Saturday, March 28, 2015

Indie Ville TV# 35 Male Model Mykul Jay Valentine

Written by Curtis Gardner    

What attracted you to modeling?
I think it was looking through magazines as a child/teen and seeing all the creative pictures and wanting to be in them. I saw them as "perfect" and I wanted to be that "perfect."
How long has this been a career path for you? 
Not that long actually! I kinda went through the "ugly duckling" phase until I was in my early twenties. Once I finished with puberty and my face thinned out, I started going to the gym and working on my general appearance. So, overall, I would say five years.
Do you remember your first photo-shoot and/or fashion show?
If so, tell us about that moment. My first photo-shoot I was..17. And it's funny cause I look back at the pictures and I see how round my face was and how young I looked. I had no business taking pictures! Lol. And, my first fashion show, I wasn't even walking! I played a lizard man!! I was "runway decoration!" Thank you

What's the easiest and hardest thing about being a model?
The easiest showing up with your hair and makeup already done. Lol. The hardest thing is everything after that! From posing, to clothing changes, to makeup and hair changes, to picking out which picture you like best, to going to the gym and maintaining your physique. The constant rejection from clients and companies, even dealing with false stereotypes of being a model! There really isn't anything easy about it. It's hard work!
Which do you prefer runway or being in magazine ads/spreads?
I prefer magazine ads/spreads. I'm really too short to do runway and I hate being turned down. Lol. I don't settle for less. So, I do ads where I look really tall!
If you could work with any clothing designer for a promotional shoot who would it be and why?
Giorgio Armani! Because his models and photos are what inspired me to model! The ruggedly handsome look of the male models. And I can kinda pull off Italian...even though I'm Hispanic. Lol.
How does it feel to be nominated for Indie Ville TV Awards Male Model of the Year?
It's such an honor. I am very humbled by the experience! I'm not sure who nominated me, but I want to thank them for thinking that I have what it takes to be the Indie Ville TV Male Model of the Year!
Outside of modeling,what are your other interests or hobbies? What other avenues are you wanting to explore?
Outside of modeling I dance, travel the country, and perform various things in different venues. I actually am part of a company that does circus, dance, cabled flying, theater and stage combat! I am trained in aerial silks and dance and would love to be able to do something with that. Maybe a traveling show with my company! 
How can people stay tuned to you and your work?
They can always check my FaceBook page ( or my Instagram (@MJValentine).
Any last words or shout-outs to anyone?
Shout out to my parents, grandmother, friends, fans, and boyfriend. You all believe in me, even when I don't, and push me to be better than I am. If it wasn't for you all, I would definitely not be doing what I'm doing. So, thank you all for your support and mostly, love.  And don't forget, "The hardest thing to do in this world, is to live in it."-Buffy

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Indie Ville TV #33 "Keep Dreamin" with Melissa Ramski

Indie Ville TV #34 One Drop Ink Elisheba Israel

Written by Curtis Gardner                             


How did you get into to the art of doing tattoos? How long have you been doing them?

A- I was not interested in tattoos and tattoo art really at all nor did I have any tattoo at all until about 4 years ago. I'm from Memphis and no one I knew had good ink. They had crap hood and jail tats. I have always been a fine artist so that type of tattoo did not pique my interest at all. Then, someone posted an image on Facebook of a tattoo by Dmitriy Samohin. That's when I knew this was something I needed to be a part  of.  I have been tattooing for 4 years 

I assume you have tattoos of your own. If so how many?

I do. A lot of my pieces are in progress. Simply because I'm always doing the tattooing! lol I have about 9 big pieces so far with plans for many more. 

What are some of your favorite tattoos that you have done so far?
Tough question. I am in love with my growth as an artist of late and as I only do custom original work, I'm really feeling my work this last year.  I did a captain American piece that I am super happy with, a star wars piece that involves a ball gag  and I'm working on a crazy fun Alice in Wonderland on drugs sleeve as well. I love my black pinups that I'm getting to get to do more of.  I still have a lot to learn and I continue to focus on improving my technique.

When did you realize you could turn that passion into a business?

Well I've always known since I was a child that I was going to be a professional artist. I would have never guessed it would be in tattoo. I originally wanted to do video game design. I'm a gamer at heart. I went to Japan as a foreign exchange student in high school and that solidified my love for games and anime and throttled me full on into my style of art.  I have been a full time fine artist since 2008. Let me tell you that supporting yourself as a fine artist is no easy feat. Even harder as a single mom. Once I got into tattooing I was flat broke as I had to learn and get good before I could make any money. It didn't help that the people who were supposed to apprentice me turned out to be crooked. I found a wonderful lady named Denise who helped me finish my apprenticeship,opened my shop,  put my money into learning materials and classes to get advanced techniques and the rest is history. 

For someone who is getting their first tattoo what tips would you give them to follow?

First off, really think about your design. Even if its small and quick, talk to your artist about it. A good artist can give you insight into your piece and help you design something unique for you and not just from Google.  Secondly, EAT! Your body needs fuel. Finally, zen out and enjoy the moment. Ask for music if you didn't bring any. Remember, after the pain comes the body art you have for life.

How does it feel to be nominated for Tattoo Artist of the Year?

It feels phenomenal. I had no idea about it til I got the email.I'm flattered and honored that someone loves my work enough to nominate me. I honestly tattoo because I love it and because I think everyone should have access to quality art and be able to afford it.

Other than being a tattoo artist, what are your other hobbies and interests? IS there anything else you would like to venture into?

I love a little of everything to be honest. I like to find the unique things the world has to offer and try to go do them. Everything from hiking and canoeing to swing dancing. I also love spending time with my daughter and taking her to explore new things. We stayed on an Amish Farm for Christmas one year. It was  crazy but  great time. I eventually want to open other shops and other types of businesses like a restaurant and music venue. Thats further down the line but my main focus will always be art.

What plans do you have for 2015 and beyond to further grow your tattoo artistry?

Oh this year has already been busy but its just going to get busier! I'm about to leave for an artist retreat this weekend. I got invited to join a band on their tour bus to go to Stagecoach Festival in California in April. Hoping to do some tattooing on them there. I have several conventions to go to this year: Louisville and  Chattanooga in May, Austin, Texas in June and a guest spot in Austin in June also, and New York City in July.  I'd like to do more conventions year round eventually but being a full time mom makes my travel time limited to the summer months and school holidays. Im taking more seminars and classes this year to learn and tighten my skills and Im just really trying to get out there and meet other artists. Even though I have been wronged in the past by other tattoo artists here I do not feel like that should stop me from being nice. I will never be unapproachable, nasty or big headed no matter where my career takes me. Nor will I ever try to hold any other artist down. I've plans to do so much more but they are to many to list here.

How can everyone keep track of you and your movement online?

There are many ways! You can see travel dates here. I am currently working on a site where you can see my availability and book online. I'm usually booked up a couple months in advance.

Any last words or shout-outs to anyone? 

 I want to give a special shout-out to Denise. Without her I would not have been able to finish my apprenticeship and get my license. Her help allowed me to become the artist I am today. I also want to shout-out Olskool and Joe, the other 2 artists at my shop for sticking with me to make the dream team. Shout-out to Sir Stonie and Arielle the front desk pit crew. I'd also like to shout-out my daughter, Kasumi, for whom which I have the desire to work my butt off for. To Aaron, for listening to my endless rambles about my art and dreams every day. Finally a huge shout-out to ALL of my customers, clients, friends, and supporters!! Without you letting me stab you millions of times each day, I couldn't be here :D
My website: 
My Personal Facebook: 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Indie Ville TV #32 Male Artist of the Year Nominee Ryan Weaver

Written by Curtis Gardner                                           

What were your early memories of country music? What attracted you to it?
I grew up listening to classic rock and 80's rock, and I really didn't start listening to country music until Garth Brooks came on the scene. I began listening more and more in the early 90's, though I still had and will always have an eclectic taste in music. Not to sound like a cliche, but country music's story telling is what I really enjoy about it most.

Who were your musical influences? Garth Brooks, Hank Williams Jr, Travis Tritt, Jeffrey Steele.

When did you know you wanted to pursue country music seriously? I started writing in 2003 in Iraq, but I really didn't start thinking about actively pursuing a career in the industry until after I returned home. My brother, CW2 Aaron Weaver, was killed in action on January 8th 2004, and I truly realized that life was too short to not chase a dream doing something I love. I returned home to his funeral and that was the spark.

How has your military experience influenced your music if at all? There are so many influences that play a role in the kind of music I like to write, sing and perform. Though I do have military themed parts of my show, I like to think that having a wide range of subject matter in my music is extremely important to be a successful artist in mainstream country music. My experiences in the military have helped me keep the discipline needed to be successful, no doubt. I'm not the artist you'll read about that wasted a label or investor's time and money by losing focus. 

How would you describe your style to a new listener? I'm a huge fan of both country and 80's rock. I would say all-American rockin country or country music infused with 80's rock.

What has been your proudest or most successful moment thus far as an artist? Performing at the Ryman Auditorium for the first time as an opener for Charlie Daniels, Phil Vassar, Andy Griggs, Ty Herndon, Jamie O'neal and The Roys on November 24th this past year. Indescribable.

What motivates or inspires you when recording music in the studio? I love seeing a song go from the writer's room to a final product. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people in Nashville who have given me a chance to do things that most people dream about. I'm motivated by the desire to put out the best product possible in return for the chances they have given me. I'm inspired by knowing I have the freedom to express myself through music in the way I want to. 

"Crank It" and "New Set of Tires" have been big hits for you. Talk about the writing process for these tracks. Crank It was the first song I ever co-wrote in Nashville with Kevin Ray(formerly from Hot Apple Pie) and Brian Eckert. The write actually took two different trips up from Alabama where I was stationed on active duty at the time. I wanted something rockin that talked about the kind of woman I am attracted to... We came out with a song that fit my personality and we released it as my first single and music video.

    New Set of Tires is written by Jeffrey Steele and Bob Dipiero. I can't claim any writing on that one. Jeffrey Steele played it for me when we first recorded in his studio back in 2006. I loved it and was happy he gave it to me to record.

How surprised were you that these songs got big so fast? Crank It initially came out when Jason Aldean's album with like-sounding music was huge. Country music listeners and my fans really gravitated toward it. It wasn't until we put out a fan-funded music video did we see some huge progression in the song's success. The video shows my sense of humor and TNN(not The Heartland Network) and ZUUS Country were both incredibly generous with the number of spins the video received. I used one of the most reputable video promotion companies in town (AristoMedia), and I was hoping the video would see some success, but it took off for an indie video.

    New Set of Tires is just a fun, great song.  It didn't hurt at all that Dale Jr won the Daytona 500 right when we released the song.

What's next for Ryan Weaver for this 2015 year and beyond? I recently began working with
Charlie Daniels' manager David Corlew, and things have really ramped up since then. I'm looking forward to CMA Fest and then on to August 12th where I'll get to perform at the Volunteer Jam at Bridgestone Arena. We've also got my newest single done and planning its release soon. So many things are happening all at once and I can't tell you how excited I am that the hard work is really paying off.

How can people keep in touch with you and your music? My website is, FB, Reverberation, Youtube

Any final words or shout outs? Wanted to send a special shout out to the Weaver Country Army for all of your support over the years. Be safe!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Indie Ville TV #31 Model of the Year Nominee Alexis J

Written By Curtis Gardner


What first attracted you to modeling?
Alexis J: When I was younger people always told me I should model because I was so tall and naturally pretty. I didn't ever pay them any attention because I was a tomboy and always played sports, being glamorous wasn't an interest for me then.

How long have you been modeling?
Alexis J: I started when I was younger, around the age of five. I got out of it and didn't get back into it until I came to MTSU three years ago.

If any, who were your influences?
Alexis J: when I was younger I loved watching Americas Next Top Model. I look up to Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell. I also follow Victoria Secret Models on my social networks.

Do you remember your first photo-shoot and/or fashion show? If so, tell us about that moment.
Alexis J: when I was four I did a photo shoot that was to my Hilfiger inspired. I remember my mom being there in the studio showing me how to pose. I enjoyed that. My first fashion show was when I first came to MTSU and I modeled with an organization named ‘savoir-faire’. I had about 4 scenes to walk in and I was extremely nervous. Once I got out there and walked in my first scene I realized it wasn't bad at all and the rest of the show was a breeze. My first photo shoot was in Nashville for a boutique and also hair Weave vendor. I had an amazing time meeting new people. The images came out to be amazing and at that time I knew I really wanted to model.

What’s been your proudest/favorite moment thus far?
Alexis J: that's a tough one. I would say the big collaboration I did with the boutique in Nashville. The pictures from that shoot came out amazing. It was a really great time. I met a lot of amazing people.

What's the easiest and hardest things about modeling?
Alexis J: the easiest I would say is being able to get to a shoot and be able to easily get into character.... ‘Get into model mode’... Once I'm in model mode the shoot goes great. The hardest thing is getting all the make up off. I was never a fan of make up until I got into modeling.

What role does music play when you are doing your shoots?
Alexis J: I use music to get ready and also to help me relax during my shoot..

Which do you prefer ripping the runway or being in magazine spreads?
Alexis J: probably print magazines.. I love doing runway and fashion shows but doing photo shoots helps me to see my progression as I advance in my modeling career.

How would you describe your style?
Alexis J: I am very versatile. I shoot everything from sports to high fashion to art to promotional. I played basketball, volleyball, and track, so fitness and sporty shoots are my favorites.

Outside of modeling, what are your other interests or hobbies? What other avenues are you wanting to explore?
Alexis J: I go to school full time at MTSU and I'm working two jobs. Once I graduate next
May I want to move to Florida or Texas. If I decide to return to school for the masters program I'll go to become a sports agent.

How supportive has your family been towards your modeling career?
Alexis J: my family backs me 100%. Mom always stresses the importance of school so I keep my grades up and as long as my grades are good she supports my modeling.

What advice would you give to those that aspire to be models?
Alexis J: if you are going to do it then give it all you got. To have stellar results and progress in the modeling field one has to be fully committed and prepared for long nights and early mornings. If it's what you love and are passionate about, it will be rewarding no matter how tired you are at the end of the week.

Are there goals you would like to reach for this 2015 year?
Alexis J: to be published in a magazine. I'm hoping to fly out to California and Miami this summer for projects that will lead to bigger things for my modeling career such as sponsors and major publications.

How can people stay tuned to you and your work?
Alexis J: follow me on Instagram and Facebook. #AlexisJ I'm recently getting back to Twitter as well. ___alexisj

Any last words or shout-outs to anyone?
Alexis J: to my family thanks for your support and willingness to always help out, I really appreciate it... To all of my friends and followers that repost, like, share, and comment my photos thank you for your support, it means a lot to me.. And thank u Mia for seeing a younger you in me, for believing in me and taking my modeling career to the next level. This is just the beginning. :) <3