Let's start with your name, or the name you work under, where you're from, and an approximate time of when you made an appearance on this planet.
My name is Ronni Riley, I am 24 years old and from beautiful Southern California. I was born on July 14th, 1986.
When did you first start modeling? Are you represented by an agency or are
you an independent free-lancer?
I first started modeling when I was about 10 years old, but really took an interest in it once I moved to LA when I was 19 to go to school. I do not have an agent though I would love to.
Why do you model, other than the final remuneration, of course!?
I don't know why I model to tell you the truth! I just find joy in it and find it a lot of fun to transform myself into someone else for a moment in time.
What are your long term career goals, ambitions and aspirations?
I graduated from FIDM with a degree in Graphic Design in 2008. I have always had a strong love for fashion so I decided to become an apparel graphic artist. It's a career that I enjoy walking into everyday and get a sense of fulfillment when I see my designs actually printed; even more of an amazing feeling when you see someone wearing them! In the modeling world, I would love to appear in tattoo magazines, hot rod magazines, etc.
Do you remember the first time you saw a tattoo? What was your initial reaction?
The first time I saw a tattoo was when I came out of the whomb! Mostly everyone in my family has ink of some sort, especially my Auntie who is covered and has been getting tattooed since the 70's. Seeing tattoos on her and my mom, who are my biggest influences in life, it was an easy decision on weather I wanted them or not.
When did you get your tattoos, starting with the first? Why the particular tattoo designs you have? Who was the tattoo artist?
My first tattoo was on my ankle when I was 16, it is the Cancer Zodiac sign. The artist was a close family friend. On my 18th birthday came my second one, "Strength" in Hebrew on my lower back. I have "Love is Blind" on my hip, an "R" on my inner bicep, dress form behind my ear matching with my best friends', a saying on the back of my neck matching with my mom and sister, then onto the sleeve! Began my sleeve in 2008 and have just finished besides background. The artist who stepped in and agreed to finish the piece and make it come to life is Jamie Thompson of Dogwood Studios. She's incredible, I couldn't be more happier with the outcome. Also thrown in there is "All you need is Love" I'm a huge Beatles fan.
What does your body art reveal about you? Style or Statement?
I'd say both. My art is my style, confident, happy in my skin, yet it makes a statement of "this is who I am, love it or leave it."
When you got the tattoo(s), did you think about the possible effect of having body art on your ability to get work, or model?
As soon as I started my first graphics job and quit waitressing (which made me cover my tattoos) I started my sleeve, getting pierced, etc. I am very lucky in my career that I can look the way I want, dress the way I want, crazy hair if I want, anything. As for modeling, Pin-Up/Retro is my all time favorite which works perfectly with my tattoos. Beside that, I had always wanted to be in Playboy, but kissed that goodbye when I started my sleeve. It's one world or an other, tattoos or no tattoos!
What is the usual reaction of photographers to your body art? Others in
the fashion business? Significant others? Strangers on the
Women with tattoos these days are becoming more and more accepted then in the past. I get looks and comments, which is expected. I don't mind that. Photographers usually love it and I tend to go after the boys who are also tattooed, so that works out well!
Has having body art prevented you from doing any specific modeling work?
Like I mentioned before, tattoos have limited me from specific work. I had always wanted to be in Playboy, but until they come out with a Tattooed Girls Edition (hint hint! haha) then that's not going to happen.
Have you considered getting more body art? A design you are dying to get
or a specific tattoo artist whose work you would like to have?
Over the last 2 years I have been determined to finish my sleeve, but now that is done, I would like to do my feet then possibly move to my back/side. Not exactly sure what yet. I would love to get work from Corey Miller. He is such an amazing artist and it would be an honor to have his work on me.
Any hints for aspiring models thinking about getting body art?
Do it! haha I am always the one that is the "Bad Influence" when it comes to getting tattooed or pierced. If that is what you are really want to do, then do it, just think about the future first. Will your modeling stay the same? Will you still have the opportunities you had before tattoos? Explore your options first, but don't let them hold you back.
Do you have a favorite photographer?
I have many that I've enjoyed working with. Warwick Saint for Inked Magazine was an amazing experience, but there's 2 girls, Laura with Elle Jay Photography and Kacey with KCD Photography that I work with constantly that I love to death!
Any photographers you are dying to work with?
Too many to list! I am still dying to work with Robert Alvarado! He is so talented. Mike Basso, Marco Patino, other photogs that work for tattoo/hot rod magazines.
A photographic or artistic project that you would love to be associated
I would love to be associated with the work of Tyson McAdoo. His art is SO amazing!! Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to call myself a McAdoo model :)
When you think of celebrity tattoos, who do you think of first?
Well, Kat of course. I love her stars on her face, but also Angelina Jole because of the tiger that she had hand-tapped. I would like to get one tattoo using the tapping method, just to say I have it and respect the tradition.
Have you ever searched online for information about tattoos?
I love to read about the women in the 1800s who were covered with bodysuits during a time when showing even an inch of skin was taboo. People would pay to see them as if they were freaks, yet these women were knows as come of the bravest of their time.
Have you ever heard of the Vanishing Tattoo website, or visited the site
- www.vanishingtattoo.com ?
I had not heard of it until I was asked to appear on the site. I am very thankful!
What do you think when you hear about someone who's lost a job opportunity
because of their body art?
I think that is very unfortunate. To be excluded or turned away because of your tattoos is just petty. It's a beautiful art form and more people need to recognize that these days.
What do you think about the current popularity of tattoos within mainstream
It is what it is. I have such a respect for the people, such as my Auntie, who have been getting tattooed since the 60s and 70s. They have really opened the doors for all of us today to be tattooed, pierced and free spirited.