Model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova has a new role to add to her resume: Chief of Aspiration. The Russian supe joined PicsArt, an image editing app and social network. Never heard of it? Users can edit photos, create collages and share user-generated stickers. It’s creativity central.
Here’s what Vodianova had to say about her unusual title and how PicsArt’s community is different from any other social network.
What factors determine the projects you say ‘yes’ to? What made you say yes to this opportunity?
“What truly gets my interest is making everyone aware of their personal power towards meaningful social causes. We are too often convinced that our individual actions are not effective in front of the most serious problems in our world. Whenever I feel the chance to demonstrate the contrary, I’m up for it.
“Art brings out people’s true emotions and is able to boost any message, making it bolder and stronger. Combined with the power of digital media, it can help the causes that need the most attention. Especially because no other creative platform in the world has the same global exposure and the same viral power as PicsArt right now.”
How do you describe your title, Head of Aspiration?
“My role is to show new and powerful ways to put the talent of PicsArt’s users towards important social causes that deserve more awareness. Art is a powerful way to spread a message. I like to think of myself as a ‘creativity booster’ and a motivator for PicsArt’s community, always pushing them further with new challenges.
I started writing a blog on the platform, where I talk about what I believe in and what we could do together. I have recently launched a global campaign, ‘Let’s talk about it. Period’ through which I’ve opened the conversation to break the taboo surrounding menstruation all over the world, in association with UNFPA, the United Nations Reproductive Health and Rights Agency.”
Do you believe that everyone is creative?
“Human beings are creative by nature. Choosing the right pair of shoes for an outfit can be creative, making up a dinner with the leftovers can be art. PicsArt reminds us that we are all creative and it allows people to train their ‘creative’ muscles to create art and being exposed to it.”
What’s the most special feature of the app?
“I love PicsArt stickers. They are so intuitive, and yet so powerful. They let everyone express themselves in total freedom. Nothing makes my pictures so personal and funny as the stickers I make myself. What I personally love the most in this app is the simplicity. It lets everyone experience their creative side, with beautiful results. You never get the frustrating feeling that you are not good enough—everything you do looks just right. I can spend hours looking at all the remixes made by users with the pictures from my fashion shoots.”
A collage created in PicsArt
What makes PicsArt users different from other social media networks?
“Creativity is the core language. On other social channels people mainly watch or share content while on PicsArt people actively make content. PicsArt is an active creative community mainly interested in self-expression and mutual inspiration, rather than just gathering ‘likes’ from others.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.