Today I’m bringing you another interview with an utterly unique and interesting individual. Her name is Kirsty Jayne, and she is creative, beautiful, ambitious, intelligent, expertly inked, and produces wonderful photographs through her modelling work. She’s someone I was introduced to via tumblr, and whose work instantly resonated with me. I’ve found her images are hard to turn away from when you meet her gaze, and her ability in shot is really quite outstanding. Upon researching this interview I was also taken in by her marvellous tattoos, and applauded her for the artist chosen to do some of them. Conversing with Kirsty has been a joy, and even though I get the sense she is very modest about her talents, I hope she knows just how much fun she’s introduced to my journey with this tumblr. Please enjoy, and please investigate this lady’s work.
Q: Hi Kirsty, a pleasure to have you on my blog. I wanted to start by talking about your wonderful modelling. I was first introduced to you via tumblr, where I adored your work and tattoos. Where did it all start for you in front of the camera?
Kirsty: It actually started as a way to try and boost my self confidence. I did a couple of small scale shoots for friends on college courses, and then I started a profile on modelmayhem as a bit of a joke. I’d always joked with my friends about girls that would pay to go to a studio and have pictures done and then claim they were a model, but I was quite surprised when several people contacted me for shoots within the first couple of weeks of my profile being live.
Q: Before I started interviewing models, the industry was a bit of a mystery to me. What were your thoughts on the work before you got involved? When you were young, was modelling something you considered? Did you follow the alternative scene during your formative years?
Kirsty: I’d never considered modelling as something I’d end up doing as an almost part-time job, my friends would tell me I was really photogenic but I thought they were just being nice. Before I got involved I knew it was a tough industry, I’d watched TV documentaries about girls trying to become models or actresses and with me being a cross between a ‘Goth’ and a ‘scene kid’ I knew there was probably no way I’d make it big.
Q: You’ve been modelling for over four years now. How have your opinions changed regarding the work? What are the positive aspects of working as a model, and are there any negatives you weren’t expecting?
Kirsty: I’ve learnt a lot about the industry that I never knew, for example I didn’t realise that alternative girls were so in demand. It’s great, I meet loads of people and some of my best friends I met through modelling. The only thing I really hate is when you get the odd photographer that is just plain rude, I’ve been insulted many times; one guy even told me I could do with ‘losing a few pounds’!
Q: I’ve found that people have the misguided view that modelling is just turning up and looking good. However there is much more craft to what you do. Is it a case of learning as you work, or can you practice posing and expression etc away from the camera?
Kirsty: It’s a lot of both actually, obviously it helps to practice at home in front of a mirror, so that you can work out how to pose so that you look your best, or so that you can show of a piece of clothing/jewellery that you might be advertising. But then you can also learn from shots you get back. Something may have looked great in the mirror but not so great on camera, you can either scrap that pose or rework it and try again.
Q: Modelling may not be your only avenue of expression at the moment, but what are your views and opinions on the business side of the career? Whether you’re represented or not, it seems networking and self promotion is a vital part of a model’s workload. It must be a tough industry to work continuously within.
K: It’s incredibly tough! If you don’t push yourself to be noticed by messaging photographers or clothing designers, even make-up and hair stylists, you can end up sitting around with no shoots. I’m personally not represented by anyone just yet so I’m totally freelance and a good portion of my free time is spent rearranging my portfolio, re-writing my ‘about me’ sections and messaging people I’d like to work with.
Q: Also, does luck and the right collaboration play a vital part? Is finding a new and innovative photographer also important?
K: The right collaboration is a big part, you could have an amazing concept in your head but unless you find the right creative team it could end up looking awful. I’ve been wanting to a Star Wars shoot for about a year and I’ve only recently found a great photographer that I think will do it justice.
Q: Your modelling portfolio from 2008 is captivating to look at. There’s a range of photos in there in a myriad of styles and genres that really grab the attention. You’ve worked alternative, fashion, lingerie, pin up, implied nude etc. Have you got a favourite style of shoot, or a style you haven’t done that you want to?
K: Oh, that’s mean… making me pick. Um, I’ll have to say that I love doing my more ‘colourful’ shoots, anything that needs me to pull funny faces or be dressed in insane clothing. I don’t do many shoots like that but they’re my favourite. I’m looking at getting into some fetish stuff right now but the only things I won’t do are nude, glamour and porn. I can’t take any of those 3 seriously, so the shoot would always end up being a dud.
Q: Looking over your many quality photos, there’s always energy to what you produce. You can convey a sense of fun and light-heartedness in images, but also a real attitude and elegance. Do you get into a mindset before or during shooting? Do you feed off the atmosphere on set? How do you like to work?
K: Honestly, the mindset is just my own. I’m the same on a shoot as I am every day. I’m a little bit weird but I’m loved for it. I work better when the photographer isn’t taking it all overly seriously and my one requirement on set is that I have music playing :)
Q: I love the work you’ve done in strong make-up and different wigs, you’re not afraid to drastically affect your natural appearance are you. You’ve even worked with body paint. Do you enjoy the dress-up or transformation side of the work you do?
K: I love my wigs! I’d wear them everyday if I could, I do actually wear my blue one to do the food shopping sometimes. I’m quite plain day to day as I don’t really live in an alternative friendly place, so getting to dress-up on shoots is amazing.
Q: Finally on modelling, I notice when I look at you pictures that you always engage with the camera. Your eyes are very expressive, and when you’re looking to camera, it’s hard for me as an audience to look away. Who would you say you take pictures for? Is it a personal thing, or do you have a thought about connecting with the audience or the photographer behind the camera?
K: Awh, thanks! I do love my eyes. I honestly don’t know though… Although what I do find easy is if a photographer wants a certain emotion, I can look into the camera and imagine I’m looking at someone that I feel that emotion towards.
Q: If we could please move on to your stunning tattoos now Kirsty. You’ve been tattooed by one of my favourite artists Leasha Jacques. Her style shines through especially on the sleeve you’re currently working on. Leasha is someone I’d love to interview, and she always impresses me. What’s it like to have her work on you and produce such amazing designs?
K: Leasha is a star! I love her to bits, if anything I consider her more as one of my friends rather than just my tattoo artist now. It’s always fun when I get to see her for a new design, we chat about all sorts and have a right laugh!
Q: Speaking of your sleeve, I understand there’s a particular theme you’ve decided on. I know Disney resonates with many people, but what made you decide to dedicate a part of your body to it? Also, could you talk us through the characters you have depicted on your skin thus far, and who you plan on getting in the future?
K: Disney played a very big part in my life, and still does. I learnt a lot from Disney as a kid and it’s something I’ll never grow out of, some of the characters have such depth to them and I love that. So far all of the characters I have show a little part of me in them. I have Belle, for her book smarts, Archimedes for how cynical he is, Megara for her independence and Tiana (in her waitressing outfit) for her hard-working attitude. My next addition is Mushu, he’s a bit of a screw-up but he tries his hardest to fix what went wrong. There are plenty of smaller pieces to come but I’m not fully decided on which characters I like best
Q: Another piece that I love is your chest design. I wonder if you could talk us through that, and what inspired you to get it done?
K: There’s actually no story behind my chest piece. I’d always wanted a chest piece so I thought I’d go for it. I had it started on my 21st birthday as a present to myself.
Q: Getting a tattoo is a very different experience for everyone. What is it like for you? Do you think about ideas and designs for a long time, or just chose what you want done, and go for it? Also, what goes through your mind when you’re getting work done?
K: I can’t really explain the experience, I usually have fun because I like to have a natter. Some of my designs have A LOT of thought others are ‘just because’ tattoos. Like the grim reaper on my ankle, it was a Friday 13th tattoo, he has no reason I just think he’s cute. My mind is usually focused on what tattoo I want next while I’m being tattooed ;)
Q: In your opinion, is your body a work in progress? Is there an area of your body, or particular tattoo position that you’d like to get some ink?
K: My body is very much a work in progress!! I really want my entire left leg covered, with what I don’t know yet but it’s going to happen.
Q: How else do you like to express your creative side Kirsty? Do you get to many live gigs, or are you watching/reading/doing anything you’re really enjoying at the moment?
K: I don’t get to many gigs, I wish I could go to more but I just don’t have the time. I’m currently working my way through a series of books called The Mortal Instruments and I’m loving it but I read the first book in 2 days so I’m trying to read the rest a little slower, they’re so good I just can’t put them down!
Q: Back to modelling finally, and I’d love to know what you’re working on now and in the near future. Have you got any projects or collaborations you’re particularly excited about?
K: Ooooh some things are a secret! But I will tell you that I have a couple of latexy shoots in the next couple of weeks, a Star Wars themed shoot on May 4th, a shoot for my friend’s little company that makes knitted accessories and I’m also going to be part of the Birmingham Alternative & Burlesque Fair in June for Rubber Monkey Latex
Q: Can we please end with Bernard Pivot’s questionnaire?
K: Never heard of it, but yeah! Bring it on!
What is your favourite word? My favourite word is a swear beginning with C ;)
What is your least favourite word? Rotting
What turns you on? Leather, and being held by the throat
What turns you off? When I can SEE that they’ve not brushed their teeth for ages
What sound or noise do you love? Piano music
What sound or noise do you hate? Tyres Screeching
What is your favourite curse word? I mentioned this already :) C**t
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d love to be a Florist
What profession would you not like to do? Admin…
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Come in dude! Party starts here!” *said in a cheesy American surfer voice*
It was really great to talk with Kirsty about her work in front of the camera, and her creative and artistic influences. As always, I hope she thinks I did her justice with this piece, and she’s quickly become someone I’d love to work with again on ANY project. I will be keeping an eye on her career for sure, and I think with her ambition and creative flair, she’s going to produce even more memorable work.
All images used were taken from Kirsty’s Facebook with her permission.