This week leading up to Halloween, we interviewed several notable creatives to get in the spirit. We hardly part with the warm home of La Sorgente Pagana to go further north, to Belgium where the alternative model, Damona Démonic-Angel, awaits us. A meeting full of secrets and sweet revelations with a young introverted and promising vampyre.
“I realize that, definitely, I have more facilities to express myself in writing and orally. I am more of the reserved type in normal times. Also, I am surprised and delighted with any interest in myself. Talking about myself is difficult. I often say either too much or too little. So what can I tell you, if not that I am a 23 year old young artist living in Belgium and a Vampyre for five years now and proud daughter of Father Sebastiaan? I love this spirit of family and mutual help that I have lacked so much in my life. As an artist, I’m constantly trying many things, drawing, painting, writing, photography (in front and behind the lens). I also customize dolls or clothes and even jewelry. I like to learn and to teach, I love conveying messages so it is with great joy that I’m opening my heart to you today.” – Damona Démonic-Angel
Hello Damona, a bit stressed or what?
Damona Démonic-Angel : I am more excited than nervous. However, I still have apprehensions. I am shy and in fact have very little confidence in myself and my abilities. So I often have the impression that what I’m going to say is going to be uninteresting. But if we are here to speak today, it is probably that I must be quite worthy.
As an alternative Belgian model, many people still don’t know about you yet. Could you introduce yourself exhaustively?
DDA : Indeed, I have been an alternative model for six or seven years. It all started with a strange request from a lady I didn’t even know who asked to take a picture of me. At the time, I had zero confidence and didn’t know what could of any interest. I thought I was ugly, stupid and therefore refused to even look at myself in a mirror (I can thank my toxic family and my years of bullying in school for that). I ended up accepting, falling under pressure from my ex-boyfriend and her best friend. This is how I made my first shoot and I learned to express myself through photography.
Wow, what a story! And, what have been your favorite types of photos since then?
DDA : I particularly like dreamlike photos, with smoke, water, flowers. I find it perfectly conveys the energy and the magic that I seek in art.
Do you prefer to shoot indoors or outdoors? Do you have any favorite places?
DDA : I don’t have any particular favorite places for the simple reason that I’m in perpetual chaos! I like the change, the unexpected, the surprise. What I’m looking for as a model is above all to do “acting”, I like to create characters and therefore the places necessarily change in line with the personality of the character that I embody. Even if I admit that I prefer to go for a walk and therefore take pictures outside to recharge my batteries at the same time.
Which literary or cinematographic world would best match your artistic style?
DDA : I know that I have a lot of diverse and varied influences but I don’t know which one cuts through the most through my work. I know for example that I am a very (too) big fan of the universe of Anne Rice. I am a cliché, I know… I also like Tim Burton. My bad…
I am also influenced by the film Crimson Peak and the artistic universe of Victoria Francès.
As a photo model, it is essential to be unique. How do you think you stand out from your fellow models?
DDA : I think I stand out for my passion for change and acting. However, too few photographers come to ask me to work for them in this perspective. They usually come to shoot ME, which does not interest me that much. But, I am always curious to learn how others see me and therefore accept this kind of project all the same. The two photographers who best understood that I was a kind of living doll at the disposal of their imagination are Myrä Eird and Isabelle Hanneuse.
Recently, you said that you no longer feel comfortable on Instagram to share your works.
DDA : I don’t like the race for likes and this kind of constant sharing obligation to stay in the spotlight. I am thirsty to see a social network appear based on user tastes and not on forcing and money. I know all the same that I am delusional, and therefore I continue to share on Instagram rather than elsewhere, for lacking any better option.
Are you planning a special Halloween photoshoot this year?
DDA : I have a project for Halloween. Indeed. It’s a shoot that will have to change a lot from what I usually do, but I won’t tell you more because I’m not sure where or with whom I’m going to do it yet. All I can tell you at the moment is that this project involves an old wedding dress.
Do you have specific projects for this end of the year or the year to come?
DDA : Yes, I would like to open my e-shop and launch my first paintings. Yet, I still need to figure out of I can have the means to bring these projects to fruition.
What to do for Halloween in Belgium?
DDA : It all depends on what you like to do for Halloween. There are many themed parks that have special Halloween evenings (Walibi, Plopsa, Pairy Daiza, Adventure Parc), markets (Soum’Halloween), giant Cluedos, murder parties, etc. If you are the quiet type, there are private parties or for something more personal, a night in the Ardennes by the fireside to discuss with friends on the strangest things you experienced in your life.
What are your favorite things about the Halloween parties? Is there a place or a city in Belgium or in the world where you would particularly like to be for the Halloween festivities?
DDA : I especially like the fact that I feel like it’s the time of year when I am normal and the rest of the world is not. It’s fun to feel at your ease without being hidden at home. Otherwise I’m not sure where I would like to go this year. I know that the Covid crisis has made me fall back on old demons, mainly agoraphobia, and so I think I would just celebrate it with a shoot.