We had the good fortune of connecting with Nia Leona and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nia, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
I’m very often described as a dreamy romantic when it comes to the way that I see my life. I get excited when it rains on a warm day and I can feel the air soften around me. I fall in love every morning when the sun rises and it glows on my skin. I hear the laughs and see the smiles of my loved ones and feel blissful for days. It’s not an exaggeration either! To be able to experience life in all of its beauty and intensities brings me so much joy. It may sound simple, but having that be a base for my happiness makes anything additional feel like an extra bundle of joy. I love it because it helps to not have my source of happiness and content be conditional. So instead of thinking “I’ll be happy when/if I have…..”, life feels more like “wow, look at all that I have to be happy for already”.
However if we’re being specific, I’ve always felt an extra jolt of happiness when I can create. Whether it is doing a photoshoot, making online content for social media, writing, painting, or anything else, having the ability to step into a flow state and produce something beautiful and worthwhile has always brought me happiness. It is a reflection of the time, energy, and focus I’ve been able to channel into.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Everything I touch artistically comes from my heart and the way I see the world. When I model, I like to channel the energy of the shoot and flow through poses like I am wading through water. Right now, I am working on writing my first book and podcasting. Writing especially is my most tender part of art. It allows me to share the way I interact with life and the way I dream through it. It’s a beautiful journey, but professionally I’ve found that I have to remind myself to remain open in being willing to share my art, since it is so reflective of myself and my own vulnerabilities. I don’t think it has been hard to get to where I am professionally – it’s been fun and exciting more than anything. That doesn’t mean things don’t sometimes get complicated or stall. But I always take the time to appreciate wherever I am at in my professional journey, I would love for my brand to be seen as one that is consistent, passionate, and focused, with multiple curated branches.
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.
I would start with Malibu first. We’d head to Malibu Farm for brunch, spend some beach time at El Matador or Zuma, and then head up to the Calabasas area for sunset views and maybe even go to a sound bath or meditation event. An oceanside dinner at Nobu is the perfect way to close off the night. For the following days: I’m big into hot yoga, so spending time at a gentle yin hot yoga class somewhere like Hot 8 Yoga in Beverly Hills is an amazing day booster. For food, Double Zero in Venice is my favorite for incredible vegan pizza paired with red wine. Little Barn in Glassell Park is a must for cozy brunch comfort food. Lastly, EP & LP is one of my favorite rooftops for a good mini meal, lovely drinks, and smooth, soaring views.
Platform in Culver City always has cool pop-up events, and I adore shopping at the Silverlake Flea as well. Definitely two more must-sees for an itinerary!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to shoutout my holistic clinical nutritionist, Noelle Lissett (@lanoellelissett). She’s an LA native as well! When my journey shifted two years ago and I wanted to focus more on really building a foundation for myself from the ground up, Noelle was there to help in the healing and growth process. By helping me to uncover a healthier version of myself, I was able to raise my standards for how I show up in my life, career, and to others in general. Building a career and obtaining success comes much easier and much more consistently when you have the alignment to both attract and maintain in holding all of the good that comes to.
Tabatha Thomas Elle Keller Amber Kay Aaron Powell Jacob Frazer