Ballerina, vegan, environmental activist, actor, photographer, social media influencer — these are some of the ways to describe Agnes Muljadi, an Indonesian-American who is based in Los Angeles. Known as @artsyagnes on with over 500,000 Instagram fans, Agnes has been the face of numerous brands including Amazon, NFL, Starbucks, Macy’s, True Religion, Reebok, Banana Republic, Lionsgate Studio, Google Photos, and many others. In an interview with the Asian Journal, she debunks misconceptions around veganism and her self-care tips.
AJ: How did you get started as a ballerina?
Agnes: I grew up in a family of dancers and I saw a ballet performance when I was 7. I completely fell in love with the art form — I was hooked — and knew I had to be on stage.
AJ: What does a typical day look like for you?
Agnes: I typically wake up around 8 a.m. and begin my day with a short meditation and stretch. Then I have my breakfast. I try to eat only raw foods in the morning, I feel it sets my body off in the right direction each day, before heading to my studio to begin the day’s work. I typically check on emails and post on my social media as soon as I arrive at my studio. I continue working until lunch where I usually take either a pilates or gyrotonic or yoga class. I then return to my work until 5pm when I head to my ballet studio to take class and rehearse. Each day is pretty hectic and non-stop, but I love the variety in what I do. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
AJ: What are a few misconceptions around veganism? How has it changed your life?
Agnes: That we can’t get any protein, which is just absurd. There are so many different plant-based protein these days and they sustain your energy much longer. I’ve also been told by my previous doctor that being vegan is not natural and healthy (a pretty old school doctor!) but contrary to that I’ve never gotten sick since I became vegan and my body has never felt better. I am thankful for the change in my body, my moods and my energy levels since going vegan.
AJ: What’s a way to start a vegan diet especially for Asian Americans?
Agnes: Some Asian cultures have very meat-based diets, so this may be tough, but reduce your meat and dairy in-take weekly. Possibly start with having meat and dairy only on the weekend and the rest of the week adopt a plant based lifestyle.
AJ: Your self-care tips?
Agnes: A good night’s rest is everything, and meditation is key. Unplugging is also equally important. Find a day a week where you unplug from your daily life, phone and computer to just be out in nature. It’s rejuvenating.