Arielle is well-known for breaking the chain of a perfectly curated feed and keeping it the real deal with her followers.
She's inspiring in the sense that she makes you want to do more and to be more.
Which got us thinking: what does a day in the life really look like for this social media model?
Where do you call home?
I call Santa Cruz, California home. I wasn't born there, I was actually born in a small town in the foothills between Tahoe and Sacramento in Northern California. However, I've been going to Santa Cruz since I was 9 years old and have always had a deep connection with the place since the first time I ever visited. I spent every summer there from when I was 13 and then fully moved there to go to college (University of California, Santa Cruz) in 2014-2018. I am in love with it there, the vast empty coastline, the perfect right-hand point breaks, the mountains, the redwood trees, the farmers markets, the community. It's literal heaven on earth. I have always felt that I connect and relate with Santa Cruz way more than my actual hometown. My dream is to move back there someday.
When did you start modelling?
I didn't start fully pursuing modelling until January last year when I moved to Australia. I have always put college and getting my degree first so although I did love taking photos in high school and college as a hobby, I didn't fully commit to modelling until last year. Last year is also when I officially signed as an Elite Model with my agency Neon Model Management.
What is your story on becoming an influencer?
The first "influencing" gig I ever did was in high school. I got noticed by the surf brand O'neill Womens (which is actually SO cool looking back on this now because the brand originated in Santa Cruz by Jack O'neill). I actually used to surf in front of his house all the time in Santa Cruz. They emailed me saying that they wanted me to become an ambassador for them and they sent me heaps of bikinis and clothes to take photos in. It was crazy! I still remember how excited (and confused) I was at first. Influencing was such a new thing back then and I didn't know how I got noticed by such a huge brand. Shortly after that, I got noticed by Triangl Swimwear. They sent me heaps of bikinis to shoot in as well. This was back in the day when they were first starting out with their bright coloured neoprene bikinis if anyone remembers those lol. It all kind of took off after that as I was contacted by more and more brands. I continued to do "influencing" as a hobby in high school and through college. It's crazy to look back now at everything that had initially stemmed from me and my sister just taking photos of each other on our crappy little digital cameras.
What would you be doing now if you weren’t modelling?
If I wasn't modelling, I would probably be doing something related to my degree which is Marine Biology. I am especially interested in marine conservation work. In university, I did research projects on sea turtles, sea anemones, marine sediment, and seagrass. I absolutely loved this work and would love to come back to it in the future.
What is your one career lowlight, and one highlight since influencing/modelling?
One lowlight careerwise is probably right now actually haha. With Covid-19 and moving to Auckland, I actually haven't gotten much modelling work. I usually do a lot of swimwear and fitness modelling which was perfect when I was in Australia last year because of the beaches and warm climate there. However, in Auckland, this kind of modelling just isn't as much of a thing, especially in the middle of winter when it's cold and rainy/cloudy almost every day. I am renewing my visa soon though and am hoping to sign with an agency here and maybe start branching out and doing more studio and e-commerce work. Also I feel like the extra time with no work has allowed me to really focus on my branding via Instagram (I've grown my account 20K since the start of Covid) and it's allowed me to finally make a workout program which I will be releasing very soon!
What does life look like for you away from the cameras?
When I'm not in front of the camera, I love to surf, swim, dive, hike, run. Basically anything outdoors and in nature I love. When I still lived back home in California, I would surf at least once, sometimes twice a day, especially in the summers when it didn't get dark until like 9. Now that I live in a city (Auckland) and I'm farther away from any surfable beaches, and nature. To be honest, it has been a pretty big adjustment being such a nature person and moving to the center of a big city. I am trying to find some new hobbies, I've dabbled a little bit in dancing and have been going to some classes (Reggaeton, pole dancing, hip hop). I've also been running a lot, cooking, baking, editing old photos from past trips, making green smoothies. I miss surfing and the beach though and I'm hoping to move out of the city at some point soon.
How would you describe your fashion style?
This is a hard one for me. I feel like my style has changed so much since moving to a city because I used to literally just wear bikinis and little dresses all the time when I was living in Australia last year. I guess I would have to say sporty/athletic chic with a touch of 90s?? Lots of crop tops, denim, blazers, and some florals occasionally.
How much time goes into a photograph on your Instagram?
It depends on the photo - usually HOURS. I am a perfectionist so I love the editing process. However, lately I am trying to also incorporate non edited/non retouched photos in my feed as well because I know this is important. So if I do this, it doesn't take as long. But even with posting, there are important steps you have to take before you post like hashtag curation, engaging with other accounts, answering comments, etc that take up lots of time no matter if you are editing a photo or not.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you?
I wake up, go for a run or do a workout, shower, make a green smoothie, answer emails/DMs, shoot new content (inside), edit content to post. Lately I've been working on my new workout program I will be releasing very soon. Then I cook dinner with my partner and watch a movie with my partner after dinner. Routine is weird for me, usually, I'm always on the go or travelling or doing outdoors things so this year has been a huge adjustment for me as I'm sure it has been with a lot of other people as well. Nevertheless, I am so incredibly grateful to be safe here in New Zealand with my partner.
A strange fact your followers might not know about you?
My initials backwards spell SEA. Also when I was younger and my parents would give my siblings and I pennies to make wishes in fountains, I would always wish I would grow up to be a mermaid haha. Also the way to pronounce my name is not like the little mermaid, it is pronounced like the letters REL, similar to names like Danielle, Michelle, etc. I wasn't named after the mermaid at all, my name is actually biblical Hebrew and means Lioness of God in Hebrew (I am Jewish).
What's your best selfie tip?
Lighting and angles are EVERYTHING. First, find good light (I usually go right up to a window or open door) and then take heaps of photos at different angles.
What's the story on how you met your partner?
I love this question! The story on how I met my partner is pretty random and fun. We met in Bali in November. I had just moved there from Australia and was trying to have a fresh start after getting out of being in a pretty toxic relationship last year. I was collaborating with a club in Bali with some of my other Bali friends. We were all at the VIP table hanging out and dancing and Will was at the table next to us with his other Kiwi friends (turns out Will is actually cousins with the club owner). Will and I hit it off and he was so sweet. He ordered me a GoJek (Bali's version of Uber) home after all my friends had left. We ended up hanging out everyday after that while we were in Bali. I was only supposed to be visiting him here in NZ for a month or so but then pretty much got stuck when Covid happened but I'm not mad about it!
First place you’re travelling when the borders open?
I really want to go to the Seychelles. I'm dying to see the crazy rock formations there and the giant tortoises. I'd also love to do Tanzania and Zanzibar on this trip too. I'd also love to go back to Australia to see my friends there and do the Whitsundays as well as West AUS (Rottnest Island, Esperance, Margaret River). Never got to do those in my two years of living in Aus.
What can you not live without?
I cannot live without the ocean. Right now I feel like a fish out of water living in a city.
The biggest life lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Biggest life lesson at the moment is don't ditch your passions/goals/opportunities for a boy/girl!! If they truly love you and care about you, they will support you 100%. My biggest regret from last year is that I got invited on a work trip to the Maldives and I declined because my boyfriend at the time didn't want me to go. I wish I had just gone anyway because I heard it was a trip of a lifetime (lots of my friends went) and it would've been an incredible opportunity for me to make connections in my industry and create content. Never making that mistake again.
Advice you would give your 16-year-old self?
I would tell my 16-year-old self to not listen to the people that doubt you and keep doing what you're doing. It sounds cliche, but if you are really passionate about something, keep working as hard as you can to pursue it. There will always be people who doubt you and there will always be ups and downs along the way (nothing is perfect all the time) but don't give up. I would've never thought I'd be where I am right now when I was 16. Also, I would have told my 16-year-old self to start figuring out a way to make passive income so you can better fund yourself for the future and DON'T DELETE PHOTOS always back them up haha. I've lost so many photos over the years.
Where do you see your life in 5 years?
In 5 years I'll be 29. I hope by then I will be financially stable, ideally still modelling but if not, then pursuing my career in marine biology and conservation, living by the ocean, surfing, travelling, doing the things I love, and being happy.
You can find Arielle across social media using @ArielleSpring