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Rising Stars: Meet Julian Tate

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julian Tate.

Hi Julian, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
In 2019, I had moved to LA the previous year and I was depressed for a while even after I left my hometown. In 2016, I wrote a sustainable fashion blog and the only time I took photos of myself was when my girlfriend, who was also a photographer, broke up with me right before a deadline. Since then, I never photographed anyone, let alone myself. I had just started talk therapy and to cope, I started taking photos of myself again but for a different purpose. Instead of highlighting what I was wearing, it was focused on what I feeling. As a multidisciplinary artist, it just came naturally. It was my way of admitting to myself through my art that I was going through something. Almost as if I was going to be stuck in denial unless I did it. I photographed myself alone and isolated to portray the loneliness I was feeling. I revealed my skin of the parts of my body that I was insecure of. From there, my self-portraits were a direct reflection of what I was feeling. Whether that was body-image issues, my depression, or how I perceive myself when I look in the mirror. Over time, they became very therapeutic.

Alright, 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?
The biggest obstacle is the lack of inspiration, which I’m currently still experiencing but for good reason. My self-portraits were rooted in my hardships, and now that I am finally in a really good place in my life, I’m still figuring out what drives them now. I have to ask myself “What does happy Julian look like in a self-portrait?”

In terms of modeling, my obstacle was Covid-19. Networking and navigating how to work with photographers during a pandemic is tricky but it’s getting better. Having the skill set to work on my modeling portfolio myself is a very empowering feeling but I do hope I don’t get too used to photographing alone! That’s one of my biggest concerns.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
When my friends who are artists and designers took notice of my photography and reached out to work with them, it was the first time I modeled for anyone besides myself. Working with them and seeing the results helped me see what others see in me and that  I have more skill and talent in modeling than I originally realized.

So far, my photographer collaborations have been fashion focused which is great because that’s exactly what my portfolio needs. There’s a particular photographer that I’m excited to be collaborating with soon and having my self-portrait background really paid off. He was drawn my to edgy, moody style and my knack for storytelling because that’s exactly what he wants to add to his line of work as well. So it’ll be great to kind of go back to my roots in a way while being photographed by someone other than myself. It’ll be a full circle moment.

What’s next?
Since I have been taking a small step back from my self-portraits, I’ve been shifting my focus onto modeling. I’m leveraging the work I’ve been creating to apply to castings and agencies. I also have a big modeling mentorship and training opportunity in the works in the summer! Time can’t move fast enough. I don’t want to give too much away but learning from this amazing supermodel will be a great opportunity. So keep an eye out for that!

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