RAY WILSON

AGE: 21

BIRTHPLACE: Toledo, OH

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

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PHOTO BY: @notsarahmartin LASHES: Dodo Lashes (use code “rocky_930” for a discount)

Q: Would you consider yourself more of a model or an artist?

A: Definitely artist. I’m able to express my feelings through the whole modeling process – from evoking a mood through posing or the makeup I chose – it’s all an artistic process. Modeling is only one aspect of artistry that I express myself through. Recently, I’ve gotten back into writing poetry and performing spoken word. It’s all art to me.

Q: When did you realize you liked being photographed?

A: I’m a Leo, so I’ve always enjoyed photos being captured of me. Additionally, being an only child, I was often forced to be in the spotlight and be the focal point of photos. As I got older, I liked being photographed because it’s a great way to save memories. I’m also looking forward to being THAT auntie at the family BBQ with the fly pics from her 20s (lol).

Q: What opportunities has modeling brought you?

A: So many. The first big opportunity was after my first fashion show with Heart of it All. The following spring I was able to walk in two New York Fashion Week shows. The most recent benefit was being able to be the lead model in a campaign for a teeth whitening product. It was really fulfilling having my friends send me the “Omg is this you?!” texts when seeing my ad. My favorite “benefit” of modeling has to be the amazing artists I’ve met over the past two years. I love creative energy.

Q: How does the summer have an affect on your modeling?

A: Typically, my summers are modeling heavy because I’m not in classes. However, this summer, I’ve been interning full time in Washington D.C while taking classes full time, so modeling has taken a bit of a back seat while I focus on my professional career. It’s a little sad that I’ve had to miss out some requests to book me in Columbus, but I’m so excited to get back and do some really artistic projects.

Q: What is the most creative shoot you have ever done?

A: My shoot with @sydneyireneproductions (pictured, red background). I really wanted to challenge myself to portray emotion, such as anger and confusion, through my face instead of just my body. We did a lot of tricks behind the scenes to set the mood we were all aiming for. The final product was kind of afro-futuristic, and I met my goal. It was one of my proud days as a model.  

Q: Do you ever find it difficult to be both a student and a model?

A: There are pros and cons, but it builds time management and allows me to keep both sides of my brain active. In my opinion, the biggest con is balancing an agency and school. I’ve been offered a few contracts, but it doesn’t make sense to me to sign with an agency that would require a lot of travel for bookings when I can’t just up and leave classes or my school related advocacy work.

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: I can do it all. So I do.

Q: Name three things you love about modeling.

A: Being able to collaborate with teams of stellar creatives, Being seen as multifaceted, and Being able to teach new models tips, tricks and the secrets of the business.

Q: Who or what inspires you the most?

A: My pops. He dedicated his life to service and I believe that’s why I’m so passionate about it. He also was an artist so I feel like he would have supported my modeling.

Q: What are some of your greatest goals/dreams?

A: Ah, I have so many aspirations and passions. After getting a dual law/masters degree, I’m hoping to create policy relating to education and human trafficking. That’s a huge passion of mine that goes back to my hometown. I always say if I rise to fame from modeling, I’ll utilize my platform to raise human trafficking awareness. Even now, I often post about the horrors of trafficking and share my student organization, “Why Us?” Campaign, on my social media. Trafficking is a lot more common in the modeling and fashion industry than some would think.

In the grand scheme of things, I want to contribute to a legacy of young people, especially women making the change they want to see, no matter the barriers. I want everyone to be comfortable being who they are in all settings. Sometimes people try to discredit me professionally because I model, but I live this life to show that our generation can do it all. We are our own renaissance men and women.

Q: What is your go-to summer hairstyle?

A: Bantu knot out afro. I love it when my hair is free, curly, and bouncy. I have a tutorial for this style on my YouTube, Rays of Sunshine.

Q: If you could model for anyone, who would it be?

A: Guess. I’ve always loved their campaigns. If I could only wear one brand the rest of my life, it’d be Guess. They have a look for every occasion.

 


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PHOTO AND STYLIST: @style.kbh.design
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PHOTO BY: @youkenlook
STYLIST: @candacemread for @shopvernacular
MUA: @amaya_joenat_mua
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PHOTO BY: @youkenlook
STYLIST: @candacemread for @shopvernacular
MUA: @amaya_joenat_mua
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PHOTO BY: @sydneyireneproductions
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PHOTO BY: @sophiemariecreative LASHES: Dodo Lashes (use code “rocky_930” for a discount)
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PHOTO BY: @alissaohashiphotography DRESS: Guess
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DESIGNER/HAIR: @iamexam PHOTO BY: @krystalyn_marie
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PHOTO BY: CODY GREEN
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STYLIST: @stylebased for Royal Factory
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PHOTO BY: @brittneybyus STYLIST: @style.kbh.design SHIRT: @marvleensdream @marvleensdream