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Model Q&A: Jin N Tonic

Jin N Tonic | VIP Member | Verified Credits (89)

Model: Jin N Tonic; Photographer: Daniel Gonzalez Photography

Where are you from? Where are you based now and do you travel for shoots?

I grew up in the Northwest but am originally from SoCal, and like to think that’s most representative of who I am. Some people know the secret of where I’m actually from, but I’m not sharing publicly! Presently, I’m fully nomadic. I was based in Los Angeles for about seven years, which always felt like home to me, but a split from my husband in 2018 has put me on a rather rootless trajectory until further notice.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

I always wanted to be in front of the camera growing up, although it was a dream I kept secret. Both due to lack of support, and the fact that I was a short, chubby-faced girl in a tiny town. I didn’t actually think it was possible, but I would watch movies and look at magazines and dream of being an actor and model. Looking back, I can see that this desire was probably born from a combination of things – firstly, feeling so unseen in a very toxic household; as well as society and my priority on being beautiful (especially as a cis-woman). Outside of that though, I have always been very creative, emotionally sensitive, and expressive. I think all of this came together and led me to be in front of the camera.

Model: Jin N Tonic; Photographer: Illusive Photography

How and when did you start modeling?

I was 20 years old when I first attempted modeling. I found a couple of photographers on Craiglist and the first shoot was rather unprofessional, and this knocked me back for three years or so, causing me to temporarily decide that the industry was just full of pervs looking to get their hands on young, naked girls. I’m very lucky and fortunate that it didn’t stop me from returning to something I truly love, once I was done with college and slightly less naive.

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

It has always been both a strength and weakness of mine (they are typically the same for each of us) that I am incredibly versatile, and I have enjoyed diversity immensely throughout my career. Sometimes it’s incredible to spend hours transforming into my most glamorous self, and yet it can be just as powerful to be nude, no makeup, posing and bending with shadows on a wall, or climbing naked through a tree to let the sun sing on my skin. Even the Playboy style of glamour can be exhilarating, even if the posing is a bit formulaic because no matter who you are it’s a good feeling to get photos of you looking really HOT!

Model: Jin N Tonic; Photographer: Bradley Thornber Photo

What do you look for when deciding to work with a photographer?

When considering photographers I look most for their professional demeanor, and ability to communicate clearly. References, references, and references, are always a must! But having updated and accurate images in their portfolio, as well as more in their bio than, “let’s shoot,” shows me as a potential collaborator that they have put in thought as to how they want to present themself to the world, and how they will likely interact with their models as well.

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

As I have been doing this full-time since 2012, I have had the insane privilege of meeting, working with, and becoming friends with some of the most amazing, driven, talented, independent, creative, successful, and incredible models all around the world. Each one of them inspires me, as does anyone dedicated to chasing their dream, no matter how crazy. These friends have become huge pillars of support in both my modeling career and my personal life, and I have to give a major shout out to my model bestie, Nymph Gwendolyn Jane, whom I met at my first group shoot ever (a Select Models events cruise in 2012), and to my homegirl, Goddess Jesska, who has been with me since the beginning, and always has my back and words of encouragement no matter what (and who is also presently slaying it in the modeling world!).

Some other kind, caring, and supportive models who have been open with their homes, hearts, and advice on both modeling and other topics, include the legendary Carlotta Champagne, the hilarious and indescribably regal Collibrina, the true-life Marilyn Monroe reincarnate (if Marilyn was also a bit of a thug) Chapelle Monique, the insanely dedicated and disciplined Persephone Pon Farr, and the drop-dead gorgeous and hilarious Dane Halo. I could go on and on, but these ladies have all been there for me through a lot, and blow me away in front of the camera again and again.

Model: Jin N Tonic; Photographer: Burnside Photography

What would be your dream shoot?

Presently, I’ve let my modeling take a back seat as I’ve spent the last year and a half turning inward, and exploring my own sense of security and worthiness while going through a divorce. Being creative is still a part of me, but I feel so fortunate to have done so much in seven amazing years, and have no present list of “dream shoots” to aspire to. Oh, wait, no, I just thought of one – I’d like to work with a well treated, rescued tiger! But honestly, I wouldn’t even mind if no photos happened, just so long as the tiger and I got to hang out.

How important is social media in your success?

The beginning of my career was well-timed with the rapid-fire spread of Instagram, and my career would not have existed at all the same without social media. While my official title was, “Actor Model Badass,” I feel that “content creator” is quite accurate, as I spent seven years always “On.” I did struggle with comparison and depression through that time, as well as some major burnout, which is why in the last couple of years I’ve started taking on clients as part of my Mindset+Marketing business, Create Your Next Level. I think social media is an amazing, free, and totally optional tool that too many of us have an unhealthy relationship with. My success would not have existed without it, but so much of my struggles came as a result, and I really enjoy helping others to end their own toxicity with their online presence as well.

Model: Jin N Tonic; Photographer: MLP Studios Scottsdale

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

My favorite thing at present is sitting and being silent and still. I’ve had a meditation practice for a lot of years, but this last year or so it’s become the most fulfilling thing in my life. I feel that I am finally breaking past that, and once again getting excited to go out and create, but the present condition of the world (as most of us are self-quarantined) seems to be insisting that I spend a bit more time reflecting, being still, and patient.

What’s the best career advice you can give to new models?

To all new models, I strongly encourage them to reach out to other models! Join groups! Thoroughly vet (ie internet stalk) any potential photographer. Ask for links and references. And don’t ever be shy to ask questions from other, more experienced models. We are all in this together, to keep each other creating and SAFE! Yes, a lot of us are busy, but so many amazing models out there – like another big shout out to the absolutely incredibly and stupidly inspiring and badass Kristy Jessica aka Pure Rebel – put out free resources and even workshops and ebooks all the time to help you get started in your amazing modeling career.

Also, many people will tell you that “modeling is fun as a hobby” or that “modeling can be good on the side, but don’t depend on it as your full-time job,” to which I say, they are just jealous. If you have the drive and desire – go for it!! But realize that having a modeling career is just like any other career – it is a job. It is work. And it is one that does not exist within a mere 40 hours a week. The modeling life can be and often is a 24/7 pursuit, so do your entrepreneurial homework. Work on your posing, your wardrobe, your hair, and makeup skills, but also your communication, your marketing, and your work/life balance skills as well.

I’m opening up a community to offer both Mindset and Marketing tips to other creative entrepreneurs at CreateYourNextLevel.com, and I am always happy to help however I can. Most importantly, believe in yourself! You got this!

Model: Jin N Tonic; Photographer: MykesPhotos18; Makeup Artist: Lillian Vince

Check out Jin N Tonic’s Model Mayhem portfolio to see more of her work. You can also follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Patreon.

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2 Responses to “Model Q&A: Jin N Tonic”

  1. April 26, 2020 at 6:07 am, Kenneth Graham said:

    Beautiful Article…
    I wish U the Best…
    Stay Safe Please…

    Reply

  2. April 25, 2020 at 12:27 pm, Yanni Migias said:

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jin and she’s an outstanding professional and a wonderful person. Highly recomended.

    Reply

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