You of course pose nude in different photo sets. Has this ever been an issue for you, and what does it feel like moving around and posing when you are naked?
It’s a very comfortable process for me. I live my life by the quote: “Why should I be ashamed to exhibit what God wasn’t ashamed to create?” I don’t actually believe in a God but I relate strongly to the sentiment. I feel very happy and confident naked. Obviously there are parts of me I have insecurities about and parts of my body and face I hate the look of, but when I’m nude in front of a camera all those insecurities quickly diffuse and I’m at my happiest.
When I took my husband to my parents home for the first time and they did the obligatory passing around of childhood photos. I was reunited with an image of myself aged around 5, in a swimming pool in the south of France wearing nothing but bikini bottoms and a massive smile while cupping at my imaginary boobs. Fuck knows what was going through my head ha-ha! Probably imitating some MTV inspired monstrosity. But I guess I was just a born model.
There is of course a more seedy side to the industry. How do you cope with the advances from such areas? Or do you stay clear of such company?
When I first started I had some pretty terrible experiences. One in particular left me with post traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia. Although those afflictions have dissipated over time I’m still wary. I don’t blame myself for the bad experiences but I realise I should have acted more responsibly. I was behaving pretty recklessly, city hopping on a regular basis on my own with no regard as to what situation I was getting in. It’s sad to say but all models have bad experiences, it’s just part of the game. All you can do is be careful and ask for references where it’s possible, trust your gut instinct and always tell someone where you are. I won’t ever be put off by bad experiences though, they only motivate me to keep going. Forward with valour!
I always feel as though models have something of a photographer’s eye in what they do. Would you agree with this, and do you think you’ll ever work behind the camera to any lasting effect?
Yes definitely. I didn’t have much of a photographer’s eye to start with although I was always interested in cinema. However, over the years I have picked up things from photographers and I recently got an SLR of my own. Obviously I can’t model forever so hopefully when the time’s right, I’ll venture to the other side of the camera.
What is an average day like for Carmin? Do you have an office or work environment you’ll be in constantly, or are you always on the move with shoots and cultivating opportunities?
I don’t really have an average day. I’m the worst person when it comes to routine. I’ve never had a real job so I tend to just flit about doing whatever I want. If I’m not going somewhere to shoot I’ll get up about noon, do housework, make breakfast last until around 3pm then venture into the abyss of correspondence. So much of my day is taken up with returning e mails/fan mail and generally organising shoots. I also put a lot of emphasis on dinner so that’s quite a laboured activity. My most productive time though is from around 8pm until midnight. This is when I’ll spend time concentrating on my webcam shows, writing or editing. After that I usually sit about in bed with my better half, chain smoking and watching documentaries about the most obscure of subjects while cuddling my cat, Anamatronic Future Cat and generally just forgetting about the world.
As well as modelling you are also a published writer and publisher. Your work with Manifesto magazine is rightfully lauded. Is this an aspect of your career that you want to expand upon?
Oh definitely! It’s in my blood. Both my parents are novelists and literature is something I simply cannot live without. When the time comes, it will be something I can hopefully pursue full time. Writing is such a relaxing and cathartic process for me and I have a burning ambition to be the best novelist I can be in my own right. I don’t agree with nepotism though so this is something I need to achieve on my own when fate brings it all together.
I’m always interested in writers and what motivates them. Could you share some aspects of your process with me? What dictates what you may write about, and do you write pieces in your free time? Any plans for a more all encompassing writing project such as a novel or memoir?
In contrast to the “glamorous” imagery I’m associated with, I also have a very dark streak that comes from an immensely dark spiritual place within me. It’s this sinister dimension that motivates my writing. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit this but my first published work came about because of an abysmal experience. I sat down one day in all seriousness to write a suicide note. I never did get around to killing myself because what I wrote invoked a bit of a revelation. I kept writing and the body of work grew. By the hands of Fortuna my piece was accepted by the first publisher I sent a submission to and a few months later I was asked to do a reading at the Edinburgh Festival.
Anger and sadness at modern civilisation mainly dictates what I write about. The world depresses me, so turning this depression into a creative process makes it somewhat less real and more enjoyable.
I’m also greatly influenced by serial killers. I just love them. Not their atrocities, but them. I took the liberty of sending a short story to Ian Brady. It depicted an evening in with a couple arguing over how to dispose of a dead body. I thought he could relate to it as he’d probably been in that position himself. I was surprised when he actually responded. He said he thought it was “interesting” and hoped that it was fictional and not based on reality. It wasn’t the shining recommendation I’d hoped for but I was still elated.
At the moment I am concentrating on my first novel, a melancholic account of a young adult who has fallen through the cracks of a faulty support system and who seeks solace and approval through abominable means.
I always ask this because I’m always interested. How do you stay in such terrific shape?
Erm… I wish I had some amazing fitness routine but I don’t really. I go running occasionally and use kettle bells when I can be bothered. I just eat like a pig, smoke a whole lot and hope for the best. I don’t drink alcohol at all so I guess that makes a difference.
What are Carmin’s style choices like away from the camera? What can you be seen wearing out and about?
I’m always seen in my high tops, denim shorts, fanciful tights, some sort of hoody and a giant parker coat all tied up so my face looks like a chinchilla’s arsehole.
What other art forms inspire you as a person and alternative artist? Would you say you are an alternative woman? If so why?
I would definitely say I’m alternative. Not in the most commonly known sense of having tats and piercings though, I guess it’s in my personality rather than my style. I would say I’m alternative in the respect that I always reject the norm in search for something more challenging and interesting.
It sounds so cheesy but my husband (Breakcore producer Ohmega Sir) inspires me daily. He’s such a feral, original and confident being and literally does not give a fuck about anything or anyone and his work is a giant fuck you to mundane popular culture. He’s a real maverick.
What is your proudest achievement in your career thus far?
Just the fact that I model full time is an enormous achievement to me. I spent a small portion of my teenage years homeless and sleeping rough. At the time I always fantasised that someday I would get out of that predicament and be a model. That’s come true so everything else is a bonus. At a push if I really had to pinpoint exact achievements it would have to be either my book “CARMIN” by Hudson Manilla or my decks by INDCSN.
Have you got a favourite style of shoot, or an idea about how you’d like to be photographed in the future?
My husband and I have always had this idea of creating the most scummy Jeremy Kyle inspired porn. We’d call it High Rise Hotties and it would depict the grotesque, Caligula style ways of a lost generation ha-ha!
In all seriousness though I have been greatly inspired by bendmeover.net and I would love to create something that is so immensely pornographic in nature as well as being highly stylised and artistic. I haven’t quite got there yet, but it will come in time.
Who in the industry would you like to work with next?
In an ideal world it would be John Santerineross. His work is so engaging and most importantly, original.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
At the moment Manilla and I are working with a Norwegian skate company INI. Their gear is super awesome so I can’t wait to see what we come up with. We are also shooting a feature length documentary on Manilla’s work which is quite a challenge though highly enjoyable. I’m also working alongside a highly talented artist Rat Factor in creating a comic character. Apart from that I am keeping busy with my webcam shows and have some solo adult shoots planned over the next few weeks as well as some boy/girl stuff.
Could we please end with Bernard Pivot’s famous questionnaire?
What is your favourite word? Will.
What is your least favourite word? Can’t.
What turns you on? Murder and beards.
What turns you off? Topshop and Lynx Africa.
What sound or noise do you love? The pained sound of android rape or Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique.
What sound or noise do you hate? Jason Derulo.
What is your favourite curse word? Cunt.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Actor/film director.
What profession would you not like to do? Call centre worker.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Love is the law.
Love under will.
I was overwhelmed by the time and effort Carmin put in during this interview. I can’t thank her enough for helping construct such an interesting read. I am really proud of what we were able to produce, and I hope readers will appreciate the work that has gone into the piece. I hope everyone who reads and enjoys the interview will head over to Carmin’s sites to check out the latest news and information about this fantastic lady.
All the wonderful images I used were provided by Carmin. What a lovely person she is.