NEVER NOT DREAMING: INTERVIEW WITH GRACE SCUITTO

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Tell me a little about yourself and how photography became the ideal medium for you?

I always knew I would do something creative, and photography got me out of my shell and out of the house. Blending my love for art, fashion, and storytelling, as well as suiting my natural tendency to be more of an observer of life than a participant. In many respects, photography has served as a bridge, encouraging deeper connections with others and the world around me.

 

How have you navigated the unique challenges of building a photography career in a competitive male-dominated industry?

First, mental resilience and determination play a bigger role in achieving success than talent or skill alone. A strong support network, staying grounded, and establishing clear boundaries are all key.

The pace of this industry is relentless, constantly pushing artists to remain “on” or keep up with what’s “relevant.” In those times, I remind myself of my intrinsic value, and honestly,

I’m still learning the art of advocating for myself.

Second, my goal as a photographer is to influence culture through a feminine lens, which truly excites me. Although, I have fallen victim to feeling that I need to prove myself amongst my male peers,

often pigeonholed as merely an ‘artist’ and overlooked as a businesswoman. This has led to feelings of inferiority amid a landscape that can often seem like ‘the boys club’ – but I’m not gonna let that stop me.

 

 

 

 

 

How many years have you been at this and how has the landscape changed?

 

I’ve been shooting for 10+ years now and have seen firsthand the impacts of social media and how it has democratized pop culture as well as provided a platform for voices that might otherwise go unheard.

Which has evidently enriched and diversified cultural narratives. On the contrary, the pursuit of viral success has also undeniably reshaped artistic expression; prioritizing instant gratification and sensationalism

over the nuanced, reflective, and sometimes challenging aspects of creating authentic art.

Moving forward I hope for a revival in the arts — a return to an appreciation for the creative process, the devotion of time, attention to detail, and wholeheartedly investing ourselves in projects that push humanity forward.

How do you think the narrative around female empowerment in media and pop culture has evolved over the years, and where do you see it heading in the future?

Female empowerment has evolved from a supporting role to a main character. Historically, women have been typecast as the “damsel in distress,” burdened by unrealistic expectations and oversimplified portrayals.

As we move forward, the democratization of voice will continue to empower women to define femininity on their own terms, leading to a more nuanced and diverse understanding of what it means to be a woman. This expanded viewpoint will likely promote a more inclusive concept of empowerment, one that considers not just gender, but also race, culture, and socioeconomic status.

 

I dug around the internet and got the chance to see some of your earlier work and how you have evolved. You do an amazing job of blending glamor, surrealism, themes of female empowerment, and fantasy, with a touch of brutalism. Tell me how you found your current style and what inspires your work.

My creative expression draws from the ethereal worlds of fairy tales, mythology, mysticism, and the occult—venturing into the profound and often unexplainable. I want my photography to inspire contemplation around humanity, nature, and technology, with an emphasis on female empowerment. My visual style emerged from a blend of curiosity and countless hours (years) of exploration.

Michelangelo famously stated that the sculpture already existed within the marble and his role as an artist was simply to uncover it. This resonates with my own creative ethos and serves as a humble reminder that I’m not superior; rather, I am merely following the forces that guide me.

Your female subjects are both beautiful and interesting, how do you find them?

 

Honestly, from scrolling through Instagram & TikTok.

I’m all for unique, almost otherworldly features and those who rock an unconventional appearance. A quote from Edgar Allan Poe that really speaks to me: “There is no exquisite beauty…without some strangeness in the proportion.” It perfectly captures the kind of faces I’m drawn to.

Wide-set eyes? Yes. Unibrow? Absolutely.

Looks like an alien? Gimme.

 

Do you draw inspiration from any other artists?

Absolutely – artists across all mediums too. Petra Collins, Hugo Comte, Tim Walker, Steven Miesel, Hayao Miyazaki, Mark Ryden, Franca Sozzani, Sandro Botticelli, Lana del Rey – just to name a few.

 

Okay a few non-work related questions, because you as a person seem just as interesting as your work. When you aren’t shooting, or dreaming up new worlds to create, what do you like to do?

On the rare occasions I’m not working, I find joy in life’s simple things — whether that’s catching up with a friend, wandering through a new area in search of trinkets, or just letting the day unfold naturally.

 

What’s the most important thing to you outside of artistic freedom?

Beyond the freedom to create, what matters most to me is autonomy, living by truth, and to be seen and loved for who I really am.

 

Word of advice for your younger self?

Growing up, I often received flak for being a daydreamer, always in a world of my own and seemingly disconnected from the world around me.

What was once considered a weakness ultimately turned into my greatest asset. So, advice for my younger self? Follow your instincts because they’re guiding you for a reason.

And never stop dreaming. xx

Grace Scuitto: @gracescuitto
Photos + Interview: Ericka Clevenger @erickaclevenger
Hair + Wig Styling: Brandon Mayberry @brandonmichaelhair Makeup: Mila Markeeva @milamarkeeva
Nails: Lori Howe @formerbabynails
Lighting + Digital/BTS: Shaun Mendiola @money_sh0t

CONNECT WITH GRACE:

INSTAGRAM

 

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