#CREATORTALK- LOGAN (@logantheleo) [Interview]

In this edition of #CREATORTALK, we speak to Logan ( @logantheleo on Instagram). #CREATORTALK is a series of articles and interviews, with a focus on the creative industries and the the talent working within them.

PW- Hey Logan! How’s it going?

Hey babe! I’m good just got home from the gym and I’m about to make a vegan smoothie 🙂

PW- So, first thing’s first. For those who don’t know yet, how would you sum up who you are and what you do? 

Well first thing’s first is I hate labels. They’re like stickers for society to just stick all over you to box you into preconceived ideas and categories. It’s like being blonde and skinny in the gay world. There’s a stereotypical judgment that most young blonde gay guys are feminine or bottoms. Which I have nothing wrong with but isn’t the case for everyone. While I realize yes, sometimes we need to categorize things I prefer not to. If I have to define myself though I would go with creative artist and activist. I don’t like calling myself a model anymore because since I’m not signed yet by an agency- I don’t want people to perceive me as a wannabe instagram model, even though I work really hard on my images, body and poses. I do work with photographers and would love to be signed but it’s not my main goal anymore. I want to get into acting and video work.

Photo Credit-https://www.instagram.com/christian.xiii/

PW- The art that you share on your Instagram profile is really artistic and original- what or who are you influenced by? 

Thank you! It’s hard to say what I’m inspired by because my style and my aesthetic are constantly changing and I’m always going though phases and experimentation. I will say though that I love 90s fashion mixed with neo-futurism elements. Most of my photos nowdays are more body positive and I don’t focus on the fashion as much. I went through a really hard breakup and a surgery on my stomach last year and I lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t hold food down and was throwing up due to really bad acid reflux and Ibs about 2-3 times a week. I stopped being photographed as much and when I did I was super self conscious about it, cause I could tell I wasn’t healthy when I looked at the photos, even if I was eating right. People thought my life  was easy cause they thought I had some type of fame online and didn’t realize I was a human suffering with a lot of mental and physical problems behind the scenes. I’m much better now and i just really wanted to strip down my aesthetic and be very raw and organic in the hopes that people seeing me being bold and strong would inspire and lift them up with whatever they were going through. I connect a lot personally with nature and love incorporating elements into my photos. I’m just so in awe of the beauty around me especially within nature. Plants are all so different but yet so vibrant, connected and alive. It’s kind of that moment when you look into your hands and realize damn I’m a human I’m really on earth what is life? Lol.

PW- You’re very open about mental health, and the journey you are on both creatively and personally. What would you say has been the biggest obstacle in your journey so far? 

I am yeah. I think it’s very important to bring up mental health. It’s really easy to assume or think people are fine, living amazing lives, but the reality for a lot of people is they’re struggling with something personally. It could be anxiety, depression, body image issues, abuse, trauma, rejection etc. You really don’t know because of social media and people’s obsession with perfection and giving you only the best pieces of their lives. That has been a struggle for myself because being a Leo, I seek respect and have a need to be liked. It’s part of being an artist too, not really just a zodiac thing. I think any artist that creates something whether it’s music, art, photography, poems etc is very self-conscious about their work. It’s like a baby to a creative mind. Once you release it into the world you want people to get it, understand it and love it as much as you do. When people don’t recuperate that love and attention back to you, it can be really damaging mentally if you aren’t strong enough to stick to your gut and be proud of your work regardless. It’s taken me a while to really just put my work out there and say fuck it whether or not people love it or not. I have a lot of ideas and things I still haven’t done yet and I don’t plan on watering myself down anymore.

PW- You’ve mentioned in the past that you’ve struggled with body image- how does your photography help you with this side of things? Would you explain it as liberation, or in a different way? 

I have yes. As mentioned above I had a really bad stomach problem for years of my life that really disabled me from gaining weight and feeling like an adult. I’m remember being 21-22 and people still seeing me in person and thinking I was 17. I could have taken it as a compliment that I wasn’t aging but of course I took it personally cause I was skinny and couldn’t gain any muscle. I didn’t like going to the gym by myself either because I didn’t really know what it was doing and I was overwhelmed by the constant grunts by hyper masculine men lifting 300 pounds. I finally made a friend who I ended up learning a lot from and ended up being able to go alone if needed and knew how to use the machines and slowly work my way up to bigger weights. I encourage everyone to have a gym buddy. It makes it a lot better and I feel like you get more done. On top of that though, I grew up in a small town in North Carolina and I when I moved to DC at 18 it was my first experience being with a guy, and I was completely clueless with all the terminology and gay stereotypes in the community. I was still very skinny back then and the constant jabs of being called a twink and shamed for it really bothered me. How can I help I’m skinny? It’s not my fault. Why am I getting bashed for it and criticized? I didn’t get it and I still don’t get why the community is obsessed with these terms. Some people like being called a twink but I don’t.

PW- If you could offer a short piece of advice for your younger self, what would it be? 

Ugh you’re gonna make me emotional! I would definitely say to just be confident and realize that you are talented and nobody can take what you bring to the world away from you. Don’t second guess yourself and just stick to your gut. Be yourself but also respect others and make sure other people are being heard as well. As a young Leo, my temper was a bit out of control. I was very sensitive especially to criticism and I would lash out at people, especially ones I loved the most. My ego was huge and it really got into the way when it came to making friends and people understanding and respecting me.  I’ve grown up to really recognize my strengths and weaknesses and I know when to have an on and off switch. Most things aren’t even worth getting my energy all in a funk for. Just focus on yourself and spread your best energy. Because you’re a pure soul at heart and people are going to think you’re not a good person just because of your immense passion for your art, and it may come off like you’re too into yourself. XOXO older Logan

PW- If you had to pick, what would be your favourite piece on Instagram? Is there a photo that means a huge amount to you, either creatively or personally? 

Hmmm. I’m not sure. I think I’m really proud of the nude work that I did because it was really hard for me to post those photos. I doubted myself for a while on whether or not I should post them. I knew people would either think I’m just trying to sell my body and show my ass for followers or people would appreciate it as tasteful art (which is what I was going for). It was kind of a highlight once I started working out and gaining weight and I felt so much better about myself and my body, that I didn’t care how people would perceive it. All that mattered was how I felt about myself. I really hope I can shoot with some big brands or magazines though. I think that would really be a big thing for me and make me feel like all this hard work and years of struggling to have any type of big break would be so worth it.

PW- This blog focuses heavily on creativity and the real people behind the art. How does creativity affect you on a day to day basis? Do you get super inspired out and about, or is it more of a focused effort, where you can shut off from the world and just think? 

One thing about me is I’m super scatter-brained. Ideas and inspiration are always randomly popping into my at at the most random times. I have a huge amount of notes in my phone, or drawings of images I’ll randomly see in my head that I try to recreate on paper so I can photograph it. It doesn’t work all the time lol but I try my best to get what I see in my head onto paper so it makes sense. I define myself as an indigo child. High in creativity but super ADD and ADHD. I need stimulation and I get bored very easily. Sometimes I’ll just jump into my car just to go somewhere I’ve never been, to see something new to stimulate me. Sitting down and writing or planning I’m not bad at, but it’s hard for me to focus. Some of my best images were from spontaneous shoots or adventures I’ve had.

Photo Credit https://www.instagram.com/jrodgersart/

PW- In this kind of economy and industry, it can be tough to feel like you’re moving forwards sometimes. How do you battle these feelings when they come up, and do you have any advice to other people who might be struggling in a similar way? 

It’s extremely hard. I’ve been turned down so many times from getting signed and getting real paid work that it became depressing. The old me would have just stayed in bed all day and pouted about it, but nowdays I think I try to just realize my depression or whatever I’m sad about and try and pin point the emotions and release them so they don’t cause me any further damage. Meditation has helped me a lot when I get into a funk. Call your friends too! Talking about why you’re upset or down really does make you get out of your head and hopefully see the brighter side of things. I was constantly asking myself why I was still modelling and for a while I actually stopped, and was working full time living a boring 9-5 type of lifestyle. That made me even more depressed, cause I wasn’t being stimulated creatively at all. It was like throwing a fish into a pond with no water. I was just flopping around going nowhere and would eventually die if I didn’t make a change. Ok that was a little dramatic but you get the picture! I have been on Instagram and trying to get signed and build myself up from the ground up for almost 6 years now. I know these kind of things don’t happen over night but I’m like damn! What more can I do? I will say though especially to my followers and people in general who want to be apart of this industry, you really need to know who you are. Be yourself and stick to it. Find your niche and what makes you different and roll with that. Sure there’s plenty of people who get noticed by copying trends and fashions and it can be easy clout but what are they going to be remembered for? Copying people? Meh. Be outside of the box and do things people aren’t doing, even if you don’t get enough likes or feel like people don’t get you. That’s okay! The best kind of art is always ahead of its time. Also, be humble. Show anyone and everyone who supports you lots of love and appreciation. It can be really easy to overlook the tiniest bit of success by looking too far ahead and thinking you aren’t where you want to be. Baby steps loves !

PW- And final question! It’s more of an invitation actually. Use the next few sentences to self-promote the hell out of what you’re up to, what we can see etc, no judgement!

Oh I’m good at that okurrrrrT. Well I’m working on a few things actually. I will obviously keep creating lots of fun creative content to post but I’m working on a YouTube series with a few of my friends. We all wrote out our characters and they all reflect what we’re going through in our personal lives. I think it will be a good way for me to break into acting and also to show people another side of me that they wouldn’t expect. I want to open up my own business/ blog as well but that is still in the works. Anywhere life takes me is where I’m heading next! Just as long as it’s positive, full of growth and providing mostly vegan options 😉

PW- Thank you and good luck! 

See more of Logan’s work over at @logantheleo on Instagram

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