Under the celebration of Pride Month as well as the release of our Summer 2022 Collection, Tethered, we spent some time learning more about the New Pandemics models featured in our campaign, who are all artists in their own right. Read our interview with Artist, Aria as we discuss body confidence, self-discovery, and personal identity.
Name: Aria Puga
Who are you, and where are you from?
My name is Aria Puga and I’m currently based in Brooklyn, NY.
What is something that you’re passionate about?
Design. Whether it comes to clothing - architecture - sculpture, and writing. I find that a lot of my inspiration starts with architectural foundations and raw materials.
Have you always been encouraged to express yourself?
Not really - but it’s something I feel comes with what I create. Usually, something that happens is evoked from a deeper meaning, an internal question, and an experiment that finds its way to be released. Everything I create more than not holds its storytelling - it will always find its own way of expression, whether direct or interpretive.
"Everything I create more than not holds its storytelling - it will always find its own way of expression, whether direct or interpretive."
How has the relationship you have with your body changed over time?
I’m still finding new ways to love my body. I’ve grown to take care of it and look at myself differently; it's the one thing you know more than anything else.
How do you find balance between the online and offline world?
Turning my eye away - lately, I find myself less on the social online world and more online for research and learning. Sometimes it's just little things like patience, spending time without any noise or screens, and just taking time to think.
How do you stay connected with your body and the present moment?
This is something that I'm still finding out; perhaps sewing, dancing, writing, and cooking. Using my hands helps me feel more present than anything.
What are some totems, personal objects or clothing, that you hold dear? How are they tied to your personal expressions?
My books, I truly value every book I own right now - most of them are gifted, found, or hold knowledge I can constantly revisit. My favorite books surround design and imagery from around the world, which is important to seeing and understanding from a new set of eyes while learning about their origin.
"Experiment with yourself, try new styles, listen to new music, and try to step out of your comfort zone to see what things you can be sure you like or dislike."
Has there been a moment recently where you experienced a special connection with someone? With a stranger, friend, or loved one?
Yes, when I walked into a stranger's jewelry shop. We bonded over the artisan's craft, and they shared their philosophies which surrounded the way they work. They felt familiar, and it was nice to experience vulnerability with someone I didn't know.
What is one thing you feel our society could improve for the LGBTQ+ community?
We need to continue educating - we need more queer-run spaces as well. Our values need to be seen and taken seriously. Our perspectives come from a place of creativity out of originality/even survival. It makes life 10x harder not knowing where to turn or how to navigate spaces/healthcare/sex.
Any advice for someone still trying to find their way of becoming their most authentic selves?
Experiment with yourself, try new styles, listen to new music, and try to step out of your comfort zone to see what things you can be sure you like or dislike. Nothing comes easy, and you’ll see yourself more in each of these experiences. You may even surprise yourself.