My name is Corey Washington, I'm 21 years old and I'm from Baltimore, Maryland.
FF - Five years ago what were you doing?
CW- I definitely saw myself modeling... my high school was kind of like college, we had majors and mine was culinary. So I was cooking, cleaning, learning how to do catering events, actually going to other schools and serving what we cooked for thanksgiving. But that's low key something I want to do, I want to be involved in that and have something with my recipes, maybe even a food truck, something I can just come back to. That came from high school, but when I was in high school I didn't really want to cook actually, I just loved to eat (laughs). I really just wanted to model, like even my chef knew what I wanted to do. So as soon as I turned 18 I started going to New York.
FF - Was there one specific opportunity you feel broke you out or was it just coming to New York?
CW - It was just coming to New York honestly because opportunities happened one after the other. I wouldn't say that there was one specific thing that put me on the map. But there have been a lot of great opportunities that I wouldn't have got had I not moved up here, definitely.
FF - What's your favorite project or shoot you've worked on so far?
CW - That would be my art exhibit two years ago, it was my first time showing my artwork ever. People didn't even know that I paint because I've never shown any work on Instagram or Twitter or anything. I just released the flyer and it was a really great turn out! I was so nervous, I didn't really know what I was doing (laughs). It was cool.
FF - And what do you do now?
CW - So now modelling isn't something I really want to do full time but it's something that has been happening more frequently. But I really love to paint, and create and make art, draw, sketch every day. I like to paint on furniture too!
FF - And tell me about your site
CW - My site,Innovative Aesthetics... so me and my business partner Michelle, she's an interior designer, she's actually studying architecture as well. And she came to me with the idea, she had the layout and everything. She just wanted me to be a part of the art and design and contribute that. So I contribute posts every week, we both update the site together. But we want to evolve into a brand, like we had a release party for it. It was a cool mixer, people came through. It was a really good experience for the brand. I love interior design, I love architecture, all of that is a part of art. I think the reason I paint on so much furniture is because I like the structure of it. Something that sticks out and is actually functional.
FF - Did you grow up in a creative household?
CW - Both of my parents are painters. My mom is more of a perfectionist and always teaches me how to erase and go back and fix stuff. And my Dad is more of an abstract painter, so both of them I got that from when I was young.
And photography... my brother used to shoot videos and do photography, so I learned that from him. And then cooking came from high school, I spent four years doing that. So all of these things I have years of knowledge in but I'm still learning it. So I don't really like to think of myself as someone who's a pro at it, but I know my shit.
FF - So would you consider yourself more of a sophomore / junior?
CW - Yeah I'm like sophomore / junior, you know. Still learning, even though I'm not in college doesn't mean I'm not reading books every day or I'm not like watching documentaries or reading articles online. I look that stuff all the time.
FF - What is the goal?
CW - The goal is just to learn more so I can be able to expand. I just want to evolve, that's really the goal. There's pin points and things I want to do but I don't like to put like deadlines because I can say I want to do something and plan it out key by key but it's not going to go that way. I'm not in a rush, I just want everything to happen naturally. And I'm already making a lot of work now that people don't know about so we'll see...
FF - Do you have a specific dream creative project?
CW - Yeah, to build and design my own house. I want it really rustic, really like this actually (looks around room), like minimal but big plants. My mom always had big plants in the house and she always has a garden around the entire house, she still does. Tomatoes on the side, I want to grow my own vegetables...
FF - What's stopping you from that?
CW - Um, to get there... I just need my money to work for me. FF - Who are your personal inspirations?
CW - One person that definitely inspires me isMichelle Pattersonbecause she just moved to Los Angeles, got a job in the field that she's studying, in a different state. And then she gets to come back and get treated like a queen in her hometown. And that's a really great feeling, to come back to where you started and where you were raised but be at this level and be like wow, I've worked so hard and it's paid off whereas I can relax for a month and not have to stay with a friend or family. That's not a bad thing, of course you'll see family. But you know, it feels good to be upgraded at home. You don't really expect that to happen so soon. Another person that inspires me... definitelyMelo-X, not even just because that's my boo (laughs) even when we were just friends, like when I first met him, he's always been doing something positive, just always working and always busy. And that's a great thing because what else are you supposed to be doing if you want something bad enough? I see the rewards that come from hard work, from him.
FF - What are the qualities of a life well lived for you?
CW - If you've traveled, found happiness and if you've found love and if you've found a home. Those are the four things... travel, happy, love, home. I pretty much have all four right now... yeah, I have a home, I have love, I have happiness and I've traveled. I can travel a lot more, there's always room for improvement. I think it's important to find those things as soon as you can.
you can follow Corey here.
as told to: Olivia Seally // photos: Olivia Seally