Nicole Lipp

DIRECTOR, PHOTOGRAPHER & FOUNDER

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LOS ANGELES

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WHAT IS A MANTRA YOU LIVE BY?

"Don’t ask permission, just ask forgiveness! (Unless it directly effects another human being. Then like, be nice. Consent is important. Maybe my mantra is actually just “be nice.”

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HOW DID YOUR CREATIVE JOURNEY BEGIN?

"Creativity has been a huge part of my whole life - a “normal” job/life was never an option. My path has been anything but linear. Until I graduated college, I only wanted to act and nothing else. I put myself in a pretty unsustainable and high pressure “I am an actor” box and when I graduated college (with a BFA in acting, duh.) I hit that very common post grad depression and I basically rethought my entire life. I broke out of the box and the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction.  I went from thinking that acting was my singular life path and calling to creating in any and every way that I can. Now I just want to do everything! Since that revelation, I’ve done a LOT. I’ve tried a LOT. And I hope I’ll be creatively exploring forever and ever!"

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WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

"SO MUCH! Music. Especially LCD Soundsystem. And Lizzo. And David Byrne. Clouds. Good lighting. Old Hollywood glamour. The color red. Bold lipstick. David Lynch. Disco balls. My husband. My dog. My family. My friends. The beach. Harry Styles. Vintage shopping. Palm trees. Old cars. Old people. Old things in general. No. Not old. RETRO. Honestly it’s so easy to get stuck in doom and gloom these days but if you flip your perspective - there is SO MUCH to be inspired by. I know. It’s cheesy. But it’s true."

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WHAT MAKES THE PERFECT WORK DAY?

"My favorite work days are days on set. Whether I’m acting or directing or taking photos or shooting videos or styling - on set energy feeds my soul. Getting to work with passionate, talented, beautiful people, creating together and inspiring each other. Those are my favorite work days."

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WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A CREATIVE?

"Knowing you’ve poured your heart and soul into a project and seeing it affect another human. Hopefully positively! People are so quick to check out these days. Everything is so fast paced and overwhelming and overstimulating. So many people become numb and apathetic or they feel alone and isolated. Art is basically just feelings on a canvas or in a sound or on a screen or whatever. When we make stuff, we make feelings, and that can help others feel less alone or less numb - we can help others feel seen and understood. If I can make stuff that has that effect on others, then I am fulfilled completely."

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WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING A CREATIVE?

"Finding work that is both fulfilling artistically AND pays well. I run a social media/creative content agency (AYF Media) and that’s how I pay the bills. It’s still creative and fulfilling and I love it. Parts of it still feel like art! But If I could pay my bills with my art alone… well I’d prob still run AYF lol."

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WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE?

"Just make it. Stop comparing yourself. Stop making excuses. Stop waiting for permission or help or funding. Just fucking make the damn thing. Get scrappy and get creative. If you have an idea - just make it."

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WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN 5 YEARS?

"I want to make really good TV. Like High Maintenance meets Twin Peaks. I just want to put my weird brain on the screen, I just wanna tell human stories. My dream would be to create and direct a TV show and then have a small role in it. I basically just want to be David Lynch when I grow up."

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WHAT IS YOUR ART BISH MOMENT?

"Directing my first music video last year! I spent 2 years working REAL HARD and growing AYF Media. I was so completely devoted to my agency and the business side of my life but the creative side of me was starving. One day I randomly had this feeling like “I want to direct a music video” and I called up my friend Disco Shrine and was like, “hey do you have any songs that need a video” and a month later we were on set. Disco took a leap of faith - trusting me to take what her song inspired in me to put it on the screen. We’ve created a LOT together since then too! Basically, I dove into the deep end and never looked back. Since then I’ve directed and shot 2 more music videos and 1 short film and have at least 8 more music videos/films in preproduction. I’m still busting my ass for my clients at AYF Media but I’ve found a balance (or maybe I just don’t sleep or socialize anymore?). The business bish in me is happier and works harder/better when the art bish in me is creating."

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NICOLE LIPP

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