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Morning

I have shot with Lorena Fernandez several times during the past few years and she is always the consumate professional and great fun to work with. Back in November last year I asked Lorena for an interview with “The Starving Artist” blog and Lorena took some time out recently from her hectic schedule for that interview. Hopefully this will provide some insight into the life of a professional model.

{The Starving Artist} Good morning Lorena – thanks for coming into the office

{Lorena Fernandez} Hi Colin – great to be here – can’t wait to hear what you have to ask!

{TSA} Haha – ok! Lets crack on then. So Lorena, I know you are from Spain, but tell us a little bit about your origins and why you decided to settle here in the UK

{LF} I was born and raised in Valencia, a sunny coastal town in Spain. My whole family ‘looks’ Spanish but my great grandfather was German and somehow the ‘genes’ were passed on to me, to the point that most people tend to think I’m eastern European! I always like travelling and did my last year of Uni in the United States, by then I had met my now husband (who is from Bristol) and decided to move here with him (my English is better that his Spanish, so I had a better chance of finding a job here!).

{TSA} At what age did you start modelling?

{LF} When I was 4-5 years old, my parents put me in a modelling agency, as a blonde kid in a country where most kids are brunette was quite beneficial for me…I did several TV adverts, kid’s catwalks and children’s catalogues and through my teens continued with the modelling, expanding onto acting (studied Drama for 2 years) and hostessing/promotions too…Moving to the UK meant I had to almost start from scratch, as I did not know anybody in the industry. Fast forward 6 years, and I would say ‘I’m there!’

{TSA} So with all this experience behind you what would your “Dream
Modelling Job” be?

{LF} Well, I have to be realistic…my dream job would be walking the
catwalks of Paris, Milan or New York, but I never grew those extra 2-3
inches, so my next one in the list would be featuring on the likes of Vogue
and Elle…but if I’m completely honest, I enjoy my job so much, that every
photo shoot, catwalk, music video or film I do is part of my ‘living the
dream’! I am very happy with the way my life and my career has turned out.

{TSA} What’s your biggest luxury?

{LF} I find this question a bit ambiguous…if you mean what the luxury
items I spend my money on, you need to know that I’m a bit – a lot – of a
geek, so I always need to have the latest gadget (there is only the two of
us in our house, but we have 3 iPads, 3 iPhones, 5 flat screen TVs, 2
Xbox-360 consoles, a Playstation III, a Wii, 2 latptops and a PC, which is
great for gaming sessions with friends!
If you are talking in a more figuratively way, my biggest luxury is being
healthy and having a supporting family who has always told me that with hard
work and dedication there is nothing I can’t achieve! They always make me
aim for the best, so I was a straight A student, graduated from university
with the highest GPA (I made into the ‘President’s List’, meaning I was one
of the 10 best marks from everybody graduating that summer) and in all my
jobs I tried to give 110% – nothing (and nobody) can ever be perfect, but
it’s fun trying to get there!

{TSA} I did mean figuratively – but great answer anyway! So, how would you
define your own personal modelling style?

{LF} I guess I’m what you call a classic look – long wavy blonde hair, blue
eyes and round face and body contours – so no surprise my favourite shoots
are portraits and I love modelling wedding dresses and ball-gowns on the
catwalk!
And I am a happy person, so I would say my best shots are when I’m smiling!
Of course, sometime I end up being ‘cliched’ into the same styles, so every
now and again I love doing jobs that push the boundaries, like the ‘Corpse
Bride’ shoot we did last year…it’s been great for me in terms of
networking, as everybody remembers those photos and gets surprised to see
that I was the girl under the amazing special effects make-up!

Thunder & lightening, very very frightening !!

Thunder & lightening, very very frightening !!

{TSA} Thanks for the “Corpse Bride” plug! Modelling is tough though how do you stay in shape?

{LF} Ok, to say it clear and loud, anybody who knows me, knows my love for good food! In Spain we have 5 meals a day, so when they see me eating that much in this country, I have to admit it must be down to good genes! But also the fact that I eat healthy food and use olive oil in all my cooking – that is my worst kept secret, I swear by olive oil! Of course every now and then I’m unhealthy, who can say no to bangers and mash or a proper full english breakfast! If I’m feeling too unhealthy, I drop by the gym (I say drop by, as I’m no gym-bunny and this is almost my last resort!). I try to walk for at least 30 mins every day and I’m a true believer that any night I go out clubbing, dancing all night must help too! Oh and retail therapy – good for your health to walk and carry ‘heavy bags’ for a good 4-5 hours and also good for your mind – I love shopping!

{TSA} Who do you admire and would most like to meet?

{LF} I admire people that pursue their dreams, that make the most with what
life throws at them and that enjoy the lives and careers – that’s what I aspire to!
I know it’s not realistic, but I would love to meet Leonardo Da Vinci, it amazes me how intelligent he was to make the most of his work, on a time in history where there were no computers or gadgets to do the thinking for you; I’m fascinated by all those ‘inventors’ who made amazing things – it was all down to their intellect and efficient use of the resources around them! Also, as a most trivial look at people I would like to meet, I would say Claudia Schiffer (my favourite model) and Craig David (my favourite singer).

{TSA} So what’s the best advise you have ever received? 

{LF} From my dad: ‘be the best, work hard, don’t let anybody tell you there
is something you can’t achieve, you have to believe in yourself before anybody else does’ – let’s say I’m trying to make him a proud dad!

{TSA} I think he must be proud! So tell us what you do in your “downtime”?

{LF} As mentioned in previous questions: I eat, shop, dance, play
video-games…and model! I enjoy my job so much, sometimes it does not feel
like a job!

{TSA} What is the most interesting shoot you have ever done?

{LF} I already mentioned the ‘Corpse Bride’ shoot (awesome make up, awesome location, awesome people to work with). Also some of my acting/extra roles can be quite fun, as you turn into a complete different ‘person’ each time – I have ‘been’ a nurse, a kidnap victim (three times, one of them as a vampire hostage), an art thief, a turn-of-the-century lady, an air hostess, a victorian maid, Princess Leia and a psychiatric patient, among others! Finally one of the jobs I enjoy most (for the excitement) is working as a grid girl in Silverstone, the cars are extraordinary (and the are revving,
inches away from you), everybody is in hight spirits and there are cameras
everywhere! My idea of heaven!

Bridal Fashion - Lorena F

Bridal Fashion – Lorena F

{TSA} And finally – Do you have any advice for those just wanting to start
out on a career in modelling?

{LF} This is not an easy world (the past few years have shown a boom in models and photographers) so you need to stand out and prove your worth. You have to be active, especially online where most of the jobs (and key people) are now. So:
– Build your portfolio, to create impactful images so that you can
make a name for yourself (and update it regularly).
– Network: have as many profiles online as you can, you never know where the next opportunity is going to come from. Join groups, forums and discussions; be seen and be heard.
– Show professionalism. You can be the most beautiful model around, but you will still be working with real people who also want the best for their careers, so you need to be polite, adaptable and presentable (take care of your image and health, is your best tool after all!).
– Practice, practice, practice. There is always a first time for every job, but the more you work the best you get at it…sometimes you’ll get offers for low paid or not paid at all jobs, but make sure to choose them carefully: a paid job may be more enticing (nobody likes working for free), but that unpaid job with prospects to publication will probably open more doors for you.
– And finally, enjoy what you do. If you are happy, it shows (and it’s contagious) – who doesn’t want to work with an easy-going, positive person?  And again this benefits you in the long run, as word-of-mouth will describe you as a ‘great model’, the one that offers the whole package.

{TSA} Sound advice there Lorena. That about wraps it up – thanks so much for
your time Lorena!

{LF} Thanks Colin!!

Lorena is a professional actress/model and you can see her work here, Lorena Fernandez and you can follow her on Twitter @lorena__F

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