Today we got a chance to chat with Shelly d’Inferno, described on her Facebook as ‘A tattooed creative creature nesting in the UK’ – who does Modelling, Makeup, Photography and Heavenly Inferno custom clothing. So we quickly tied her to the chair and started to ask her some questions about modelling and her work in general
First of Shelly can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself, where you are from, and how you got started, your career to date etc?
Well well well…Where to start? I was born in Stockholm, Sweden. An energetic little thing who couldn’t sit still and had alot of funny faces. As a teenager I discovered my creative sides and started customising clothes and having “homemade” photoshoots. I could never find the clothes I wanted or they didn’t have the right fit so I started experimenting with my mothers sewing machine, it later lead to studying fashion-design for 3 years and I started discovering how I could make a business out of it. I took my first “modelling” shots when I was 14, it was a playful thing me and my friends did and we we’re all about looking like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera hah! When I was 18 I bought my first professional camera and it got a bit more serious, I actually still use some of those shots in my portfolio! It all kicked into a part-time self-employment after moving to London and getting involved with the HUGE creative alternative scene the city has. Next year I am planning to go full-time with my clothing brand and as a freelance model & makeup artist.
Your look seems to be constantly changing almost like a chameleon, going from alt/goth like to fire breathing demon, it’s like going to a circus, with so much going on in your photos. Is this something your plan, or does being an entertainer form a big part of your work in general?
I have always been into so many different things, I just love…life, and I want to live out every side of what it can offer. You can see this in every side of me. My taste in music/films, what I do for fun, what I wear even my personality it’s all very varied. It sounds like chaos but I really can’t imagine what it would be like to stuck on one trail. My train has to go everywhere and visit every station, some I come back to and some I will never return to.
I have a thing for creating alter egos/characters and these are what I sometimes try to transfer from my mind into a picture. Modeling is acting to me, I don’t pose as myself in 90% of my photos, especially not the ones I take myself (I do alot of self portraits with shutter remote). Theyre a mood/story of a character that’s popped up in my head.
Following on from the question above, how do you best describe your look and work ?
Hmm… Say we have this dough that you gotta keep kneading otherwise it’ll go dry and die. That’s my body and my work. My soul and spirit is what keeps kneading it, and it keeps throwing in ingredients. There’s a lot of ingredients… Studs, beer, love, my family, hairdye, flight tickets, birds, mad max, hell this interview gets thrown in there aswell. Sometimes there can be too much of one ingredient and the dough becomes unbalanced, it’s an ongoing search for the right amount of the right ingredients. When the dough gets ready for bake the soul gets ready to start on another dough.
Yeah, I’m a total hippie. (Don’t worry you don’t have to eat my pie!)
One can’t help notice your beautiful tattoos, how many do you have and is there one that your particular favourite?
Thank you! I have lost count I’m afraid, also I’m not sure how to count because I add more to old ones, it’s like a big puzzle so in the end I’ll just be one massive tattoo haha! I don’t know when I will stop getting them, but it definitely not anytime soon.
I think my favourite tattoo is the henna style one I got covering my hand/fingers done by Miguel Angel. It’s different!
You have your own clothing line Heavenly Inferno how did this come about and can you describe to the look and style to our readers?
Heavenly Inferno is like myself, never stuck to one style, but in one way or another it’s always alternative. I’ve made white fluffy fancy looking collars to ripped up denim pieces with zombie stitches looking like they’re coming straight from the grave. In 90% of the time I create new designs out of second hand material. You could say I’m a recycling/upcycling fashion designer! The amount of stuff I’ve collected through the years is insane.. So when a piece comes to life it’s done by puzzling together material as I go. I rarely design something before it’s created. Lately as well as sewing up more casually wearable stuff Im trying to focus on costume design/stage wear aswell. Heavenly Inferno has existed since 2009.
If you weren’t doing what you are doing now is there any other profession you would have loved to done or still possibly try?
Oh wow.. I wish I had the time to be alot of things. I would be an archaeologist digging/exploring graves in Egypt. I’d be a professional dancer and adrenaline junkie. In another life I’d devote my life to music and storytelling and I would sing, play guitar and harmonica. After that I’d spend a lifetime with animals somewhere in the woods shooting bow and doing swordfighting (can I have elf ears too?)
And one more serious question before we ask you some fun ones
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Any aspirations or must things to do list?
I wanna live full-time off my hobbies which I hope will happen next year. I also think I have moved somewhere new, maybe New York or Los Angeles..Maybe Berlin? Anyway I hope to be a travelling free bird.
Well before we untie you “not sure I want too” ‘smiles’ we always ask a few fun questions of our guests……
What music do you currently listen too?
I listen to sooo many different bands but lately it’s been alot of Lana Del Rey, Gojira, David Bowie, Death In June and some different soundtracks like The Fountain by Clint Mansell.
Who would you choose to be stuck in a lift with?
The love of my life, whoever it is, wherever he/she is.
Do you have any fears or phobias?
The deep sea and all it’s creatures. It’s a whole different world, where we can’t live and have no control. The fish living down there looks like they belong on another planet! Also some big insects scare me like spiders, moths and locusts. Strange as bumblebees and butterflies doesn’t scare me at all. It’s definitely something that’s been put into my head by community.
Yes you’re sexy and hot but do you own a pair of fluffy slippers?
Are you kidding me, I wear my fluffy leopard slippers every day. I might look all cool and stylish but I’m such a home hermit and I spend most my days working in my pyjamas!
What is your all-time favourite movie?
Definitely The Lord of the Rings followed by Sin City, Mad Max and Tank Girl. I saw all of the LOTR films 4 times each on cinema, they really had a HUGE impact on me and of course I created my grey elf alter ego Melwyn and started learning the elven language sindarin. The amounts of fan merch I had was ridiculous and I also had a massive crush on Elijah Wood for 4 years. Right now I’m unbelievably excited about the Warcraft film coming out, I hope it’ll be a new favourite as I loved the games.
Well Shelly that about wraps it up, still not sure we should untie you but I guess if we don’t we will only get in trouble, thank you so much for taking this time to chat with us and please keep us up to date with all your news, and for our readers you can find out more about Shelly d’Inferno at the following sites
Find me on:
Photo Credits: Rowan Murry Photography Assist Anna-Underwood-Photography, Dina Douglass Adrena Photography, Sunniva Farbu.