Model Q&A: Thistle

Thistle | VIP Member | Verified Credits (24)

Model: Thistle; Photographer: Bernardo S-L

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

I grew up in Oregon and Washington along the Columbia River, but I’ve lived in New Orleans for the past ten years. I travel often for shoots, though in less hectic times many photographers of varying kinds come through New Orleans.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

In the beginning, it was being scouted by an artist who asked me to pose for him, but eventually, it became a tool for me to explore new ways of movement and understanding my body. I am a dancer and martial artist, so any chance to approach a new physical technique is really compelling to me. Also, it has been a wonderful way to fund traveling and exploring new places.

Model: Thistle; Photographer: PERRYJULIENPHOTOGRAPHY

How and when did you start modeling?

The first time it came up I was working, signing up members on the street, for a nonprofit that did forest restoration work. I was approached by an artist who asked me to pose for him. I quickly responded, “Definitely not,” despite being 18 and curious. I was both a tomboy and generally skeptical, but he showed me some of his work and introduced me to another model he worked with, and the pay was good, so I was like, “Sure, why not try this weird new thing?”

The weird new thing ended up being what has now been a 10+ year adventure into exploring all different kinds of environments and physicalities through modeling.

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy art nudes. Especially art nudes in nature. I am a nature enthusiast generally, and in my modeling, I gain a lot of inspiration from my surroundings. For example, how will the curve of my hip fit against that rock? How will my hands look under the water? Is that climbable?
I also enjoy location or studio shoots with lots of interesting objects to climb on or use as props, costumes to wear, or a character to strive to emulate.

Model: Thistle; Photographer: lightturnstolifephotos

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

I ask two main questions. Is their work compelling, fun, inspiring?
And, can I verify their safety and experiences with other models?

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

I haven’t been paying as much attention to models and photographers recently. I go through phases of it. But, here are a few performance artists, dance companies, and musicians I spend a lot of time enjoying: Neve Bianco, Kidd Pivot, Ragana.

Model: Thistle

What would be your dream shoot?

Oh, good question… I think it would be exciting to do an on-location forest or desert shoot with a fun concept or storyline, such as “Lost in the woods,” or some fantastical post-apocalypse vibe.

How important is social media in your success?

I don’t know as I have never had social media. I’m a bit of a technophobe. When I began modeling that wasn’t an issue. It used to be having a Model Mayhem profile and Patreon was enough to get very consistent work, but now it seems that models have to be much more involved with self-promotion. I’ve never been great at that. I just let my portfolio speak for itself, but I’m thinking of looking for some technical support to promote myself more these days.

Model: Thistle; Photographer: 56thandwabasha

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

I enjoy carpentry and DIY projects, gardening, martial arts, dancing, and being in the woods with my friends and loved ones, or occasionally on my own.

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

In the beginning, find a niche. I’m a natural model and that has limited my opportunities in some more commercial ways but has also guaranteed me to work with photographers in a more long-term way. There are many models, what makes you engaging? Later on, explore whatever concepts you want, but it’s always nice to have a guaranteed audience to fall back on.

Model: Thistle; Photographer: lightturnstolifephotos

Check out Thistle’s Model Mayhem portfolio to see more of her work. You an also follow her on OnlyFans.

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