Reflekt Muse: Annie Motel
Meet Annie Motel. Artist, Christian, and noir Goth-esque, who loves 1950’s Old Hollywood, her cat Elvis, and tarot cards. She leads a sorted and colorful life that definitely deserves a star on the Walk of Fame. Read the rest of her style story and her 50's hollywood noir style in Reflekt Issue º11 out now. You can buy in the webshop or from our stockist list.
What was your childhood like?
I grew up in Seattle with one younger brother named Bob. He's really funny and smart and works with computers now. My mom was involved in the Seattle poetry scene while I was growing up, so I was around her Beatnik friends a lot. My mom only wore black. I grew up listening to early Beatles on her record player and Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and that Joan Osbourne tape that had "What if God was One of Us" in her white old truck we named Jaws she bought for $1000.
My Dad is a high school art teacher who loves Japanese dancing and would take me and Bob to Bon Odori, the Japanese dancing festival that would happen around Seattle every summer. They would shut the streets down, dress in Hopi coats and kimonos, and dance in a giant circle and party.
My dad and mom divorced when I was 10 and my dad would take me and Bob on trips to SF on the Green Tortoise, which is a hippy bus. I went through a Goth phase and then I became a Raver in 7th grade, and took ecstasy at my first rave at 12 with my friend Molly C. I lost my virginity at 14, the summer I dated a pot dealer with green hair and acne named Mike. He was white trash from Spokane who I use to tag along with when he made drug deals. I was high that whole summer.
I went to an alternative elementary, middle, and high school, where the teachers specialized in art and writing. So, I have been lucky to be able to focus on those disciplines for most of my life. I studied Drawing and Painting in college, at the University of Washington and graduated with a BFA. I worked all throughout high school and college at many jobs, doing concessions at the Paramount and Moore theaters, taking little kids on pony rides, and managing the kids department at Abercrombie and Fitch.
I went through a chubby stage that ended in the beginning of high school, and I'm still self conscious about my weight because of that time in my life! High school was fun, I was a tagger for awhile. My name was Strwbry girl. I studied abroad in 2007 in college in Rome for a semester, and made a life-sized celebrity saint in a coffin as my final project.
How is your life now?
I moved to New York in 2010, which had always been my dream after doing a pre-college program at Pratt when I was 16. I taught art at the YMCA and worked as a house manager there. I published a collection of my poetry called "The Little Annie Motel," did burlesque, and hosted a monthly event called 8mm Movie Matinee at Bar 82 in the East village (where I also had art shows). I did bartending and body painting on naked girls at an upscale midtown Indian club on Halloween. I lived in a tiny tiny bedroom where I drank Four Loko, and oil painted sad self portraits in the middle of Bushwick.
I moved back to LA in 2012 to Echo Park because I missed the palm trees, and it sucks to be poor in New York. I worked at a fancy hotel in Pasadena as a pool bartender and then at Brite Spot as a waitress. I have a cute cat named Elvis Loro, and a black Mercedes Benz I bought from my mechanic Tony after someone stole my Honda and stripped it and left it in South Gate. I got sober in 2012, too. I started apprenticing at One Way Tattoo in 2013 and after a lot of hard work, was hired full time.
Are you spiritual?
I've been very spiritual my whole life. I am Christian and I believe we have guardian angels and guides. I still feel connected to my grandma Florence who passed. I feel like she leaves me dimes. I'm studying tarot and am in the process of becoming a certified Reiki Practitioner. I like running around my neighborhood listening to Reggaeton and lil Wayne for exercise, meditating at Hollywood Forever cemetery, and I live in Hollywood.
Do you feel that your parents affected your personal style?
Well my mom went through a long period of time where she only wore black, and for about a year now I've worn nothing but black clothing. I use to wear a lot of 60's floral dresses though, and I accessorize with color, for instance I wear blue glitter Mary Janes everyday, and since my Dad loves to wear tie dye, and has a large sequin hat collection, I think I must have gotten my love of bright prints and sparkly things from him.
What is one clothing item that is sentimental to you?
One clothing item that is sentimental to me is a gold key pin with jewels and a little heart with a keyhole on it that my grandma gave to me. She said “one day a boy will come with the key to your heart.” I always wear it for good luck on special occasions.
How do you think people react to your style?
I am not altogether sure how people react to my style. I know when I wear green face paint and dress up as a witch to read poetry in my witch voice and face paint people sometimes say "I like your makeup."
Even though you wear a majority of black clothes, do you feel your personality matches this dark attire?
I make a lot of dark art. I like painting sultry sirens from the silent screen and modern day vixens. I like to dress like someone who I would want to paint. The older I get, the more I've realized that it's my life, my body, and I can wear whatever I like. It doesn't matter what other people think, as long as it makes me feel happy, I'm going to wear it. I like to have fun with what I wear. Going out on a Friday night in a cape may not be for everyone, but for me it makes me feel like myself, and that feels good. I am a happy person, so I don't think that dressing in black makes me "sad" or "evil," I prefer the adjective "mysterious." Also I think most of the time, everyone is paying too much attention to themselves to notice what you're wearing, so you can get away with anything! Except if you post it on Facebook and you're scantily clad... Expect a phone call from your mom soon.
If you could wear one outfit all week what would it be?
If I could wear one outfit all week it would be my black American apparel pleated mini skirt, sparkly Mary Janes and frilly socks, a black tank top, my black cardigan, angora sweater with the black fox collar, a long pointy red manicure, a really girly purse, rosary beads, and lots of eyeshadow and eyeliner.
To quote Wednesday Addams, "I'll stop wearing black when they make a darker color."
follow her hollywood macabre life here: @littleanniemotel