Culture of Pop

Zen Skye Interview – Talking Heritage, Reflections, & Individuality

Zen Skye is unique for a variety of reasons. First off, there’s her unforgettable name, but beyond that, she has a body of work that creates a range of emotions. This is partially due to the fact that Zen pulls off multiple looks that makes her Instagram account one of the more entertaining follows around. It was a pleasure talking to her about what defines a model, personality traits, photo shoot experience, and more. Read my Baller Mind Frame/Pop Culture Spin interview with Zen below and surely check out her IG/Facebook pages after completing the Q&A.

Pop Culture Spin: Zen, thank you for the time on this Q&A article. To begin, I noticed you list your Puerto Rican background in your IG bio. How important is your heritage to you?
Zen: Important! I grew up in a predominantly Hispanic household because I lived with my mom and grandparents as well (who are 100% Puerto Rican). There was always a pot of rice and beans on the stove…and nothing can compare to my mom’s rice with chicken! Unfortunately I’m not completely fluent in Spanish like they are, but I am still in the process of learning.

PCS: Can you delve into your ambitions growing up and how any life experiences/events shaped the creative adult you are now?
Zen: When I was a child I ALWAYS envisioned myself on the big screen…my #1 goal is to be an actress. Modeling is something I’ve always wanted to do as well, however modeling to me is now more of a stepping stone in the direction towards where I want to be in the future. It has opened so many doors for me, and I plan on making an acting reel for myself as well as audition for music videos and TV shows. Growing up I used to be in numerous dance recitals and dancing has been something that has been extremely important to me my whole life. Whenever I was younger and my mom wasn’t home, I’d steal her jukebox and go upstairs and blast Jennifer Lopez in my room and dance for hours…Having a creative outlet, whether it’s dancing or drawing, is always present in my life.

PCS: Was there a specific motivation that became the reason for you entering the modeling field and how long have you been a part of it?
Zen: I was motivated by the fact that I knew I could model just as good, (if not better) than most of the models I’ve seen. I knew I had the right look and potential, however it still would have never happened if I didn’t run into @harts_ortiz_photography one summer day in Manhattan…I was only 16 or 17 at the time, but once I turned 18 I got a free shoot out of him, and everything started from there.

PCS: I’m sure everyone has their own definition, but what in your mind truly defines a model?
Zen: Someone who can make even a trash bag look good. Lol.

I always want to point out that just because someone is a “model” doesn’t mean that they should be considered a “role model”.  Those are two VERY different things…but a model should also be someone that embraces their own beauty, who isn’t afraid to show their beautiful god-given body, someone who COULD be a role model even though they don’t have to be.

PCS: Do you feel that you’re putting your soul into every photo shoot or is the level of intimacy you’re striving for not quite that deep?
Zen: I definitely do feel that part of the reason why photographers love my photos is because of this subtle passion that I express in them. I definitely am a passionate person, and I don’t necessarily try to convey that much emotion, but it still just seems to seep through in my body language anyway, and I really like it. I think it’s the fact that I’m really comfortable with the camera that allows me to be myself.

PCS: Fans, photographers, haters, whoever… How have people received your work and would you say the majority of viewers appreciate what you provide in front of the camera?
Zen: I would definitely say much more people appreciate what I provide than I would ever expect! Photographers and fans are definitely the most enthusiastic people (and what more could I want?) Haha. I used to experience some haters from my home town back in the day when I first started out, but I feel as if everyone is now pretty much appreciative and supportive of me. However it’s funny because I’m realizing that the only type of people in my life that showed true negativity towards my modeling career are (unfortunately) boyfriends…*sigh* Relationships are quite tricky when you’re a model. Lol.

PCS: What kind of swagger or personal style are you attempting to bring when there’s a fashion element involved in your work?
Zen: Definitely a sort of an edgy tomboy-ish style. When I go about my day to day life I dress very plain jane and wear a lot of guy clothes, but I’m not masculine in the way that I style myself. It’s kind of hard to explain lol. But when I shoot I find it extremely fun to dress in high fashion clothing because it really makes me feel like a different person, and I sometimes shift my personality to whatever outfit I’m wearing for the shoot. I also never wear makeup and always go natural, and a lot of my work has me without makeup as well.

PCS: How do you react when viewing your own portfolio – any surprises or reflections you have while browsing through your pictures?
Zen: Haha I love this question! Honestly the only true real surprises that I get are when I first initially receive the photo from the photographer after he/she edits and chooses the photos…When I see the vision that my team created in a beautiful shot it gives me such a sense of satisfaction! Sometimes I’m impressed and shocked with myself because I never thought I could look like that. When I go through my Instagram I do truly appreciate every comment I receive…they help me to reflect and surprise me with what they make me notice about the picture that I didn’t notice before.

PCS: Beyond anything we’ve talked about earlier, is there one particular thing or activity in your life that always gives you peace of mind?
Zen: Oh my goodness yes. Reading. Reading reading reading…Oh and working out always gives me that too.

PCS: So any followers of yours out there reading this can learn about you on a larger level, how would you best summarize your overall personality?
Zen: I’m a true hippie at heart! Haha I always try to find the silver lining in this weird crazy thing called life. I am an extremely spiritual person who is in constant deep thought. I really am an astrologer, and I’m professional and do baby showers and write books as well (I also plan on starting a YouTube channel too!) I have a B.S. degree in Philosophy and I’m obsessed with helping the planet. Don’t hesitate to ask me for a moon sign reading! I give them for free.

PCS: We’re about halfway into 2016… How would you rate your year so far and what’s on the way during the rest of it?
Zen: To be honest this year has been moving very slowly for me. I graduate college and now I’m trying to get my life on track, and it has been kind of daunting but interesting at the same time…I feel like I’ve been really trying to find myself.

PCS: Once again, thank you for your words here on this interview. In closing, where can readers find you on social media?
Zen:  Instagram: @misszenskye and Facebook: !

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