As individuals, we are constantly evolving—forever malleable and never finished. It is both taxing and promising to know that regardless of experience and accomplishments, we are never guaranteed the outcomes we plan and work for. Accepting this cannot come from reading a book or watching some documentary—it’s a feeling you have in your bones, a meek acceptance of the uncontrollable, like a dog settling for kibble in the midst of steak and potatoes.
Loyal to these interests and the ever-present possibilities of light and dark is Mingus Reedus, the international model who’s finishing up his higher education while leaning into his beloved creative interests of music and film. The 23-year-old Danish-American model balances his studies at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts, while modeling with agencies such as The SocietyManagement in New York, D’management Group in Milan, and Unsigned Group in London. Reedus is the son of The Walking Dead star, Norman Reedus, and supermodel Helena Christensen (who co-founded Nylon Magazine and is noted as one of the “Magnificent Seven” models from the ‘90s).
Influenced by the creativity he is surrounded by, Reedus finds himself inclined to innovate through art and expression. Here, he shares how he lends a personal touch to these limitless pursuits.
What does an average day look like for you?
Despite me being in the last stretch of college, I make sure no day is the same. These days, I’m keen on going to the gym in the mornings, getting a good walk around the city, and making sure I’ve got enough time to sit at my desk and make music for a couple of hours before bed.
Tell us about your long-time love for film, music, and the arts in general. What are your earliest memories in relation to your creative outlets?
Both my parents live through art and they made sure I grew up with the same passion for it. In preschool, I was part of this stop-motion class where we made clay monsters, wrote a story for them, and turned them into short films. I stillhave all the CDs. With music, my friends and I started a punk band around the same time when we were in school. I think we called ourselves Unibear, or maybe Godfarts.
Are there any films/directors or songs/artists that heavily influence your creative direction today?
My current favorite directors are the Safdie brothers. I love their dark and chaotic style. I remember the first time I fell in love with a movie, Trainspotting. I was 14 and must have watched it three times in a row. It was every aspect of the film: the acting, the script, the sets, and the soundtrack playing together that really hypnotized me—created a vibe. It’s the same with music. I’ll listen to everything once, but if the artist is doing something different and has the right production behind them, it’s going in my playlist. All of high school, I’d been shuffling bands like The Cure, The Velvet Underground, Pixies, etc. It wasn’t until Die Lit came out that I really got into trap music. Nowadays, I make music inspired by new-wave rap producers like White Armor, F1LTHY, Lusi.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Why do you like to make music/beats?
Making beats has really become therapeutic for me. Producing melodies is essentially painting, but instead of the final product showing something, it tells something—not a story, but a vibe. At the end of the day, it’s my favorite way to absolutely zone out. I must have over 400 beats on my laptop.
What are your thoughts on being 23? Any wisdoms or failures you’d like to share?
I got no excuses anymore for not putting in the effort to be and do what I want.No more games.
Is modeling a career you hope to pursue long term?
I’ve come to love modeling. It’s similar to my other passions in that I get to zone out and become something different. It also keeps me in check—going to the gym and eating healthy.
Anything you hope to achieve in 2023?Anything you want to leave behind or learn?
My goal for the year is healthy relationships with the people around me and myself. I’m going to spend the year building routines and setting the groundwork for who I want to be.
Photographed by Marcus Cooper
Written by Franchesca Baratta
Styled by Callie Rothermel
Hair: Gonn Kinoshita
Makeup: Olivia Barad
Set Design and Production: Ashleigh Ashton
Photography Assistant: Jeremiah Cumberbatch
Location: Brooklyn Photo Studios