Hey Everyone! Some of you may not know me, my name’s Sri (duh) and I’ve completely changed my life overnight. For months I’ve been traveling all over the bay and northern California area making money as a figure model, and hustling as a photographer. I photograph models, porn stars, metal shows, fashion shows, (and other things). Right now, I’m currently between Sacramento (home town), San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Santa Cruz. I honestly couldn’t choose which city I wanted to stay in, so I chose all of them. I call what I do being a “digital gypsy” to give this odd lifestyle a name. I can’t stay in one place, so I’m always picking up and leaving. It’s also got more of a flair than using the correct term “digital nomad”… either way.
Being on the road a lot gives me the adventure that I crave, but it does have its drawbacks. A lot of the time I’m the last one to know anything that’s going on in my hometown or my friend’s lives. But on the flip side, I always get to meet amazing and interesting people in different places. Going from a sleepy city like Sacramento to a variety of differently paced cities was a bit much. I didn’t really miss Sac all that much at first, it was pretty cool to see how other people lived their lives. I’ve met coked out entrepreneurs, active stoners, blue collar drunks, and then some. It seems like everyone has their set pace (and their drug of choice).
When I’m in San Francisco, it’s always fast paced trying to break my neck to get from one end of the city to the next. The never-ending mystery of “where’s that one Thai food place?”, never finding said Thai food place, and finding a completely different Thai food place in the process. Dealing with the overly aggressive homeless people lingering in the underground crevasses in the Bart station while I wait for the last train. In San Jose it’s more quiet for me. I can easily spend the day in a coffee shop working on new articles, coming up with ideas for new photo shoots, and editing. One of my favorite places being the Rose Garden, I choose an isle of roses and lay out on a faux fur blanket with a book and some food. Sometimes I get to see my cousin (Dracula) in downtown San Jose and talk about new cameras and lenses. If I want a little action, I drive down to Santa Cruz, pick up some food (usually a fat burrito), and chill on the beach. One of my favorite venues, The Catalyst is right downtown nearby the Om Gallery where I get my supply of incense. In Oakland, I tend to be all business. I stay in town for gigs, photo shoots, writing, and editing. When I’m done with my gigs, I usually head out to either San Jose or Sacramento. My hometown is kind of like San Jose, mixed with a lot of marijuana. The new slogan may be “The Farm-to-Fork Capitol”, but it was ALWAYS be “The City of Trees”. I come to Sactown to vacation, visit family and friends, and to sleep for days at a time (about 2-3).
How this all came to be is a really dramatic story. I basically gave up trying to have a “normal life” to go after my dreams with full velocity. Or at the very least land somewhere comfortably in my preferred job field. I have a long history of running off and having my little adventures. Usually, I would just drive down to southern California for a week or so and come back with some crazy stories to tell my friends. But this time I wanted that to be my life, not just a crazy vacation.
Starting out in the bay area was a simple choice (if I failed or something happened to me, home wasn’t that far away). I had some friends who lived there, and traveled down to see them once or twice a year. This time around I decided to spend MORE time with them, by crashing on their couches every so often (haha!). Hopefully someday soon I’ll finally land in a city, with a cool place (and not so chaotic roommates). Over on Facebook, I ended up contacting a few people I’ve always talked to, but never met (funny how that works out), and felt really close to. Through them, I found new ways to live neck deep in the city without caving, and met OTHER people who I ended up being great friends with. I’ve never shot more shows, fell in love with more muses, and smoked so many strands in my life.
My dreams have always included music (metal music to be exact) and photography. I mainly want to do editorials for bands, but I LOVE shooting them live. Over the passed several months I’ve been shooting so much more now than ever, and I’ve shot in (ALMOST) every city I’ve stayed in. For my birthday I gave myself a little present and contacted Hippo Campus to shoot them at Slim’s. The most violent show I’ve ever photographed was in San Jose at The Ritz (no photographer pit either). My favorite venue has GOT to be The Catalyst in Santa Cruz; great hospitality from the staff, especially the bowl passed around with security. Sometimes I come back to Sacramento to shoot a show my hometown favorite venue at The Ace of Spades.
On the other side of the spectrum, I love to do editorial style, and artistic photo shoots. Working with a variety of new people instead of the same ones you constantly hear about is always refreshing. Going somewhere new offers a new kind of muse, different forms of inspiration, and different outcomes with your work. I finally found people who are able to push my boundaries as an artist, and open my mind to new things. Being in the same place is very uninspiring, and can be detrimental to a creative person. Sometimes if I don’t feel inspired in one city, I just travel to another one. It’s that simple. Being constantly inspired can be a gift, and a curse. There’s so much you want to create, but trying not to overload yourself is another battle.
As a figure model, I have a chance to meet even more artistic people. I’ve been working as an art model for years, and have always been told to try my luck in the bay area. I honestly wish I had done it sooner since I now make three times more than what I made in Sacramento (not to mention the glorious tipping I receive). It’s basically made it impossible for me to book figure model gigs in Sacramento (since I don’t want to anymore). I started modeling for the Academy of Arts University, and my reputation started to spread from there. I now model for four different universities, an unknown amount of public as well as private drawing groups spreading from Oakland to Los Gatos.
(I have a hard time remembering to smile in photos)
Constantly living out of a suitcase has it’s good and bad points. Being everywhere at once is fun, but exhausting. This is for everyone back home who loves to keep up with my weird shenanigans, and for all the new people that I’ve met on my travels. I’ll be posting on my tales when I can. I know that I post on Instagram and Facebook about what I’m up to (sometimes), but I think this is a much better way.
Miss you guys! xx