Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalia Molina.
Natalia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Natalia Molina, I’m a director and photographer from Miami, FL. I’ve been a visual artist my entire life and as a developing youth, my medium was painting and writing. Growing up in a predominantly Hispanic community with tons of misogynistic ideals, I felt very isolated as the “boyish” girl that I was. My goal early on was to travel and find my people. This has been quite a theme throughout my practice but here is where it began. I went off to college to study film/tv in Savannah, GA with the intention of becoming a cinematographer.
Two years in, my fancy art college put a hold on one of my loans, so I had to stop studying and work multiple jobs to get my loans reimbursed. During this period I immersed myself in still photography. I was so upset with American institutions and their unrealistic financial demands on education, I was determined at that point to leave the country and pay a reasonable price for my education. Fortunately, my family had a property in Colombia that was sold and I used my portion of it to rid myself of debt and pay my move to Italy where I attended an analog focused program in Florence.
Since then I’ve moved around quite a bit(NY, Colombia, Miami, LA), in NY I worked for an artist rep agency in high fashion. Back then, the standards of beauty were ones I didn’t identify with– this was my first job straight out of college. I decided at that moment that I wanted my work to focus on those who have not been glorified in media (this was before Instagram and the current revolution of beauty that social media has aided). So, since 2009 I began to work with clients that identified as queer, POC, and women. I felt the call to make everyone feel beautiful and seen regardless of what we’ve been taught to identify as such. It’s been a fulfilling process with lots of personal growth.
Full circle, I am now working in Film again as a director and cinematographer with photography as my backbone. I live in Los Angeles and collaborate mainly with musicians, performers, LGBTQ community, and female entrepreneurs.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m a big believer of no rain, no rainbow for sure. A huge struggle for me professionally has been working in a male-dominated field as a queer woman of color. Pay leverage is completely off in this regard and it’s something I still struggle with. I am always seeking to unite with other women in my position and feel very fortunate to live in Los Angeles where there are so many women fighting for equal pay and above all visibility.
These challenges have really taught me how important community is and I’m happy to be alive at a time where women/queers/mystics are coming together to revolt far and wide.
On a personal level, checking in with myself and questioning the work I’m creating, whether or not I’m being true to myself and if what I’m doing is contributing to others as well. It’s all a part of the process, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Please tell us about Natalia Molina.
I am my own business. I operate as a director, photographer, and writer. I specialize in portraiture and am most recognized for my dreamy aesthetic. I consider myself a mystic, and I feel that this bleeds out in my craft as there is an underlying etherealness and sensuality in all my work.
In 2015 I participated in my first Golden Dome artist residency – Golden Dome is a nomadic school with a strong focus on the union of art, performance, mystical practice, and activism. I have attended 3 of these residencies and feel that this has clarified the sense of scrying accomplished through my lens. I currently work a lot with musicians and performers, and there is definitely is a common thread of androgyny and sexual liberation weaved throughout my work.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Writing children’s books!
- Website: www.nataliamolina.com
- Phone: 6153009994
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: nataliamolinaphoto