Jillian Ann (OMP Model #1874) has been a major force on the creative scene for the past 10 years, making her living solely from being a model as well as a musician. This is the second of three installments covering our exclusive interview with the artist.
OMP: What are the rewards and challenges of modeling?
Jillian Ann: I have met so many amazing people, I have been to so many amazing places, I am able to do what I want when I want how I want. I am able to create all the time, and have spent my whole life just creating being inspired and always learning. Each shoot is another experience which teaches me. I learn from stories people share, from conversations, from the art we make, it is amazing. The challenges? I had the learn the hard way to really use my intuition to determine who to work with and who not to. Along the way I ended up working with some people who did really horrible things, there are those who will take advantage of a young model’s dream and harm them or exploit them. I encountered some of these people when I was younger and it really hurt but quoting Nietzsche “what does not kill you make you stronger”. Eventually I learned how to avoid creeps and if I ever encountered one, how to stand up for myself and fight back, nicely but still fight back. Now I have lawyers and folks who take care of things for me and all goes well. Another challenge is that as a model you are always in the public eye and everything you do is in one way or another talked about if you have any fame whatsoever, so if you end up in the wrong place with the wrong people at the wrong time, often there is no delete button and you just have to walk through it and evolve from it. While I love it, the travel and scheduling can be challenging because it is hectic and sometimes I end up having to work with some difficult people and it has taught me a lot about myself and how to work with anyone and find ways to make anyone’s bad day better. Overall modeling has been an amazing path I have enjoyed being on.
OMP: What advice do you have for models just starting out?
Jillian Ann: Be realistic, ask lots of questions, learn as much as you can. Check references, never do anything you really don’t want to do out of pressure from someone else. Find the area of modeling you love, do it because you love it and enjoy it. Study every aspect of it, learn how to make amazing pictures, learn how to pose, style , do your makeup, your hair, learn how to work with the light, (light is your best friend, not Photoshop). Study everything and realize your worth is what you bring to the shoot. Nowadays modeling is insanely competitive and just being pretty doesn’t cut it, there are thousands of pretty people. As a model you are self employed, so your relationships matter, your ability to communicate, your professionalism, your business sense and your skill on camera are critical to your success. Just because you’re pretty doesn’t mean you’re a good model, if you can’t pose, if you don’t know and aren’t comfortable in your body, if you can’t be part of a creative team process, your success will be very limited. They might hire you once, but rarely twice. The industry isn’t that big and having repeat clients is important, if for some reason my repeats don’t book me as often as they used to, I check in to find out if I need to evolve. Focus on making the best pictures possible always, be it with your friends or the biggest photographers in the world. Be present, be connected, and be professional. Showing up totally wasted and or hung over only works if you’re a rock and even that won’t fly very long.
OMP: What are your future goals as a model?
Jillian Ann: I am always on a quest to make better and better pictures. I am working on a book at the moment which I am planning on releasing with my next album. My music career is expanding and so I hope to perform and model more internationally over the next few years. I am working more and more with designers and have started to art direct and produce Photo shoots and have become involved in every aspect, except taking the actual picture. But from styling to retouching I am getting more and more into the art directing and not just the modeling. I am also working on doing more film work, where I take everything I know and rather than make a still picture, make amazing moving pictures like my video “Confess” which I made with a photographer I met because of OMP. It was a great collaborative experience and I am very proud of it and the song that goes with it of course. I have more visions than I seem to have time to do, but I am working on it and will just keep creating till I am no more.
See more of Jillian Ann on her OMP Portfolio
Watch for the third installment of our exclusive interview with Jillian Ann on Friday in the OMP Blog!