‘Diversify’. “To make or become more diverse or varied.”
Not really a word you hear daily, but something that is essential to the longevity of models in this day and age. Fortunately, I am undertaking the requirements of this verb. Unfortunately, it was not as easy as I thought it was going to be.
You see, modeling is fantastic- the pay is unparalleled, the attention is unsurpassed and a general working day is rather glamorous in comparison to a normal 9-5. Combine all of this over a 10year period and you end up with a pretty rock solid ego that scoffs at the idea of ever having to actually do anything else in life. But lucky for me, I knew this beauty bubble wasn’t going to last forever, so I jumped in early and got the wheels in motion for a career ‘post pretty’. (Last year I finally graduated from University, had my first art exhibition and launched my own website. This year will see the launch of my most amazing projects to date, so jump online to www.thefincollection.com and stay tuned.)
I have grown up in an industry where my booker tells me where to go, how much I am getting paid, and how long I will have to be there for. They used to (and often still do) book all my airfares, chase the client if they didn’t pay on time, and sometimes tell me what to wear. They would handle all my affairs and then take me out for a nice seafood dinner. I am obviously older and somewhat wiser now and have learned how to handle my own affairs and really take control of business, yet it took much longer than normal- because I was a young model…and I had someone to do it all for me.
Let me make it clear however I am no dummy- I graduated University with amazing grades, I just started my own business and I relish new challenges. Yet for a long time, my idea of hard work was/ is happily staying on set till 2 am jumping around in heels while the photographer yells at me to go ‘higher’ and to ‘look right as you swing the bag left and look sexy’. However staying in an office after-hours is a foreign concept to me- and that doesn’t make me lazy, it just makes me different, so when establishing the next phase of my career, I have to encompass all that I have learned over the past ten. I will probably never have a ‘regular’ 9-5 job, to the horror of my parents, as it is just not ‘me’. I am carving out a niche and making a nice valley for myself between art, entertainment, and modeling. No, it’s not easy, and sometimes I don’t know what I am doing because I don’t have someone telling me exactly what to do, but I will press on! If this industry has taught me anything, it’s resilience, perseverance and passion.
So my advice to aspiring models, when the market is swamped with a new crop of girls who all think they are worthy of a Vogue cover just because they have done a few test shoots and have over10k Instagram followers (not bitter at all), one has to add to one’s list of talents in order to stand out.
It’s about longevity in a fantastic industry that I personally want to stay in for as long as possible. I grew up here, and despite the radical changes that have occurred in it, I still feel strongly connected to all the crazy creative masterminds that make it up.
Cheers to you all.