Jessica Claire is a fashion and editorial model from Sydney, Australia and is our latest StarNow competition winner. Despite Jessica’s hectic schedule working on various modeling assignments we were delighted when she agreed to complete a full in-depth feature interview with Urbanity Chic. Read on to find out about, amongst other things, Jessica’s inspirations, how she would define her personal style and how she got into fashion modeling.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
Though I always had a love of fashion and photography, I never thought I would be a model – it never occurred to me. I always thought I would be an academic as I placed first in the state in my final school exams in my chosen subjects of study and was given a university scholarship for a research degree, which was meant to lead to a life of academia. When I saw that a friend of a friend on Facebook had some pictures of herself doing TFP modeling I thought to myself – ‘Maybe I could do that’. So I paid for a single portfolio session with a photographer, whose photos got me noticed by another well-known photographer in the area who I went on to work with. From there, it was a process of promoting myself to photographers in the area to build up my portfolio.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
Difficult. I was hospitalised for most of the year with a debilitating illness that saw me in a lot of pain and often having difficulty with mobility. Despite this, I always kept a positive spirit and coming out of this period of illness – though I still struggle with vestiges of it every day – I gained a vast respect for my body which in turn, inspired me to model. I thought to myself, ‘This is a body that deserves to be shown to the world because it is strong, it has overcome adversity and it shines with positivity.’
Q: Who inspires you?
Everybody inspires me. I love the stories of people I meet because I believe everybody has an interesting backstory; individual struggles, triumph and heartbreak. On a style level, I love Kate Moss – she was talented enough to change an industry standard of a certain height, proving that you can break any barrier if you have the skill at what you do.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
I love Miranda Kerr’s casual, elegant way of dressing and Kate Moss’ classy streetwear. They always look put together and comfortable in their own skin, which is reflected in the individual pieces they choose to wear. I also really like the brands one teaspoon, all about eve and sass&bide; chic streetwear and fresh, funky designs.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I like both for different reasons. On location, it is easier to use the environment for stimuli and be a chameleon in the environment’s colours and shapes. In the studio, the focus is on myself and the clothes and the shape of my body, and therefore I have a greater responsibility to shape myself accordingly to the light and fabric of what I am wearing.
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
Usually in a rush because I am notoriously late for everything!
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
I have too many photographs that I love for their colours, tones and design. But I particularly like these two photos because they seem to emit feeling and emotion. I love the first for its tones and palpable feeling of serenity and the second for its shape and noir feel. It was shot at night under a streetlight and re-edited by myself. I often re-edit my photographs if I’m going to keep them in a personal portfolio, so they appear exactly as I like them. I don’t use the re-edited photographs in my portfolio or for public use, however, (except on this one occasion!) as it doesn’t do the photographer any justice.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
I’d love to work with Nicole Bentley, a photographer from Perth who photographs for Vogue, and Francesco Carrozzini, a brilliant portrait photographer, and Patrick Demarchelier, a photographic legend, and the list goes on…
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
An expression of self. You can tell a lot about a person from their style.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Classic – my personal style is very simple and chic, with perhaps one or two key pieces to any outfit. I don’t do wild patterns or strange trends; I buy good-quality clothes that can be worn in any season and outlast any trend because they are beautiful, classic pieces such as good denim jeans, black sweaters, white scarves and gloves, black leather knee-high boots etc. I think subscribing to every trend just because you think of yourself as ‘fashionable’ is a bit silly; to me, being so identifiably malleable gives the air of someone who is not comfortable with their own style and skin.
Q: Where are you based?
In Sydney, NSW and Canberra, ACT. In time, I’d love to be modelling overseas.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Living between two cities is fantastic – I love that I can change my surroundings at will and always have somewhere to escape to when I am tired of one place.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
Even more of what I have been doing so far! I’d love to work with more great photographers and MUAs and expand my portfolio and profile in the industry. I’m considering a visit overseas to work more and explore my options but we’ll see what happens!
Q: What do you do to relax?
I lie in bed and watch TV and completely switch off my mind – a surprisingly easy thing to do after a long day!
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
I doubt it. Apart from my art – writing, modeling, photography and design – I think I’m fairly uninteresting when it comes to entertaining myself! I do yoga, love reading about fashion and health and cooking, though I don’t get the chance to do it as much as I’d like.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?
There are thousands of doors in this industry – knock on every one and each time one shuts, move onto the next.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
The feeling that I am doing this for myself and my own enjoyment. Even when I have long and terrible days, I still love what I do because I know not every day is like that and there are so many opportunities for growth and change.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I would love people to like my Facebook modeling page and watch my journey as I continue to create more great photographs, experimenting with shape, design, colour and tone. I am a very creative person and so whilst ‘pretty’ photographs are nice, they can grow boring if you don’t challenge yourself to experiment as an artist. As a model, I don’t think of myself as a pretty girl but as a physical artist who is moving her body to create images and designs.
Editor’s Note: Jessica’s impressive portfolio of work, containing both classic and more avant garde shots, demonstrates her openness to creative ideas. Jessica Claire is definitely one of Urbanity Chic’s models to watch for the remainder of 2011 and beyond. We hope she will continue to pursue her modeling career in Europe in the future.
If you’d like to contact or see more of Jessica Claire’s impressive portfolio, just check out the links below: