What did you want to become when you were a child?
A ninja turtle. I went through all the brothers - Leo first because blue was my favorite color. Then I embraced my goofy side and felt a connection to Michelangelo. Then I wanted to be smart and disassembled a broom so I could pretend I was Donatello. Lastly, I came to accept that I had a very strong temper and rebellious spirit so I turned to Raphael. I also understood that they were all named after Renaissance painters, which I thought was so cool. I spent so much time drawing ninja turtles and superheroes- I wanted to be one. I guess that's the real answer to your question. My imagination is my greatest tool, and creating has always been my greatest passion. As a child, being an artist meant drawing characters and then pretending to be them.
How did your friends/family react when you told them you wanted to be a model?
I never wanted to be a model- I kind of fell into it because people were telling me I should. I was incredibly self-conscious about my body as a chubby boy with little to no athletic ability. Even after finding fitness, I still had a construed vision of myself so when people were approaching me about modeling I thought it was a joke. Someone high up on the food chain within the industry approached me one night while I was bar tending. His interest combined with the faith of my girlfriend at the time was enough boost to get me out of my head.
How long have you been modelling for?
Seven years but it feels like it's been longer. The industry is fickle. Sometimes you're working all the time, sometimes you won't work for months. An injury knocked me down and took me out of the game for a while but it actually opened my eyes to what’s really important to me. I’ve been evolving ever since that injury. I want to work with companies and people that share similar sentiments about preserving our home, the planet and its people.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
Shifting from ‘model’ to ‘role model’
Who inspires you in the industry?
All the guys I've met that have beautiful families- Daniel Jarret, Cory Bond, Victor Ross, James Giordino. I think the industry has two worlds- a glamorous facade where young adults live in limbo, and responsible adults that are trying to earn a living for themselves and their families.
What aspects of your job do you like best/least?
Best- travel. Getting to travel to distant lands and work with talented creators is the biggest highlight by far.
Least- destruction. What I’ve been thinking about a lot, is the global impact of the fashion industry. “Fast fashion” is destroying the planet and its people. I want to use my platform as a model to change the way we think about fashion.
How do you bounce back from a defeat?
Learn all that you can from your failures. Take responsibility. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Start climbing again.
What makes you happy?
Getting lost in nature. Climbing a mountain with the sun on my back. Sweaty, sandy bodies jumping in salt water. Experiencing new people and places far away from the digital life.
What brings you the greatest satisfaction? Moments when I know that I am doing everything I can to fulfill my purpose through my passion. And when I catch myself from falling back into the cracks of self-criticism and fear.
What is your favourite song at the moment, and of all time?
Cause I’m a man by Tame Impala. Of all time.... It’s not a song. There is an anime called Samurai Champloo. A japanese composer named Nujabes (RIP) did most of the score. It’s a bunch of instrumental hip-hop beats. It’s been on my ipod forever and traveled with me through many countries.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
The power of one only grows with the power of many.
What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
It used to be sex minus the intimacy but I’ve gotten over that. I’m going to say cereal. I can eat a truckload of cereal.
Describe yourself in 5 words:
Disciple of the planet and it’s people.
Which living person do you admire most?
I have a lot of admiration for my girlfriend Nikki Carter, but I don’t think I’ve met my master yet.... I will one day.
What do you most value in people?
Their vision of the bigger picture- if they can remove themselves and put the planet before their own desires.
What do you wish to achieve in the following year?
I want to finish a book about my philosophy on finding your purpose through passion, and from that place of credibility, host a travel show about amazing humans around the globe.
What is your motto?
It’s a set of emoji’s: eyeball-lightning bolt- eyeball. My computer isn’t agreeing with me. ;p
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Climbing a mountain in Patagonia, testing out my latest pair of eco-friendly technical clothing that I’ve designed.
Any advice for those wanting to become models?
Really examine why you want to become a model, and once you determine what that reason is, create your own definition of the word “model.”
Any last words?
What is your why...?
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