Maxine, how did you get involved with modeling? Where are you based now?
I always loved modeling and pursued it ever since I was a kid. I was always the tallest girl in my class and remember being 8 years old making up commercials and practicing them in the mirror! I actually pursued it back then and was in an acting agency as a kid, where I became familiar with the casting process and even landed a small role in an indie film. Later on when I moved to NYC to study Fashion Design at FIT, I collaborated with photography students on campus and posed for fashion illustration classes. After getting my degree and working in the industry as a designer, I continued to shoot with photographers and work with brands on the side. Today, I’m still living in NYC and am signed to a few different modeling agencies.
What was your first job as a model? How did it feel?
One of my first jobs was for Vidal Sassoon. Their whole team is amazing and I still work with them today. They sent a group of models and I to Mexico City and Bahia, Brazil for 2 weeks to model for Wella. It was so much fun and I ended up meeting some of my best friends. Right before that trip, I had booked another job with my then-roommate. We ended up being the faces of the first print ad for HelloFresh. It was funny, because in the photo it showed us cooking together on set in a fake kitchen, then we went home and cooked together in our apartment!
Besides modeling, what else are you passionate about? What are your hobbies?
After years of working in Fashion I have since transitioned to the Art business. I now work with a contemporary oil painter in Manhattan, and I am a painter myself. I work with acrylic and oil paint on canvas and I also embroider on denim and leather apparel. When I’m not working and painting, I love to do yoga, meditate, shoot photos, hang out downtown in my favorite neighborhoods and go to galleries with friends.
Who is someone you feel has really influenced you? Why?
I have to say my family has been very influential. My dad is very hard working and always encouraged me to follow my dreams. My mom is an amazing yoga teacher and introduced me to meditation at a really young age. I also have 4 wonderful brothers who are all very creative, we all grew up inspiring each other and making movies together.
What keeps you excited about life in general?
Living in NYC keeps me excited because it’s constantly changing. There’s so much opportunity here and it never gets old! I love collaborating with photographers, and feel lucky that every single one I’ve shot with has been a wonderfully unique experience.
I also love to push myself in my creative projects, and am beginning to paint on bigger canvases which is pretty exciting to me.
What is your advice for people to be happier, healthier, and more full of love?
Exercise, meditate, be kind to others, and care enough about your inner peace to only keep positive people around you.
What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?
In both my modeling and art career I’m constantly learning new ways of doing things, especially today with more options than ever.
I think it takes courage to try anything new, take initiative, learn and try new things when you’re not sure what the outcome will be.
I’ve had a lot of moments like this, from building my network from scratch, attending castings never knowing if I’d book the job, shifting my career focus from Fashion Design to Fine Art, starting my own LLC, and sharing my personal projects without knowing how they will be received.
Many things weren’t always easy and had learning curves, ups and downs. No matter what, I have learned to always stay positive and embrace every step of the way.
Is there an artist you are fascinated about or you would like to work with in the future?
This past year I’ve been lucky to meet some really incredible artists that push boundaries of what we believe is possible. One of them is Reid Stowe, his art documents his experience sailing the longest sea voyage in history without resupplying or touching the earth for over 1000 days, longer than any human being. He’s still making art today and is using his experience to train astronauts survival techniques in preparation to go to Mars.
What kind of life would you like to have?
I actually love where I am in this part of my life right now. I live in my favorite place in the whole world surrounded by art every day. I’d like to continue everything I’m doing on a high level and continue to collaborate with talented people from all around the world.
If you could change something on the planet, what would it be?
I’d do what I can through my art to inspire others to think big, and realize their own potential beyond what they could imagine. I want to inspire kindness, compassion, and wonder in my work. If it influences even one person to take action from that place, I'll be happy.
What are your goals for the near future and do you have any exciting projects you want to share with us?
I’m actually working on a large body of artwork behind the scenes that I look forward to sharing eventually, along with many more editorial shoots that I look forward to releasing soon! Stay tuned!