I’ve got a real treat for you with this post followers. I see my next interviewee as somewhat of a coup for my blog, as she’s a highly talented and extremely busy alternative model and aspiring multimedia mogul (she’s also cool as hell, in my humble opinion). I am overjoyed to be able to bring you all my interview with the wondrous Quinn Cornchip. I first came across Quinn’s modelling work in an issue of FRONT a while ago. Upon doing so I was moved to investigate and find out more about the stunning beauty before me on the page. Since then, I have had the pleasure of enjoying her work, and followed her career and projects with extreme interest. Recently I finally got in touch with her, and she agreed to be interviewed. After researching and conducting the interview, I found out that Quinn was not only an impressive modelling talent, but also a keen editor and magazine contributor. She’s a creative force to be reckoned with, always working on the next inspiration, but always excelling in the moment. I hope I do this wonderful woman’s passion and drive justice with this piece. Please enjoy.
Welcome Quinn, it’s a real thrill to have you feature on my blog. Being a British fan of your work I hope you’ll forgive this all too frequently asked first question. How did you get started in the modelling industry?
Quinn: I initially began modelling on an alt-girl site; I didn’t live near any of their photographers so I started shooting DIY sets. I think I did 4 sets for them and then I didn’t shoot for a few years. When I did start shooting again it was a lot more fetish driven and more personal stuff than before, and it got quite a bit of attention. When Mr Glass and I started shooting we had such similar ideas of what we wanted images to look like and what we wanted to create, that it took my modelling to a different level. I think that’s why a lot more people started wanting to work with me. Mr Glass really encouraged me to put myself out in the modelling world and see what could come out of it.
The modelling profession and those who engage in it will forever be a source of intense interest for me. I am fascinated by those talented few who are at home in front of the lens. What first attracted you to the industry? Did you have any preconceptions before embarking on your career?
Quinn: No preconceptions really. I have always enjoyed playing voyeur to others exploring and expressing their sexualities openly, but I was always too scared to do it on my own. I pushed myself to shed that shyness via modelling. Exploring my own sexuality was the primary goal, modelling was simply the vehicle for that.
Your imagery is quite astounding. Not only do you convey beauty and sex appeal, but there is a range of emotion throughout your work that is constantly in flux. What I wanted to now is where you learnt your trade? How does someone realize they can produce work such as yours? It is merely a case of working hard and progressing, or is there a goal and achievement at the end of every click of that shutter?
Quinn: It’s a little bit of both, working hard to progress and reaching a goal at every shoot. Most of my choice in posing and facial expression comes from putting myself elsewhere. When I first started modelling I had no idea what was right or wrong, most of the inspiration was androgynous pop-stars from the 80s. The psychology of what is and isn’t sexy has always been something I try to tap into as well. I think there are some things that people can do that are completely mind-blowingly sexy, but have nothing to do with being sexual or nude even. It’s all in the subtlety; putting an elephant sized sexuality in a marble and projecting it. Which I’m sure sounds backwards or makes no sense, but I assure you it isn’t and it does. Ha-ha. Getting to see models like Vaunt, Theresa Manchester, Hattie Watson and many other currently prominent models shoot with Mr Glass has also given me a huge advantage in knowing how to pose and how to be more aware of my body and face in photos.
What are you like on set? What is your idea of an ideal shoot? Do you like direction and ideas from the photographer, or are you more free spirited and improvisational in front of camera?
Quinn: On set I generally talk way too much, there are a lot of photos of me mid-sentence. I take direction pretty well, though it’s much easier when a photographer has an ideal end image, or is shooting with film. Otherwise, in my experience with myself and other models, it’s usually better to just be more improvisational. Working on photo shoots as a model and stylist, some of my favourite photos have been when the model has taken what the photographer tried to direct her to do and made it her own. My idea of an ideal shoot is having good music playing and a relaxed atmosphere. I’m very professional on set, but it’s never fun to work with someone who can’t enjoy a good tongue sticking out.
It’s rare when a model becomes so dominant in both black and white photography as well as vivid colour, but you manage this superbly. Do you have a preference when being photographed, or do you leave such choices to the photographer?
Quinn: Colour is definitely better for tattoo focused work, but I’m a big fan of grainy black and white. I don’t think I’d want a portfolio of only one or the other though, ha-ha. If I know that images are being shot or processed in black and white I tend to be more emotive and gangly.
You have worked with some tremendous individuals already in your career. Have you made a lot of close friends through your work? Who have you enjoyed collaborating with?
Quinn: I’ve been very lucky to have been introduced to others in the industry via my work with Heels and Candy. There are a few models that I am in frequent contact with whom I love dearly. Honestly though, and as creepy as it sounds, I check the sites of most of the models we’ve worked with. We have shot with such amazing women that I love seeing when they put out new work, and cheese like crazy with elation when they get great gigs. As for in my modelling, I’m pretty picky about who I shoot with, which has maybe spoiled me in collaborations. Photographers have let me wear a bright pink strap on, gotten my horrid sense of humour, and been magical mythical creature whose greatness cannot be summed up in words. They know who they are, ha-ha. Fox Harvard and I have been friends for years and is someone that Mr Glass and I hold dear, staying with and shooting with Coach Moon was one of the most fun experiences of my life though way too short lived.
You’ve also been a FRONT Alt Girl here in the UK. I know publications may get lost in the myriad of shoots you do for different mediums etc, but it’s one of my favourite magazines, and I was wondering if you have any recollection of your contribution?
Quinn: I actually had no idea they were going to publish my photos, or that they had until a bunch of blokes from the UK started adding me to Facebook. It was pretty amazing though! Ha-ha. I had sent the photos in about 3 months before and figured they just hadn’t made it on the site; I jumped up and down when I saw the full page in FRONT. The photos were shot in my old bathroom and at the time I was on a Topo Chico Kick. I keep meaning to submit some new photos to those guys, so you may see me there again soon!
You’re also extremely invested in your editing roles, and your work with PureFilth magazine and Fucking Delicious magazine is enviable as well as incredible. Do you enjoy the editorial side of your industry, and being on the other side of magazine content? Both publications proudly showcase all things alt with aplomb.
Quinn: Thank you :) PureFilth has really been a surreal experience. It started out just being a one time thing, then quickly became a quarterly magazine. I started helping out with little things like helping Mr Glass confirm which photos would go into it and proofreading interviews every now and then.
We’re on Vol.5.5 now and this has been the first issue that we are all actually writing pieces for and doing more in depth model and photographer interviews. It’s also the first issue I’m doing complete proofreading on, which is just crazy! I wanted to do journalism as a teenager and work as a writing contributor or editor and here I am doing both! It’s really amazing to be interviewing powerful, intelligent women in the modelling and acting industry as well.
“Alt” is a widely used term these days. I would love to know what your thoughts are on the word, and how it’s used today. Is it a way of life, or a style, or that indefinable quality that just happens to be surfacing these days?
Quinn: I believe “alt” is anything other than traditional fashion or editorial. Maybe non-alt is just more “old school”. I don’t believe that it’s necessarily a defining term though, as now those two worlds are meeting and intermingling.
I couldn’t interview Quinn Cornchip and not talk about your breathtaking ink. You tattoos are wonderful, you’ve made fantastic choices with your pieces. Is there any chance you could talk us through your body artwork? Or at least talk about your gorgeous chest design.
Quinn: The three stars on my left wrist are my first tattoos, there originally was an anchor going below them. Each star and the anchor were symbolic of my immediate family. My second tattoo is a bird on my right forearm. It’s a one line drawing and is actually kind of a band tattoo, ha-ha. It’s a bit of a nod to the song “Yr Letter” by onelinedrawing, a reminder to stay clear headed and not get lost in relationships. The half-sleeve on my right arm took the place of the stars and anchor idea, it has edelweiss for my sister who was born in Germany, Galaga space ships for my little brother who is going to be a big name in gaming some day, the magnifying glass represents my dad who is a detective and the red cross on the plane is for my mom who is a nurse. We travelled a lot when I was growing up, which is where the plane came from. My chest piece is a jolly roger with scissors instead of cross bones. On my left forearm is my favourite piece, a big ol’ walrus; and my right forearm is home to a viewmaster/metaphysics homage. My newest tattoo is “I open at the close” between the fingers of my left hand.
Is your body a work in progress when it comes to tattoos? Do you have any plans for more in the near future?
Quinn: Somewhat, I’m not as determined to get completely covered as I used to be. I would like to do a calf-piece or maybe finish my left arm, but it’ll probably be a little while before that happens.
May I ask what you get up to away from the gaze of the camera? Do you make it to many gigs, or have you enjoyed any films or books of late?
Quinn: I love to read, actually. I’m in the middle of three different books at the moment. Some of my favourite books are the Harry Potter books, Naked Lunch, House of Leaves, and Nine Stories. A lot of my time is dedicated to thinking up new styling ideas and playing with Mr Glass and I’s corgis.
You have a very strong online presence, with various blogs and online projects. Is it important to you to have that connection with your supporters?
Quinn: A lot of that is being a meticulous organizer. Different parts of me are expressed in different projects, it’s a way of keeping those parts separate. Sometimes I’ll overlap and post writing on my modelling page, but really Quinn Cornchip and phronetiq are very different people, as are Q.C. the model and Q.C. the stylist. I also don’t like to push all of my endeavours on people, having them separate allows people to choose which of my projects they like and keep up with them.
Speaking of your supporters, where might they be able to see you appearing next? What projects have you got coming out in the near future Quinn?
Quinn: Mr Glass and I are getting back to our trashy glamour roots a bit recently, so there will probably be some zine and book projects coming from that. There are a lot of magazines I finally have the courage to submit too, and have asked to submit to but I don’t want to jinx anything!
Finally, could we please end the interview with Bernard Pivot’s well known questionnaire?
What is your favourite word? Cognizance.
What is your least favourite word? Froggy.
What turns you on? Reliability.
What turns you off? Sloth.
What sound or noise do you love? Corgi grunts.
What sound or noise do you hate? Tires hitting water.
What is your favourite curse word? Cunt.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d love to be a lawyer, politician or economist.
What profession would you not like to do? Anything involving sewage or needles.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Did you bring me a copy of PureFilth?”
I can’t thank Quinn enough for everything she’s done to make this interview possible. She agreed to answer my questions while in the middle of putting together the latest issue of PureFilth, and the time, energy and enthusiasm she brought to the article was infectious. I hope she likes what we came up with together, and I urge everyone to check out her links below, and sample the amazing output Quinn generates on so many levels.
All the images in this piece were provided by Quinn, and used with her permission.