Juggling school, homework and a social life is difficult enough; throw in modeling as a career, and your life is suddenly three times as hectic. Josie Gardin, a model who is part of Singapore's most famous talent agency, Basic Models Management, leads this incredible double life. The teenage model has worked with Riot Locco, L'izzie, Kamvera, dozens of photographers and walked for fashion shows such as Willow & Huxley and Fashion Steps Out. In the second installment of Career Month, Josie gives her perspective on modeling (both the negative and positive aspects of it) and advice for aspiring models.
I started to model when I was 14 as a hobby, and when my mum heard about the Elite Model Look 2011, I decided to enter. When I got through to semi-finals that kind of inspired me to do this as a part time job, and when got to top 13, and got a contract with elite, thats when I really to start to work. After a while I chose to change my agency, Bonita (currently my booker) asked me to come join her agency, Basic Model Management and I decided that was the right thing to do, and it has been amazing since then.
2. What are the memorable brands you have modeled for in the past? 3. Is there a particular piece of work you are most proud of?
I have modeled a lot over the past year, I recently did Fashion Steps Out '13 and I walked for Coach, when I was told I got the job I was really excited. I also did a photo shoot with Adrian Tan for Audi Fashion Festival, Adrian is an amazing photographer, he took some amazing shots and currently they are hanging in the 1st level of Ion Orchard.
4. How do you juggle school and modeling?
I used to go to regular school but a couple years ago I decided to go to online international school, this school is for teenagers who work or don't have time for regular school or have other things to do during the day, its a good alternative for me because I really want to do modeling as a full blown career, I want to do fashion week in Milan, Paris and New York, for me I feel I have to put my all into modeling for me to get there. A lot of people ask me if my school is a real school and it is, because once I'm done I'll get my SAT diploma, its just online .
"Modeling is my dream, nothing else." - Josie
5. What are the biggest ways in which modeling has changed your life?
Modeling has definitely changed my life, I love fashion, I've been interested in design and I love just wearing I. Just the other day I realized how many pairs of shoes I have! So for me to work with fashion as my job is amazing, I like having things to do otherwise I get impatient and bored, and Bonita (my booker) she keeps me busy. One time for a show they needed another model and I get a text from Bonita telling me I need to get there ASAP! This is when my school comes in handy. Modeling has made my life busy and fun and exciting, I get to meet so many people and make friends with cool people.
6. Are there any downsides to your job?
Yes, of course, I always get behind on school work, so I constantly have to be catching up, if I had it my way, I would quit school and do modeling full time but that's not an option because my mum wants me to at least finish high school. Another downside to modeling is that you get rejected all the time, and it feels awful at first but no model can get every single job they go for. You also get told what to look like (body wise), but I'm lucky enough to have a booker who isn't looking for a tiny model.
7. When you are not modeling, what takes up your free time?
When I'm not modeling I see my friends from my old school, I try to see them as much as possible. Because I am homeschooled I don't see people as an average student, so that definitely takes up my time.
8. Do you have any advice for aspiring models in Singapore?
Well I'm still an aspiring model myself but I guess you have to have the drive, and I know that sounds typical but its true, you really have to be able work long hours,wake up early, have patience, be thick skin, do crazy things or wear crazy things, do non-modeling work to get experience and have time to do all of that with a smile on your face, if you are willing to do that then u have to find a good agency that with start u off easy, and really you just have to get your self exposure, so others know you are there. Don't expect to be doing big time jobs right away because it took me ages before I could go out for big castings and know exactly what I'm doing.
9. How is modeling in Singapore different from the rest of the world?
I always thought Singapore wasn't good for fashion, but I realize that Singapore really does have a lot of amazing jobs and I'm so happy to be here. Singapore is a stepping stone for me, the rest of Asia are my next destination and hopefully I'll be in Milan by this time next year. Cities like Milan and New York are really different, not only in their fashion but the jobs the castings the people, I'm just excited to get there and work, Singapore is a bit slower, in other countries its a bit more fast pace.
10. Besides modeling, what is a dream career for you?
Well I actually dream of going to college to study history or art history, but modeling is my dream, nothing else.