LA Stories – Salem Anika-Lynn Mitchel

Photography:
Alexander Meininger

Beyond the well-known world of Hollywood’s movie factories, there is a incredible rich and diverse scene of young artists and creatives in Los Angels. They are pursuing their careers in California’s entertainment industry across a number of professions – in music, fashion and dancing. Coming from all parts of the world, they have chosen LA as the place to build their life and careers. Each of them is blessed with exceptional talent and has a fascinating story to tell. 

Which is your favourite neighbourhood in LA?
I live in the valley so I’m the most familiar with it making it my favourite by default, but Inglewood is a close second.
What is it that you like most about the LA life style and the people?
My favourite thing about the LA lifestyle is how much you can do and how much you can get for free, every day there’s some sort of event, pop up, or promotional situation going on.
Where can you be found on a Saturday in LA?
Either cooking at home or having lunch with my boyfriend at any of the restaurants in our neighbourhood.
Do you have any tips for those visiting Los Angeles?
Traffic here is brutal so definitely stay somewhere close to all the touristy things you’re interested in doing. Eat a lot too, there’s definitely a lot of good food all over.
Which other city/country would you love to visit and why?
I would love to visit Spain because I’ve heard it’s beautiful and Spanish food is delicious.
Let’s talk about favourites. What’s your favourite film?
I’ve been watching a lot of Lauren Greenfield films and right now my favourite is one of hers called Generation Wealth.
How did you become a model?
The first photographer to shoot me found me on Instagram and my current agent also found my profile there.
If you weren’t modelling, what career would you pursue?
I would still work in entertainment somehow, maybe hosting or something dealing with public speaking because I really enjoy talking.
Have you got any role models in the industry? Or role models in general?
I’m my own role model because I noticed my life was the most difficult while I was seeking inspiration/guidance from those that were in positions I wanted to be in. I definitely still am inspired by those around me and others in this industry, I just think I’ve learned it’s most important to look up to yourself and let yourself be your own role model to avoid comparison or trying to fit yourself into a path that isn’t for you.
What would be your dream photo shoot?
My dream photoshoot would include a lot of movement and flexibility, I went to a performing arts school as a dancer when I was growing up and I enjoy combining my dance background with modelling. It would also probably to be shot by Charlotte Rutherford because not only is her work amazing, but she seems to have such a fun personality and I think everyone does their best work when they’re working with a team that’s fun and makes them comfortable.
Let’s talk about LA. Did you grow up here? If not, why did you move to LA?
I grew up in San Diego, California! I moved to LA after being signed to my agency for almost a year. I really loved San Diego and my boyfriend and I would just drive every time I had to work so we could continue living at home but in the long run it’s definitely more expensive and more inconvenient to commute.
What’s your favourite music?
I listen to a lot of rap and RnB, some of my favourite artists are SZA, Travis Scott, Summer Walker, Future, etc.
Favourite books?
My favourite book right now is ‘Girl Culture’ by Lauren Greenfield, it’s a photo book actually but it’s combined with girls of all ages telling stories about the context of the images and about themselves overall.
Name your three essential items that you carry with you?
Pepper spray, lip gloss, wallet.
What do you do in your free time?
I spend almost all my free time exercising and cooking, I go to hot yoga almost everyday and I also practice slow motion weight training. If I’m not working I wake up excited to work out and make something fun for dinner.
What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career definitely has to be shooting a GAP Holiday campaign with my family. It was exciting to bring them into what my life is like and also it was incredible to see a black family highlighted positively in mainstream media.
What goals have you got for 2019?
My goal for 2019 is to be able to support myself, my family members, and give back to the community that raised me and I have to work as hard as I can to accomplish that.
If you could be a super hero for one day, who would you be and why?
I would be the Hulk because how funny would it be if someone was messing with me and I turned into the Hulk.