It is my pleasure to bring you yet another offering from Europe with my next interviewee. I had the opportunity of late to speak with the incredible Gosia, a part time model and self proclaimed “tattoo addict” from Poland. Gosia is a wonderfully interesting woman, with matter of fact views about her modelling work, and the industry itself. She openly says her work in front of the camera is just a hobby, but yet she has produced some delightful and daring photography and been welcomed into the esteemed Suicide Girls ranks. This humble and modest lady was fantastic to collaborate with, and it was her efforts (even overcoming a slight language barrier) that have made this such an entertaining read. Please do check out her work, and enjoy her words.
Q: Greetings Gosia, thanks so much for contributing to my blog. How are you doing today? That’s a very unusual name if I may say. Do you mind if I ask about its origins?
Gosia: I’m very good thank you. Gosia its short for Malgorzata and please don’t ask me how, I don’t know. My mum usually calls me by my full name when she’s angry at me, Gosia is easier to remember and to pronounce, the name is polish by the way. Yes I’m made in Poland.
Q: Thanks to the wonders of tumblr, I have recently been introduced to your work, and love looking through your portfolio and images you share. I would love to talk about your tattoos, but first wanted to touch on modelling. How did you begin modelling?
Gosia: When I was a little girl I was always saying to my mum “I will be a model mum”, but yeah that was just a kid’s dream, then I carried on with normal teenage stuff, school, parties etc. My model “carrier” just started really recently. Was usually modelling for my friends photographers, a lot of my friends were telling me that I look amazing on photos and that I should really go further with that… So I thought why not, but I wouldn’t really call myself a MODEL, I’m just a part time model, doing this mostly as my hobby.
Q: You say it’s more of a hobby than anything else, why is this? Do you actively pursue modelling jobs, or just get asked by people in the industry?
Gosia: I never really pursue anything in my life, everything comes to me itself. I believe more you chase something in your life more you actually pushing it away… so it’s better to be more relaxed about what you want to achieve in your life.
Well I wouldn’t call it as my job so yes its more of a hobby, I love photography, all kinds of art and it’s really a way for expressing myself, to create something unique and new.
Q: You do produce stunning pictures, and can work the camera very well. Do you practice poses and expression at all, or is it purely learning from shoot to shoot?
Gosia: It does sound silly but yes, sometimes I try different face impressions in front of the mirror (but who doesn’t do that when you are alone with your mirror) or different poses just to really see in what way my body looks the best. Also I learn from shoots with help of photographers, some of them are very helpful.
Q: What do you think of the modelling industry personally? Do you view it from your perspective as a desired career path, or is it just fun to dabble and get a confidence boost when you see your gorgeous pictures?
G: To be honest it looks like literally everyone can be a model these days, what is not always cool is the market in model industry is huge and the rivalry is massive, some models seem like they would do anything just to get noticed… but it’s not for me really. I don’t see my life career as a model, still I very much enjoy modelling and yes its an amazing boost of confidence, I feel more confident after every great shoot.
Q: For someone who sees it as just a hobby, you’ve worked with some interesting photographers. I loved your work with Dariusz Boron that I’ve recently been introduced to. How did that collaboration come about, and what was he like to work with?
G: I don’t work with just any photographer that will ask me for collaboration, I’m quite fussy like that… I need to see something interesting in photographs they do, something unique… I also don’t like normal glamour work, but with Dariusz it was actually quite an interesting experience, he had some great ideas, some of them where a bit abstract (pictures still to come) and different, and personally very lovely guy, very imaginative and I think we found a common tongue.
Q: Another very interesting photographer and shoot you were involved with was your cellophane or “plastic wrap” set you did with Dan Corbett. It was a very intriguing shoot, could you tell us where the idea came from, and how it was pitched to you?
G: The idea with cling film was actually mine, I introduced it to Dan and he loved it. I have a lot of different ideas, all in my head but Dan has helped me with this perfectly, with different poses and ways of wrapping cling film around my body… That was a really cool shoot and the final effect came out great, so I think this collaboration ended up very good. I still have some more of my ideas to carry through with Dan, so hopefully you will see more of our work soon.
Q: What was it like working with the plastic? Was it difficult to utilise while posing, or did the photographer have specific ideas for what he wanted to capture?
G: Cling film is quite soft, so no it wasn’t difficult at all. It did actually look like an outfit, but kind of a see through outfit, not sure if anyone would like to wear for a night out though :) Dan had specific ideas of how to wrap cling film around my body but poses came out very spontaneously.
Q: It’s clear from many of your shoots that the location is very varied indeed. You’ve shot in a wide range of locals, from impressive apartments to what looked like an abandoned factory. What’s it like working in these changing environments, and what have been some of the most memorable?
G: I think it’s quite important to shoot in different locations, shoots done only in basic studio sometimes look a bit dull. Different background gives more character to the photographs. Most memorable? I think milk bath so far, I spent like 2 hours shooting in a bath and my skin was all wrinkled afterwards.
Q: For a part time model, you’ve also impressively shot with the suicide girls. It’s a very prestigious group to have your images associated with. How do you feel about being a part of that sisterhood, and what do you remember about shooting for them?
G: Suicide Girls is a really cool website, there is sooo many gorgeous girls. I was actually very surprised when I received an offer to shoot, but it came out really good, people loved my photos and got loads of lovely comments.
Shoot was done by a lovely photographer of theirs; she knew exactly how to pose to express a woman’s body in the best way.
Q: Moving on to your impressive tattoos if we can Gosia. You’ve described yourself as a tattoo addict, what is it about the art form that you find so addictive? Some are drawn to the pain of the process, is that the case for you?
G: Tattoo addict is also a pain addict in my case, I really enjoy the whole process of tattooing and my tattooist are usually impressed at how much pain I can take :) I think its like with everything you actually can get addicted to, and it’s an art that will always stay yours, totally unique.
Q: When did you get your first tattoo, and can I ask what it was?
G: It was about 6 years ago, I was 19 and got done small Manga type of cat on my lower belly, looks a bit tacky now but I still like it.
Q: You say your tattoos don’t have any particular meaning, so may I ask what drives you to get designs done? Is it purely to see what the human body can be turned into with beautiful artwork?
G: It bores me to death when I hear some life stories hidden behind tattoos, although I have two small tattoos that actually mean something for me: It’s ‘believe’ written on my wrist and an ‘om’ sign on my back. Rest of my tattoos are really just an art, I’ve seen design somewhere, mostly during researching stuff on Internet, fell in love with them and got them tattooed, simple as that.
Q: What is the process you go through when thinking about and getting a tattoo done? Do you design your own work, or bring your ideas to your artist?
G: I don’t over think tattoos I’m about to get done, it’s more like a love from first sight. Sometimes though if I’m not sure about some detail I’ll ask for the help of the tattoo artists. Anyway final effect always comes out awesome.
Q: You have a lot of really beautiful pieces on your body, I love the design on your left arm where you have a woman with half her regular face, and half what looks like a very Mexican inspired decorative skull. Could you tell us a little more about that tattoo, where did the image come from, and who did it for you?
G: Again, it was love from first sight, seen picture somewhere ages ago I though it may look great as a tattoo. Some people actually try to assign some meaning to it; that everyone has a good and evil side of their souls… makes sense, also loads of people ask me if its me :) maybe …
It was done by my friend Nick at Far Beyond Tattoo.
Q: Two other pieces that I just adore are the bows around your ankles. I’ve never seen anything like it before, but they look lovely. Can I ask where you got them done, what went into the decision behind the designs?
G: Yeah I love my bows, these I had done in Poland also quite a while ago. I think they look very cute and feminine but still it’s a tattoo.
Q: Do you have a particular style of tattoo that your artwork conforms to? How would you describe the style of tattoos you have?
G: I love traditional tattooing; realistic tattoos are not really my thing. Of course, some of the artists are tattooing in incredible ways, but for me simpler is better. Even if it’s a portrait I prefer it done in more old school style.
Q: Having so much ink must mean you’ve spent many hours in tattoo shops. What is that experience like? Do you find it difficult to sit still for so long?
G: It’s more like fun I think, and there is nothing difficult in sitting still. Usually its more chatting with tattooist so you don’t think that much about pain, pain does get worse with every hour though. The longest session I’ve done so far was about 4 hours. But to be honest it does pain more after tattoo is done, it’s really sore and swollen sometimes.
Q: How would you describe the sensation of getting a tattoo done for those who may not have any ink?
G: Sometimes while tattooing I ask myself ‘why am I doing it to myself again’ ;) some parts of a body are horribly painful but for me it’s worth it. It’s like with everything, you try once you don’t wanna stop, so if you are bad with saying no to yourself, don’t start :)
Q: Is there a specific body part you haven’t had tattooed that you really would like to? Have you seen any pieces you really admire recently?
G: Yes, fingers! I’d love to tattoo my hands and fingers, but will have to withhold on that for now, simply because of my workplace, but one day definitely. Also palms, but I’m getting a small design done soon.
Q: Lastly, could we talk about your wonderful back piece. It’s a fantastic contrast between the beauty of the butterfly and a vivid bold design. Is it a work in progress that you’ll add to in the future?
G: You see many small butterflies tattooed especially on girls arms or backs, but my butterfly is a hell of a butterfly :) the other side of my back is just a simple tribal, but I think it goes along with the butterfly, however would love to fill it up more, add something to it but not sure what yet exactly.
Q: Finally, have you got any immediate plans for more tattoos? If so, are there any designs you’ve been thinking about?
G: Yes, I have already booked a session to tattoo my left hip. It’s an awesome design I found, it’s Virgin Mary but she’s standing in a Marilyn Monroe pose. Can’t wait when it will be finished, will look totally amazing, my tattooist fell in love with the design too.
To be honest I have loads more ideas of how to cover my body so slowly will be getting more great art.
Q: Lastly, back to modelling. Can I ask if you have any shoots set up for the near future? Will we be seeing your wonderful pictures again any time soon?
Definitely! I’m getting loads of offers for shoots. One planned for the near future is a vampires theme. I love vampires so came up with an idea for a shoot as well, one with me as a sexy vampire with my victim and another one as a vampire’s bride, really looking forward for that one. Should be a good fun too.
Q: Can we end on Bernard Pivot’s questionnaire please Gosia?
What is your favourite word? Whatever!
What is your least favourite word? No.
What turns you on? Tattoos, beard and moustache, creative mind.
What turns you off? Cruelty, ignorance.
What sound or noise do you love? Children laughs, cat’s purring.
What sound or noise do you hate? Teeth drilling.
What is your favourite curse word? Fuck off.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Piercer, or burlesque dancer, if I could only dance.
What profession would you not like to do? Working at chicken & chips shop.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Damn girl! Finally here you are!
As always I am extremely grateful for Gosia’s involvement with my blog. I’m always pleased when I get to talk with passionate people, and Gosia’s appreciation for art and photography was a real inspiration. She has marvellous insights into tattoos, and I am thrilled we were able to get her opinion on the art form. I’ll place a link to Gosia’s tumblr below, and I advise people get to know her work, and stay tuned for more of her images being published.
All images used were provided by Gosia and are the products of the following photographers in order of appearance: Dariusz Boron, Soultrader, Dan Corbett, Andrea Lavezzaro, Soultrader.