In Conversation with social media superstar, Eva Gutowski

We all strive to achieve success in a broad spectrum of genres within our lives, whether that’s in our work, our hobbies, or our sports. Eva Gutowski has covered the lot, trailblazing through YouTube with her incredibly successful platform ‘MyLifeAsEva’ and reaching a whopping eleven million followers, becoming a top-tier DJ, starting her very own beauty brand, and domineering the interior design world with her brand-new holiday home and AirBnB, ‘Frames House.’ We were able to speak with the powerhouse herself on how her recent move to the Big Apple has been, all of her incredible achievements throughout her life, and a few tips and tricks on how she’s stayed true to herself along the way.

How was discovering your musical identity and channelling that knowledge and experience into your musical alter ego Marisol?

Music is my life - I was seven when my dad taught me how to 'burn CDs'. OMG. The freedom I felt when I sat at my family computer for hours, digging for the coolest music! In high school, my friends and I got into the indie, punk and electro scene and we'd go to these festivals; I'd throw my fourteen-year-old, one-hundred-pound self into mosh pits with a bunch of grown, sweaty men - and through the electro scene, I discovered Crystal Castles - they just tickled my brain in the right way and made me want to learn. Music was always something I knew I wanted to lean into, but in college, YouTube took off, and I had complete tunnel vision while building my channel. In 2016 I took a massive break and bought my first DJ mixer. I struggled a lot with being full-time on YouTube or giving myself space to follow other dreams, but in 2019 I finally got serious and locked myself in my office until I knew how to DJ and make a song! I've been lucky to have a few friends around me, like DEVAULT who are extremely talented and also have an ear for sonically darker influences. I love producing and playing a tonne of genres, but ultimately I want MARISOL to be a nod to the indie and electronic music that I grew up with but through a modern sound.

You’re a woman with many many talents and of course, music is a huge part of your career - we see you are friends with EDM legend and household name Skrillex! How has it been watching him work?

I'm incredibly lucky to have a friend like Sonny. He's the most passionate person I've ever met when it comes to music, and it makes me feel normal for geeking out over music as well! I think the real ones know music is all about community. For me, music was never about being on a big stage or being the centre of attention, I just loved music and was dreaming of a world where I could find others to share that love with. That's the energy Sonny has around him and it's healthy to see. He takes risks fearlessly, and it inspires me to always be authentic and not follow trends or do what people expect me to do.

Congratulations on your new Airbnb! It looks incredible. How was the process when curating your dream home?

Designing Frames House was a stressful but rewarding journey! I took on so many projects myself like building my outdoor sofa, or building an entire rustic wood coffee table from scratch which was overwhelming at times, but I learned a lot. I used to be afraid of huge saws and I didn't think I was capable of building anything myself, but if you know me, I don't like to feel like I can't do something. The second I feel myself thinking I can't do it, I throw myself into it to conquer my fear! I went to sleep most nights with dust in my hair and paint on my nails. I learned so much about interior design and the history behind iconic vintage furniture, and now I can confidently say I would do it again and hopefully get to help other people curate their dream spaces as well.

What made you delve down the interior design path?

When I was around seven years old, I would obsess over interior design magazines and even cut out fabrics and textiles to make mini home models in shoeboxes with rugs made of old t-shirts or couches made out of bundled-up socks. I'd cut little archway 'doors'  into the shoeboxes and even build 6-story towers against the walls of my bedroom with books. I grew up in apartments with no real décor or aesthetic, so my younger self always dreamed of being able to play with design. Fun fact, when I was fourteen I decided to become an interior designer and put an ad on Craigslist for clients - I immediately got a phone call from a couple looking for help designing their just-married apartment. They thought I was a serious adult - I was fourteen! I stayed professional and agreed to meet them the next day at a Starbucks to go over my design plans and portfolio, I stayed up all night working on a presentation for them and then last minute freaked out and realised I was a kid who took on way too much and I ghosted them.

Are there any features that you knew needed to be included when you started the curation process?

I knew I wanted to make the vibe of Frames House feel homey, luxurious, and Mediterranean-inspired. So many Airbnb's I've stayed at in Palm Springs made me feel like I wasn't important as a guest. They'd use plastic furniture, plastic dishes, and the cheapest couches - everything would feel sterile. I wanted guests to feel like they were appreciated and trusted; like they could stay in a piece of art and feel like they were in their dream home. The house is filled with European art books, décor pieces that are hand sculpted from Morocco to Italy to Japan, coastal Mediterranean landscaping and gorgeous rugs and seating that make you feel like you're worth a million dollars. That's the vibe I wanted to set for everyone.

Also congrats on the big move to NYC! Can we expect another Eva-fied home in the Big Apple sometime soon?

The new york apartment is slowly coming together! The last major thing I need is a couch, but I really want something special and vintage but haven't found it yet. My dream couch is the De Sede 600, or the B&B Italia tufty time sofa. For now, I'm hanging out on my living room floor.

Of course, MyLifeAsEva is an incredible success, was there a specific moment where you decided this is what you wanted to do?

So I went to college for journalism, and my ultimate *dream job* was getting to work for a magazine or have my talk show where I'd get to inspire young people with the lessons that I'd learned! It almost sounds too perfect to be true but genuinely, I grew up coming home to Oprah playing on the TV and I was always blown away by how she'd take someone who was struggling and give them help. I needed more role models in my life growing up, and I wanted to someday be that person for someone else my age. But being the top editor of a magazine, or having a talk show is an insane dream that I always thought wouldn't be possible until I was much older. Who was going to trust a college student with advice? I started my YouTube channel just as an outlet for everything I was passionate about, and when people started watching me I got excited and realised I had my dream job right in front of me. I wasn't Oprah and couldn't give out new cars under seats, but I got to talk about what inspired me and connect with people my age, and that was enough.

Your cool aura is admirable and carries through to your content - have there been any challenges with maintaining that authenticity?

OMG Thank you! Of course, there are always things that will challenge you. My whole life, I've struggled a lot with imposter syndrome. I grew up in the skate community and relate to being in mosh pits and hopping fences. At the same time, I was this classically trained dancer for eighteen years who wore makeup and pink tights confidently. People expect you to be all or nothing. If I identified as a 'skate kid' they expect me to dress a certain way, and if I identified as an athlete they say I “must not be that good” because I'm not always at the gym. Even with music, people don't expect me to produce my own songs because they think there's no way a girl, let alone a YouTuber can be a serious artist or engineer. I throw a LOT of wildcards at the internet, it would be easier for me to just buckle down on one thing and say "I'm Eva, the YouTuber!", and let people put me in a box. The reality is no one is just one thing. We aren't Barbies that only get to wear one outfit our entire life; we all have a million stories of what makes us unique, and we have to honour all of those passions authentically no matter what other people say or think.

Do you have any tips and tricks when staying true to yourself - especially for the younger generation growing up with social media?

I want people that look up to me or follow me to know; don't put any celebrity, influencer or even a person in your community on a pedestal, just because of their looks or the seemingly 'cool' life they live. People love to say 'social media is fake' - real life can be just as fake! When I go outside, people don't see the acne scars I covered with concealer, the strawberry skin on my thighs, or the anxiety I felt when getting out of bed. They just see the confidence I present to the world. I know what it feels like to see the pretty girl in an Instagram photo, and also be the pretty girl in an Instagram photo - we're all just normal people who have strengths, insecurities, good days and bad days. If you can remember that - you'll be okay. 



Stream Eva's new single 'Day N' Nite' on Apple Music and Spotify now!