“Write On” is a blog series by ArtYard Playwright Fellow TyLie Shider on the topic of creative discipline and how local creatives overcome obstacles in their respective careers. Each creative develops a box of tools they use to create. The objective of the series is to take a glimpse into those toolboxes and shed light on the process behind their craft.

I met Anthony in Frenchtown, a small river town in New Jersey known for its bustling mom-and-pop shopping center. There are no chain businesses in the area — which gives the town its unique storybook aesthetic. USA Today recently named it one of “America’s Top 10 Best Small Towns for Shopping.”  Flora grew up in a township right outside of Frenchtown. And like many ambitious creatives from small towns, he has been making his mark on the world. In the interview we explore the creative mindset of a former model turned modeling agent.

TyLie Shider: I wrote an article where I define creative discipline as the ability to complete a single project from idea to creation to development to production. However, it may also be defined as one’s creative practice, e.g. cinematographer, dancer, or sculptor. How would you describe your creative discipline?

Anthony Flora:  I am a modeling agent, so I basically oversee/manage iconic people’s careers. I represent eight male supermodels, a top photographer, and a cinematographer, and we are Alien Management. I would describe my creative discipline as a free flow of ideas. In the fashion industry, it has never been about fitting in, and that allows me to act freely, on impulse, and feel confident in my decisions.

TS: What determines your interest as a modeling agent?

AF: What determines my interest is always value. I represent people’s images, and I negotiate their worth. And ensuring that they are adequately valued is my constant goal.

I am a “check lister” and a “no-dream-is-too-big” type. So every day it is important for me to check off my client’s check lists.

TS: What are three things you cannot create without? And why?

AF: Three things I could not create without, in a very literal sense, if we are being honest, are people, air, and maybe some trees! Our phones can be used to benefit things like business output and image; but to genuinely create something classic and timeless, that needs to come from within and through experience.

TS: Walk me through your creative process. How do you create? Can you identify a routine?

AF: My creative process has changed over time because it used to be only me. But now I have a producer, Raelyn (aka “Bleach”) who has the most creative mind. So with our powers combined we are able to create some real magic, magic that will be copied for years to come. Part of my job is to consistently book my clients for top work which includes publishing. So we often make the images we want. Of course our standards are high and the end results are always iconic.

TS: Where does your inspiration come from?

AF: My inspiration comes from both a few top industry professionals who have been in this industry for many years now and have impacted me greatly, and being a 90s baby. The fashion and magazines from the 90s stuck with me, and will forever inspire me.

TS: When do you know it’s time to abandon a project?

AF: Abandoning a project is something I could honestly say that I do not have to deal with, because I am extra critical with my time and energy nowadays. Although, I have had thoughts that I have had to return to. But nothing more than returning to a thought.

TS: At what stage in your creative process do you invite collaborators?

AF: To involve the work of collaborators is tough for me. What we do in life is live and connect, not collaborate or network. So I feel most comfortable opening up my really hard work to someone new when things happen organically.

“The most important thing when starting a project in this industry seems like finishing it”

TS: How important is it for you to finish a project from start to finish?

AF: The most important thing when starting a project in this industry seems like finishing it, and moving on to the next. And I will not deny that it is important for me to complete everything to the fullest.

TS: What creative obstacles do you face? Personal or professional.

AF: I would say the only personal or professional obstacles I face is the oversaturation of everything in this world. Which in turn makes it harder and harder to determine the real people and hard workers with real passion and drive. This world is all here for the taking, yes, but hard work and dedication is a basic principle of success and happiness.

TS: What tips do you have for creatives who may be facing their own creative challenges?

AF: My tips to other creatives who may be facing challenges of any kind is always going to be the same. Stay with it, stay in it, keep going, try, and try harder. Don’t stop. Don’t give up.

TS: What projects are you currently working on and where can our readers follow and find your work? And/or What projects are you excited about?

AF: What is upcoming for Alien Management is “iceberg building.” Which means I will only reveal a little of what is to come, as I am a firm believer in working hard with your head down and not talking but doing. What people will see from Alien in the next couple of months are a new male supermodel who will be the face of this industry next year, 100 percent guaranteed, new international contracts for some of the Alien models, new editorials and campaigns shot by each of the models through their NYC agencies, and our New York Fashion Week updates. We have an Instagram @alienmgmt and www.alienicons.com is our website. Thank you so very much for this outlet. It means the world. I hope I helped with some insight into the creative mind of an agent in the fashion/entertainment industry.

Anthony Flora is the owner and Mother Agent for Alien Management, a collective of superstars in the fashion/entertainment industry. Out of the hustle of NYC fashion, he is a mix of New Jersey nature and South Florida beaches. He was born and raised in the country of New Jersey in a small town right off of the Delaware River. At 18, he moved to South Florida to an island town on the beach to live in the sun. He also desired the crazy city life of NYC, where he kicked in the door as a model and became successful enough to stand strong in the industry as a top agent.