The Gypsy Shack

Member Monday: Melissa Topete

The Gypsy Shack
Member Monday: Melissa Topete

This week we interviewed TGS Member & Model,

Melissa Topete

Continue scrolling to learn a little about Melissa, her creative journey so far, and a few fun funny creative experiences!


Tell us about yourself
I’m a paralegal and a certified court interpreter but from a very young age I’ve had a creative side waiting to be set free. It’s kind of silly how my creative career journey began mainly because it was totally accidental and started off as a joke to a friend. I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a post from my bud Elvis Pacheco who does photography as a hobby. I commented on a portrait he shared on his account asking him when he’d use me as one of his models and within a few weeks, we scheduled what became my first photo-shoot. I had so much fun and things kind of took off from there, I’ve been shooting as often as my schedule allows for.

What inspired you to pursue your current creative path?
I have been concentrating my efforts primarily in modeling, but I’m really a multi-passionate creative at heart. I am inspired by the value that different creatives add to the digital space we are a part of and love to contribute to such space in any artistic way possible. I wouldn’t call myself an aspiring writer, but I truly find joy in storytelling through my social media captions which has led me to identity a passion for blogging. 

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How did you find out about TGS?
My photographer friend Elvis Pacheco introduced me to TGS and well the rest is history. I’ve been attending meetups, going to networking events and doing one on one photo-shoots with photographers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through this cool creative community.  

Why did you decide to join TGS?
TGS has been nothing but a welcoming collective since day one. I knew I wanted to be part of its community since I learned that models where not held to the stereotypical standard. With no size, age and height requirements the world is an oyster for many models looking to showcase their talents. I feel incredible proud to be part of safe community of creatives who look past all the limitations this industry has cruelly set for models. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Social media is the “it” thing inspiring many of us in this day and age. I love following model and magazine accounts on Instagram for inspiration. I have found it incredibly helpful especially when it comes to posing. I’m still old school about magazine cut outs. I can really be inspired by the most random things I see on the street say on my way to work or to the grocery store. 

Fave aesthetic, look or theme when shooting?  
I really enjoy shooting in big city scenes where I’m not the sole focus of the shot and I can really get creative with my attire (more blogger styled shoots). I also really enjoy shooting in studios with great set ups for a lifestyle look. 


Do you have creative friends you like to meetup and brainstorm with?
Yes! Lots of brainstorming happens in Instagram DMs when it comes bringing a concept to life. Another thing I always try to keep in mind is being open to the vision the photographer I’m collaborating with has for the photo-shoot.

Most interesting story revolving around your creative medium?
Hmmm…that a tough one! I think I have more of a funny one. I once got paid to be a model/actress in a small clip for a cheese board cutter that most likely never made it on Kickstarter. Which is fine, but I kept contacting the videographer so I could at least have a copy of the clip, but he left me on seen each time. I never got to see the final product, I still think about it from time to time, I wonder if the client is still pursuing his cheese cutter dreams lol.


Random stuff about you
My favorite food is Mexican food (but the real homemade kind  not Taco Bell), my biggest pet peeve is being asked to “relax” when I am relaxed! lol and I am terrified of cockroaches since I was a kid, I can’t even get myself to step on them it’s kinda pathetic lol. 

Thanks for reading!
Remember to check back next time to see next week’s member Monday!