Tonight I am very happy to be able to bring you yet another interview with a very interesting model who has worked in the alternative genre with great success. This interview is with the lovely Krystal Johns, someone whose work I was introduced to thanks to my networking on Facebook. Krystal’s work belies her two years in the business, and her wonderful choices when it comes to collaborating have stood her in good stead for an eclectic and visually impressive portfolio. Having only modelled for two years, the volume and progression of her pictures is testament to her work ethic and passion. I love Krystal’s latex imagery, but am also a fan of her fashion photos, her black and white pictures, and the softer side to her output. She’s a biker chick and modelling mum, who was a wonder to work with, giving both her time and great energy to the process. I felt as though I had the freedom to best investigate her work, and had a wonderful time in doing so. I hope you will too.
Q: Hello Krystal. It’s a pleasure to welcome you to the AltGirl-botherer blog. How are you today?
Krystal Johns: Hello, I am very good thank you!
Q: Modelling is your passion, and I have recently been introduced to your work through Facebook and model mayhem. Can I ask where it all began for you? How long have you been modelling, and how did you get into the work?
Krystal Johns: I was at a tattoo convention and a photographer there said I would do great modelling alternative/tattoo styles, I laughed it off but friends and family said I should give it a go, so I joined model mayhem and it all began from there. I have only been modelling two years.
Q: Do you see modelling as a career path, or is it more of a hobby that you’re enjoying right now and seeing where it goes?
Krystal Johns: I would love to see it as a career, but I have a two year old son so have to focus more on him at the moment. I see it as a hobby mainly, I love meeting new people and the amount of confidence it gives me is great, as before my son was born I had very low self esteem.
Q: You’ve mentioned before that you “make modelling fun” and that’s evident in your pictures. You seem to always choose fun and interesting projects, is that a must for you when deciding on a shoot? Or is the photographer a factor also?
K: It has to be fun for me or I won’t perform very well. I like to be myself, be comfortable, and have a laugh with the photographers. Almost every photographer I have worked with seems to like that about me.
Q: What was your opinion of models and modelling before you got involved, and now you’ve been working in the industry for a few years, have those opinions changed?
K: I didn’t really have one to be honest, I just assumed you had to be 5”8 very slim and no tattoos at all! I really didn’t know there was a big market for alternative/tattooed models.
Q: I always say that modelling is a very underestimated skill. How would you say you are learning that skill? Is it all down to experience and practice making perfect, or do some people just have the ability to understand what looks good in a photograph?
K: I think there is a lot to learn about modelling, especially in the posing. I am always practicing what angles are best for me, and looking at how other models pose. I was useless at first, I didn’t know what to do with my arms and legs! But as I did more shoots I got better and each picture started getting better, I am still learning though.
Q: Expression plays a very big part in your work. You have a fabulous look when working in front of camera. You can convey intense attitude and passion, but also soften it when the time is right. Is that all about looking in the mirror and seeing what works?
K: Sometimes it’s hard because I am thinking I must keep my eyes wide, and make sure I have breathed in! Be aware of my body shape etc. But yes, I’m always playing in the mirror! My son even poses now ha-ha, I think it helps to discover expressions and what would fit me best.
Q: How do you like to work ideally? Do you like a busy set, or a quite set with as few people as possible? Do you encourage direction from a photographer or like to work from your own ideas?
K: I can work in any situation it really doesn’t bother me, even if it’s cold, hot or wet! I did a shoot the other day on a beach; it was cold, with people watching and painful due to the stones sticking into my feet!
I like direction and my own ideas, I’m always happy to hear ideas from the photographer. I also like to challenge myself and do awkward poses.
Q: You’ve worked with a staggering amount of photographers and produced wonderful imagery. Having such an extensive back catalogue of collaborations, do you think you have learnt a lot about photography as well?
K: I think I have learnt a little, but it does look very hard! Especially with trying to get the right light etc.
Q: A personal favourite form of modelling for me is latex and fetish. You’ve worked with latex extensively with terrific results. Why did you gravitate towards latex work? What does the material do for you when you wear it?
K: A photographer at the beginning of my modelling said I would do better as a fetish model, so I tried it, didn’t enjoy it that much but I loved the fashion side and I bought my first piece of latex, tried it on and it fitted my body so well, I fell in love! I love the fact that you can turn today’s normal fashion into rubber! And its so shiny and looks fantastic in photos.
Q: Are there any distinctive challenges when modelling with latex, what do you have to do differently if anything when posing and working?
K: Its very tight fitting. It’s like another layer of skin, so you have to be very aware of body positioning and little bumps such as around your stomach!
Q: In terms of styling, you’ve worked with a lady that I really respect and admire in Alice Bizarre. She’s an extremely talented individual in many aspects of make-up. What can you remember about working with her?
K: she is a great make-up artist and such a lovely person to talk to, we got along great and she was very chatty and easy to approach! Hopefully I’ll get to work with her a lot more in the future.
Q: Impressively you’ve been named Inked magazine’s “Inked Girl of the day” twice. It’s clear from your output that you have a love of tattoos, and have some interesting artwork on your body. When did you get your first tattoo, and do you know what started your fascination with the art form?
K: Yes that made me very happy! I got my first tattoo at sixteen, my granddad took me to see one of his friends at a studio called brave heart, I had no choice but to get one! I’ve grown up around tattoos, most my family and friends are covered.
Q: You have a lovely back piece that wraps around your side Krystal, it’s such a beautiful design. Where did you get it done may I ask, and what was the thought process behind it?
K: I got it done by one of my close friends called Duane and most of it was done in his head and we got ideas from a few images on Google, I trusted him and most of it I didn’t even know he was going to do! Its still not finished yet!
Q: I have also noticed you have the beginnings of a sleeve on your left arm. Is the goal to fill it up entirely, and if so, will there be an overall theme to the sleeve?
K: Yes I am going to make sure there is no skin left to see on both my arms!! I really like old fashion style tattoos and sailor jerry style, I like weird themes that no one else would ever have, for example I have a woman with a bird coming out of her mouth, and a burlesque pig!
Q: You’ve talked about getting more work done in the future, and assuming you get your sleeve complete, what would your next piece be? Is there somewhere on your body that you would particularly like to get something?
K: My next piece is a biker theme tattoo that will go on my other thigh as that’s the only place I can put it! It’s dedicated to my family especially my granddad, uncles and friends that have bikes.
Q: You seem to have a very diverse range of styles in your shoots, which is wonderful for a model to exhibit. But what inspires you in general? Be it fashion or modelling projects. As you’ve mentioned, you obviously love motorbikes, have they influenced you at all?
K: I love location shoots, you can do so much outside and get some great shots, even with a brick wall or a dump site! Yes I come from a biker family so have grown up with Harleys mostly, my granddad is in a group and I love going to the club and socializing with a bunch of hairy, tattooed men ha-ha.
Q: Before I ask the questionnaire I’d love to know what’s next for you Krystal. What projects are you working on now, and where can we see your work in the future? Are there any areas of modelling you’d like to explore further?
K: I have decided to have a break from latex and focus more on my tattoos and involve shoots keeping my clothes on! I would like some softer images in my portfolio and even try breaking high fashion! I have organized my own group shoot involving some great models, photographers and designers, and if it goes well, I would love to organize more.
Q: Can we please end on Bernard Pivot’s questionnaire?
What is your favourite word? Donut.
What is your least favourite word? NO (my son says it all the time).
What turns you on? Tattoos, sense of humour.
What turns you off? Smelly armpits!
What sound or noise do you love? Rock!! heavy metal!!
What sound or noise do you hate? My son moaning.
What is your favourite curse word? Cant say it! Its very bad!! But close friends and family will know he-he.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I was studying forensic pathology before modelling so would love to go back to that!
What profession would you not like to do? Work in a tanning salon
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Krystal, your roommates are Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain!
I must thank Krystal again for all her work on this piece. I really relished the opportunity to get to know her process a little more. It seems as though Krystal has her priorities mapped out at present, and I really think she has a lot to offer the industry in the future. I wish her every success, and will be following her exciting modelling projects closely. You can do the same by checking out Krystal’s pages:
All images were sourced by me and used with Krystal’s consent.