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Sumi Interview

Make up artist, alternative model and wool dreadlock maker. She began her adventure with alternative modeling when she met her boyfriend, who is also a photographer. They did many photoshoots together, so she could develop her makeup and modeling skills. Later she joined “Altergroup Poland” and started to take part in alternative fashion shows and photoshoots in polish alternative community.  Usually she prefers pagan and witchy themes, however sometimes she likes to try something new, something different than most of her photos.

1 – How would you describe yourself, who is Sumi behind the cameras?

Silent, introvert workaholic who is never bored. Spending free time walking through the forests, playing mmo and creating more and more art all the time. 

2 -When did you start with your modeling career and what lead you to Alternative/goth modeling? 

I started to be more serious about modeling around 2017. Since then I have been doing photoshoots quite regularly. And since I am too short for typical, high fashion modeling (and also it does not inspire me as much as alternative one) I went to alternative and fantasy modeling. Also I loved fantasy themes since childhood so it was quite natural direction for me.

3 – Do you feel connected to the alternative lifestyle, and how is that like on your country.

Hard to tell really. I definitely look alternative (I mean how many green dreaded girls are there on the streets?) and wear mostly handmade clothes (not only done by me of course). I live in capital so I haven’t really experienced intolerance or oppression, most of the people just stare or smile at me. I also get quite a lot of compliments in public space, kids often say “look mommy, spring/fairy/elf is here” or “look, that lady has green hair”, and older ladies asks about clothing. But you need to remember I am not goth and dark looking person, I wear mostly fairy and witchy clothing so.

4 – For you as a model what do you think makes a picture perfect?

Attention to the details, colors and story behind it. 

5 – Well you are more then just a model you are a designer and a make-up artist, do you think that all combined helps you to be a better model? 

Definitely! Thanks to being  skilled in more then one category I notice more details that in the end makes photoshoot much more polished. Also I notice things that other people doesn’t sometimes (like wrong perspective for particular makeup or bad looking skirt on the dress),

6- Now has a fashion designer you already own your brand with your name, a brand that designs dreadlocks, comfortable clothes and even very beautiful gowns with a touch of magic (ate leas is what I feel when I look to them, can you tell us a bit more about this project? 

Well, lets be honest, alternative modeling itself is not very lucrative business and it is very hard to make a living out of it. And since I always was quite skilled in handmade arts I decided that is what I want to do for a living in long shot. Creating both casual and more fancy clothing brings me a lot of joy and boosts creativity a lot and allowes me to bring more of my ideas into living.

7 – Out of curiosity is there one part of your job that you love must, modeling, makeup or designing beautiful clothes

That’s impossible to pick because it mostly depends on my current mood. There are days that I am not into modeling at all and sewing brings me more joy, there are days when sewing is impossible but I can do makeups all day long and so on…

8 – Being your husband your main photographer do you guys see yourselves  like a “power couple” and you can make every project by yourselves or do you still need help from other artists like yourself becoming that way a team effort? 

It does help of course, we are way more independent than most of the people in business I suppose, especially since we can travel by car quite freely as well. But we still can’t do everything by ourselves(we don’t own animals, we don’t have our own swimming pool) and we still love to work with other creators. I love modeling in my own clothes but sometimes other models are better for particular project, sometimes I prefer to work as model with other designers, there is a lot of jewelry makers behind photos as well. So yeah, we can do a lot by ourselves but it’s not like we can do literally everything.

9- What is the part of the project that you guys enjoy the must, the planning, making the costumes or actually the shooting (not forgetting the editing part of course)?  

For Lurker its shooting itself, its very relaxing for him, he enjoys seeing new places and working with new people. It also takes his mind off everyday problems.

For me its planning and preparations for photos (sewing, makeup, finding place and bringing everyone together).  Shooting itself and editing are more in the second plan for me.

10- You are opened to collaborations, what kind of collaborations do you do and what makes you say yes to a project?  

I work with all kinds of creators, other clothing designers, jewelry makers and photographers. I avoid working with big companies that have mass production clothing made mostly in China for ethical reasons. Also I prefer to work with actual person on the other side, it makes the collaboration way more personal and effects are usually more satisfying. If a project is interesting, boosts my creativity and I can find more creators interested in it I usually say yes 😉

11- How can people buy your designs? And do take costume orders?

I have my own shop here.

All of my casual clothing are made to order and are fully customizable. When it comes to gowns and more fancy clothing I sell my own designs or do fully custom orders. If anyone wants to order something entirely custom the best way is to contact me via email or instagram :).

12- Are your photoshoots only in Poland or do you travel from time to time?  

Mostly in Poland, but we travel within the country. I also made some photoshoots in Czech Republic and worked with photographer from USA (SimplySavannahArt) while she was in Poland last year and with KatieMoona from Czech Republic (we have done few photoshoots in Poland last year and also have plans for shootings this year).

13- Out of curiosity do you guys make photoshoots only with you as a model or can someone else hire our services and maybe became a “fairy” for just one day?

Of course we work with other models, not always my face and style works best for particular creation and then we usually contact some other girl that would fit into the idea. But usually we choose the model and very rarely work with someone who contacted us. It is mostly because most people want to do photos for free and expect us to organise everything. If a model contacts us with specific idea and she is clearly involved into organising we usually work with her :). 

14- Can you tell us a bit about “Altergroup Poland”? 

Not really since I am not part of it. I used to be but I am not active there for at least one year and I officialy quit few months ago. I can’t afford time and money to participate in something that require work with a lot of people, during the conventions and in terms that are not always the best for me particularly. I prefer to concentrate on my own ideas and projects, especially since lots of my own photos require bigger budget (photos with animals and underwater photos for example). I think it is a good place for beginning models and for designers that likes fashion shows and sell their work on conventions as well.  

15- Every model has her own brand (the thing that makes her stand out), what do you think your brand is?

Green, dreads and pointy ears I suppose. 

16 – We can see you in many different types of photoshoots but do you favor any genre of modeling more than another?

Fairy photoshoots, working with animals and underwater modeling. These require a lot of work and attention but I really enjoy them. 

17 – Do you have a favorite photoshoot from all the ones you already done, one that left you with good memories?

Not really, I love most of them and almost all if them leaves some positive memories. 

18 – Do you have any concepts for future shoots that you’re just dying to try out? 

I have to many ideas to be honest xD. And yes I already have some bigger plans for this year, I have plans to make more makeup themed photos and to make more underwater photos as well. 

19 – Where do you go for inspiration? Do you have and idol, someone that you look up to for?

Nature is the best when it comes to inspiration. When it comes to idol my friend Askasu is my top one. She is awesome, creative person that really helped me a lot with my designer work and encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone.

20 – What do you consider your biggest career highlights so far?

  • Starting my own business
  • Work with foreign photographers (Savannah and Katie)
  • Work with Askasu
  • Invitation to MeraLuna
  • Underwater photoshoots
  • Participation in workshops organised by Anna Sychowicz fotografia

21 – After all that what more can we expect seeing you do in the future, what are your biggest goals in life?

I certainly plan to make more fairy gowns and more fancy clothing, I want to get back into sfx makeup as well. As a model I want to do more photos with animals and more underwater photos.

22 – Do you have any hobby, something you really enjoy doing just for fun?

My work is my biggest hobby, apart from that I quite enjoy digital drawing, cooking and herbology.

23 – Name three things you simply cannot live without every single day.

  • Coffee
  • Creative activity
  • Being with nature

24- You look amazing in your modeling outfits! What do you wear when you’re ‘off duty’?

If I am spending time at home (and mostly I do) I am wearing comfy, and not really fancy clothing, when I am at creative spree I sometimes spend half day in my pajama * laugh *. If I am going out I usually wear some dresses and skirts, usually made by me or other creators. I don’t really wear makeup everyday and if I do it’s usually something very neutral.

25 – I could really keep going asking more question all day , I’m a big fan of all work (and it was very good to get the chance to see you life at M’era Luna, really hope we can see each outher again and have a chat), but not wanting to abuse your time , here is the last question : You know you have many fans out there, what message would you like to leave them?

Support  small businesses, especially now, during this hard time. Goverments often forget about our existance and without you – our customers, we won’t be able to keep creating art you love so much.


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