Rachel Márquez is an upcoming fashion model who is originally from Alaska but now lives just outside London. Alongside her work in fashion she is an actress and an incredibly talented artist. Despite her many commitments we were delighted when she agreed to complete an interview with Urbanity Chic! Read on to find our about some of Rachel’s interesting modeling experiences, what she’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months and what its like living in Alaska.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
I’ve been an actress for many years, and my peers and colleagues kept telling me that I had a fantastic face for modeling. I was always interested in it, but no one I knew had ever done it or knew where to start. When I moved to England I finally was in a position to get some real experience with some local photographers, which led to more jobs and more experience.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
I made a huge transition last September, which is always fraught with equal doses of joy and fear. I once again uprooted myself from everything familiar and comfortable, and placed myself in a situation where I have to get out of my personal bubble of security in order to meet new people and discover new opportunities. It’s been hugely rewarding so far, with lots of film, theater and modeling projects since my move in September and more coming up. I’ve just recently been accepted in a few modeling agencies’ books, and I’m looking forward to getting into a wider circle of people and having new experiences.
Q: Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of people. I know it’s probably the popular thing to find a celebrity or successful person to idolize… But in my experience, you don’t have to look far to find inspiration in those closest to you. I was lucky enough to have parents who included me in their lives not only as a child, but also as a person with ideas and opinions worth listening to. Therefore, I wasn’t banished to my bedroom or to a friend’s house when they had company, but my brother and I were allowed to sit at the table and listen to the conversation and hear stories from people from all walks of life. Now, I’m lucky to count many of their friends as my own, and I get along with a wide range of people of all ages and walks of life.
But to get back to the question: Of these people I’ve met, I’m most inspired by those who went out and did what they wanted to do in life. People who gave love a chance even when everyone else said it’d never work. People who find joy in helping others achieve their goals with no thought for their own gain. And in this business, I’m inspired by those who put everything they can into their work and don’t let themselves become haughty or think they’re above their fellow artists.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Oh boy… I don’t really have any specific people that I look up to as a fashion guru… I have my own style that draws heavily on older film actresses, and I certainly have my own opinions of people’s fashion choices on the red carpet. However, when I find something that is flattering for my personal body shape, has a fantastic color that will make me stand out, a streamlined cut, a full skirt, a tapered waist… But most of all I look for clothes that I’ll feel like ME in… hopefully a much better version of me.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
Each have their own pros and cons. I like the controlled nature of the studio, where you have a mirror and facilities to change in always at hand. However, depending on the outfit or the shoot of course, there aren’t as many things you can do with a blank wall and floor without going too crazy, unless you bring in props or other elements. Location shoots are lots of fun, where you get to explore the area and use the landscape to create a distinctive shot. The weather and natural light are impossible to control, but they also make room for some out-of-the-box thinking. However, location shooting can be very tiring if you have multiple locations in one day and if you have action shots (jumping/playing in the surf, rolling in the grass, leaping through fields… you get the idea). In addition, you may or may not have a nice place to change your outfits or check your makeup/hair.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?
I have to share my Alaskan experience here: In January of this year I did a shoot for Shoefly and Shuzy Q, which are two fabulous women’s shoe stores in Juneau and Anchorage, respectively. They provide shoes for women who like to look fashionable in every kind of weather that Alaska can dish out. January is the coldest time of year in Alaska, which means that I was outside in a short, strapless dress, wearing various high heels in 14 degrees Fahrenheit, not counting wind chill… and the wind was fairly active that day. I had a lot of fun and it was definitely high-energy, with all of us doing jumping jacks and running back and forth from the warm car to change outfits and warm up my stinging hands and feet. Needless to say, I took a long hot bath afterwards, but it was totally worth it and I got a beautiful pair of new shoes out of the deal!
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
It really depends on the shoot. I live a healthy lifestyle, which is a part of who I am and a part of this business. I swim, dance and do aerobics/Pilates for my exercise, and have always loved cooking and eating health food. I try to get plenty of sleep the day before a shoot/show, and show up with a clean face or makeup already done, depending on the requirements. I pack a rolling suitcase, usually, so I don’t have to lug around my heels or other clothing that may be needed… although I sometimes make people on the Tube slightly annoyed as I try to squeeze past them with my not-so-heavy-but-nonetheless-bulky-load.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
Haha! That’s like asking me what my favorite movie or play is… Every time I do a shoot a whole collection of new favorites are added to my list. If I have to come up with one right now, I’d say this one by Lisa Lobanova that is my favorite. It has a great vintage feel and I felt like a fairy tale princess lying under a cherry blossom tree as the petals fell around me. There were a bunch of photographers at that shoot and they all took fabulous photos, but this one is just fun. A few bugs were falling along with the cherry blossoms, according to one of the photographers trying to make me jump. It didn’t work. I’m fairly tolerant to most bugs.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
I’m going to be diplomatic and not answer, as I’ve worked with a bunch of great photographers over the past six months. Each has their own vibe on the shoot and later brings a special style to their photos that makes each totally unique and a joy to work with. I don’t think I’ve worked with a photographer that I haven’t enjoyed working with.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
As an actress? Actors: Julie Andrews, Meryl Streep, Ralph Fiennes, Morgan Freeman. Directors: Jean-Pierre Jeunet (if I spoke French well enough :-)), Tim Burton… The list goes on!
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is the most personal, everyday art form that anyone can express themselves with. Each morning, you get to choose who you are and to say it with your clothing. Even a uniform or dress code says something about you in the way you wear it. As an actress, I love costumes and how a simple choice like figuring out what kind of shoes the character wears every day can be a little key to unlocking the essence of a person. I never try to be trendy, but rather choose pieces of different trends that make me feel and look great, and frees me to be the person I am without worrying so much about what others think. I’d rather be the person that people stop and say, “Hey! That’s different! Where’d you get that?” than someone people see and whisper to their friends, “Oof. That style does NOT look good on her.”
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Classic with a modern personality.
Q: Where are you based?
A beautiful little town in Surrey that’s only a short train ride away from Central London.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I love being from Alaska. Maybe it’s the same thing for everyone else wherever they come from, but Alaska seems to do something special to a person. Unless you’re part of the Native cultures, everyone has travelled there for one reason or another. Often they to get away from the madness of the world and just be themselves in some of the wildest, most beautiful country you could ever hope to see. I can tell stories about passing Moose on the bike path, waiting for black bears to cross the road with their cubs, and brag about the freezing temperatures and snowy winters. Not everyone can stand the extreme daylight, weather, or wildlife, but that lifestyle is part of who I am and I’m proud to call myself an Alaskan.
Q: What do you do to relax?
My idea of relaxation is curling up with a book and cup of tea in front of a wood fire. If it’s raining, all the better. If I have good company, it’s perfection. On a more regular basis, I love enjoying a glass of wine and spending time with my boyfriend.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
I’m a total Disney Geek, so I always love going to Disneyworld or cruising on a Disney ship. I’m also a wine lover, so I wouldn’t say no a trip to Napa Valley, Tuscany, or France. Of course, I’d have to have my loved ones along with me to share it with 🙂 .
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Haha, now you’re about to find out just how much of a geek I am. I have a mix of Swing, Jazz, Musical Theater, Movie scores, World and Classical music selections. My whole collection includes an even wider variety, but those are the genres I listen to the most.
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I’m an artist as well as an actress and model, so I often have other projects to keep me busy. I’ve worked as a storyboard/concept artist, illustrator, and portrait artist among other genres. You can see a lot of my work on the artist half of my website. As far as interesting hobbies go… I suppose I should mention that I’m a compulsive baker. I probably should have mentioned this in the earlier question “what do you do to relax”, but whenever I’m stressed or depressed, nothing works better than cooking or baking. I put on an audiobook or some music I can sing or dance to, roll up my sleeves and immerse myself in the smells and warmth of good food.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?
Know your limits and stick to them so you never compromise who you are. But, within those limits, don’t be afraid to try something new. Great experiences come in all shapes and sizes, and you never know what might open new doors for you!
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
I’ve known too many people who regret not doing something in their past. I’ve been so blessed and I don’t want to waste my opportunities by being too afraid to try new things. Instead, I intend to go on chasing my dreams, meeting new people, and having new adventures!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
If anyone wants to know more about me or keep track of what I’m up to, feel free to peruse my website and other profiles online. I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about me and I wish you all the best!
Editor’s Note: Rachel has artistic flair, intelligence and empathy whether it is in her acting, artwork or modeling. We’re sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of Rachel and her work in the future.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Rachel Márquez just follow the links below:
Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/RachelMarquezActress
Web page link: http://www.wix.com/marquezrachel/actress
Special Thanks to:
Chris Bearman: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/mdostudio/mdo/html/mdo.html
Ian Arnold: http://www.ianarnoldphotography.com/
John Powell: http://www.johnpowellavs.co.uk/
Lisa Lobanova: http://lisalobanova.com/
Marek Lenik: http://criography.com/
Tory Smith: www.tory-smith.com