Fateful meeting with a photographer brought you the modeling industry. You were only 16 years old. Why did you decide to take part in the photo session?
I always liked to be photographed since I was a kid; I took acting classes and wanted to become an actress.
London, New York, cooperation with worldwideknown brands, your photos on the covers of magazines… Tell me, what is it in your modeling career that could you call your most tremendous success to date?
I can’t point out something specific. For me personally, traveling worldwide and working with legendary brands is a success in itself. Doing what you love is already an achievement.
How difficult was your modeling journey? And what was your biggest obstacle along the way?
Initially, the most challenging was negotiating with my parents to accept that I work as a model. I was a high school student at that time, and my parents were against modeling. I had to face condemnation from the school and family, who looked at the modeling business negatively.
It was also challenging to allocate time between work and study at school at that young age – modeling jobs took place during the day, I had to skip classes and cope with some parts of the program on my own.
Is the modeling industry art or business?
Nowadays, it is definitely more of a business. It has always been a business, but there used to be more art elements in the ways models were expected to apply their looks and talent. At the beginning of my career, unusual, unique faces were in fashion.
The industry was focused on high fashion, creating something new and unusual that would become iconic. Now there is less artistic purpose assigned to a model. A model nowadays is a commercial product. The industry focuses on companies producing casual apparel, lingerie, swimwear, sportswear, cosmetics, and more.
What inspires you for personal development?
Mostly books. A book takes a lot of time to read, during which you think and rethink the information several times.
Doing what you love is already an achievement.
What do you like most about living abroad? Do you miss your homeland?
I like to engage with different cultures, meet people from other countries, and speak a foreign language.
You attend the unique Burning Man festival. What makes you come back there again and again?
Burning Man is a place where you can completely distract yourself from material values and beliefs about the world and play a game, imagining what the world would look like if none of that existed — social classes, money, and so on.
Did Burning Man inspire you to study esotericism?
I do not study esotericism, but I surely I believe in astrology and metaphysical phenomena.
How do you manage to maintain a balance between personal life, modeling business, and social life?
It’s easy. When everything is equally important, you always find time for the things you want to accomplish. The key is to motivate yourself, and self-discipline will come as a natural outcome of your interest.
You call your personal website «the diary of my mind.» Tell me, what inspired you to start sharing your thoughts and reflections on life on the Internet?
I wanted to write more than social networks allow and discuss topics of interest to many. I don’t like to talk in the camera for a long time and record videos of myself, so I write in my blog. I also want to share my impressions of exhibitions, films, travel.
What advice would you give to young women who are determined to pursue a career?
I strongly encourage to be confident in yourself and to not look at others. Each girl has her unique look and personality. Don’t try to be like someone else, no matter how successful they might seem. As Oscar Wilde said, «Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.»
Model: ANASTASIA BELOTSKAYA
Photographer: VIVIAN ARTHUR
Produser: VALENTINA GUROVA