I find tumblr can be a microcosm of fame and notoriety sometimes. It’s possible to come across someone with such a following that it boggles the mind, but it should never detract from the individual. My next interviewee is one such personality. A model and student from Canada who has garnered such interest through her incredible blog that I was staggered by the numbers when I researched her. More than that though, I was impressed with the body of quality work this young woman has amassed over a relatively short modelling career. There’s a confidence and authority in the pictures she takes, as well as innocence and vulnerability. The lady in question is the incomparable Cala Rose, and if you’re not aware of her work, then it is my pleasure to introduce you to it. I felt honoured to be able to ask Cala some questions about her craft recently, and she was so kind to offer her time to help out. I hope this piece goes some way to exposing and exploring the complex individual behind the allure and glamour. I’ll let you all see for yourself…
Q: I was first introduced to your incredible modelling work through tumblr. When and where did you get your start in the modelling business?
Cala: I got started in this modelling business about August of last year, 2010. I started off at Gods Girls as a member, then in about… November I believe, I applied as a GG and I was accepted! I was introduced to Gods Girls through my tattoo artist back home.
Q: Did you know what you were getting yourself into when you began your journey? What did you think it meant to be a model?
Cala: I honestly had no idea. At first I thought it would be something small, just something on the side, but then my fan base (I guess you could call it that?) grew and I started getting requests from Front Army, and clothing companies such as Death Shred. It was insane and so exciting. It still is. I’ve lost friends, but gained so many new ones. It’s been a journey that is for sure. I knew what modelling meant from modelling for my best friend who’s a photographer. It’s hard sometimes though, because everyone thinks that modelling is so glamorous, but it’s also tiring and does take a lot out of you when you’re doing it for 7 hours at a time.
Q: Was it a big step when you started doing your first shoots? How did it feel stepping in front of the camera on those first few occasions?
Cala: As I mentioned before, I modelled a lot for my best friend, and other photographers in the program, so it wasn’t a new feeling. The only thing that changed was that I was wearing less clothing. That felt vulnerable. It’s an odd feeling. You feel sexy but so exposed at first. You’re very critical about how you look those first couple shots. At least I was anyways.
Q: How do you feel now about what you do? What does it mean to you to be a model today?
C: I have had SO many people have issue with what I do. Saying I’m socially unacceptable, or that I’m a disgrace etc. It would bring anyone down, but I have so many supportive people in my life that I still feel AMAZING about what I do. Modelling gives me confidence. It makes me feel sexy when I feel low.
Q: You’ve posed in a variety of styles. Do you have a favourite, or a genre of shoot you’d love to be involved with more?
C: I love artistic nude. I really do. Something like; very soft lighting, very feminine with beautiful lace lingerie and beautiful furniture. Think Palace of Versailles, with http://clairepettibone.com/heirloom/ lingerie.
Q: What is on your mind when you are in front of the camera? Do you do a lot of prep work before a shoot, or are you more instinctive while being photographed?
C: To be honest, I think of scenarios in my head and act them out when I am modelling. Not a lot of prep work, only when it comes to where the photograph will be taken, what lighting, and what kind of makeup.
Q: You are able to convey beauty, elegance, sex appeal and witty personality in all of your shots (even personal and candid ones). Is it hard to tap into those aspects of yourself, and how emotionally/physically draining is one of your photo shoots?
C: It’s not hard at all, I’m a very expressive person. If I feel sexy, my pictures will turn out that way. The same applies to elegance (though I’m a huge spaz) or happiness (when I laugh, I really laugh). One photo shoot will take all day. Get all the equipment ready, set it up, then do hair and makeup, photograph it, edit it, send it off/upload it. It’s definitely physically draining. I always feel tired after, and have to eat a huge meal. Emotionally draining, not really. I always feel happy and accomplished when I finish a photo shoot.
Q: You also display an amalgam of fantastic lingerie. Do you have a favourite place to buy pieces from?
C: Hehe thank you! I do love my lingerie. I go everywhere to buy it. Little boutiques or big name stores. It’s just all about searching and what time of the season you go and what’s in fashion. I have collected almost 100 pairs of underwear within the past 7 months. I have a bit of an obsession!
Q: You have an intensely sexual side to your imagery. Do you enjoy the art of erotica and working in that medium?
C: I do enjoy it definitely, but I feel like I get more out of artistic, feminine, soft imagery. I’m not sure why that is yet. I think it is because I feel like the feminine pictures I take seem very vulnerable right now, and it reflects my stage in life as a person too. It’s more of a connection, I think.
Q: You are a tattooed lady. Can you tell us a little about your artwork?
C: My artwork is all very personable to me. It always means something. I have a phoenix and lyrics on my back, as well as a cat on my ankle.
Q: What do tattoos mean to you? Are you attracted to people that have them more? Do you have plans for future work anytime soon?
C: I have plans for a lot more work in the future! I won’t tell, but it’ll be exciting and beautiful! I am more attracted to people that have them. I think it’s the fact that I love art, and that if someone is displaying artwork on themselves, then we have something in common… or something like that.
Q: With such a massive following on tumblr, it’s clear your social networking in important to you. How does it feel having such a fan base, are you proud of the community you have developed online?
C: I can not believe how many people follow me, and how supportive they are! The community is so helpful and lovely and kind. If I ever have a question, it is answered within minutes, if I need to complain, I get many people messaging me helpful notes and words of love. I can’t describe to you how happy and thankful I am for each one of them.
Q: What is your interaction like with fans online? Are they a receptive and positive bunch?
C: Yes! They are all positive (for the most part anyways, some are quite rude, but I ignore those people). I try to interact as much as I can. I can’t answer all my messages, and can’t reply to every email, but I try to put out as many pictures as I can, and as many video as I can saying hi and thank you! It’s just hard with the intense schooling I am going through at the moment.
Q: Some of your candid pictures on your blog are immense. How much thought goes into what you post? Do you work from requests, or what you think your followers would respond to?
C: I work from what I think my followers would respond to. I do some requests but I only do it if I feel I would enjoy it as well. If I am not going to enjoy something, then I will not do it, or if it makes me feel uncomfortable. That’s like anything. If I am working with someone and they tell me to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable, I have no problem telling them so.
Q: Away from your modelling, it’s clear you have a creative/artistic streak. What inspires you, and how do you best express yourself away from the camera?
C: I express myself through photography (I guess that’s more the camera though…) and makeup, and writing. Everything inspires me; art work from other people, a song, lyrics, the way someone looks at me, or even the way the landscape can look in certain lights. I am always creating scenarios in my mind, and trying to work it into my writing or modelling or makeup etc.
Q: You have shared some of your special FX work through your blog. Studying such a field sounds really cool, is it an area of filmmaking that has always interested you?
C: I have always loved special effects. I grew up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel. I love the demon masks they create, and I have always been fascinated by them. I think that show definitely made me want to be in such a field.
Q: Does it mean you are a film buff in your free time? What are some of your favourite movies, and what are some of your favourite examples of movie FX magic?
C: I do love my movies! I’d say Forrest Gump, SLC Punk, American History X, Fight Club, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Interview with a Vampire. I can’t name any specific examples, I’d be here for hours naming what movies and TV shows I think did an amazing job with animatronics, makeup, puppets etc.
Q: As well as aliens, monsters, wounds and prosthetics, does your FX course also cater for hair and make-up? If so does the glamour aspect help with your modelling career?
C: Well the program I am in right now is more glamour and theatre. My last year, which will be next year, is all special effects. And yes, it helped a bunch with my modelling. Since I do my own makeup, it helped me prepare for the HD of the camera, and what kind of makeup looks best in a photo of colour or black and white.
Q: How are you enjoying your studies by the way?
C: I am loving every minute. As much homework, and work there is to put into it, I am getting so much out, and I am learning every day. It’s fantastic, and a very honoured position I am in right now.
Q: What have you been listening to and watching of late?
C: Hmmm… Watching; Walking Dead, Dexter, Castle, Ringer, Pan Am, and American Horror Story. I have been listening to (always) The Used, MCR, Paramore and Lights. As of late, I am very into the new Rihanna cd, the new JoJo, Drake, Jay Z and Kanye West, and my friends band, The Broken Lyre (Go check them out!)
Q: How much of an influence is fashion in your life? What type of things do you wear when you’re away from the lens in your everyday life?
C: I adore fashion, and I am obsessed with shopping. Everyday, I usually wear dark wash jeans, brown boots, a wife beater, or collared button up shirt, with a nice wool cardigan or sweater. I’m in school for hours at a time, so anything comfy is a must. Or when I have practical, I have to wear all black.
Q: Anime and cosplay are also interests of yours, why are you so attracted to these Japanese exports?
C: To be honest, I have never really cosplayed myself but I love when people do, and I love admiring the costumes. I’m not sure… I think it’s because their stuff is so fantastical and surreal, and it’d be amazing to be a character for a day, to pretend that you live a different kind of life that is, perhaps, more exciting than your own.
Q: What are you hoping comes next for you in your modelling career?
C: hmmm I haven’t really thought about this! Maybe Playboy? That’d be fantastic. Or maybe be in INKED magazine, or Bizarre… or hell, lets aim big and say GQ.
Q: Is there anyone you’d love to work with in the future (other models, photographers, artists etc)?
C: Miss Mosh, and Apneatic. OH and Viorotica, and Ari Dee, Neko Marie, Ashlee Adams. Any of Front Army’s photographers… and Annie Leibovitz ha-ha.
Q: What’s next for you in your personal life? Are you looking forward to completing your FX course and perusing it as a career?
C: I plan on completing the special effects course (which goes on until the end of next August), working with a FX company or the union, and getting really serious with it as a career. Until then, I want to keep on modelling, and I’m going to pick up bar tending as well.
Finally could we please end with Bernard Pivot’s well known questionnaire?
What is your favourite word? Magical.
What is your least favourite word? Mouldy.
What turns you on? A good beard.
What turns you off? Beer gut.
What sound or noise do you love? Moaning, in a good way.
What sound or noise do you hate? Pukeing.
What is your favourite curse word? Fuck.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Stylist and photographer.
What profession would you not like to do? Doctor.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “You have pursued what you loved, and thrived with passion. You treated others with kindness and respect. You have not always been honest, and you have made mistakes, but you learned your lesson and lived with love in your heart and a level mind. YOU MAY ENTER”.
I was very pleased when Cala agreed to be featured on my blog, and share a little about herself and the work she does. I hope the article has given readers some insight into what drives this lady, and what high hopes and aspirations she has. I wish her all the very best with future endeavours, and it was a joy to put this piece together with her.
Check out Cala’s blog to be introduced to a special personality: http://calarose.tumblr.com
All images were kindly provided by Cala, and used with her permission.