Lily Chee: On staying authentic on social media and chasing her artistic ambitions

PHOTOS: Savanna Morales
GLAM: Hajja Barnes using Urban Decay and Dose Of Colors
LOCATION: RagDoll Pink Palace
WORDS: Jasmine Perrier

At just fifteen years old, Lily Chee is a triple threat model, actress, and influencer whose surprising resume rivals those twice her age in the industry. Lily is widely known interactive and her creative content aspires to enlighten her faithful community as the young star on the rise takes on both print and digital platforms as well as the performance industry with on-screen credits including Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix, Comedy Central’s The Other Two and Jason Sarrey’s feature debut Sunset Park.

Lily Chee was only nine years old when she found her path in the industry and was spotted by her agent at a local grocery store. ‘‘I got into the business by chance and never looked back,’’ she recalls. ‘‘I have always been attracted to performing and being in front of a camera!’’ Starting out print modeling as a kid, she got afterwards into acting in commercials and TV and was requested by popular brands like Nike and Target. ‘‘From there I began to grow as an actor and continued to model.’’ Shortly after, she discovered Instagram and managed to increase her presence online. ‘‘It was a new app and a great way for me to keep track of my work and use as an online portfolio. Throughout this I have been present on social media creating a brand for myself that I feel represents me and what I believe in.’’ 

While social media is an amazing vehicle for helping people grow, it can also be tricky and leave you vulnerable to exposure and negative comments

As she has made a name for herself in the worlds of social media, beauty, fashion, and entertainment, Lily aims to use her ever-growing empire as a tool to spread her main values of work that include doing what she loves, being kind, and having fun. ‘‘I would like to bring more kindness, empathy and diversity to the industry,’’ she shares. ‘‘When I started to get a little older and becoming more active with supporters I was encouraged by people’s comments and messages. I realized being part Asian and doing what I do was an inspiration to some people.’’ When asking what she took away from her early experience in the industry, Lily concedes that starting working at a young age has taught her essential life lessons. ‘‘It was instilled in me that when you are on set it is a job and there are a lot of other people’s jobs depending on you. I’ve learned that even though it can be hard at times with long days it is important to always remain professional on set. Take direction, make adjustments and do the job to the best of your ability.’’

With a strong social media engagement, Lily constantly connects with her followers and remains careful about their input on her creative work and digital content. ‘‘I love to connect with supporters and see what people respond to most. Most often it is a video or photo that just shows the real me that seems to get the most response,’’ she says. ‘‘I like to share my journey and show people that I am the same — dealing with struggles and still working hard.’’

I would like to bring more kindness, empathy and diversity to the industry

Talking about those struggles she deals with, Lily’s daily life leads her to balance her personal life as a fifteen year-old teenager and her artistic career that she never stops building. ‘‘Honestly, maintaining a that balance can be hard,’’ she admits. ‘‘A typical day for me would be waking up — too early — and taking the subway to school. While I’m on the way to school I’ll look over social media and make a post or two on my story and respond to comments and think about content ideas. After school, I am usually rushing to a lesson, a practice, a casting or an audition! Then home to do homework, dance or soccer!’’

Belonging to a generation of modern creatives, Lily knows how much nowadays social media can be life-changing. She is also the oldest of three sisters and feels a responsibility to set an example. ‘‘While social media is an amazing vehicle for helping people grow, it can also be tricky and leave you vulnerable to exposure and negative comments. I think it is important to guard yourself with what you share and use it responsibly,’’ she says. ‘‘You always want to be mindful of what you are saying and how that can be interpreted. More than ever, I feel it is so important to be kind. I try to be myself, and be kind.’’

Committed to expand her genuine work and fresh brand, Lily is interested in continuing to work as an actor and model. ‘‘I would love to act in a feature film and shoot a big campaign,’’ she states. ‘‘As a brand I would love to partner with brands that I admire and believe in and continue to with my own brand and create a clothing line.’’ In addition to that, she recently launched a collection of Pop Charms with innovative accessory brand Phoebe James. ‘‘I designed each one and love that each charm represents a piece of me,’’ she reports. ‘‘I also have a new project in the works that I can’t wait to share! I am so thankful for my supporters and only hope that I can continue to grow as an artist and continue to create!’’

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