You have tattoos and piercings and you've got an Instagram, your friends keep telling you “You're a babe” and your followers have commented about you being a model, but where do you start ?
1. First step, reality check.
Are you doing this to make money and become a household name ? if yes, stop while you're ahead - the modelling world, especially the tattoo/alternative industry is not your ticket to a mansion in the Hollywood hills - You're better off checking out your options at being a sugar baby. If you are doing this for your self, as a hobby or because you want too: proceed to step two.
if you value your security an alias is invaluable, keep your real social media out of the picture, don't share model type pictures on your personal accounts - reverse image search is a dick and your privacy will be gone in less than 5 minutes if you don't keep everything 100% separate. make a new email address, use a fake address or PO box, don’t share your modelling to or from your personal accounts, don't tag your real life friends in your modelling accounts and don’t tell any one who contacts you online your real name ever, legal model releases to a photographer being an obvious exception.
3. Now you have a name, create new social accounts.
Only create an account if you intend on using it, theres no point in using 23 social sites if you don't keep them up to date with DIFFERENT content. Sharing from Instagram to twitter and Facebook is lame and you give zero reasons for someone to follow you on more than one platform.
4. Selfies are great but you're not a “model”.
Sorry to be that dick, but you need to work with photographers to be a model, more honestly - you need to either be paid or at very least not be PAYING out for your shoots. In the beginning paying good photographers to take good photos is a good investment, but if you are always paying, you're a client not a model.
5. Build up a portfolio of CONSISTENT work.
A bad photo is a bad photo. You may think all experience is good experience - it’s not. If the photographer sucks, the photo will suck and a bad photo will make you look like a bad model and thus affect your likelihood of working with better photographers and making money.
Share for share with other models or pages, go to local events, make business cards, set aside a budget for shoutout pages, ask to shoot with other models, make friends with other models, engage your fans online, ask questions, message photographers, message brands, submit to magazines and pages on Facebook or Instagram, create a fan page on Facebook, create sponsored ads to get likes on photos, create a website for yourself. Become a brand and sell yourself. Read shit about marketing, branding, sales and networking.
7. Don’t ever take a photo you don’t want to take,
If you don't want to shoot a nude, don’t ever take a nude photo. As a model, you do not own the photograph, the photographer does and even if you say no and the photographer agrees to respect that, the photographer can post it, sell it or show it to anyone, anytime regardless of your wishes or requests. Therefor the only way to prevent a problem is to never allow yourself to do something you don't want to do or that you don’t want on the internet, forever.
8. Lastly, stay true to you.
There are thousands of girls trying to make it, be yourself. don’t try to look like everyone else, don’t try to act like everyone else, do what makes you happy, dress and style yourself how you feel sexy or badass and don’t ever try and be someone else - this industry was built off of creativity and individuality, be the rebel.
I have been noticing lately, more and more each day, that the industry standard magazines, blogs and fashion have been slowly and strategically creating an expectation of what the rebellious lifestyle looks like, and it's becoming choking. The room for different has been slowly suffocated down to the smallest details of a fashionable identity.
These sites and pages were once full of incredibly in depth articles about artists and icons talking more about their lives and struggles, politics and their views on the world and their respective industries, then articles detailing what brands are popular and what to accessorize your skinny jeans with this week.
As a model who has a decently large following of loyal fans and a track record of many years in the tattoo / alternative industry - I have never been featured in one of these 'big boys' of the industry, but I've seen many 'models' who pop up out of obscurity and then disappear just as fast, thrown into the mix just because they fit into the mold of what 'sexy' looks like in the industry that was started as a "Fuck You" to the normal society.
I've genuinely got an opinion on the culture and an education earned out of years of experience and respect for tattooing, as more than a fashion statement but as a long standing honour to be allowed within. I remember falling in love with the industry and an aesthetic that came with it, back when it was still hidden in darkness and shrouded in taboo. When it was still deemed to be for outlaws and outcasts and when those within the magazines, had a taste for blood and deviation.
I'd like to see us get back there. Not stepping backwards and out of the limelight and popular society mind you, but I'd love to see more articles written on the history and the heritage, I'd love to read about what the artists feel about where we came from and what inspired their style.
I personally still idealize the punk culture from the early 70's, the drama of their addictions, the bikers and outlaws who are the modern day vagabonds and gypsies, the nomads who live by their own rules. I still live for the Do-it-yourself DIY rather than purchasing a pair of strategically torn jeans to go with my $70 shredded t-shirt and pre-studded punk rock patched leather jacket bought from H&M's fall line.
Now don't hear me wrong, I love that moms come in to tattoo shops with their 18year old kids to get matching tattoos and I love hearing people telling us how much, even the smallest tattoo means to their lives and families, I love what we are allowed into the deepest parts of total strangers, even for 30 minutes and leaving with an idea that we are actually doing the smallest scale of good. I love that our industry is thriving and growing, and I love seeing how far the art and technology has come, but
I want to see more people colouring their hair and styling it how-ever-the-fuck they feel rather than worrying about a follower count drop due to not being "sexy enough" - I mean, really, when did your Instagram follower count really help you, besides maybe getting you a couple freebies from a brand that you actually hate but "hey, it's free shit". I want to see more people getting custom tattoos, I mean steal ideas and inspiration but I'd like to see people coming in with the ideas of what they want but the trust, to allow the artist to run with it.
Do you really like the fashion whores that we've become? Because I am pretty fucking tired of seeing carbon copies of a trend and watching everyone struggle to jump on a bandwagon of sheep, all playing follow the leader. How often do you wish to do something but are too afraid to be, different or god-forbid, weird.
We need more weird.
We need more people who are not afraid to stand out, and I for one, don't give a fuck if I'm sexy to a world of spineless fucks with no originality, I would rather be appreciated for my words and actions and my ability to not fold and roll over while chasing my tail - trying to get ahead.
Who's with me?