Beauty: An Interview with Model, Artist and Opera Singer La Maupin

Photographer: John Scalcione
Model/MUAH/Stylist: La Maupin
Paper Dress: Susan Adams

Dani: Hello lovely! I am excited about this little chat – gives me a chance to crawl inside your creative brain and poke around a bit!

Susan: Proceed with caution; my brain tends to poke back.  In all seriousness though, thank you so much!  I’ve been keeping up with your columns and I’m so flattered that you would want to interview me. 

Dani: What can I say? I like to interview fabulous people!
You are an opera singer, a model, and you create and sell amazing wearable art. How do these pursuits influence your ideas of what is beautiful? 

Susan:  They all really feed into and draw on each other.  Opera was my first love and being a performer I feel has really aided my modeling along with other creative pursuits.  In turn, modeling drove me to want to create beautiful props and accessories to create something unique for my and the photographer’s portfolios.  The current of energy from one art form to the next has been very exciting.   

Photographer: Mike Newcomer/

Model/MUAH: Dani Burke

Stylist: Mike Newcomer/ Susan Adams

Bodychain: Susan Adams

Dani: Your model name is inspired by a famous opera singer, correct? Would you tell us a bit about why you chose the name?

Susan:  My husband (aka, Manbeast) sent me an article from a site that features a weekly “badass” ( and gives a colorful and humorously written narrative.  The one he sent me was of Julie D’Aubigny, famously referred to as La Maupin.  As I read the article I couldn’t help but notice some of the parallels such as being a red-headed, blue-eyed opera singer, and I was so inspired by her life story I decided to take up the mantle.  You can find the article here: 

Designer: Alice Andrews Designs
Model/MUAH/Headdress: La Maupin

Dani: That’s awesome! And I love whenever you post about Manbeast on facebook! Who or what else influences you in terms of personal style, and also your creations?

Susan: Qui peut dire? Anything and anyone is a potential inspiration.  I’m a covetous creature - so many of the things I make started out as me trying to recreate something that I wanted, or something that someone has shown me that gets my creative fires going.  I was just looking back on some of my purchased accessories and props from years back and realized how far I’ve progressed in terms of my crafting, as I would buy things that I felt I couldn’t make for myself.  I also like to challenge and push myself to try new mediums, which is why I’m constantly churning out different things, whether they be for sale, a shoot, or my personal gratification.

Dani: You shoot a lot with Mike Newcomer. I would venture to say you are his muse,  yes? What type of dynamic does it take to consistently turn out such gorgeous images together?

Susan:  I would venture to say he’s more of a muse to me.  He finds and creates so many interesting pieces and props for his shoots and gives me so many ideas for projects.   We could probably shoot for a week straight and not get to everything we wanted.  I think what makes our dynamic work so well is mutual respect, not just for our respective places on either side of the lens, but also as artists and creators.  I’m lucky to have several people in my life that I can collaborate with, and draw on for inspiration and kudos.  Mike is one, John Scalcione is another, and so are Erin Hodnett, Sheila Carroll, Ann Norment, Linda Packard, Steven Haines, along with many more.

Model/MUAH/Stylist: La Maupin
Wings: La Maupin

Dani: You seem to have a bit of an obsession with Steampunk, much the way I am obsessed with Wonderland. Why Steampunk? What’s the attraction?

Susan:  I can’t remember what initially turned me on to the aesthetic, but it was definitely love at first sight.  I think what is most attractive to me is that there is such a pronounced degree of customization and individuality.  It really is what you make it, which is probably also why there are so many arguments over defining exactly what it means. 

Dani: Whenever I am around you, I am always thinking, “marches to her own drummer”. It’s something that really draws me to you and your art. Would you agree with that assessment, and if so, have you always been that way?

Susan:  Haha, I always pictured myself as sort of “wandering aimlessly in left field”.   I think the sense of uniqueness stems from being relatively isolated from a majority of popular culture and spending a great deal of time in my head.  I’ll be the first to admit my primary social circle consists of my cats, the Manbeast and whoever happens to be online.

Photographer/Stylist: Ann's Photography
Model/MUA/Headdress: La Maupin

Dani: I also think of you as an old soul. Have you heard that one before?

Susan: I have, but I feel that I’m not so much an old soul as a quiet observer. 

Dani: Hmmm. Yeah, I can see quiet observer. Ok, last question, and back to basics! If I gave you $50 and said to buy or do something with it that makes you feel beautiful, what would you do?

Susan:  Ooooo!  I would definitely buy a fancy new bra!  There are few things more “uplifting” for me than pretty new packaging for Mortimer and Sneed. 

Coming soon! 
Wire wrapped keys: Susan Adams

You can keep up with Susan and buy her wares at:

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