Glass Olive: I love telling stories, but I’m not very good at it. With images, I can tell stories without fumbling over my words.
DJ Cobalt 60: And what does the female form mean to you?
Glass Olive: The female form to me, in terms of art, represents the feminine energy. I think that’s why it’s used so often in art – art is a creative process, and feminine energy is creation. It’s deep, powerful, intuitive, infinitely graceful and simultaneously devastating. Just like a woman 🙂
DJ Cobalt 60: What do you consider beauty to be?
Glass Olive: Beauty is everywhere, and beauty is most things. It doesn’t rely on us seeing it, it just exists. And once you realize this, you see it everywhere.
DJ Cobalt 60: Has your idea of beauty changed much since becoming a model?
Glass Olive: Absolutely. I never felt beautiful growing up – it was like I hit an awkward stage that was never-ending. When I started modeling in my late teens, it gave me an opportunity to dress up and act out every beauty standard I ever wanted to emulate. It was so uplifting to see beautiful images of myself; a very powerful way to heal my low self-esteem.
5 years and thousands and thousands of images later, I feel like I’ve worked through a lot of my hang-ups about beauty standards, and what is left? An overwhelming gratitude for my physical and mental health. I think being pretty is something you can see on the outside, and it’s very nice to look at, but beauty is something that glows through a good-hearted person for their entire lives, no matter what they look like on the surface.
DJ Cobalt 60: How long have you been modeling for and what first drew you to the art form?
Glass Olive: I had dabbled in modeling with a friend when I was younger, but my first professional photo shoot was when I was 19. I honestly had no idea at that point that it was going to turn into my career, and I just sort of fell in love with the process.
DJ Cobalt 60: Was there a specific photo shoot or experience that lead you to seeing modeling as a viable artistic avenue for yourself?
Glass Olive: When I started modeling, I was sort of a wreck. I was just out of my first relationship, I had no real place to live, had just overcome a relatively dangerous illness. I had one backpack of possessions, and decided to shave off all my hair and sell my drawings on the side of the road for money.
The older I get the more insane that sounds to me! Ha! But it was a phase that I needed to go through.
After my first photo shoot, the photographer kept pestering me to start a model mayhem account (that’s a networking website for models and photographers). I finally set one up, and I immediately started getting messages from photographers in Portland, Oregon who wanted to book me for shoots. I was sort of blown away. The idea of being paid to create beautiful images sounded like a total dream job. So I decided to pack my bags and move to Portland and the rest is history!
DJ Cobalt 60: You’ve been based out of New York relatively speaking for most of your modeling career and until recently decided to move back to Utah. What prompted the move and are you slowing down as a model?
Glass Olive: I decided to get out of NYC before it ate me alive. It’s VERY fast paced and the quality of life isn’t very high. I loved my friends, and I loved the talented people I was able to work with… but I was drinking too much, smoking too much, staying up really weird hours, and spent most of my day on the subways. I needed a change pretty badly, I felt like I was becoming someone I didn’t want to be.
And I’m certainly not slowing down 🙂 if anything, I’m gearing up for the big guns. I have a lot of exciting new ventures planned for this coming year.
DJ Cobalt 60: When you are working on an illustration you can say that the piece of art you made is a 100 percent you but, on a photo shoot how much of the final product can you attribute to yourself?
Glass Olive: I would say it’s a direct split between myself and anyone who was on the team – I really appreciate all the hard work that goes on behind the camera to create an image or a film.
DJ Cobalt 60: Do you feel more of you is present in photos that you model nude in as opposed to ones were you are clothed? What sort of role does nudity play in your work?
Glass Olive: I see nudity in photos as a blank canvas. Nudity is the most basic I can get, as a person. I don’t think it’s any more ‘me’ than if I was wrapped from head to toe in clothing, because what I bring to the table is much more than just a body.
DJ Cobalt 60: Originality is something you have in spades, it’s not often that a model can continue to surprise you with her images, maintain such a high level of quality and shoot with various different photographers who have distinct styles of their own and produce a piece of art that represents both of their unique sensibilities without one becoming the dominant creative force. How do you try to resonate with your viewer in a compelling manner that leaves an impression on them?
Glass Olive: Thank you so much! What a compliment 🙂 when I’m creating an image I actually don’t think of the viewer. I focus on what is currently inspiring me, vibing with the photographer and sort of ‘becoming’ the concept we are shooting that day. I work hard to make my posing expressive and clearly communicated. It’s an art form that I’m constantly learning to cultivate! Having a background in dance and acting definitely helps with the process.