She is a creative girl with an obvious lust for life and a pinch of queer angst. She is gender nonconforming and I’d venture to say she is a pure nonconformist in all walks of life. Learn more about Marissa today.
What is your full name and how old are you? How old do you feel?
My full name is Marissa Baklayan and I am 20. Sometimes I feel like a 50 year old woman and other times like a 12 year old boy, so I guess it averages out to 20?
Describe your relationship to LA:
I grew up an hour south of LA and I have been working in the LA area since 2016. I recently moved to East Hollywood. I like LA well enough, and there is good opportunity for work, but I feel that the celebrity/influencer culture is not for me. I crave a more high fashion environment focused on avant-garde and conceptual content versus the commercial LA fashion scene. But for now, LA is home.
Living here, you have to be very careful who you work with and befriend. I’ve known so many people who have gotten scammed, robbed, and set up in this industry. I’ve been finessed into free work under the guise of “exposure” for myself. Navigating LA as a creative is truly a labyrinth, but maybe that’s everywhere else, too. In the future I want to move to New York City or London.
You model and style as well as shoot photos and video. What else do you do? What don't you do?
I used to model full time but focusing on styling and photography was the best decision I’ve ever made. I am so much more fulfilled by creating rather than posing, but I’m always down to pose for friends if they have a concept I’m into or to do modeling work for $$.
Lately I’ve been wanting to experiment more with reconstructing clothing as well as doing set design. I’ve also been wanting to break into street casting, as most of the people I shoot in my editorials I find on my own. What don’t I do... graphic design and computer stuff. But I need to learn! So I’m looking for someone to teach me that as well, or I’ve got to get on those YouTube tutorials. I also want to start making music. Something dreamy/air-pop feeling with a little bit of queer angst.
Tell us about your tattoos:
My first tattoo was a tiny peace sign I got on my 18th birthday (I was still in my crunchy granola hippie phase). Then I got the lightening bolt on my arm when Bowie died because I had premonitions of his death. My “The End” tattoo on my rib cage, I got after a really hard break up and it basically represents the ending and beginning of cycles as a positive mantra. Everything is always ending, thus new beginnings are always happening. “Tomboy” on my leg is taken from the Princess Nokia song. She’s an icon & that song resonates with me as a gender nonconforming person. The barbed wire heart was just something pretty that I saw on Brooke Candy’s merch, another bad bitch & pop icon.
Current Mood in one sentence or less:
Sweaty but motivated.
Images courtesy of MARISSA BAKLAYAN
interview ASHLEY MUNNS
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