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It’s easy to rag on social media for its role in polluting our national discourse and taking away the sort of cultural empathy we used to have as a society, but the ongoing technological revolution has done some pretty amazing things too. For far too long, models were only a peg in the media industry instead of being actual stakeholders in what they created. Now sites like OnlyFans allow women to do more than just cash in—they have full control over their own destiny. They create the content they want to create and reap all the rewards.

To that end, few have taken advantage of this new reality more than Coconut Kitty. The striking model brought her massive Instagram audience over to the more adult-oriented OnlyFans, where she runs one of the most popular accounts. We spoke with Coconut about her various artistic endeavors, building her own brand and where exactly her moniker came from.

When did you first become interested in modeling?

Ever since I was a child I loved being in front of the camera.

You’ve been very savvy about using social media to grow your brand. What’s one tip you would give others looking to do what you’re doing?

Since social media is mostly picture-based, I direct all my energy toward creating the best content I can. I continue to learn about lighting, photography, editing and working on my craft.

Tell us a little about how you came to set up an OnlyFans account. What do you love about the platform?

When I first began trying to grow my social media I would take my own pics and hours would go by. It was then that I realized how much I actually enjoyed creating content. As time went by I invested in my business with better equipment and lights and my work continues to evolve.

You’ve built your entire brand yourself with little outside help. Does this feel empowering to you? Do you like being fully in control of what you choose to do (and not do)?

I love being a mostly one woman show. I do have two amazing assistants who help with other stuff outside my creative process. But when it comes to creating my content, I love being in complete control. I never liked relying on anyone for anything.

Where did the name Coconut Kitty come from?

I’m a huge fan of organic, so when it comes to putting anything on my body, I like to go natural, so coconut oil was always my go-to body lotion. One day I got out of the shower and did my usual coconut oil body rub down while I contemplated a good name for my business. I reached in the coconut oil jar and thought “coconut.” I brought my hand to my stomach and began rubbing the oil down toward my... when I got there, I thought “kitty.” Ding ding ding COCONUT KITTY.

When did you get your first tattoo and what’s the story behind it?

My first tattoo was a pair of lips on my ass. I was underage when I got the tattoo so I wanted a good place to hide it from my parents but also a place where if they found out about it, I could say, “Kiss my ass.”

Do you have a favorite tattoo or one that has a particularly fun story behind it?

I would say my most well-recognized tattoo is my “Andy” tattoo on my arm. I love making people wonder who Andy is... is it my ex-husband’s name or am I a huge fan of “Toy Story?”

You’re clearly an art aficionado. When did you find your love of painting? Who are some of your influences?

I started painting 11 years ago when my ex brought home a huge chest full of paints. I came across some of David Mann’s paintings and the attitude and humor in his paintings really inspired me and made me feel good. Some made me chuckle, laugh and remember good times. I wanted to create paintings that would evoke the same feelings in others. So I began painting my own life by learning and being inspired by Mann’s style.

You also write poetry.

I started writing poetry 12 years ago after I hit rock bottom. It was a way to express how I was feeling. It was when I started writing poems that I was able to transmute the pain from the trauma of my past into something positive. It was my way of taking my pain and creating something that could inspire others.

Where do you see this all taking you?

I’m publishing my first book “Coconut Kitty Volume 1,” which is a coffee table book comprising a compilation of all my work (poetry and paintings) in chronological order, which in itself tells a story.