Interview with Vega
Vega is a model based in the UK whose focus is on in creating beautiful and striking images and being a living part of a work of art. While in New York working as a textile designer she was approached by an agency rep and asked to attend a casting session. Although she accepted she felt most comfortable working in the alternative modeling arena.
With a voracious appetite for learning, she finds inspiration all around her. From films to television, music to art, books to passing thoughts and feelings. Her work has a tendency to lean towards dark imagery but she refuses to put limitations on herself or her work. She will not be placed in a box and considers alternative modeling an avenue of limitless possibilities.
Collaboration between photographers, makeup artists and designers is very important to her work as is the interaction or art, fashion and design. Her photographs are mainly her own concepts and she enjoys the creative process by acting as her own desidner and stylist for all her work. Art and fashion haa always been a heavy influence in her choices, having graduated in printed textile design. She is a very visual person and is currently studying professional makeup for media and fashion which she hopes to utilize to extend into her modelling work and other media projects.
Vega, it is a pleasure to meet you. Can you tell us a bit about where you grew up and what you were like as a child?
I grew up in a large town called Hamilton just outside Glasgow in the West of Scotland, although I spent a lot of my time out at the coast at my families holiday home. As a child I was a mixture of shy and boisterous depending on who I was with. I remember having a very good imagination and spending a lot of time outside riding my bike
When did you first become interested in the arts and what forms of art first attracted your attention?
My fascination with art started at a very young age. I always carried a sketchpad around with me and doodled in it everyday, mostly cartoons in the beginning, creating new characters in my head. When I was a little older I started concentrating on portraiture. I’ve always been fascinated by faces, particularly eyes.
When you were young were there any particular artists you admired?
When I was younger I loved the fantasy illustrations of Brian Froud. Later I became more interested in abstract art of Gustav Klimt, Dali, Franz Kline and Giger.
How did you first become interested in modeling?
My interest in modelling started as a teenager although I became more serious about the idea when I was at art school and started reading a lot more alternative music, fashion and tattoo magazines. It was then I realised there were more opportunities for different kinds of modelling. After finishing my degree I was approached by a model agency scout in New York whilst working there as an intern for a textile company, then again several times again while clubbing in alternative clubs. This gave me the confidence to start.
You see it as an art form and are very involved in the process. How willing are photographers to have you collaborate on ideas for the images?
I’ve been very lucky with all the photographers I’ve worked with and had a lot of free reign for the photos and styling. It works both ways really. Sometimes I’m helping them to create their concept or to promote a designers product and vice versa. It’s very much a collaboration.
Can you tell us some of your favorite photo shoots and images you have done?
Most of my shoots I’ve done have been a lot of fun. I particularly enjoyed working with professional photographer Steve Pinirou in Melbourne. We did several shoots together – the concept for one was based on the South Korean film, Lady Vengeance. I wanted to come up with a female assassin character who was both elegant and dangerous at the same time. I got to play around with a lot of knifes that day. Every shoot is different!
You graduated in textile design. Do you think that your work in that field has helped you develop an eye for color, texture and composition?
Yes, definitely, studying art and design has certainly developed my eye for these things. Sometimes just thinking of colour helps me come up with an idea for a shoot. I like everything to be in harmony.
Is textile design a field you still want to continue to work in?
I realised soon after graduating that textile design, like commercial modelling, can be very dull and limiting. I couldn’t see myself designing wallpaper and curtain patterns for the rest of my career. I’m more interested in working with art, abstract ideas and people. I’m currently studying professional makeup which encompasses all of these things.
What is it you like about modeling?
Everything really. Coming up with concepts, working with creative people, getting dressed up and seeing the results. I enjoy the theatrics of it, the team work.
Do you remember your first photoshoot? What was it like? Were you nervous?
Yeah I do remember my first photo shoot, but no, I wasn’t really nervous, more excited. I’ve always felt very natural in front of the camera.
What do you think are some of your strongest features?
I think my strongest feature is my lips although it’s hard to say. My face is angular and my body is long and lean which works well in photographs.
What styles of modeling do you prefer working in?
I feel alternative modelling suits me best as there are more possibilities with it, and I don’t need to adhere to one particular look or be stick thin but in saying that, I’d work in any genre really. If someone comes to me with a great idea, then I’d be happy to experiment. It’s important to branch out and not be typecast although people do approach me often wanting a gothic type shoots because they’ve seen me model in this genre. I wouldn’t class myself as a gothic model.
Who would you say influences you or who do you admire?
There’s been a lot of influences, not necessarily from the modelling world, but from watching films, music videos and music in general. I absolutely love the work of director and photographer Floria Sigismondi and Chris Cunningham, music video film director. I also love Mario Testino photographic work. Model wise, I’ve been following UK model Ulorin Vex who is doing some very beautiful work.
What is the modeling industry like in the UK at the present time?
Things have changed a lot with regards alternative modelling. There are far more publications of alternative magazines now than ever and online magazines. Dare I say it, alternative modelling has become more mainstream with the rise in popularity of burlesque as well as American influences of rockabilly music and the pin up style to the UK. There are lot of alternative models out there now and with the help model networking sites it’s becoming easier to find work with other creatives, however I think it’s important to mention that it’s only a small minority of alternative models that are actually successfully working full time and getting paid well for it. I can’t really comment on commercial modelling as it’s something I’ve never done.
Where would you like to see your career move or expand into in the future?
To continue modelling and take as far as I can, and gain my qualification as a professional makeup artist. I’d like to keep my creative avenues open and see where it takes me. I enjoy variety and working for myself.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Like everyone else – dressing up, going out, good music and dancing:)
Where can we go to find out more about you?