Q: You’ve modelled in a number of different styles and genres, from latex and fetish to more mainstream clothing lines and beauty. What would you say is your favourite style of shoot, and is there a particular type of shoot you’d like to be involved with?
B: I adore working with latex as it’s easy to become a character when you’re working with it, and some of my favourite shoots have been when I’ve been working with fetish gear. But I don’t want to end up getting pigeonholed so I also like to work on other projects too. I enjoy working for t-shirt companies and also doing high fashion-style shoots just to make sure my portfolio is diverse. If you end up with too much of the same photos, with the same kind of style, you can potentially ostracise yourself from an entire niche of modelling, and that’s the last thing I want to do.
Q: What is Whiplash like on set? Is she a character you become when shooting, or is it still Becki but with a cool title?
B: She’s a right bitch! Haha, nah I’m just kidding! I never show up to a shoot and demand that people call me Whiplash because that would be so ridiculous hahaha! I’m still always going to be Becki when I’m at a shoot, but Whiplash when I’m promoting myself. It’s still really weird for me sometimes to think of myself as a model, as I don’t go around telling people about it and a lot of my friends only know I’m a model because they found out for themselves. I think it’s really important to keep your ego in check and to realise that you can’t model forever, so while you are modelling there’s no point in sacrificing your real personality in hopes that it will impress people. I work hard at what I want and where I want to get, but I don’t use that as an excuse to flaunt myself or act as if I’m more important than anyone else. Despite that, I do see Whiplash as being another side to me – probably the side of me that I wish I could be all the time, but am too self conscious to be all the time. Because, chances are, you’re not going to see me walking around the local post office in latex gear haha!
Q: You appeared recently in the pages of Bizarre magazine. It’s a publication I think you are ideally suited to. Was it a thrill to see one of your pictures used, and are there any other publications you’d love to be featured in?
B: It was the weirdest experience of my life! I remember being sat in my room on my facebook fan page when a really lovely model I know congratulated me on being in Bizarre, and I had no idea I was in it. It was only about 3 minutes later when one of my friends, who orders the subscribers edition, tagged me in a screenshot of the mag’s pages that it really sunk in. I just remember screaming really loudly until my housemate ran upstairs to check and see if I was being murdered! It was so surreal and I was so over the moon that I can’t even describe it. The picture was taken by Biskography and I had sent it off to Bizarre with no disillusions and fully expecting them to just bin it considering they get so many applications. And seeing as I hadn’t heard back from them in months I didn’t think anything had come of it. I think the weirdest moment came about a week ago, when a complete stranger came up to me in my local pub and congratulated me after saying that they’d seen me in Bizarre. I’m still getting over that! I really am aiming to get into a tattoo magazine this year – without a doubt, that’s the next publication I’m going for. Fingers crossed!
Q: Speaking of tattoos, you have some gorgeous artwork on your body Becki. Could you give us a brief rundown on your ink? Where did you get your designs, and what were your inspirations? Is the sleeve you currently have a work in progress?
B: Why thank you! I love every single one of my tattoos because I have a rule where I don’t get a tattoo until I’ve had at least a year to think about it. With my sleeve, I’ve had ideas in mind of what I’ve wanted, so I kept them in mind for a year while I found the right tattoo artist and then when I’ve been sure it’s something I wanted I got it done. I really don’t like it when people just get a tattoo right off a flash sheet just because they think it would look kind of cool and don’t think that in a year’s time they’ll have the same design as about 20 other people who picked the same one and that it won’t be cool anymore – that really cheapens the art aspect of having a tattoo. The sleeve I have started off with the roses on my forearm because they’re my favourite flower ever since I was little, and then there’s the cassette tapes that are there because I’m still very old school at heart and music is one of my biggest passions, and then there’s the lock and key I designed myself, and then there’s Frank who’s my giant octopus on my upper arm. Don’t ask why he’s called Frank – it just felt right to call him that, so now the name has stuck! I have him there because I love the sea – I’ve always been fascinated with the ocean, deep water monsters and the intricate beauty of tentacles. Octopuses are actually really amazing creatures, and I won’t bore you with the cool facts about them, but you should definitely look it up because they are fascinating. Frank has got to be my favourite tattoo so far and I got it done at Extreme Needle in London by Javi, who is an AMAZING tattoo artist but, funnily enough, when he first tattooed me he barely spoke a word of English and I had to have a translator! Although, the last time I saw him his English had improved and I didn’t need someone to translate, but it doesn’t take away from how good he is as an artist – I would recommend him to anyone. The next tattoos I have in mind, depending on my money situation, will be a lotus tattoo on my right arm that has a personal meaning to me, and hopefully I’ll be able to get my feet done soon.
Q: The tape depicted on your arm brings us nicely to your work in the field of music journalism. I read on a profile of yours that you dabble in music writing, and you obviously have a passion for it. Where did this love come from, who are your musical inspirations, and can you shed a little light on your writing work please?
B: Well as I said, I have a huge passion for music and I also love writing so it just made sense to combine the two. I currently freelance for an amazing site called Sonic Shocks and I’ve interviewed some amazing artists and reviewed festivals, it’s been a blast. I have such a strange taste in music as I love a bit of everything. I was raised on a strong diet of Motown, Disco and electronic 80s music, but then when I hit about 13 I got addicted to bands like AFI, Good Charlotte and Atreyu, and I never looked back haha! I am also a huge fan of hardcore and grunge, and even though they’re two very different (and similar) genres, they just work for me on different levels. Frontmen like Layne Staley, Matt Caughthran, Sam Carter, and Buzz Osbourne are just so badass it hurts. I’ve always said that if I went deaf life wouldn’t be worth living anymore, and I still stick by that.
Q: As well as modelling you also have your own line in women’s jewellery. Many of your photographs show you sporting your GutterQueen pieces. How did this company come about, and where do the designs come from?
B: GutterQueen Jewellery came about through modelling really. I used to go to shoots with clothes from designers and realise that I didn’t have any suitable jewellery to go with it. I’ve always been a very hands-on kind of person and so I decided to just make my own stuff to go with the outfits. I started making hair fascinators and studded bras and people started asking me where I got them from, and asked where they could buy them, so I thought that I’d turn it into a business! Also, I found it difficult to find studded jewellery anywhere that didn’t cost hundreds of pounds, so I realised that I could just source the studs myself and make some! It also helped that I had connections from modelling, because finding model friends to help me by using the designs in shoots has been a lot easier than it would have been if I hadn’t known anyone in the industry. I also have a lot of other models shooting garments for me soon so I can’t wait to see the upcoming pictures! So far it’s been great, and the company is starting to find its wings so hopefully it will only get bigger and better from here once people start noticing the name. I haven’t set up a website for it yet, but the jewellery can be found here: www.facebook.com/GutterQ
Q: How much work goes into making an individual piece? Do you work from requests ever, or are they all your own designs?
B: A lot of the studded pieces take a while, and things like hand painted anchor necklaces can take hours, but I really enjoy doing it – it’s almost therapeutic! They’re all my own designs, but I do take on custom orders and like to make things in a variety of shapes and colours, based on what customers want. All the designs I come up with are really just things that I make because they’re something that I’d like to wear, and I really only like to make things that you can’t buy anywhere else. There are a lot of jewellery companies I know of that have problems because they all source their materials from the same place, but as most of my designs are hand painted there’s no chance that they can be the same as anyone else’s pieces!
Q: You are an entrepreneur to say the least Becki, and must be very busy with all your projects. Where do you find the time? Or do you enjoy being busy? How do you divide your time between each different business?
B: I’m not going to lie, it can be really tough. For example, I just finished my final year of university and the past week has been absolute mayhem while I worked on my dissertation – to the point where I would spend all day working, including about 10 hours at my university’s library, get about 4 hours sleep and then wake up to do it all again! So during that time I had to stop shooting completely and orders of GutterQueen had to be halted. But now business on all fronts has resumed and I cannot wait to start shooting again. Without university work it will make it a lot easier for me to divide time between the jewellery and my modelling, as it is really hard sometimes when I’m trying to figure out which one I should be promoting more or trying to get published more, but I think I’m figuring out a balance.
Q: Before we end the interview could you please tell us where we can see your work in the near future? What shoots have you got coming up, and who are you excited to be working with?
B: Well… now that I have less uni-based responsibilities I have about a HUNDRED things and projects in mind. The months of May and June are filling up fast, and I like it that way – this year I’m going to work my hardest yet! I am doing a very exciting video shoot for LatexGirls HD in about a week’s time with Laura Hince Photography which will be amazing, and then the week after I’m shooting for a clothing company called Cyanide Kiss alongside the model KayKay Sakura which will be really fun as she’s lovely. I shall also be working with the very lovely Rudigo soon on a collaborative project that involves Starwinkle Photography and a few others. And I will soon be in an issue of Elite Online Magazine with a shoot I did a little while ago, plus keep an eye out for GutterQueen as it will be springing up all over the place once I’ve worked with all the model collaborations I have in store. I’m also in talks about shoots with Danny DeSantos, Biskography, Hellcat Latex and a group model shoot with three other, very well-known alt models which I can’t discuss yet as it’s a secret! That, and MUCH more still in the works - But watch this space, you won’t be disappointed!
Can we end with Bernard Pivot’s questionnaire please Becki?
What is your favourite word?Fisticuffs
What is your least favourite word? Oozing
What turns you on?Guys with nose rings, in suits
What turns you off?Over dramatics and arrogance
What sound or noise do you love?The sound of my mum’s laugh
What sound or noise do you hate?People cracking their knuckles or bones
What is your favourite curse word?Cuntsmurf
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?Drugs counsellor
What profession would you not like to do?Pilot or flight attendant
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?Thank fuck you’ve arrived – it was starting to get boring up here!
As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’m a massive fan of Miss Whiplash’s work, but more than that, I am a massive fan of Becki the woman behind the model moniker. A sweet and generous individual, whose passion and willingness to succeed in her chosen field is incorrigible. Reading through this piece I was inspired, not only to be as passionate about my own craft, but to also work with this lady as many times and as often as possible. As always, thanks for reading.
Photos used were provided by Becki, and are the products of the following talents in order of appearance:
1st DR Photo, Ezme Thomas MUA, Latex Honour latex
3rd Starwinkle Photography, Hayley Stott MUA, GutterQueen jewellery
4th Pathways Studios (Colin Grist)