like to smile and laugh and just be myself. Those end up being some of the best pictures.

I also do this hand on head leaning back pose a LOT. My friends give me a hard time about it haha. But it’s like my signature pose now I guess.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It is not going to be easy, but with hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck you can make your art your life.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I usually just say I am asexual, but for me that means that I don’t find people sexually attractive, and I am just not interested in sex. I’m not sex repulsed and I am aesthetically and romantically attracted to people, but I would much rather kiss and cuddle than have sex.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

There have been a couple instances. When you have your work online, you usually get some not so pleasant remarks from people. You get people who want to “fix you” you which is the one that bothers me the most.

But even outside the internet, I have had some encounters that have been less than ideal. I had a teacher at my college basically say that I was too pretty to be asexual and that it would be a waste. I know she didn’t mean it the way it came out, but it’s one of the reasons we need more visibility.

I also had a fellow acting student come to the conclusion that she did not like me because she thought asexuality was stupid. I never quite understood the logic behind that.

And it’s also hard, especially in acting, because Hollywood is so sexed up that there is just this assumption that every character interaction is because they want to bone.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

OK, the idea that “you just haven’t found the right person yet” or “you won’t know unless you try” pisses me off. I have gotten both and my general response to that is “you could give me a cheap piece of raw fish or a $200 piece of raw fish, it doesn’t chance that fact that I don’t like raw fish.” and “I have never been shot before, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy that either.”

There is also the idea that if you have a mental illness or if you have been in an abusive relationship or raped that your asexuality is just a byproduct. You know, whether it is or isn’t that shouldn’t make their identity any less legitimate.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You are not broken. I promise you. Your feelings are completely normal. You are a valid part of the LGBTQIA community, and though we may be a smaller group, we are full of love, no matter where we fall on the spectrum. Just be yourself.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

My Instagram is abbysworldsastage.

Thank you, Abby, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

The Many Looks of @toshadaa

For more fashion, makeup and styling inspiration, follow @toshadda on Instagram.

Whatever mood she’s in, model and entrepreneur Toshada Uma (@toshadda) can find a way to express it. “I try to look at my identity as a piece of art I’m creating — and hair, makeup and styling are my tools,” says the 18-year-old, who lives in her hometown of Mumbai, India. At 4’9” (1.4 meters) tall, Toshada is also focused on defying expectations in the fashion world. “I really hope I can create more acceptance for the body type in the industry,” she says, adding, “I have always been a confident person, but on the days I don’t feel so good, I always know that playing around with some outfits is definitely going to make me happy.”