Credit: Celeste Canino/ Pottle Productions, Inc 2011 Photo: Allison on ANTM All Stars

Between her fascination with blood and her tendency analyze every little thing, America’s Next Top Model Cycle 12 runner-up Allison Harvard was certainly one of the most memorable contestants—so it’s no wonder Tyra Banks and the CW brought her back for this season’s All-Star cycle. In our exclusive Wetpaint Entertainment interview, Allison shares her (mixed) feelings about the All-Star experience, the challenges of the non-modeling world, and what made the show “scary” this time around.

How was the All-Stars experience different from your first time on ANTM?
This time I felt a lot more anxiety in certain ways, but I was also a lot more relaxed. I just tried to really enjoy it a little bit more. It was relaxing but it was also more stress-inducing in different ways. It was just a different experience.

Did you learn anything from your first time on the show that helped you?
The first time around it was a really interesting discovery process. It’s strange because you’re thrown into a little bubble. It’s real life but it’s not real life. The real problems that you’re having on the show aren’t really real, and they don’t exist in the outside world. So I think it makes you kind of focus on yourself. I think I just learned a lot of little things about myself.

What other All-Star cast members were you a fan of before the show started?
I watched the show when I was a lot younger, like on the first cycle, so I was definitely excited to see some of the girls who were on some of the earlier cycles.

Was there anyone you were particularly excited or scared to meet going in?
[Laughing] Not scared to meet. I honestly didn’t know who was going to be there. I was just hoping there would be some girls from the super-early cycles.

Post-ANTM, you’ve been pursuing a career as an Art Director, why did you choose to go back to a modeling show?
Because the way that the show was initially pitched to me when it was brought up that there might be an All-Star cycle was that it would still be a little bit about modeling but that the focal point wouldn’t be [modeling]. It was more about branding, it was more about you’re doing post-show, so whatever we had going on would be incorporated into the show. It came about at a time in my life where I was able to go on and capitalize on the opportunity that was being brought to me, so that was kind of exciting. I thought it would be interesting for the show to be more expansive in terms of the things we were doing.

Has it been hard pursuing a non-modeling career after being on ANTM?
It’s been definitely really challenging but I think that’s a really good thing. It feels good to work really hard and try to really understand what I want out of my life. I’ve just been learning a lot from different people. It’s really, really challenging but I’m a hard worker.

Do people tend to recognize you more from ANTM or from the “creepy girl” meme that you sparked on 4chan?
[Laughing] It’s a lot funnier. It’s just really funny to me if someone comes us and asks me if I’m “Creepy-chan” rather than Allison from America’s Next Top Model.

What was the biggest challenge you had to conquer with All-Stars?
I don’t really know. I mean it just goes right back to trying to enjoy it kind of not have a panic attack every five minutes, because I think I overanalyze a lot. I was trying to step back a little bit. I think I may be a little bit more vulnerable this time, so that’s also scary.

Why do you feel you were more vulnerable this time?
Um, I don’t really know how to answer that. That’s just how I personally feel.

What is it like working with Tyra again?
I’ve always really liked her. She’s extremely beautiful in person. She’s always been so nice. It’s always really interesting to get to work with her because, you know, that’s sort of like The Wizard of Oz to get to see her every week. It’s kind of fascinating but she’s always been very nice.

What other projects are you working on?
One of them is sort of a secret, and then I’m definitely really, really busy painting.