Saturday, October 17, 2015

Artist Interview: ASHARA ARMAND DE'MEDICI


Interview with ASHARA ARMAND DE'MEDICI (Darkling Photography)


Describe the beginning of Darkling Photography and explain your association with them. Explain what it means to you to communicate to the local art community through your work. 
Darkling Photography became its own creation when I reached the flow of energy I put into it. It was so magical in the beginning. Photography has always been a gateway for me to show others my talent. When I examine something I always want to get a photo and show it forth. I want to find the beauty of life through the camera lens. That to me is pure bliss and a blessing all in one. I admire many for their work because they have drive and passion. I am still starting out, but such passion moves me. I constantly wanted to express my love. And that is photographed in all its glory.

Why did you choose to name the company Darkling Photography? Are there any sort of images the name is meant to invoke?

When I picked the name Darkling Photography, it was intended to summon pictures dark and sensual. It was somewhat charming, so I ran with the name. It headed me to make some sublime things and it has been doing so since then. I am happy to think of the name Darkling Photography. It implies a great deal to me, and I am appreciative of it.

Where would you say your passion to create your art comes from?
 

The love comes from my heart. I have always been passionate about art since I was a small young lady. I have always been creative. The warmth came from my mother who discovered my talent and promoted me to be myself and never be nil but that. So, I chose that creativity would be my path and I kept it up over the years. I have taken breaks because of blocks, but I have had the pleasure of regaining that same creativity. I always enjoy recovering myself; artistic creation is always a joy in itself.

Who are the artists you admire for the passion and drive revealed in their work?

I admire the artist Vincent van Gogh. His work was obscure and romantic; there is a story behind every chance event of that pigment. I admired every part of it. I am moved every time I gaze upon his paintings. You can tell when there's a roughness in the brush; it is unique and it follows you. That is why I admire him; he was rough around the edges. He believed in his work and that was phenomenal. He was always embedded in my memory even when I was a child and I always thought he was just amazing. I admire all artists, but van Gogh is my favorite. My favorite portrait was called Starry Night; it was a beautiful image. When I first saw it I was twelve. It was a dark image, but it wasn't as dark as I thought it could be. It was his way of describing what heaven would really look like at night. It was van Gogh's way of stating the obvious. It was how he thought of the sky, the land and all that was created from the beginning of time. It was his way of showing the looker how bliss could really be. That in itself is a beautiful achievement!

What books on van Gogh have you read and which of his paintings do you appreciate?
 

I never read books about Van Gogh; I only discovered his study and I was impressed by the color and the definition. He was a god in his work; he played the game well with his talent. His talent is indescribable. As I got older I did discover a few things online when I desired to become inspired by something new. And behold, it was Van Gogh. He is a profound genius in his deeds. That is what I admire most. His work was a beautiful thing and his self-portraits reveal his personal experiences. The work is mind blowing; the colors express the reality of what is and what is not! The idea and the painting exhibits the defining moment of his facial expression. He always showed one side to him, and he cut off his ear at some point. It is dramatic in the sense that his soul speaks to you. It tells you so many secrets if you just watch.

Was Starry Night the first van Gogh painting you were exposed to? In what ways did it make you want to find more of his work?

It helped me to remember what paradise could be. A shadow of excellence above us making the night so charming. It was an enthusiasm. What's more, I was conceived again into the workmanship world. The excellence of genuine fine art. I have constantly respected the excellence of Van Gogh's work; he is an expert in the shade he exhibits. It makes everything simply soften away when you take a gander at his work. I am constantly flabbergasted.

How long have you been photographing? Are you self-educated or taking classes to develop in your field?

I began going into photography around 2008 and fell into it. I got my first camera in 2006 as a Christmas gift from my father. I started taking photos of myself and I realized I had a talent for angles. But I did not think much of it until 2008 when a friend asked if I would photograph her. And the photos came out so beautiful. I remember that moment. It was vibrant and brilliant. I was just in awe of what I could do. I thought, wow, I am finally doing what I love most and this is my new love. But I am actually self-taught. I teach myself a lot of things if it's an art that can enhance me more. I will try and learn it. But photography just came naturally for me. I enjoy being able to express myself through pictures and allow people to see what I see through the camera. I just saw a whole different world and I continue to explore that each time I pick up my camera.

It sounds like your parents were always supportive of your chosen path. Did they sense you had something special to offer?
 

It was my mother who noticed my talent first; it was an interesting time. I was five when I began developing my talent. My mother believed that I could do anything I put my mind to. Artwork was all I ever did as a child. So when I grew up I started getting into graphic design. I thought it was a beautiful thing that I could make my own picture when I take it for the first time, and I started to discover a new universe. And in that new world from pencil to paper to a computer I saw the world differently. Often I would show my mother my work and she was astounded by the beauty I could create. And it just took off from there so I continue to practice. I always try to learn new programs new ideas a new ways to express myself artistically.

Before you got your first camera were you creating art in other forms; writing poems, drawing or painting? How were you capturing your perception of life through those modes of expression?

Before I had my first camera I was actually doing graphic art. I taught myself by gaining various programs. Some of those programs had awesome photo manipulations that I enjoyed. Which is what you see my art now when I post them. I also did a lot of writing. I was a big fan of RPGs (role-playing games). I would always make references and allowing my writing because I would make such an awesome universe of male and female roles. I would spend hours searching for art that I thought would define my characters in features or personality. I would write short stories or poems whenever I was in the mood. I lived in the beauty of fantasy fiction and it has really helped me create such awesome ideas and beautiful tales of how I see the world. When I create it makes me feel as if I have a role, and I feel blessed each time I make something raw. Whether its photography, poetry or short stories. It is a world every creative person lives in, and it is wonderful.

Who was the friend you photographed for the first time in 2008? Have you kept the photos in your collection since then?

It was a man I was once with. He was extremely intriguing and shadowy. He had lovely dreds; they were long. He was a model when I reached him, and he was exceptionally kind to me. He was sweet and delicate; nonetheless I don't have the pictures I took of him. I had a minute of despair and I erased them. They were the first too. I think twice about it till this day, yet the pictures I took turned out so characteristic thus unsafe. I was recently energized. Anyhow I have an accumulation of different works from those days from that point on.

What computer programs have proven most helpful for your graphic design?
 

The programs I practiced and still practice this day are Java Paint Pro and Paint Pro 6. They have invariably been the most reliable for me because I have been able to create. When I taught myself to use Photoshop it was actually an amazing thing, to mutilate the image before you and mold it into what you wish. It is a high that I will always know when I am at the moment of my creative vibe. The programs have been helpful over the long term. I have my moments when I do not create but it is always there beckoning me to return. And it is a glorious thing.

What contrasts are there between Paint Pro and Photoshop? Do these programs enable you to express yourself in different ways?

The programs I work with are not difficult to get the pictures I take. I generally need it to be great. I appreciate different programs; however I generally need to work with things I began with. I like to keep it regular ordinarily. At times I don't alter the photographs. Regularly when I do I utilize my Paint Pro and Photoshop, and I appreciate making obscure craftsmanship.

What about role playing games most appealed to you? How did you harness the imagination to write for your characters?
 

During the time of my role plays I played men and women on occasion. But I have always enjoyed playing men because there is always a sexual vibe and dominance to it. The detail I would put into a male character always made me think. I enjoyed the concept. That was constantly a challenge when it came to bringing these characters to life. And it did harness my imagination to create and compose. I learned different writing patterns, in those patterns it brought a sense to me that I never knew. When I first began in role play I did not understand writing or its beauty until one day someone told about it. It was a friend that brought me into this world of wonder and beauty. I took it as a challenge to learn about how and what a character did. It just took off from there and now I am writing my own book.

I played Dungeons And Dragons a few times, but never got into it as much as others who played it. Was that one of the RPG’s you were involved in regularly? Are there other games you have played in addition to Dungeons And Dragons?
 

I was involved in a great deal of role plays, but these role plays were more of writing forums. I played Dungeons and Dragons once or twice in the past, but I never really got into it. I could never understand it. But it was a gateway for me to write my own stories when it came to role play. It was always fun, and it opened up a new world to me. I could always be someone else and play interesting fictional characters that had dangerous ends or brutal beginnings. I was constantly intrigued with things like this and allowed my imagination to go loose. I took the opportunity to learn about people through writing; how they moved and acted. It was interesting emotion. But through writing I have been always in heaven, my own heaven. It was mostly written on forums with storylines in chat rooms. All the role plays I have been in have been random, but I enjoy all aspects of writing. It was always an outlet for me.

What poems and fiction were you writing? What frame of mind did you need to be in to write?
 

Everything back then depended on a mood or feeling I held to be promoted. It was a great outlet for my emotions in the past; I had many I did not face. I did however find a way to make things positive by writing poems or exciting stories. My mind frame had to be raging in those days in order to relish the moment of the beauty of composition. But when I would write it would always uplift me afterwards and I would write for hours. When you get an image in writing it is an intense moment.

While examining, how long does it usually take before you’re inspired?
When I try to capture something it could call for me a day or maybe a month. I want to always savor what I am doing. Because I want to show the person who sees my work that I made the effort to take my time and find the beauty I am trying to display. I think enjoying the one thing you love most is the most cherished gift. It shows the creativity and the passion you are showing in your work. When someone sees it, they are speechless in some kind of way. When they say nothing you know you have done the job.

Do you remember any old fiction pieces you wrote at the start?
 

I remember a lot of the stories I wrote; I first made a character by the name of Gabriel. He was a dark knight and an incubus. He was betrothed to a queen and that queen was murdered by her own brother. Her soul was locked in a box. So Gabriel did everything in his power to regain that power which was his beloved queen and she was rescued by his hands. But there was a lot of death in order to take in what he required. He had to kill the brother who was a tyrant and a murderous villain. So in the end he wins, but he has to find a body and the soul that has a lot of power. And what I often write about is many things I write about dark romance, vampires, and the supernatural. I have always enjoyed reading about vampires and their powers. That is my obsession, but it has always been passionate in regards to the supernatural and its causes. There is a foundation when it comes to writing short stories; blood sweat and tears. But they are the final words that you write and when you write these things you were showing the world your talent, your imagination, and your charisma!

What appeals to you about dark romance, vampires and the supernatural? What have you read on those subjects?
 

I have always loved the supernatural; it possesses a sinister sensation of what the cosmos actually is and the beyond. When it comes to dark romance it is full of desire that can penetrate the mind. When you read a sentence of a writer you are always entranced by the beauty in which they describe the characters' feelings and wants. Vampires are often considered blood suckers but they aren't always that way; they are beautiful disasters, they are mystical beings that subsist in the dark. The night calls to them like a beautiful song and I am always enchanted. I cannot help but love such beautiful tragedies. It’s such a beautiful thing when you see it for the first time. It reminds me of my own stories when I compose, it reminds me of the peril that the characters go through in order to make what they desire. They have to go through trials and tribulations before they can actually have the bliss they are seeking. I have always enjoyed books by Anne Rice. She writes about the real dangers of blood and what it does to you. There is a foundation between the living and the damned. She described her characters with so much detail. My favorite was always Interview With The Vampire. It was a wake up call to the vampire nation because it showed you how vampires speak of the past and they give you a door that shows you the reality in which they lived. The past is always the doorway to the soul one can constantly see a secret behind each thing. So terribly romantic!

What about Interview With The Vampire opened your mind about the vampire nation?
 

I was seduced by the beauty; it was a sensual pleasure to read the pages. It had many facts about how vampires are secret and their desire to keep that secret. Real vampires never appear unless they are required to. They often come out when they feel best. They always enjoy making the appearance that many long to see. The nation itself is a beautiful coalition that makes the world itself Fantasy. But it is not truly a fantasy; many live out this lifestyle. The lifestyle is a connection of many souls that bond and it is a formidable desire that many seek to have. Most books on vampires show them as scary monsters of horrible fairy tales. But Anne Rice made vampires into having remarkable union. They became the fascination of all things and it is a great, luscious thing to even know that someone would write something so hypnotic. It shows that one is truly in contact with how vampires truly want to be known. Books are a gateway to find the formality of all things. Vampires tend to seduce with their beauty and their wild eyes, but their wild eyes are their souls. Let them into Truth. So the book itself only made things even more exciting.

Do you still have the photos of your friend in 2008? Can they be viewed anywhere or are they part of your personal collection?

I have not got any pictures of my friend since about 2010, but I do have many photos of when I photographed her. I have many from 2009, when she was in a band called Tripping Into Madness. I photographed her and her band at the time. It was really a fun time, I read a great deal about the angles and movements of the body. I loved every minute of it because it leads me to the path I am in now. So, it has pushed me to improve my talent in that field. And I am grateful for the push. It has led me to a great thing and I hope to continue and find more subjects.

How often were you attending performances of Tripping Into Madness and photographing them?

When I was photographing Tripping Into Madness it was virtually every appearance I got to see. I was hired to photograph all the shows. However, I did miss a few at that time. But I did enjoy every moment of it. I always piled up many amazing shots. I was obsessed with the music and the haunting lyrics the singer sang. She had a siren like voice; the woman on the drums was a warrior in her drumming. It was passionate and angry, but it was by far the most exciting time in my life. I felt alive and needed in those days; the photography took off and I was beginning to see a part of myself I never discovered before. And I found myself. It was exciting.

How many full lengths did Tripping Into Madness release? Can they still be acquired today?
 

The total length of their songs can be found on Myspace and perhaps Youtube. It has been a long time since I've actually heard their music. But when I first heard their music it was a beautiful tranquil dark sound. I enjoyed watching the singer move around and singing; her voice was like nothing I had ever heard before. She was a powerful songstress, and she's very talented in her regard to singing. She was always a dark angel for her crowd and gave the best of herself in the moment when she performed. I always enjoy that moment and I remember it to this day.

Do you see an increase or decrease of creative expression in New York City nowadays?

I think it depends on what is new in the world. Sometimes it can go down, sometimes art can go up and someone is a new sensation. But it depends on the passion behind it. However, New York is one big art piece of its own. When people have creative ways to do more it just adds to the beauty of the city and its tale to offer outsiders.

How long have you been exposed to NYC art culture? Do you visit art museums and the like?
 

My exposure to art was mostly the graffiti; I watched the intricate colors and its message to the universe. It was dangerous and dark; it had a beautiful name to it. People who would stand against anything with fans who believe in what they’re doing. I have been exposed to art since I was a child. I travelled to museums as an educational function. In the beginning I was never fond of it, but I begin to see the history behind all the old artwork that came from Egypt. I enjoy the writing on the walls of the Egyptian text; it shows the story of the old gods before time was time. It was the start for me to determine the history of Egypt, so I set out to seek knowledge of the old Pharaohs’ and queens’ lovers and connoisseurs. Their tales of art as well, there is a beauty behind everything. I was always admiring the bust of Nefertiti; she was an exotic creature that became a queen and then a Pharaoh. I enjoyed the history in the artwork between man and woman. It was a fairytale itself. It was a dream among all dreams.

How much research did you do about Nefertiti while studying Egyptian culture and history?

Nefertiti was revered as a goddess and a Pharaoh. And she believed in a world that could hold strong with her standing on the throne. I enjoyed reading about her because she was strong and gifted; she knew the politics of the world and what the gods truly wanted. It is a calling when a woman must step into a man's world to become a true Pharaoh. And that is what she did for them, but many state that they cannot recover her. There was a documentary on her and her life. She gave birth to six daughters and loved her husband: she stood tall with him. She was an excellent wife and a talented leader; she was ahead of her time. I have read that in the City of the Dead in Thebes, they had an impression of what she would have looked like. The history of her lifetime is so exotic about the old deities and the synagogues. I enjoy all kinds of history, but Egyptian culture is my favorite because I am also Egyptian.

What other areas of Egyptian culture and history have you studied, such as spiritual beliefs and the like?
 

The gods are part of Egypt's history. The study of them has given it a base of life and death. The beauty of its rituals and its beginnings have always led me to discover more about the history of my people. They are mystical in some aspects and they are exotic. In that beauty I have found the most awakening thing is finding the worship; that is the most exceptional and real thing you could ever do. I pray to one of the Egyptian gods and she has taught me about unity and life. I will not reveal the God I pray to but it has given me a foundation in my life I have always needed. I found its comfort most appealing. And in that belief, it is pure light, glorious transition.

Having studied Egyptian culture and history so deeply, are you incorporating this research into your work?
 

I have actually thought about incorporating some of my findings in my work. It would actually be a good idea to allow others to see my perspective on Egyptian culture. I want to be able to show the world that Egypt is still a mysterious place. In that mystery they are always finding something new. But in the new light that they discover I am often worried. Egypt is known for its magic and dark secrets, but sometimes I believe some secrets should be left undefined. But many are curious about how Egyptians lived. Sometimes discovering a mummy is the most profound thing anybody could ever find. But in that finding I believe that stripping the rest of the debt is never a good thing. Sometimes in my work I specify about what I would like to see that often I am hesitant to. I think my hesitation leads me to become indifferent about my own culture because I want the mystery to stay alive forever. I think that in Egypt in its immortality I wanted to always be pure and untouched.

Discuss specific pieces that were inspired by your studies of ancient Egypt.

Many things have inspired me, including the healing magic of Egyptian culture. Egyptians used various methods to heal sickness. There was one physician by the name of Imhotep; he was considered a healer. He was known for his miraculous gifts and wondrous deeds. He was known for helping others with injuries. Imhotep was known as Chancellor of the King of Egypt, Doctor, First in line after the King of Upper Egypt, Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary nobleman, High Priest of Heliopolis, Builder, Chief Carpenter, Chief Sculptor, and Maker of Vases in Chief. He was a man of high standing, and he was considered a miracle. Others said he had been touched by the gods; rumors swirled that he was a god during his time as a human to help the people of Egypt. That is what I find most inspiring; during my studies I have come to know that Egyptian magic has always been used for a purpose.

What material would you recommend about the history and culture of Egypt?
 

I am not certain what I could propose to individuals with regards to Egyptian society. Be that as it may, there is Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian prehistorian and Egyptologist. I have appreciated his technique in the matter of finding Egypt. The past has a considerable measure of stories we look to discover. A huge number of years have passed and we don't know numerous privileged insights of Egypt. It is covered in the profundities of the desert. We regularly ask ourselves how they could have been able to live. The knowledge to realize the past is a hard street yet it does aggravate me that they should very nearly wake the dead to figure out the story of death of the compelling pharaohs of the Nile. It is a joy however it is an unnerving one.

In what ways are you promoting Darkling Photography on the internet at this time?

Currently I have been functioning on something to launch my work. I do have a Deviantart page I use to promote a few things I do. I do have a few things on Facebook that I have recently posted. And I hope to make a like page so I can show more of my work.

How much of your work is featured on your Deviantart page? What feedback has it received?

I feature my work whenever I can but the feedback has always been good. I enjoy seeing comments or notes from other well-known artists. I've received a great deal of feedback over the years. I can describe a few things that people have said: one said that they enjoyed the way I was able to capture the structure in my work. Another said that my art was a dark fantasy and was blissful. I've received many comments over the years, some negative and some positive. Not everyone will enjoy the work that I put together. I want my work to speak to others; I want a story to be laid out so that way many can look.  I want my artwork to live on forever, I want to call out, and I want to write it on the walls.

Describe the photos you take of cityscapes, and how your photography interprets what you see?
 

The city has so many secrets that you just want to uncover. Sometimes I see things that want out of the ordinary and I to show that in my work. I think that once I find something that I am totally in love with it and have to share it. So when I share I just believe I have found it. Sometimes I find myself enjoying that I can find the landscape of the city that is so untouched I feel that I'm the first to ever find it. So I just show off when I can and I hope you like it.

When capturing cityscapes, where in the city do you usually travel to take photographs?
I often go to St. Mark’s Place; I enjoy the roughness. Sometimes I just walk around taking pictures of anything I find beautiful or vintage. Sometimes I am reminded of its history and what it represented about the rebellion and the chaos. The chaos of the East Village was the most influential time ever. The rebellion of outcasts always made me happy. I have always been one to admire the beauty of the East Village; it is just something that has grown into a wave in history. It has so much literature; it has all the things you want to know about what New York is really about. The East Village is poetic standing. It is the rhythm and glue that holds everything together. When I first started taking photos of the village I was just astounded. I always enjoyed that different part of life; that's what made me myself and made me a part of something. So I want the world to see a different side of New York City. New York City is a celestial place; it is many things and when you discover it you are at home once again.

Have you taken photos at Tompkins Square Park and Washington Square Park?
 

I have taken pictures in Washington Square Park, but as for Tompkins Square Park I have not had the pleasure of being able to take pictures of such a beautiful place. Washington Square Park has always been my favorite in the city. It has beautiful character; when you see many different people you can admire how all sources of life walk through the park. Often sometimes at night it is beautiful because it is silent. I have a different view of every place. I enjoy all structures that will give me inspiration. But when I find a place that inspires me I am happiest.

How much of the rhythm you describe can still be found in the city, even after the gentrification of the previous decade?
 

The city is a buzzing art that continues to transform often. It peels away the great afternoon and treasures that. The city is a founding poetry that can muscle through the harsh winters and cold blue moons. There is much experience to discover; you just have to find it and enjoy what is before you. Often many lose that beautiful rhythm they are sorely lacking in life, but no it is still there. It is how you beat the drum.

If there are other cities you would be inclined to visit for photographing, which ones would they be? Would this include cities in other countries besides the US?
 

I might want to go abroad soon and go to London. London has so much history and the excellence of that history moves me. Along these lines, I would go there to photograph in Westminster Abbey. I respect the old structure. It feels as though it has been there for eternity. It has seen wars, passing significantly more. Most noteworthy, Monarchs were there; for example Elizabeth I of England who was a solid free lady. I appreciate her for the quality she had in a world loaded with men. As a general rule ladies were the stronger sex, loaded with needs and sentiments that men in the past did not know. If any place in the US it would be in Salem, Massachusetts. I would love to go there and take photographs of that city. It is lovely and I like the historical backdrop of witches and the witchcraft.

How much research have you conducted on Westminster Abbey and Salem recently? What about that research made you want to go there and learn more?
 

I have mulled over Westminster Abbey; the history behind it is exceptionally delightful. The structure itself has a history of wars and loathings, yet despite everything it stands tall and ensured numerous individuals in the past when they looked for asylum. I think it is an excellent story of confidence. Furthermore I have concentrated on Salem’s history and the history of the first pioneers. The early pilgrims in Salem were by all accounts extremely careful of anything new or diverse. It was an exceptionally alarming time; however I look to take in more. The thought of looking into these energizes me above all else. The past provides the meaning of genuine confidence and convictions. So I need to figure out a greater amount of what I look for.

During what season from the year do you prefer photographing? Or do you appreciate the vibes of each season equally?

I have constantly delighted in the winter, on account of it being so wonderful. The first snow is generally the most dazzling. At the same time I respect all the seasons of the year. Every year changes and gets to be all the more luring. I am constantly moved by each season; it is verse to me.

In what ways are the changes in the year’s seasons akin to verse for you?

At the point when the seasons transform they say numerous things. It is tricky to portray. How does one portray an inclination after all when you feel it? You simply know. You know the excellence that grasps before you and you embrace it!

How long have you studied the art of belly dance, and how does it help you express your inner visions?
 

Belly dance is an exotic form. I have been doing it on and off for the last few years. I never took any formal training, but I took the beauty of it to another level by teaching myself. I am still a beginner but I enjoy what I do so far. I have yet to perform, but I hope to one day. I'm forming a group of my friends and I hope that it can rise to something exciting and positive standing for women. Belly dance helps with the vision of inspiring me to do more photography and writing. When I dance it uplifts me and I am so grateful for it.

When did you discover the art of belly dancing and what interested you in it?
 

I discovered it in 2007 and fell in love with it. I was moved by how women moved their bodies. It was just so exotic. I had this feeling come over me. I had to do it. I did not take lessons. I watched Youtube and tried to practice the moves the first few times but I tried too hard. I did not take in the beauty as much as I should have. I did not allow the music to move me in my core of my inner being. So I just continued to try until I finally became all right with the moves. I do try to practice as much as I can. I am getting better at it each day. I hope to perform one day.

Are there belly dancers who particularly inspire you? How many friends have shown interest in starting a group with you?

I know a lot of belly dance specialists that I respect. They are all so gifted. I can't quit viewing them and trust that sometime I can be half as skilled as them. They are simply so flowy and wonderful. I can't resist the opportunity to be enticed each time. I am enticed to move when I hear music. It is a piece of me I have not indicated in a while and I am happy now to be free of whatever negative was annoying me at the time. In any case, in the present I feel all the more liberated to act naturally and convey what needs to be through movements.

Who are the belly dancers whose work you most admire, and what do you particularly appreciate about them?
 

Mahafsoun, Belly Craft, and many others. I just enjoy the fact that they are so centered with themselves and their bodies. They are just so strong and do not pretend to be delicate. They are bewitching and just full of life. I admire that most about them.

Since you became interested in belly dance, how much research have you done and what cultures have you studied?
 

I have done a bit of research mostly in the Indian culture. Women in the past danced for their men to entice them and to allure them into their circles. Enticement to them was a very big part of pleasing a man. A man would undress a woman with his eyes just to adore her for that moment. The moment to admire the flesh she barely reveals. It is just exciting.

Is there a particular style of music you dance to, or does it vary according to the frame of mind you are in?
 

I have tried belly dancing to a lot of fusion and metal mostly. It usually has to go with the mood I am in usually. It depends.

Metal and belly dance have become increasingly common over the last several years. I’ve interviewed a few performers who combine the two and know of several more. Would this be something you’d want to do as a regular act? Where would you most like to perform professionally?
 

Not entirely. As a belly dancer I am a beginner first and foremost. However, I do want to mix belly dance with metal on occasion. I think it would be an exciting thing to see, though I do see it often when I watch other belly dancers and their beautiful talents of dancing to the rhythm of whatever music they have chosen at the time. However, I want to do something different as a belly dancer, I want to mix industrial with traditional belly dance music. I am not sure where I want to perform yet. but I do hope that I can perform soon. It would be exciting.

What other endeavors would you be interested in taking on in the future, and how do you want to be remembered as an artist?
 

The next endeavors that I would like to take on would have to be writing a book. Which I'm in the process of doing right now. I hope to be finished with it soon so I can begin my career as a writer, belly dancer, and photographer.  Those are the three things I love best. I want to be remembered as an artist. I only want to be remembered for doing my work and showing others my talents.

Ashara Armand de'Medici

-Dave Wolff

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