Today's interview is with up-and-coming model Kristian Wilkes! Whether he be on a shoot, travelling, or spending time with family and friends, Kristian's life is sure to be full of adventure. Let's see what he had to say when asked our all important questions...
Hi Kristian, how are you and how is your 2021 going?
'I'm really well and 2021 is treating me really well! I thought if it was going to be anything like last year, it's going to be a bit boring, but I've seemed to turn my life round a little bit. I've been working out loads, been getting modelling jobs and now that things are starting to open up, I can actually go out into London a lot more and meet friends.'
Can you tell us about being a model and why you decided to get into it?
'Being a model is probably the hardest job I have ever done and no one would usually think that. I have been a graphic designer, an estate agent, worked in a school, a labourer and a project manager trainee, but out of all of them, modelling is the hardest job. Modelling is more like a lifestyle, you have to focus so much on your image. You have to go to the gym all the time, you have to be cautious of how much you have to drink, you spend so much time and effort going into London all the time, spending your own money travelling to castings every week and at each weekly casting you probably will get only one. You're constantly judged because you have to go up to a panel and they're looking at your image to see if you're good enough for what they want. To be a model you have to be quite strong headed and not be able to take what they say to heart, it just means you're not right for that job.'
What is your favourite part of your job?
'I've got so many different favourites! You get to meet some amazing people, those who have the same interests as you, some people that are so different and are so incredible. You also get to go to some amazing places and travel a lot if you can. If you get good jobs, it's perfect. I love it.'
What is the latest project you are working on?
'I wouldn't say it's a project, but I've just finished filming a video shoot for Richard Quinn. It was so much fun with lots of dancers and there are a few a-list celebrities involved and I got to wear some very interesting outfits that I have never worn before!'
How do you maintain a good work-life balance?
'I enjoy my job, so I don't really view it as work. If I have to go to all of these castings and shoots, it can be a lot of time and energy, so I do get tired when it's a draining day, but I do love it. My work and life is conjoined into one, so meeting all these people and making all these friends, I see that as living as well as working. If I'm not working, then I will be trying to work on my body or socialising and seeing my friends.'
What would your perfect day look like?
'I would like to wake up at 7:30-8:00 in the morning, have some breakfast as I like to make sure I've had a good meal, then probably go to the gym. Then I'd get ready and go to a good photoshoot or casting. After the photoshoot you get to connect with all these people and maybe go out for drinks, so even when you're going out and drinking with these people, you're still networking. Someone might say to me 'I've got this job, you might be right for it', so part of the job is networking a lot. Then I would come home and just hang out with a couple close friends, maybe go to the pub or go out for dinner.'
If you could go back to your 16-year-old self, what would you tell him?
'It wasn't that long ago! I would tell him, 'Hey Kris, you're doing amazing sweetie!'. I would say, just remember, don't rely on anyone else to make you happy. Your happiness comes from yourself and you only. If you're having rocky relationships with friends, family or (romantic) relationships, don't let that bring you down, because the happiness comes from you. The happier you are, the more people see that and the more people want to be around you. The happier you are, the more attractive you become to friends, family or anything else.'
What would your last meal on Earth be?
'I'd probably go for my nonna's lasagne with my yiayia's roast potatoes!'
Are there any people, in your life or celebrities, that you look up to and aspire to be like?
'This is tricky! Celebrity wise I would probably say Harry Styles, because he's so not afraid to be who he wants to be and doesn't seem to judge anyone. He just does what he wants and seems to have a kind heart. Family wise, maybe my mum because she carries on trying to make everyone feel comfortable and she does so much for everyone else. I think that's really nice and I would like to be like that.'
Do you have any style tips that are simple, yet effective?
'Yeah I've got loads! I think layer what you're wearing. If you've got jeans and a t-shirt, maybe add a belt, maybe add a shirt over the top, jewellery, watches, maybe you could even tuck your t-shirt in. Just simple little things and make sure the colours are matching. Layers and colours.'
Travelling is clearly a big passion for you, what has been your favourite country that you have visited?
'There are so many good ones! The two I feel most at home at are Italy and Greece because family are there and I just know when I go there that this is where I'm from, this is where I should be right now, not in rainy England. Probably the most exciting places I've been to, maybe Bali or Vietnam. I just met so many different travellers out there and we explored so many different waterfalls, beaches with millions of starfish, swam with turtles, saw sculptures under the sea and went to volcanos. It was so amazing and we rented bikes and even though I had a big bike crash in Bali and have a huge scar on my leg, I still think it was one of my favourite experiences. Memorable, a great feeling and a different life out there.'
What is one piece of meaningful advice you could give to the readers?
'If it scares you, then you should do it. I think you need to get out of your comfort zone and take the leap, because you never know where it's going to lead you. As long as it's not something like drugs or like killing someone! If it scares you and it's legal, then do it. If it scares you and it's illegal, don't do it!'
Follow Kristian on Instagram here!
By Pia Talbot