The FRONT Alt Girl section has produced many favourite ladies for this Alt Girl botherer. The likes of Jessica Weekley, Yaz, Sophie Butcher, Cala, Abbie Mac… The list goes on. This month FRONT’s Alt Girl section features the newest addition to that impressive group. Chelsea is a model who grabbed my attention right from her debut as an Alt Girl DIY. She wasn’t just stunning, she was unique, with a sense of style that demanded you take notice. From that debut I immediately got in touch about an interview, figuring it was only a matter of time before she was again thrust into the public’s awareness. Before I could organise an interview, Chelsea was snapped up by FRONT for an Alt Girl shoot proper, and was appearing in Snakebite’s “Bitten Babe” section. Opportunities I’m not even remotely surprised she was granted. Chelsea is a dream to collaborate with, funny, interesting and sassy. On top of all that she produces incredible imagery in every shoot of hers I’ve seen! With a Suicide Girls set coming at the start of September, I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about this model in the future. I’m so thrilled to be able to welcome her to this blog today…
Hi Chelsea, welcome to the altgirlbotherer blog. I’ve been eager to feature you ever since your debut in FRONT issue 169. How are you doing?
I’m fine thank you, just chilling out before my pole class this evening!
You’re the model of the moment right now, currently featuring in FRONT magazine as well as being a “Bitten Babe” in Snakebite magazine. But I wondered if we could start and the start with how you got into modelling?
I actually modelled as a kid for some brochure my Dad’s work were working on, and got the model bug then. I also watched a lot of America’s Next Top Model as a kid too with my Mum, which influenced me a lot. I also got picked on a lot as a kid for how I looked, which made me twice as determined to get into modelling.
FRONT issue 169 was my introduction to your pictures, but while researching this piece I’ve been opened up to more of your work thankfully. You’ve produced some incredible stuff with some talented photographers already in your young career. How do you go about choosing shoots to get involved with?
It really depends. When I first got into modelling I had a lot of free time, so I jumped at any shoot opportunity given to me. Now, as I go into my third year of a law degree, I have more serious commitments, and so I haven’t as much time to devote to modelling. For this reason, I’m now more choosy. It just depends though. I’ll consider any idea!
Of course you’re new to the industry, and hopefully with your FRONT feature more people will get to see what you can do. But how do you see modelling right now? Is it something you’re looking to get into full time, or more of a hobby you’re enjoying?
I’d love to model as my sole source of income as I go through university, but realistically it’s more of a hobby.
I notice a lot of versatility in your portfolio Chelsea, you seem to be able to adapt to glamour, fashion and the more artistic material. That’s a terrific quality to have. I wonder if you could tell us a little more about your earlier stuff with photographers like Dean Gray and Sam Copeland. There is some innovative work on show in those shoots, and they highlight a softer more elegant side. Did you enjoy those collaborations, and is it a style you’d like to explore more?
I definitely enjoyed these shoots. I like to portray different sides of myself through my work, and so it’s nice to do more feminine shoots. I started off in those types of genres, and moved into glamour after I turned 18, but I definitely have a soft spot for fashion photography and what not. I’d love to do more work like that, yeah.
In my view, your shots with Daniel McAvoy are pure art. The images you two produced really capture your interesting features, and with wardrobe and the location makes for a truly enjoyable viewing experience. What do you remember of working with Daniel? You must be over the moon with the results.
Daniel and I are good friends, and when we work together it’s partly just hanging out more than anything. I think that’s why we get such good results. I think the last shoot we did ended in home-made pancake making… It’s always a pleasure to work with him.
From the collaborations I’ve just mentioned, it’s clear to see you have real modelling skills. I know modelling is a constant learning curve, but how and where have you learnt such talent at such an early stage?
“Talent” ha-ha! I probably picked everything up from watching countless hours of America’s Next Top Model over the years. Seriously, watching their assignments made a difference. I used to walk like I was on a catwalk and pose all the time as a kid. I guess I never really left that part of my childhood behind. Hopefully, once I’m able to travel more, I can go to some modelling workshops and work on my modelling. I’m always looking to improve!
When being photographed, what is your mindset? Are you going through a particular process, are you trying certain poses out, or do you like to improvise more?
I’m definitely not one for planning and processes. It’s a combination of myself and the photographer I guess. There’s constant pose discussion going on throughout a shoot, so both myself and the photographer are happy with the layout of the shot. I think the thing that goes through my head the most is “don’t look like a complete tit”…
I have to mention your relationship with FRONT Chelsea. You’ve been involved in two issues now, and on the cover of those issues have been two FRONT greats in Mel Clarke and Rosie Jones. Are these women whose work you’ve enjoyed previously, are there any other FRONT females you’re a fan of?
For sure, I always love the work of the long-standing Front girls. It’s always a pleasure to look at their work and I can only hope that one day I can stand in their shoes, modelling-wise. Arabella Drummond is an amazing model, I’m a huge fangirl of hers.
For me you were involved in one of the great “Alt Girl DIY” sections ever in your debut issue. The likes of Edie D, Abi Lucas, Lola and Alice Cat have all been mentioned or featured on this blog. I know you’ve become friends with Edie in particular, but how did it feel heading up a section filled with such beautiful ladies?
It was a bit daunting actually. Having a full page spread before such lovely ladies is a lot to live up to. I can only hope I did the spread justice!
I sang your praises in my review of that issue and loved the images you sent in. Could you walk us through the process of getting involved with the magazine? From submission up till you knew you were in.
Firstly, I sent in six images through the standard online application procedure. After that, I think it was a few weeks before I heard anything. Then I received an email requesting more images (around 20). Then they told me I was going to be the main DIY alt girl. It was a pretty simple process, and the staff at Front are a pleasure to talk to!
From there you made the quick transition to Alt Girl proper in the current issue (172). I was overjoyed to discover you got the coveted spot, how did you feel when you found out?
I was so excited! Having four whole pages in such a big magazine is a complete dream come true! I had wanted to be in Front since I was… uh… too young to be reading Front. I was then nervous because it was my biggest publication yet.
The set is divine; Tom Joy did a marvellous job. How was the shoot for you? Are you as blown away by the results as everyone else?
It was a lot of fun, because Tom is a friend of mine. It was a little weird stripping down in front of him though. Yeah, Tom did a great job, so a big thank you to him for the work he put into the shoot!
As well as FRONT, you recently got the call from Snakebite to feature in their online magazine. Again, your images are wonderful. I know you’re very involved on the forum over there, and enjoy the banter from the team. How would you describe Snakebite to those who might not know?
Snakebite is just a great forum full of people who like to speak about everything and anything. There are threads about all sorts, from sport to movies, to comedians, to the people on the forum. It’s great because there is a good mix of people: Boys, girls, writers, models, photographers, artists, etc. There’s a little something for everyone.
From Snakebite to snakes; I have to ask about an awesome shot on your tumblr with you and a gorgeous snake, what was that shoot like? It’s such a cool photo.
It was a pretty big task, because I’m pretty scared of snakes. In fact I’ve got an overall fear of reptiles, so to strip down to my underwear and handle a snake was a big achievement for me. It was a pretty small snake, but it was big enough to scare the crap out of me.
Away from modelling now Chelsea, I had to ask about you and your fantastic look. Loads of people are crazy about your hair; I love the leopard print and the colours. How did you come up with it and how long have you been sporting it? Are you planning any changes in the future?
I always liked silver hair, and I’ve had it silver for a while now. Maybe 2-3 years? I can’t remember! It’s been leopard print for a year and the purple came in probably about 6 months ago. They were just cool ideas that my hairdresser and I tried out! I don’t plan on changing it any time soon, I like it how it is, but in the future I’d maybe like to go for something more natural.
You’ve also got some incredible tattoos and piercings about your body. I won’t ask you to go through them all, but can I ask about two of my favourites. Your hip piercings are immense, when and how did you decide on getting them? Also, of course I have to ask about your lighthouse tat. It’s shown off in many of your pictures and is thoroughly amazing! Can I ask who did it and what inspired it?
I decided on the hip piercings when I was about 14, but I toyed with the idea because they’re prone to rejecting. I can’t remember where I saw them, but I immediately fell in love with the idea. I think they’re really pretty. The lighthouse was tattooed by Paul at Red Hot and Blue in Edinburgh. He’s a brilliant artist and a really nice guy. I can’t wait to have more work done by him in future. It tells a large part of my life story, but I’m not quite ready to share that with the world yet.
You also rock a myriad of awesome outfits. I’ve seen you looking immaculate in long socks and tees, corsets, business suits, even a bunny suit and monkey onsie. How is this possible? Where do you get your style inspirations?
I guess I like to portray different parts of my personality. There’s the cheeky, flirty alt side of me who gets away with socks and tees, there’s the more sexy side of me who rocks corsets, there’s an intellectual business-minded girl somewhere within me who can do business suits… And I am a totally lazy student at heart, so onesies suit me just fine. There’s a time and a place for any kind of outfit. I just wish I had more money to spend on lots of lovely clothes.
What are some of your other interests Chelsea? I know from previous interviews that you’re a BMX-er and pole dancer extraordinaire. What else is keeping you busy these days? Bands, books, films?
Not a lot really! I’ve been busy with exams lately so my main focus has been university and pole. I love watching films though! I tend to just watch my favourite films over and over again. Movie nights are my favourite!
Finally, you’ve had a lot of exposure recently, but what’s next for you modelling wise? Have you got any projects in the pipeline, or styles of shoot you’d like to get involved with?
I don’t have any major plans just now. I’m a Suicide Girl Hopeful, and my first set goes live on September 2nd, but other than that nothing is set in stone. I’m always up for shoots, so if there are any photographers, clothing brands, other models, bands, magazines, or anyone out there who’d like to work with me you should get in touch!
Can we please finish the interview with Bernard Pivot’s questionnaire Chelsea?
What is your favourite word? Fuck
What is your least favourite word? Tart
What turns you on? Sexually? Being rough. In general? Amazing pole performers and Indian food.
What turns you off? Body odour. Eurgh… and really greasy people. TAKE A SHOWER!
What sound or noise do you love? The sound when you raspberry someone ha-ha! Or the noise when a penguin gets tickled. They make such a funny noise!
What sound or noise do you hate? Snoring argh!
What is your favourite curse word? Fuck
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Pole performing
What profession would you not like to do? Bin emptying
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “You have rad tattoos!”
I can’t thank Chelsea enough for the time and energy she put into this interview. It really was exciting to feature her at the beginning of what I hope will be a sparkling career in modelling, or whatever else she sets her sights on. A real colourful character for a modelling industry in need of brightening up. To get more information, to check out her stellar work, and to follow Chelsea, head over to the links below and enjoy.
All images used in this piece were taken from Chelsea’s tumblr pages with her consent. Photographer credits in order of appearance: