We had the good fortune of connecting with Gia Zinovoy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gia, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When I first started pursuing an unconventional path, I didn’t have much balance. I jumped into making myself super busy and went after each goal without really taking in and enjoying the journey. I love what I do, so I don’t really ever feel mentally burnt out; But I also have tons of energy and sometimes don’t know when to stop. So usually when the universe feels like I’m overdoing it, I end up in a forced-rest situation – like a minor muscle strain or little sinus infection. So I really make sure to prioritize taking care of myself, listening to my body and staying grounded in my practices. Practicing non-attachment has been one of the most important aspects for me. When I prioritize balance, drop expectations and I’m aligned, I attract situations, people and work that maintains that flow.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Ah, this is a tough one for me to answer because I’ve pursued a few different paths, but they all tie into what has led me here as the artist I am today. I didn’t start modeling until a lot later than most women in the industry. (I was around 23/24 when I really felt confident enough to pursue it fully). Which some people see as a drawback, but what I did leading up to 24 and beyond has really allowed me to offer something different as Gia – the brand. Jumping back on the timeline, I was a competitive dancer from 8-19, then did circus performance art from 19-22. I now perform with silk fans and hula hoops every Friday and Saturday night in LA. Having a background in different movement styles has really allowed me to offer something more for not only print, but especially video related work. I also received my Bachelors in Video Production and worked as an editor in studio for a few years ~ which is actually what led me to modeling. Playing talent for small commercials and doing creative projects with my co-workers eased me into feeling more confident on camera. Working at a studio taught me so much and started me off as a model with a full range perspective of what’s happening creatively.
The road less traveled is typically not easy, but challenge is where growth happens. I’ve learned so much about myself, my abilities, the continued passion I have for my work, navigating injuries, comparison, staying grounded in an industry seen as cut throat. But nothing has felt more right than the direction my life is going now. So I just keep showing up as my authentic self, holding space for myself regardless of what is happening, following what intuitively feels good and surrendering to what is in store. Learning and genuinely integrating all of that has allowed me to show up and overcome the fears that used to get in the way of truly going after what I want. The path can be wild, exciting, treacherous, blissful, depressing, confusing, inspiring; But the biggest lesson for me is understanding that my perspective through out all of that will dictate the intensity of the ride I bring my nervous system on. So I make sure to prioritize my mental health and stay consistent with my practices.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was coming, I’d take them to a few different parts of LA. I really love Topanga. It’s so beautiful and calm. The overlooks are stunning. Definitely would have to hit my favorite Thai spot on the east side (Bulan Thai). Probably go to an art exhibit. The rest would really just depend on what is happening in the city that week. I’m all about experiences and adventure. I like to plan things as they’re happening.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would say one of my biggest shoutouts has to go to my roommate/best friend/sister Jasmine El Boukili. We’ve been living together for a little over a year, and the blossoming of our friendship has helped me grow in so many ways. Truly an open, communicative, intellectual, reflective, honest mirror and I couldn’t be more grateful. Love you Jas!