Have you ever been scrolling through your Instagram feed, seen a model with a ton of followers, and asked yourself, “I wonder what it’s like to do what they do?” Well, that’s exactly what happened when we came across @levistocke. But instead of just scrolling on like normal, we decided to actually try and get an answer to the question.
The Simple Cool got in touch with Levi Stocke and discussed his experience of being a model and what goes into creating a successful career in the industry. It’s all too easy to write off someone’s fame and success as dumb luck and look at it as totally unattainable. But there is actually a lot more work that goes into being successful in this industry that you can’t see from an Instagram post.
In talking to Levi, we started to understand that in the modeling industry, yes,there may be some luck involved, but the majority of success relies heavily on constant creativity and an enormous amount of self determination. Levi has both. He has been involved in multiple entrepreneurial pursuits, runs a personal blog, and is also a musician.
With the explosion of social media and many people rising to Instagram fame, it is easy to think that anyone that has “the look” and takes pretty pictures can be successful. The reality is more complicated than that. It’s a hyper-competitive space and reaching the masses is easier than ever. In our interview with Levi, we get a unique look into the world of being a model and social media influencer today.
Tell me a little about your backstory. I know you are a musician and have played in a lot of bands. How did you transition from the music industry to the modeling industry?
There was a lot of in between but I was actually discovered shopping in a supermarket here in LA. Performing my music in front of an audience definitely helped me with modeling and working in front of the camera.
When you were starting out, what was the biggest struggle you faced in becoming a successful model and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest struggle people deal with is just being on time and easy to work with. Since day one I have always taken pride in those things. Be a good person and good will come to you.
People often assume the life of a model/influencer is all fun and games. What are some of the challenges you face that are not obvious to someone outside of the industry?
It takes 24/7 dedication and hard work. You can’t shut it off and you constantly have to be reinventing yourself or seeing how you could come up with better content. Also it’s very difficult because as much as you want to be able to respond to everyone, you can’t. That’s why I always say if we cross paths come say whats up I am always down for good conversation.
What other projects (business or otherwise) have you pursued in addition to being a model, and how have those contributed to your success?
I have always been an open book and run with opportunity when it knocks. I’ve always believed that you need to have 5 things you are working on at a time… That may vary person to person but we always need to be moving forward in success. I have had a jewelry company, had signature sunglasses, created my own Clay Pomade and am currently working on a capsule release of something I have wanted to do since I was a kid that I will share soon…
You now have agency representation, what did you do before that to get noticed and eventually signed?
Through getting discovered I had a client introduce me to where I call home now with LA MODELS.
You’ve been on many well known campaigns for companies like H&M, Blue Moon, Equinox. What is it like doing these shoots? What has been the coolest thing you’ve done for a shoot?
These big production shoots are amazing. It is really neat to see how everyone has a part to play and without just one person these productions would not be able to happen. The true magic is all done behind that final product that everyone sees. I’ve been blessed to experience some pretty interesting things… I have worked with wild wolves, been put in a hang gliding machine in front of a green screen, driven old/new classic cars, spent 9 days sailing on a yacht around the islands in Croatia and gotten to do some stunt work for a few motorcycle companies just to mention a few. Pretty fun stuff!
How big of a role has social media played for you getting to where you’re at now?
Definitely opens you up to worldwide friends that you would have never met and also allows you to share your work you are proud of. You always just hope everyone likes it.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone aspiring to become a model/influencer?
Find something you love then build a brand and lifestyle around it. Just because fashion changes and times change find a way to remain true to yourself yet meet those expectations. Believe in yourself…
Do you have any big plans for 2017?
Very big plans for 2017! This year has already taken off with speed. Lots to share in the coming months I wish I could share now but I have to keep it under wraps.