Kris Kidd Writes With Style

The writer-actor-model reflects on his creativity. 

Words by Tierney Finster
Photos by CPFC Studio  

Kris Kidd (@kriskidd) smokes cigarettes, tends to his boyfriend’s dog and writes books from the convenience of his treehouse-like studio in Los Angeles. His poetry collection “Down For Whatever” and his essay collection “I Can't Feel My Face” both reflect his candid, heartbreaking style – as melancholic and maladjusted as it is soft and smart. Kidd also models, traveling to appear in fashion campaigns and magazine editorials all over the world, always returning to Southern California to tend to his roots.

Kidd is wildly creative. These days, he pours most of that passion into fiction writing. According to his Instagram bio, he’s “young, hot and hating it,” but the smilesthat washes over his face as he discusses writing and catches up with loved ones in his backyard suggests otherwise. 

You are a confessional artist and poet. Have you ever regretted sharing something in your work or on the internet?

Not really. I mean, don’t get me wrong, my writing has bitten me in the ass thousands of times (it’s ruined relationships, fucked up job opportunities, disappointed friends and family), but I feel like that just kinda comes with the territory. I’ve been stepping away from confessional writing and focusing more on fiction lately, but I still don’t regret any of the autobiographical stuff I’ve published. It’s real. It’s honest. It’s my life, and I think the grueling process of writing it all down actually helped get me through the darkest parts of it.

How has being a model has impacted your career as a writer? Does it inform your style or the content of your work at all?

Oh, for sure. I started modeling when I was a teenager. It’s a tough industry to navigate, especially as an adolescent, but I got a lot of crazy stories out of that experience, and it also helped open doors for me to share those stories with others. That being said, I never set out to write about modeling. I’ve always seen the industry as more of a backdrop. I would’ve gone through the same struggles I went through regardless of whether or not I was ever signed as a model. Because most of my writing deals with substance abuse and depression, I’ve tried to keep it relatively universal and (hopefully) accessible.

What’s the best experience you’ve ever had as a model?

I did a two-month contract in Tokyo a couple years ago. It was pretty insane. I was there for 60 days and I worked for 54 of them. Hands down one of the most insane experiences I’ve ever had. Exhausting, obviously, but I met so many amazing people and I made some lifelong friends. I am never going back for work, lol, but I’ll definitely visit again.

will you show us what you love in a TRASH video?

What kind of art inspires your writing?

I’m inspired by lots of things, but music has always been the biggest influence for me. I have no musical talent whatsoever, so I’m always moved and amazed when I find a new artist or band that really speaks to me. I shift between different genres depending on whatever I’m writing/working on, but a few of my go-to favorites are:  Black Marble, John Maus, Yves Tumor, Kodyak, and pretty much every remix Justin Klein has ever done… I could go on, but you get the idea.

Do you have any rituals that support your writing process?

O.C.D. runs in my family, so rituals are my literal favorite. I used to get super obsessive about writing and I’d wind up working all the time, late into the night and for hours on end throughout the weekends… but I’m finally learning how to give myself a break in that sense. Nowadays, I try to treat writing like a fulltime job. When I’m working on a project, I wake up every morning, shower and get ready like I’m going to work in an office or something, then I sit down at home and I write from 9-5. This is my passion and I’d love to make a career out of it, but I never want it to take over my life.

Do you like reading your own writing once it’s published?

I actually hate reading my own stuff after it’s officially been published. I’m a vicious self-editor, so if I did read anything, I’d probably find something new to fix and call my publisher in the middle of the night, demanding that it be taken off the shelves or deleted from the internet forever. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

What is your favorite thing you’ve ever written?

I wrote a prose piece called “The Rules of Repression” for an anthology book about childhood trauma that was released earlier this year (“The Shrieking Garden,” published by Ephemerol Night Terrors). It’s a super short piece, but I wrote it in the second person, which proved to be really cathartic for me. In a weird way, I feel like letting go of the words “I” and “ME” actually allowed me to be a lot more honest with myself, especially given the difficult subject matter.

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