Meet The Creator: Tori DeMasi

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Victoria DeMasi is a Junior at SUNY Brockport and is one of our 2020 Creator’s Class honorees. Tor De Art is her brand where she creates art as a means to connect with various aspects of life.  I sat down with Tori to learn about her journey, her hair story, creative inspiration and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Read on to learn more about Tori!

On starting her side-hustle...

Her Campus: Do you remember the moment when you decided to start selling your art?
Tori DeMasi: After I finished my first few large scale paintings to hang in my dorm room my freshman year, I found I had a lot of friends saying how homey it made my space feel. It was around that time that I started feeling like maybe I wasn’t the only one who would like to have my kind of art in their lives. 

HC: When did you first put your work out to the public? 
TD: My first big experience would be putting my art up at a local cafe. The cafe rotates artist monthly and I signed about a year before my show month. From that point on I was constantly creating new pieces. 

HC: Is there any advice you wish you could tell your then self? 
TD: You are more capable than you think, people are often more understanding than you think, and you can handle more than you think. Don’t worry so much. 

HC: What’s been your proudest moment with your brand/followers/company? 
TD: This Her Campus shoot has been my proudest moment thus far!

HC: Where is your favorite spot to work? 
TD: Anywhere that I feel it’s okay to make a mess. I usually throw a painters sheet down and spread out on the floor with a thick pillow to sit on. 

HC: When do you do your best work? 
TD: Late at night. I seem to flourish under a time crunch, so I can always count on doing my best when fighting my body’s bedtime. 

On her beauty look…

HC: You have an important meeting: what do you wear? 
TD: My natural hair, light makeup, an ankle boot, and clothes I feel comfortable but professional in

HC: How has your hair played a part in embracing your individuality? 
TD: Wearing my hair curly is letting it do its thing. It is an outward expression of staying true to myself. 

HC: How has your curly hair inspired your style/beauty look? 
TD: I only recently found my forever-hairdresser who has helped me learn to love my curls. My hair makes me feel myself and, in a way, expresses how I aspire to live—free and natural. 

HC: If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one hair product/brush/accessory, what would that be? 
TD: Leave-in conditioner. It reduces frizz for curly hair and helps to de-tangle as you wash it out. 

HC: Why are hair products like Aussie’s important to you? 
TD: Aussie has affordable products to help my curls along every step of the way. There are potions for curls straight out of the shower, one to refresh after an unforgiving night’s sleep, and even products to protect my curls from the occasional flat iron. 

Shop Tori’s Aussie Picks Here 

On her free time...

HC: You have 10 minutes to spare, what are you doing? 
TD: Cleaning, honestly. I seem to paint best when I should be doing other things, cleaning is another odd hobby. 

HC: It’s Saturday night, where can you typically be found? 
TD: If I’m alone, it’s me and a puzzle. If I’m with friends, it’s us and a board game. 

HC: How do you manage the stress that comes with being an entrepreneur? 
TD: I use the gym. When it feels like I’m losing my autonomy in everything I always know I can take control of my workout, it’s a very grounding feeling. 

On what keeps her creating...

HC: When working, what fuels you? What are you typically snacking on? 
TD: Podcasts. I’ll get too distracted if I eat while I work, but I’ll consume 4 or 5 hour-long podcasts no problem. 

HC: What is your biggest source of inspiration at the moment?
TD: Currently, animals. With the constant bicker over the current state of the environment, I have been thinking about animals a lot. It has become my main subject for doodling. 

HC: What entrepreneurs/brands do you look up to? 
TD: My brother. He and his friends have been working on some musical endeavors in the city. It sounds like every creative endeavor has its own struggles so hearing his troubles and triumphs has helped me a great deal. 

HC: When planning, do you take notes on a laptop or notebook? In your iPhone notes? 
TD: My iPad is my best friend. I don’t remember anything unless I write it down so my iPad lets me write it down, keep it with me and access from my devices wherever. 

On what she’s learned...

HC: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten since starting this journey? 
TD: You are in control. 

HC: What’s been the hardest lesson you’ve learned? 
TD: You have to stand up for yourself and go with your gut feeling. 

HC: Who are your biggest supporters? 
TD: My family and my boyfriend. They have each helped support and push me through different struggles I have dealt with in this ongoing journey. 

HC: How have you managed to keep your individuality in your company/resist conforming to norms? 
TD: It’s that trust in my gut feeling. When something just doesn’t feel right, stop it there. 

On her business goals...

HC: What is your biggest goal for your brand in 2020? 
TD: Being more involved. I have been organizing a lot of things all at once between my schooling and part-time work. I hope to have more of a presence on Instagram and Redbubble as I expand my portfolio. 

HC: In 2030, where do you hope you’ll be with your brand/career? 
TD: I view my art as a way to destress and take myself out of the day to day chaos, which makes me hesitant to make it full-time work. Ideally, in 2030 I would love to see my brand as a profitable hobby, maintaining a range from cute dorky animals for nurseries to pop culture for someone’s studio apartment. 

HC: What do you hope your brand accomplishes for your peers? 
TD: At the very least I hope it gives them something to be excited about.

Inspired by Tori’s story?! Read more about our 2020 Class of Creators here.

Shop Tori's Work Here 
​Follow Her On Instagram