If you're active within the EDM community on Instagram, you're probably already following @Mynamesnotmelissa. Whether you follow her for her modeling pictures, those killer makeup photos or because you actually want to know if her name is really Melissa (will we ever find out?!), there's no doubt that @mynamesnotmelissa is both beautiful and talented.
Personally, I was intrigued by her username and her beautiful and colorful photos and I started following her a few years ago after Paradiso. Little did I know that I'd have the pleasure of working with her a few years later, thanks to iHeartRaves! @Mynamesnotmelissa began modeling for iHeartRaves last year and modeled twice last month for us. In between shoots, she was able to sit down and answer some questions.
How did you get involved in the Rave Community?
I had gone to only one little show before I went to my first festival so I didn't really know what I was getting myself into at the time. One of my friends told me he was going to Paradiso and invited me to join his group. I think what really got me into the rave community when I went was how open and loving everyone is. I thought it was amazing how complete strangers will take you in and treat you like family. After that festival, I was hooked.
Your Instagram name is definitely unique! Can you give us any information on the backstory behind it?
I get asked about my Instagram name so much! I created my Instagram when I was in college and I was trying to keep it low key while I finished my major so I came up with a crazy handle using part of my real name. Now everyone has no idea what to call me and it's kinda fun so I've stuck with it!
Photo Credit: Haley Busch.
What’s a fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I have this thing for crazy ice cream spots. Ever since I moved to LA I discovered that there are tons of cool ice cream places and I want to experience every single one of them. I'm all about the wacky flavors and random toppings, too. I've had everything from an IPA ice cream to rolled ice cream with fruity pebbles and captain crunch mixed in it.
What do you like to do in your non-raving time?
I love to spend my time doing the things I love, like taking my time to do my makeup, going to the beach, and eating ice cream.
What's you Bucket list festival?
Tomorrowland is for sure on this list! I also want to experience Defqon.1. And some more east coast festivals, like Ultra.
Describe what PLUR means to you.
PLUR to me is what really stole my heart about raving. It's more than just trading Kandi to me. Being able to go to an event and know that no matter what your race, background, appearance, or music taste is that you'll be loved and accepted for who you are. For anyone who has never felt like they belonged anywhere, I promise that if you go to a rave and shown PLUR, you'll feel right at home. The concept of PLUR is something that means enough to me that I try to carry into my life outside of raving because I think it's something that needs to be shared with the world.
Describe your rave style in three words.
Comfortable, unicorn, goddess.
Photo courtesy of @jakewestphoto/@mynamesnotmelissa
How do you connect with iHeartRaves?
I've been in love with iHeartRaves ever since I started raving. I feel like the fashion design is totally my style. I love all of the bright colors and crazy designs, like the trippy patterns and sequins and glitter on everything! It also means a lot to me that iHR has clothing that fits all sizes. I love that there's such a variety of style that there's something for everyone to wear.
Describe your first experience with iHeartRaves.
My first experience with iHeartRaves was so magical. This might be dorky but I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing when I got my first message from IHR. I actually cried when I found out I was going to do my first photoshoot. It was such an amazing experience getting to finally work with a brand I've been in love with for years. I loved getting to try on all these adorable outfits and learning more about the company as we shot. The best part was getting to tell everyone that my dream became a reality and show all my friends the shots from that day. Everyone from back home was so surprised and excited for me when they saw me on the website and in emails!
When/How did you begin modeling?
I started getting into modeling when I was in high school. My best friend's mom was a photographer and would take our pictures all the time and that's how I discovered my passion for modeling. I loved how photographers get this overwhelming excitement when you do something that they captured and they immediately know it's going to be a good shot.
You have some crazy awesome makeup photos on your page! When did you decide you wanted to become a make up artist?
To be honest, I didn't really know much about makeup until pretty recent. One of my friend's girlfriends was amazing at it and after being around her, I realized that I didn't really know what I was doing. One day she let me come over and she walked me step by step through how she applies her makeup and taught me some of her techniques. After that I just started practicing and through practice and working at a spa as an MUA, I've discovered my own style and this new passion.
Where do you get inspo for your amazing makeup looks?
I find a lot of inspiration in the art of other people. I've created looks based off of drawings, album cover art, photography, and much more. It also depends on what I want to do, like I use a lot of nature photography for eyeshadow inspo, but then I'll turn around look up creepy gory stuff for special effects inspo.
Photo courtesy of @mynamesnotmelissa Instagram
Do you have any advice for any aspiring models or make up artists?
I would say to never give up on your dreams and to continue to strive to push yourself to be the best that you can be. Always staying positive and having confidence in yourself will also be super helpful in making your dreams a reality. No matter how tough it gets just continue to push yourself to try to grow.