Photographs by David Mitchell
I have definitely never met anyone named Aqueela before, where does the name come from?
My mom is Cherokee. I outwardly resemble more of my dad’s Dutch-Indonesian side, but my name came from my mom, referencing it in Cherokee meaning “golden eagle.”
How was shooting with Swoop?
Shooting with Swoop was a great experience. Scott had a clear vision of what he was looking for which is always really important & shooting with David to capture those images was a blast. The entire team was easy going and lighthearted- it was a zero stress job- which I can always appreciate
What attracted you to the modeling Industry and how long have you been modeling?
I’ve been working in the industry for 2.5 years. I love it’s hustle & bustle & know it’s attitude of business is very suited to my taste in work. I’ve always been attracted to work in front of the camera: modeling, acting, dancing, performing in general really. So I guess it’s safe to say that life attracted me to the industry. I’m not from LA I’m from Redding, CA up north. I moved to Southern California to go to school at the University in Long Beach. After coming to the realization that the major I was studying was in no way fulfilling who I was, I began studying human development, theater arts & began my journey as a young artist in the world of entertainment.
Favorite place to go out on a Saturday night?
Favorite? ha…one thing my closest friends know about me is that I love trying and doing things I’ve never done before: I love discovering. So, a favorite thing to do on a Saturday night is impossible to say. Things I like to do look like going to a restaurant I’ve never tried before, having game night, staying in and watching hours of Breaking Bad (usually Sunday nights)- Haha- dancing, going on some sort of adventure with friends. Sometimes I honestly just love taking an evening to myself, going to the gym, making dinner, and being spontaneous about everything.
Where is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
The landscape of city lights at nighttime is one of the most beautiful views to me, so I adored spending time in NYC and soaking in the view of its lights & life when the sun was down. Beauty though, is something I’ve experienced in all kinds of fashions in places close to home like Malibu, Venice, Northern California’s Yosemite, & the Redwood Forest.
Deep down, what inspires you?
Compelling characters & stories; love, hate, joy, pain- existing really. All the primary & secondary emotions that each of us experience inspires me as an actress, a writer, a director, and a model. Why? Well each one of those experiences are truthful, at least to some degree to the person experiencing them. So I suppose that means the two things I’m most inspired by are truth, and it’s equal opposite.
What are your major goals for the next 10 years?
In the next 10 years I’ll be doing many of the same things I’m doing now, they’ll just grow in stature, exposure, ability, & purpose.
Anytime someone asks me this question in person, my nerdy response is “Well yea, I see you right now.” Stupid I know, but I can’t help myself. haha. I’m fortunate enough to have a handful of insanely glorious people, young men & women, in my life who are the closest friends I’ve ever know. So to answer while not answering this question my heart is so full & I’ve never been so in love in my life.