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Meet Ryley Gordon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryley Gordon.

Ryley, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Most people know me as being a plant-based model that has an artistic soul with a taste for adventure. Here is my story!

I grew up in a creative home located in a quiet neighborhood in Woodland Hills CA. My mother worked as a hairdresser and would spend most of her free time painting, drawing or gardening. My father was a surfer working in the film industry as a director and cinematographer. Our how was always filled with some kind of activity and I remember my childhood being very vibrant and fun. I was a very creative child. I spent most of my time playing dress-up with friends and getting into some kind of a creative mess. Playing outdoors was my favorite thing to do and was happiest surrounded by out various pets we owned. We had various pets at certain times such as dogs, rats, hamsters, birds, bunny’s and turtles. Not all at once of course! I feel like this is where my love for animals stems from. My mother always taught me compassion towards animals and to treat them the way that we would want to be treated.

When I was in about 3rd grade my parent’s marriage wasn’t as strong anymore and they thought maybe the best decision would be to move to a different city to start fresh. We moved into a nice beach home in Hollywood Beach, Oxnard. Although the home seemed perfect to others, it still didn’t have the soul and character the way my childhood home did. It was really hard on me being so young to have to leave a place that I grew so attached to.

A year went by and my parent’s marriage did not improve. They only seemed to grow more distant and they made the decision to finally get divorced. My dad moved to the next city over, Ventura, and my mom stayed in Oxnard. For years I went back and forth to my parents’ homes, but when I then finally made the decision to move in with my dad to Ventura.

Ventura was a place that I fell in love with beach culture. I spent most of my time here hanging with friends by the beach and doing various outdoor activities like hanging out at watering holes in the summer heat or taking road trips along the PCH. When I was in late high school I started to become very interested in learning how to surf. My dad would take me out for surf lessons regularly. In the beginning, I experienced a lot of wipeouts, cuts, bruises and overall extreme frustration. As time went on I eventually progressed and learned to get comfortable with the water. I learned how to read the waves and developed my own style to riding waves. Surfing was my source of therapy while living in Ventura. Going through the divorce and custody battle with my parents was really stressful for me to go through at a young age. Connecting to nature in such a way like surfing really helped me connect back to myself. I don’t know where I would be if I never challenged myself to surf.

By the time I turned 18 I wanted to move away to give college a try at Santa Barbara City College. I moved into an adorable artist home right in downtown Santa Barbara with a couple of younger people who later then grew into some of my closest friends. We would spend our time making art, having a friend get-together, going to music festivals and spending time by the beach. Life was blissful here in Santa Barbara. I spent a lot of time doing some self-exploration here. I practiced yoga regularly and really focused on my bettering my surfing. I then became obsessed with studying veganism. I spent most of my time watching educational vegan YouTube videos, read numerous online articles, and read books. It sparked a light in me that I have never felt before. I loved the way my body felt while following this lifestyle, I felt like I was thriving more than I have ever felt before. I brought me closer to myself and helped elevate my spiritual growth.

After almost four years of living in Santa Barbara, I felt like it was my time to explore a new city. I knew that I wanted to build myself more and explore my creative side. In the beginning of 2018, I made the big move to Los Angeles CA. Moving to a new city felt so exciting and so intimidating all at the same time. I knew I had to keep an open mind and that many opportunities were coming my way. I started working on film sets working in the art department. I was fortunate enough to work on feature-length films, commercials and TV series. Although this was all very fun and a great way to put my artistic skills to the test, I never truly felt like it was what my heart wanted to do. This drove me to push myself to find a new path, and that’s where I decided to give modeling a try. Ever since I was younger I thought modeling would be such a fun thing to do but I felt like I was never brave enough to put myself in front of a camera. After months of trial and error, I finally got signed to a modeling agency in LA. Over the last couple of years, I have growing as a young model on social media and working more consistently through my agency.

I’m currently growing my social media further to document my modeling, my art, travels and spreading awareness about environmental awareness and healthy living.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
With any self-made business, it can be very hard finding your place in the beginning. It was hard for me in the beginning of my modeling career to know if all my hard work would pay off or if it was set up to fail. It was really uncomfortable for me in the beginning to feel confident in front of the camera since I was such a shy girl. Certain things felt very unnatural to me and it took a lot of studying other people’s work for me to learn how to pose and present myself.

It is intimidating to start working in any new industry and the people who work in them can feel even scarier. There were many times where I dealt with harsh critiques and people’s unprofessional work behavior. I was told multiple times I needed to change things about myself or that I wouldn’t succeed because I wasn’t tall enough. I never took any of these opinions to heart and I learned to laugh it off. I use these negative moments as a blessing, and I wouldn’t be as thick-skinned as I am today. Hearing other people’s negative commentary sparked a motivation in me to stay true to myself and to continue down my road of modeling in a more natural approach. It helped me find my path to be a face for natural, healthy beauty from the inside out.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a working model in Los Angeles CA and I have a growing social media platform where I document my life hobbies as well as spread awareness about the environment and healthy living.

I am proud to say that I am a model that has a vision to bring a positive impact to our planet. I feel like my brand is unique because I want to show the beauty in a natural way that shines from the inside out. I want to help guide people to practice more compassion to the planet and to practice living a healthier lifestyle.

I’m proud to say that I am completely self-taught and got to where I am today independently.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I would have told my younger self not to be so hard on myself and to just believe that I am deserving of any life I wish to live. A lot of my childhood I felt like I created a lot of self-defeating thoughts that resulted in me being too scared to push myself earlier to break out of my shell.

I honestly wouldn’t wish to go back and start over on my journey because I feel like everything that has happened in my life for a reason. It has brought me to the exact moment where I am supposed to be. I choose to not look at experiences with regret but to look at them as a blessing to grow from.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

@happythephotographer
@seannunley
@maxthompson
@willnavaro
@ngyemilie

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