Happy to have you here, Helen. Tell us your story, how did you got started modeling and where is your home at the moment?
At this point in my life, I live in Vancouver, BC and am getting a degree in Fashion Design at LaSalle College Vancouver. My modelling journey basically started by an accident through a professional photographer who found me on Instagram and offered me a free photoshoot. I simply could not say no to that, and after the first shoot in 2019 I realized that modelling is definitely something I should try out more.
Tell us more about yourself. What else do you do next to modeling?
There is actually a long list of things I am interested in, such as makeup art and street photography. I also do a lot of illustration and painting, sometimes make clothes and I am working towards becoming an actress and a screenwriter. If I were to sum up all the things out there that I am passionate about, it is different areas and forms of art which I am learning and discovering day by day.
What do you love most about being a model? And, what do you least enjoy?
I love the freedom and confidence that being in front of a camera gives me, I absolutely love the concept being open and emotional. I do consider modelling another form of acting where it is not enough to just look beautiful, and where you can translate emotions and feelings to the world through one photo. Although I do avoid commercial photoshoots that would only require me to be a clothes hanger with a beautiful face and a makeup well done. It is always a desire to create art, not be another one of those similarly-looking girls who are only appreciated for their great and stylish looks.
What is the most challenging being a model?
What I find being the most challenging in modelling is building trust and communication with the photographer as I do in most cases feel extremely uncomfortable working in complete silence and only getting some dry directions from a person I do not know well. Another thing about the modelling industry here in Vancouver is the fact that it is barely possible to make money just by being a model. Aside from all the photoshoots I do, I also work just as a regular server in a restaurant as most people are only seeking for TFP’s.
If you could change something in the modeling world, what would it be?
I just wish certain people could understand that modelling is much more than having a pretty face and a good-looking body.
What fuels your imagination and provides you with inspiration?
A lot of inspiration I get comes from actual pain and traumas I gained throughout my life, and I learned to turn it into forms of art. Whether it is a painting of cracks on my face or an image of a fallen angel in the darkness, I put a piece of myself into each and every single project of mine. Through all of that I am trying to showcase my scars, put it out there and turn it into a concept that people can possibly relate to and have their own understanding of it. I do struggle a lot with opening up about my feelings vocally and visualization of it through photography is what’s getting me through my life.
What keeps you excited about life in general?
What always keeps me excited is the idea of creating art. It is the idea of letting people know that they are not alone in their struggles through my conceptual projects. For the longest time I had to deal with so many things on my own with everyone else around me hiding behind happy masks. I want to break the stereotype of always having an urge to be happy or pretend to be, and I want to give people enough motivation and inspiration to open up about their own struggles and traumas.
Looking back how has modeling experience changed your personal/professional life? Have you grown more comfortable with yourself since you have started?
As a person who used to hate each and every part of my body from top to the bottom, and whose own reflection in the mirror would make them cry for hours, I do need to say that modelling completely changed an image of myself in my head. As soon as I got the photos from my first ever shoot, I simply could not believe I was looking at myself as that happy and confident girl on the screen of my phone did not look like me at all. . Or that is what I thought after many years of disliking myself and trying to change for other people. That girl in the photos was bright, she was smiling and she barely looked at the camera, and that is what made me realize that this was exactly what I looked like when I didn’t try to pose and pull out my best angles. Throughout the whole photoshoot that day, the photographer and I were just having nice conversations, he would make me laugh my lungs out because of his jokes and instead of posing, he simply asked me to be myself while he took the photos. Modelling got me on a new level and helped me better see that person I have always been but never wanted to accept. And slowly all the other insecurities just faded away.
What kind of life would you like to have?
As of right now, I am still looking for an answer to this question. All I know is that I want to live in a big city, ideally in my own studio apartment with lots of sunlight, and hopefully with a friendly cat. Day by day, I am figuring out my purpose and mission in this world, and who knows where I end up and who I’m going to be in a couple of years.
What are the achievements you are proud of most of today?
The biggest thing I’ve accomplished in my life was moving to Vancouver, Canada on my own at the age of 15 for the sake of getting a good quality education. Four years later, I myself struggle to explain how exactly I went through moving to a different continent, living alone in this huge city and being so far away from my family. And even four years later the idea of relying on myself only and not having a single family member next to me still scares me a lot yet this city gave me the most opportunities. Here I have learned to love and accept myself, here I finally found confidence to talk to different people and make friends, here I got a part and a few movies and here I finally live the life I was dreaming of as a little girl. That is why not being afraid to take a chance, changing continents and leaving everything I love behind for the sake of better life and education is what I am the proudest of in my life.
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?
All of my modelling and artwork can be found on my Instagram page @dreamhelen_ and @helenmoss_mua for the makeup work.
Photographer: Lorenzo Prefumo @contebyl
Model: Helen Moss @dreamhelen_