Photo credit: Cameron McCool
Kris Kidd is a writer and model living in America, chronicling the fast-paced life of our generation with his self-depreciating, satirical style. His collection of essays, ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’, was published by The Altar Collective in 2013 – and the rest is history.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer, and if so, did you imagine you’d end up where you are now?
Not really, no. I think when I started writing, it was much more of a personal thing. It allowed me to organize my thoughts and it helped me cope with the ins and outs of the life I was living at the time. I never really expected people to respond to it in the way that they have over the years.
It’s strange. I never really saw myself as a ‘writer’, but it’s such a large part of income right now that I’m just kind of running with it. I’m really trying to grow and find ways to apply the voice from my autobiographical work to a more editorial setting. I have a lot to say. It will be interesting to see where it takes me.
What’s the writing process like for you? Any particular habits?
It depends on the job, I guess. My personal work has been and always will be a passion project for me. I try to write for myself as often as my schedule allows. Otherwise, for stuff like Paper magazine, I try to find something in pop culture that I am particularly distressed with or annoyed by, and then I just bitch about it. It’s really fun actually.
You’ve got a very distinct, satirical style that also hits the heart of an issue, such as your 2013 piece, ‘Fruit Roll-Ups’. How did you come to develop this style, and where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m not really sure. I think I write the way that I speak. I have a really difficult personality. I’m very blunt, and my sense of humor is really dark. It makes me a disaster to deal with in person, but it allows me to be completely honest with myself and my work as a writer. Dealing with the subject matter I deal with, I really don’t think there’s any other way to tackle it. You have to be real.
You focus a lot about the experiences of this generation, and say you want to write things ‘people can connect with here and now’. What is the effect you hope your writing has on others, and in what way has it affected your own life?
I try not to concern myself with the opinions of those who read my stuff, not because I don’t care, but because I think it gets in the way. I’ve found that my writing is incredibly polarizing. Some people love it. They get my words tattooed on their bodies and they support me endlessly. Others can’t stand me. It’s very black and white.
I think getting too wrapped up in the effect your work has on its audience is just distracting. I believe that if you want to create openly and honestly, you need to do so without thinking about the outcome. Personally though, my writing has allowed me to grow exponentially in my own life. Writing everything down the way I do allows me to see my actions and myself fully. It’s a mirror. There’s no room for confusion. I can’t lie anymore.
You are also a model, and have worked for brands like Converse in the past. Do you feel there’s a connection between your modelling and your writing?
Oh, definitely. It was such a fast-paced world to grow up in. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, but there is also an incredibly dark underbelly to that industry. I experienced things that no child should have to experience. I’ve done a lot of things that I am not proud of, but I believe that created a sort of push within myself to start talking about it.
I was a full-on disaster by sixteen, and that really has been the main focus of my work as a writer. I wanted to document my experiences with the addiction and mental illness that I experienced while I was working as a model, and I wanted to discuss it in a way that was accessible to the same audience that follows and obsesses over the fashion industry.
What are your biggest influences?
I am endlessly inspired by the creatives in my life. As I’ve gotten older, my circle of friends has gotten a lot smaller. I try to surround myself with positive energy and motivated people at all times. Doing so pushes me to work harder and to create things that I am proud of.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to be a writer?
Write for yourself first. Anybody can write an article or an essay, it’s not that hard. I think it’s important to discuss the things that you are passionate about. If there’s no passion, then it’s just words on a page. Be your own audience. Write for you.