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I have done a lot in a short period of time. Modeling has always been a passion of mine. It is something that I excel at as it comes naturally to me. Modeling has its challenges. As a model, you have to be confident, make your poses flow and look genuine for long periods of time. Easier said than done. I started modeling when I was in high school back in my hometown, Chicago. I did hair shows, print and runway. Print was my favorite. Runway, not so much because I always had a hard time balancing a book on my head during runway practice. Yes, the only model that couldn’t do it. I own it! While I was modeling in Chicago, I got an interview and an offer with Ford Models in New York. Unfortunately, my parents wanted me to finish school first and I had to turn the offer down.
I was heartbroken that I could not follow my passion, but knew that my parents wanted the best for me. I worked as a Pharmacy Technician while I was in school and finished college rather quickly. I took a lot of classes all year round even in summer school. I ended up becoming a Clinical Laboratory Scientist with an MBA in Marketing. Quite drastic, don’t you think?
I moved to Los Angeles shortly after in pursuit of my Scientist career and hope of becoming a Lab Director. Let’s just say life once again took me in a different direction. I ended up becoming a Personal Manager that manages careers of Electronic Dance Music Artists. Then I met photographer, Cathryn Farnsworth. She encouraged me to continue with modeling. Cathryn Farnsworth, Make-up Artist, Barbie Laurino and I started working together and built my modeling portfolio back up. I have done print work for Sugar and Co. Nail Parlor, Glamarella Jewelry, Trissola and have upcoming projects.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Miki. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
A unique trait that I have is my work ethic. I believe in working hard for what you want in life. You have to go out there and earn your battle wounds before you get to your desired destination. And even then you can’t stop. You have to keep moving to stay in the game. I am my own boss and motivator. The most important thing that I have learned is that you can only depend on yourself. In modeling, you work with a team but the root of it all is your driving force. I do not wait for opportunity to knock on my door, I go out and get it. I meet, connect and build relationships.
Miki, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
I started modeling at a small agency in Chicago, Premiere Model and Talent. I modeled for smaller brands for a bit of time. Your passion must match your aspiration. Modeling is my passion. Working with brands is an aspiration. A passion and aspiration of mine would be to use my image to represent more brands via print and possibly even commercials. When representing a brand, you are selling a product. Modeling should be genuine and not forced while representing a brand. Consumers can see the difference which can affect the project. It is always about how you carry yourself as a model. My goal is to bring the best possible image for the brand and for the audience.
Who is your inspiration in life Miki? How do you keep inspired?
Adriana Lima is my inspiration. Everything about her keeps me motivated. She takes care of herself, works hard and puts out the best work. Every time I see an ad of Adriana, it draws me in. She can sell a product just by that look. She makes you feel what she feels in her moves, expressions and poses. Now that’s talent. I take the time to study her poses and photoshoots. It helps me construct my style of modeling. She is truly amazing and I will always look up to her.
We all make mistakes Miki, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Model , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I have made mistakes by working with the wrong photographers and make-up artists along the way. They are what makes or breaks your modeling portfolio. I learned from it and never worked with them again. I also learned that even though I am the model, I should speak up if I see something is not working. I am very fortunate to be currently working with the best photographer and make-up artist. We have great communication and work well together.
Miki ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
Being organized and managing your time wisely are key. You never want to over extend yourself. I don’t believe that one client is more important than another. They are all important to me. I make it work and happen. Modeling is a business and you have to make sure all of your clients are taken care of. I bring the best to the table and give the best service I possibly can.
Please tell us Miki, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
As a model, I always have to be strategic to meet all my priorities. It starts with the most important part, taking care of myself. I follow a plant based diet, exercise daily, take extra care of my skin and get plenty of rest. I study different looks, styles and poses before I start working on a new project. It’s important to be innovative and prepared. Being punctual is of the most importance. If you can’t be punctual then you aren’t taking your job seriously. I also help with coordinating shoots and provide inspirational photos for the photographer, make-up artist and stylist.
Miki, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
Long ago, I was able to persuade a photographer to have a make-up artist on board and interns help with our shoots. He was resistant but there was only so much I could do to help as the model. I can be superwoman at times, but working with only a photographer for a shoot is unrealistic and stressful.
Miki please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share to everyone. What is it and why?
Since runway is my weakness in modeling. My proudest professional accomplishment as a model was getting booked for a runway show with Playboy Sportswear. I was very nervous before walking, but I took a deep breath and killed it on the runway. The crowd was amazing, supportive and put a big smile on my face. The producer of the event came up to me and told me how outstanding I was and gave me a hug. It was the best feeling in the world. That image will stay with me forever.
Miki, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
My most recent photoshoot I was able to get creative with vaping in my photos. I wanted to bring some edge into the shoot. My photographer was completely on board. The photos came out perfect. It was exciting because we were both trying something new.
What advice would you give to the people who wants to be successful as a Model?
The best advice I can give is invest in your portfolio. Work with reputable photographers, make-up artists and stylists. Don’t just have someone with a camera take photos of you. You will get bad quality photos and it will make you look like an amateur. Agents and brands look for high quality, professional work. The last thing you want to do is waste their time. It’s a tough industry. You must be prepared.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes. I looking to collaborate with fashion talents, brands and creatives.
Now for the best part Miki! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: Cathryn Farnsworth @cathrynfarnsworth. Hair and Makeup artist: Barbie Laurino @barbielaurino. Wardrobe Stylist: Holley Wolfe