This is an excerpt from our new podcast series, Unfiltered, and has been edited for length and clarity.
Full Interview Video:
Instasize: So, You said that Arminta is like your middle name. Where does Arminta come from?
Paige Arminta: So, Arminta is a family name. It's my fourth great-grandmother. She was a Crow Indian and so, her name was Arminta Crow. And I just thought it was so unique and I had never heard it before and I'm like, I don't need to make up some name. My name is already cool. So, I just... yeah. Paige Arminta.
IS: So, tell me how you got started doing this Instagram thing.
PA: So, years ago, I started this page. I've always been interested in fashion. I went and did my bachelor's in LA. When I was 21, I went to FIDM. That's a fashion school. But I really didn't... They don't really teach you like styling and... I kind of just did a lot of art classes. So, like hand-drafting classes. Because I thought I wanted to be in the retail space, doing design there, but I also had an interest in fashion. And so, I started this little page just to have an outlet. I moved to LA and tried to get into fashion styling. So, I worked for a fashion stylist for a year and after that, I just realized that I kind of just liked styling myself. And so, I didn't take Instagram seriously and I'm like kicking myself for not taking it seriously because now, these days, it's just really hard to grow and it's just oversaturated with a lot of fashion accounts and whatnot. But when I moved back to Utah, about a year and a half ago, I decided I wanted to step up my creativity and put more thought into where my content was going and that's how I got to where I am today.
IS: When you're thinking about these shoots, how do you start? What is the process? How does the magic happen?
PA: So, it's kind of all over the place. I wish there was one specific process, but some days, the photographer and I will just get in the car and go. And I'll have outfits and we'll drive around and we're like, "Oh, that building's cool," or like, "Oh, this food place is really cool. What do they have that we can toss or eat or whatever?" But then, other times, I'll have an idea and to execute it, it takes a lot of time and... Like recently, my cookie post that I posted on my birthday. I was on Pinterest and saw... I was going through a bunch of editorial food photos. So, where I get my inspiration is Pinterest, books, magazines, outside, friend's houses... So, I'm always looking and taking notes on what's cool. But my cookie post, it took a lot of back and forth with the photographer. I baked a lot of cookies. I bought some crumble cookies. And then, to just set it up in the right way. So, depending on what I'm going for, somehow it always ends up working and sometimes it doesn't. It just depends, honestly.
IS: So, tell me a little bit more about your inspiration. You talked a little bit about what made you decide to this movement type of photography, but what else inspires your Instagram feed?
PA: So, I try and take like everyday things and see how I can make them or turn them into something really cool or editorial. So, as far as getting ready in a mirror or brushing my teeth or laying in bed doing something on the computer, I try and think about how I can take that little, tiny, basic thing to the next level. So, I'll start there. If I'm trying to go crazy, out of this world, I get on Pinterest or... Literally, talking to other creators and bouncing ideas off of each other has been very helpful, too. But like I said earlier, literally, every where I go, whether it's here in Utah, traveling, anyone's homes, I'm always looking around me and trying to think like, "Oh, that would be cool. This outfit would be cool there." That's literally how my brain works. I'm always thinking about what could be the next cool thing to create.
IS: So, how do you... Your job is literally on Instagram. So, how do you keep your self-confidence without comparing yourself and being down on yourself?
PA: Let me tell you. It is a battle. If anyone is struggling with this, let me tell you. Make friends who are also in the industry. Because that's been so helpful. Because they understand. Like, if I were to go to one of my other friends who doesn't do what I do, it's kind of just like, "You're being petty. Like, it's Instagram. Who cares?" But like, when it's your job, those things do matter. And when people are either rude or copying without giving credit or even if someone you think is better than you, it's really, really hard and I have to have talks with myself like weekly. Being like, "No, listen. You are good at what you do. There's always someone better. Just be inspired by these people and if looking at someone's feed is making you feel bad about yourself, then just unfollow them." That's what I've had to do, sadly, but I don't think that blaming anyone else for my low self-esteem is the way to go. I mean, I've done it before and I'm like no. That's just sick and wrong. So, it really is like an everyday battle if we're being honest.
IS: And I feel like you've done, in the past month even, you've done amazing things. And now you're on this show! So, that's cool. Just climbing up that ladder. I love it. I love it. What do you... When you're in a creative funk, what do you do?
PA: Oh my gosh. Recently.
IS: What do you do to get out? How do you get those juices flowing?
PA: I think what's best for me is if I just take a breather. Obviously, I feel like I need... So, I post six days a week. I try and have enough content for like two weeks so I'm not stressing about that, but as far as like a creative funk... So, I'll have those to post, but when I'm like, "I don't know what to do next," I feel like I just need a breather and I need a break. Like, I'm on my phone all day. Even if it's like... This sounds so basic, but going for a run or a workout. One thing that I love to do that really helps me is to travel, but obviously, I can't do that every week or every weekend. Or also just talking with people around me who are in the creative space and getting that boost of, "No, you got this. You're creative. You're in your own head." But I think just stepping away, even if it's for 24 hours. I try not to post on Sunday. So, it's either Saturday or Sunday, but mainly Sunday, so I can have that day to just not have to deal with anything social media. And obviously, I'll get on here and there to comment back and respond to DMs and stuff, but as far as brainstorming creatives or planning for the next week, I just try and have one day as a breather.
IS: So, Paige, what does it mean to you to be a social creative or a social creator?
PA: To me, personally, I think it means I want to challenge myself, take risks, and think out of the box. So, when I see something so simple, I'm like, how can I take that to the next level or use it in a way that it's never been used before? So, I think, mainly for me, and for everyone, take risks. Be weird. Because that's the kind of stuff that's really cool and unique. Yeah. That's what I think.
Follow Paige Arminta
- Instagram: @paigearminta
- Twitter: @paige_arminta
- Facebook: @paigearmintawatts
- Pinterest: @paigewatts
- Website: http://paigearminta.com