"It is human nature to want to be heard in every situation, but especially in a professional setting."
What's your first name?
What's your last name?
Nice to meet you, Erika! May we have your email address please?
What's your Instagram username Erika? We'd love to check it out!
reeka_22 or air_modeling
What is your location, Erika?
State / Region
Alright, now for the interview! Firstly Erika, how would you best describe yourself?
Our readers would love to get to know you more Erika. Tell us about yourself, why you are passionate about what you do, and your journey so far.
I am a mental health professional who helps children in foster care with understanding their personal journey and aiding them in developing their own identity. So I know how important it is to be true to yourself and figure out exactly who you are! For me, modelling is a huge part of that. Modeling is a way of showing the world and myself who I am.
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos?
Keep interviewing me!
What are your goals and how do you see yourself progressing in the field Erika?
My biggest dream would be able to land a role that involved a character with a costume (i.e. superhero), so that I could then wear that costume on my days off to go to children's hospitals to see the kids! I would like to think that not only I would be able to cheer them up because their favourite comic book character came to visit them, but I would also be able to do therapy with them in a way they might not have been open to otherwise. Other than that, I would like just to keep creating and meeting new people.
How do you communicate with people Erika? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to clients’ requirements?
I like to think I am a very good listener, which is why I went into the mental health field in the first place. I use these skills when I am working with clients and photographers. I can listen to what they are saying and understand what they are trying to communicate. It is human nature to want to be heard in every situation, but especially in a professional setting.
If you had to do it over again, what would you change Erika?
I would spend less time worrying about what other people thought of me and instead use that energy towards my passions.
Who is your hero Erika, and how have they helped you get to where you are?
My parents! They may not be perfect, but I would not trade them for anything. Even when they haven't always agreed with my decisions, I have always felt loved and supported.
How important are creative education courses Erika? Have you taken any, and did you find them useful?
I think creative education is very important! There is always something else to learn and new perspectives that you learn from others.
Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out in the industry?
Don't let your personal achievements be diminished by what others are doing. Everyone is travelling a different journey, and no one is broadcasting their struggles. The only real measure of success is how far you've personally grown.
Please add any photo credits for the photos you uploaded so that everybody can get recognised.
Photographers: Susan Onysko; Jeremy John Matthews; Jeremy John Matthews; Michael Lovas; Shaun Campbell; Paul Falavolito; Jason Taylor; Jeremy Clark; Jay North; Jason Taylor