I’m back with another interview for you folks, and this one is with the very beautiful, very talented, Alice Cat. I’ve been wanting to do something with Alice since the end of last year, and a number of things have gotten in the way of attaining that goal. But finally now everything has fallen into place and I’m thrilled to be able to bring you our collaboration. I first came across Alice’s modelling work on a social networking site called “the Alt Collective” where she was already getting rave reviews for her contributions. From there I sought out her website and model mayhem page and was hooked. In the process of researching and planning this interview I have discovered a multitude of different aspects of Alice’s work that I was previously unaware of, and it’s been a joy as an admirer of her out put. I’m sure like me you’ll find this piece chocked full of passion, personality and wit, all traits that can also be associated with the imagery she produces. As fortune would have it, I have also caught Alice in the midst of launching her own jewellery and accessory company called Fair Fiorita. Yet another creative outlet for this remarkable lady.
Q: Hello there Alice, welcome to my blog, how are you doing today?
Alice Cat: I’m very well thank you! I’m stoked because I’m launching my business Fair Fiorita today, very exciting.
Q: I was first introduced to your work through “the Alt Collective” where I was totally captivated by your look and work. Was modelling a childhood ambition of yours at all? How and where did you begin your journey?
Alice Cat: It actually wasn’t, I always wanted to be an actress. I fell into modelling via my love of pin-up. I wanted some photos done in that style, so I asked my partner to take some photos down the beach, posing with my friend’s Morris Minor. Then I had another shoot with a photography student friend of mine in a hotel room. I found out about Model Mayhem and joined with the photos I’d had taken, and the bookings came from there! One month later and I had my first paid shoot - I was thrilled!
Q: Did you find the modelling industry a welcoming one? How were your first few shoots as a newbie? Were there any negatives or difficulties in particular you had to overcome?
Alice Cat: I’ve found the industry wonderful. Although I don’t really work in the “real” industry, just the alternative and internet one! But yes, I’ve found the majority of people to be lovely. As a newbie my first few shoots were with some very talented and experienced photographers which I think definitely helped me get off on the right foot. I haven’t dealt with difficulties as such, just the usual things that every model has to go through; learning what poses suit your body shape, how to do make-up properly… I’ve loved every second of it!
Q: As I’ve mentioned, I’m a big fan of your look, your raven hair against pale skin is beautiful, and your styling choices in shoots and in everyday are wonderful. Have you spent any time cultivating a “look” or signature style at all, or is it just you?
AC: Thank you! And it’s just me really. I’ve always loved having pale skin so I make sure I look after it and I don’t go within a mile of fake tan. Black hair is just the colour I went to after having my hair dyed bright red throughout secondary school, sort of as a statement of my womanhood if you like… It’s a look that is easy to maintain and can be switched to suit any style, from gothic to pin-up to fashion, so I’ll be keeping it for a while I think.
Q: What are your views of the modelling industry as someone who works within it? Did you have any idea what the work would be like before you started out, and have those ideas been changed at all during your career?
AC: There are many different levels of “working in the industry”, and I’m fairly close to the bottom rung! I’m very critical of myself and I believe I’m still very much a tiny fish in an enormous ocean of mermaids. I think a lot of people concern themselves with how many “fans” they have on their Facebook page and other trivial things, when really, that’s not the real industry. It just isn’t. To me, being a real model involves being signed with a London agency and playing with the big boys, modelling for L’Oreal and Calvin Klein, not working TF with Phil from down the road who usually photographs squirrels. I’m still learning and trying to get my foot in the door.
Q: How does someone in your position learn a craft like modelling? Is it something you’ve just jumped into and learnt as shoots progress, or are there ways of practicing and perfecting certain aspects of the job?
AC: I can’t speak for anyone else, but personally, I just learnt as I went along. Little things like practising poses probably helps, but more than anything, completely immersing myself in my modelling jobs and by looking at the images of others is how I’ve learnt. I think my acting experience has helped immensely as well, it’s easy to switch between emotions and “get into character”.
Q: I’m always blown away by the range and variety of shots you exhibit in your portfolio. Everything from fetish to elegant beauty shots, you’re prolific at the lot! Is there a certain genre of modelling that you prefer, or are you happy mixing it up?
AC: At the moment I’m dabbling with a bit of fashion work, which is surprisingly challenging! Never before in a shoot have I stopped and gone “Crap, I don’t know what to do next”, until I started doing fashion. That’s what I love about it though, it’s something I’ve done little of and I’m really enjoying pushing myself to learn new things again.
Q: I adore the work you’ve done with Charis Talbot, the two of you have collaborated on quite a number of photographs. Could you share your thoughts on these collaborations, and what it’s like working with a photographer who captures so many sides and facets of you?
AC: I love Charis, pure and simple. I love the way she edits, I love how she’s so passionate and knowledgeable, it’s always exciting working with her and receiving new images from her. Her images are some of my absolute favourites in my portfolio, and always will be.
Q: Fun and personality is something I always associate with your work. From candid snaps and outtakes, to the shoots themselves, you always seem to enjoy the process. Is the atmosphere on a set important to you? Is there an ideal way you like to work?
AC: I’m actually fairly shy and I struggle to make conversation with people I don’t know well, so I think that the whole acting the clown thing just lightens me up and breaks the ice for me. I like for there to be some music if possible, just a radio on in the background will do! It’s fun if there’s a couple of people there apart from myself and the photographer, like a MUA or another model, just because you can all bounce ideas off one another and it makes the atmosphere buzz more.
Q: On the subject of collaboration, are there any artists out there at the moment that you’d love to work with, or a project/theme of shoot you’d love to get involved with?
AC: Oh there are lots! I have a list of “must work withs” that I’m hoping to start on this year. I’m keen to do more charity work, there’s a few I have my eye on.
Q: You’ve dabbled with some nudity and implied nude previously, do you have any hang-ups when it comes to nudity in your work Alice? Is it a big deal today when a shoot calls for some degree of nudity?
AC: I’ve never done nudity, implied or otherwise, for an official photoshoot. The recent implied photos were actually done with my partner, who’s practising to become my “in house” photographer. I don’t have hang ups about being naked, I love the female form, but I’m fully aware that once you start doing topless/implied/nude in photoshoots, you’re in danger of being pigeon holed and of having people ask only for those genres and nothing else. I’m more interested in beauty and fashion type projects at the moment, so I’m holding off on doing any nude work. There’s just no need to right now, I’m doing okay!
Q: I have to mention FRONT magazine in this interview and congratulations are in order for your recent Alt Girl DIY showing in issue 169. I was wondering how you felt getting into the publication, and what your thoughts and feelings are about the mag in general?
AC: It was really cool! I’ve always loved the fun, tomboy style of the models in FRONT, in particular I’m a huge Vikki Blows fan. I take inspiration from the magazine when it comes to doing lingerie shoots.
Q: I love talking tattoos with interviewees and I can’t let you go without asking about yours. You have two distinct pieces on your body, would you be so kind as to tell us about your ink, and the decisions/ideas that went into getting them?
AC: My first piece was a very generous freebie from David Roberts of Maverick Tattoo Studio in Tenby. I’d done a shoot at the tattoo studio with The Pix Factory and at the end of the shoot he offered me a free tattoo! Obviously I said yes! I had initially planned on having a couple of paw prints, but then went to him with the idea for an Alice in Wonderland piece… I’ve always loved the story and thought it’d be very pretty. I left creative freedom entirely up to him and the result is wonderful! I love how it curves with my body, the colours, everything. It’s perfect. My second piece was done at Hidden Jewel Tattoos in Carmarthen by Chessy. It’s a pink and purple bow with a turquoise background and hearts, at the top of my right forearm. I intend to add more cute tattoos around the same area, turning it into a mini sleeve… There’ll be bats, a rainbow, stick figures, smiling stars, an angel cat, an ankh, a ghost, a balloon…! I have it all planned, I just need to get an artist to sort the design out for me. I’ll undoubtedly go to Chessy again as she has this signature cutesy, feminine style which is why I went to her for the bow in the first place. I want some more traditional pieces on my calves too, so I think Dave will be the man for those.
Q: As a bonus to doing this interview, during the research process I stumbled upon your YouTube channel. I had no idea you had a presence on the site, and loved your videos not only for your gorgeous Welsh accent but also your entertaining reviews. Are you looking to branch out with more videos at all Alice?
AC: Thank you! I’m hoping so, the internet is an extremely powerful tool and if nothing else it’s fun to make those videos. I’m flattered that people are interested enough to watch them.
Q: I mentioned Wales, and being a proud Welshie myself I have to dwell on it. You come from the gorgeous Pembrokeshire area, and base your work in the south of the country as well as periodic trips to England. I was wondering if you could say a little something about working in Wales, is it somewhere where the modelling “scene” is thriving?
AC: I’ll be honest, it isn’t thriving here. It’s become a bit of a vicious circle where everyone’s working for free, so the more serious models, make-up artists, and photographers who deserve to be paid are getting over looked. I still get paid work through the studio I am with and I get bookings via my website, but it’s pretty difficult at the moment! I’d love to go full time but it’s just not possible, and it’s a real shame. I’d love for Wales to have a better modelling scene than it does
but as it stands, London is still the place to be! I’m applying for more jobs up there and looking to do more promotional and acting work in between.
Q: Before I ask the final questionnaire question, can you tell us what projects you’re working on at the moment Alice? Where will we be able to see your work in the near future?
AC: Well I have literally just launched my jewellery and accessory company Fair Fiorita, which is a real mishmash of retro, cutesy, surfer, indie type bits and bobs, there’s something for everyone! I have multiple tastes and styles and I think a lot of other women are the same, I like to chop and change between what persona I want every day. I’m aiming to provide that for others with Fair Fiorita. Apart from that I’m focusing on applying for agencies up in London.
Q: Finally can we end on the Bernard Pivot questionnaire?
What is your favourite word? Herro (it’s one of those that makes me smile when I say it)
What is your least favourite word? I don’t have one. I like words.
What turns you on? Nice hands.
What turns you off? Bad breath.
What sound or noise do you love? Rain (only if I don’t have to go out in it though!)
What sound or noise do you hate? Crying babies. Honestly makes my heart ache, I’m stupidly maternal.
What is your favourite curse word? The classic; Fuck.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d love to try my hand at photography one day.
What profession would you not like to do? I know everyone always says this, but I’d hate a stereotypical 9-5 office job. Or any 9-5 job really. I can cope with part time work, but really I think I’m too independent and strong willed for full time. I want my own business and to manage my own time, for sure.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? It’s not your time yet.
As I mentioned at the start of this piece, working with Alice has been something I’ve wanted to do for ages. It’s been an absolute pleasure to feature her on my blog, and I have to applaud her professionalism and candour during the interview. I am so happy with the finished article and I hope I have generated some more attention for a really wonderful woman and her work. I’ll put some links below for you to learn more about Alice, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this piece as much as I enjoyed writing it.
All images used were provided by Alice, and photographer credits follow in order of appearance: