Wait a minute.. I’ve told you who I am, but some of you don’t know me from before. What am I doing? Do I live in Sydney and how did I end up here?
Well. I work full time as a fashion model, you know that by now. I do not live in Sydney, not really. Not in the way most people think when they say ‘live’. I sort of live in my suitcase, and move around. I came to Sydney just about 3 weeks ago, I’m here on a short stay work visa and am supposed to be here until mid/end of March. So right now I have my base here. In my world there’s a difference between where “home” is, where I “live” and where I am “based”.
I’ve been here once before for work in 2011, and after changing my ticket five times I had been here for three months. I like Sydney, the vibe and lifestyle you can have here. Before coming here this time around I was in Milan, where I went by the end of September. I was supposed to stay there for four weeks to start, but ended up having my base there for about four months instead. No reason to leave when you’re working well and enjoy a place.
I’m not constantly traveling and moving around. I’ve been having longer periods of time during my full time modeling career when I’ve been home in Stockholm, living and working there, just doing direct bookings (confirmed work) to other places for a few days or so. But I am sure traveling a lot too, and have been based/working in cities as Paris, Istanbul, Athens, Cape Town, Hamburg, London (which I consider my second home city) among others.
I’m not sure when I’ll go home to Sweden next. I left from there right after New Years, now I’m on the other side of the world and for the moment I don’t feel like I need to go home. I’m free to travel and only time will tell where and when I end up next and for how long.
I had never really thought about modeling. I don’t even think I knew what it was or at least what it meant, that it could be your job. It was more like if it found me than the other way around.
Late summer/early autumn of 2006
The first time I heard about MIKAs – my mother agency – was when I read an article about them and their 20 year anniversary in one of those women’s fashion magazines (Cosmo? Glamour?). I read it, I didn’t think much more about it, I forgot about it. By this time I had just started my first year of A-levels/high school.
Early autumn of 2006
I saw an add in a newspaper, some model-what-questionmark-blahbla by the name MIKAs were going to have a lookout for models in a shopping mall. I had once been told I could model, and thought it would be interesting (but scary) to see what they would say. It was the same Saturday as my new school had an expo (I studied animal care and environment, and my school was like a smaller zoo with a bunch of animals) so me, my mum and a friend of mine were going to go to the shopping mall after that. Mum and the friend was so fascinated by all animals though so we missed the last train to make it on time, and that was that. We went home instead, and I thought maybe I could call that MIKAs place. I never got around to that though – they caught me first, like if it was meant to be. Because after that, I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve been scouted by other agencies both in Sweden and abroad.
Week 44, autumn break 2006
Some early first snow of the year was falling from the sky and everyone walked around completely wrapped up in thick jackets and scarfs. I was walking around in central Stockholm with my cousins who were visiting from north of Sweden, when I got stopped by Johan from MIKAs. I thought he was about to ask for the directions somewhere, but instead he asked if I had any model agency. I was so not prepared for that. He gave me the phone number to the agency and asked me to call them. When I came home and told my parents they were a bit sceptical. We did call though, and after an endless amount of phone calls back and forth we had a date set for a meeting.
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
Meeting with MIKAs. My mum went with me, we talked a bit with MIKAs about modeling and the business, they explained a lot and answered our questions, we took a few simple photos and I filled in an application. They were going to call if they were interested and would want me.
Wednesday, 15 November 2006
They called. They had said that you always start out with a test shoot, so you get an easy start. But could I start with a job on Friday instead?
Friday, 17 November 2006
I did my very first job, a beauty shoot for a make up school. My dad came with me to work, to make sure all went alright and to calm the parents nerves when the daughter starts out in a business surrounded by talk and prejudice. I was so nervous and scared the shoot would turn out real bad and that everyone would get angry with me, and kick me out from both job and agency. That is not really how it went though.
From that day on I started doing modeling on the side of school. When I felt I wouldn’t miss out on too much and as long as it didn’t affect my education I took days off to work instead, I said no to several jobs, and I did my first model traveling during the summer holidays. The summer of 2009 I graduated, and from the autumn after that modeling has been my full time profession.
This is the only photo I have from my first shoot; not finished with the post editing, low-res quality, and in the end never used for the planned purpose. When my friends saw this they commented on how grown up I looked – “like 21 at least!”. From the view of 16 year olds.. today I think I look like a kid in this pic. Ph: Peter Gaszynski
Back in the city and back to work. I’ve just finished a two day editorial shoot for Marie Claire. Great team, great food (just look at the breakfast in the pictures below..), I think the pictures turned out really good, and the second day we had to try to work with the photographers new puppy running around the studio (and I had to sit with her in my lap for an hour during the drive from where I live to the studio.. oh no tough life). Now we just have to wait until the June issue comes out by the end of May to see the pictures in print. The one who waits…
After a weekend away down southwards in Australia I’m back in Sydney. On Friday I went for a longer drive with a good friend of mine and her bf, down to Thredbo where they live/work during winter here. When traveling around the world for work, it’s easy to get stuck in the cities where you live. Just because of that; you live there. When you’re home, even if you have a weekend free, how often do you go away somewhere to experience other parts of your country or whereabouts? You have time later. It’s just that when living somewhere for a shorter time, all of a sudden you’re going elsewhere and you’re time here is up for this time around. “Oh well, next time then”.
So when I got an opportunity to escape the city I grabbed it. About a six hour drive down south through Canberra and we found ourselves surrounded by fresh air, wild kangaroos and the occasional emu. Saturday we went for a hike up Australia’s highest mountain; Mt Kosciuszku. So lucky we got back home right before it started pouring down outside; we quite literally got stuck inside in front of the warmth and crackling sounds from the fireplace and then fell asleep right there during the earlier nightly hours. Sunday we went horseback riding over the hills under the sun before driving back home to Sydney. Sun, nature, hiking, some wild and domesticated animals, a fireplace, driving – all in the company of friends.. what else can I say than that I truly enjoyed the time away?
Just a little something about languages. I’m from Sweden, I do speak Swedish and I do it really well (most of the time when not speaking some sort of Swenglish that is). I’m a born and bred Swede after all. So why am I writing in English? I mainly think in English – even if I apparently dream in Swedish (sleep talker) – and I’ve been doing so since some of my earlier teenage years. I think in Swedish and moving images and sounds and weird mixes of them all too, and might have a constant language battle going on in my brain I think. I often get frustrated whichever language I decide to use since there’s always some word or expression I can’t find or that doesn’t even exist. No matter what I do there’s limitations to how I can express myself, but I try to work around it.
With this job of mine, I get the possibility to travel a lot. I have friends and work with people from all over the world and they all speak English, as do so many others – including a majority of the Swedish people. Apart from giving them the possibility to follow my travels and whereabouts in life, I love the softness and the sound and look of the English language. There are so many words to use. I most probably make a million mistakes when attempting to use it, but I learn along the way.
everyday and unusual days. health. backstage and onstage from the fashion world. travels. cities. environment. pictures. life.
Sweden is home, but I live in my suitcase with the world as my work place and playground."