Model Q&A: Cwen

Cwen | VIP Member | Verified Credits (35)

Model: Cwen; Photographer: Mickle Design Werks

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

I’m from Washington, D.C., where I currently reside. My home base has changed a few times over the years (LA, Vegas, Wichita), but my wanderlust has not. I’ve traveled mostly within the U.S., and I have had the privilege to shoot outside the country a few times. 

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

I can’t remember who but I was inspired to become a model because I enjoy being a part of a creative process — any part, and I hadn’t really spent a lot of time in the spotlight at that point in my life. I wanted to know what it felt like. My parents were supportive of my efforts in my childhood, but nothing came of it back then. 

Model: Cwen; Photographer: Maze Studio

How and when did you start modeling?

While I had my first shoot when I was about 13, I didn’t really pursue modeling until I was 18. In July 2007, I went to my first “meet and greet” and things took off from there. I actually found it through the Model Mayhem forums, and I still work with a few of the people I met that day. 

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy abstract nude modeling and free-form posing. Clothes are rather stifling.

Model: Cwen; Photographer: Charles Nevols

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

I look for the level of detail they’ve provided on their profile when it comes to actually work with them. Have they discussed payment? Do they talk about their process? Do they credit their models? I’ve contacted photographers with stellar portfolios, offering them a payment, and never received a response. So, what matters most to me is receptivity and how easy they seem to work with. 

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

Corwin Prescott and Nicole Vaunt never fail to leave me in awe. Mosh, Emma Vauxdevil, and Raquel Reed have solid work. As I also do burlesque, I find those aesthetics just wonderful.

Model: Cwen; Photographer: Corwin Prescott

What would be your dream shoot?

I really want to do more video work — and I really want to nail down the most epic pole shoot ever, before I’m physically incapable! If I can do that without needing to worry about styling or makeup, that would be a dream come true. I can honestly say I’ve tried almost everything on my to-do list (underwater, horseback, sploshing, latex), but trying is not succeeding. The more challenging it is and the more I can focus on just modeling and not balancing hair and makeup, the better my brain feels.

How important is social media in your success?

I could say that it’s incredibly important as it’s the reason I started modeling at all, but I’m barely able to advertise on many sites due to my nudity. I have taken many, many breaks over the years and I’m still surprised by how many people have heard of me at some point or another. It’s really wonderful, but the shift in social media’s dominance has definitely altered the landscape.

Model: Cwen; Photographer: Nick Smith Media

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

I love to perform — burlesque and pole dancing are my two most visible hobbies when it comes to online presence. When I’m home alone you can probably find me sewing, watching Netflix, or playing The Sims. Right now I’m looking into going back to school for Social Work.

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

Know your boundaries. Know industry standards. Know your hard boundaries, but also know the ones you are willing to negotiate in relation to where you are in your career and local market. Get to know other models and even find a mentor — it’s way easier than it used to be when I started — and collaborate with them so you’re not undercutting any of your colleagues or putting yourself in danger. Check your references, but know that references aren’t infallible. Discuss the details of a shoot before showing up, and never be afraid to say no to something that makes you uncomfortable. Lastly, when it comes to shooting nudes, it’s harder to retrace your steps when you want to do other types of work. Compartmentalize like a boss.

Model: Cwen; Photographer: Jason Haven

Check out Cwen’s Model Mayhem portfolio to see more of her work. You can follow her on Instagram, and her website.

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2 Responses to “Model Q&A: Cwen”

  1. August 23, 2020 at 7:44 pm, Michael McIntosh said:

    Cwen If you ever decide to visit Jamaica it would be a great honour to shoot with you, magnificent work.


  2. August 22, 2020 at 8:10 am, m. bertrand said:

    Great interview. Reflective and inspirational.


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