HATTIE WATSON: don’t call her Alternative Model
We followed her red hair and freckles for awhile on Tumblr, where she’s widely followed and appreciated, sometimes a real inspiration for America’s models-wannabe.
If you think that you need to be very tall, with no tattoos and adapted to a certain kind of stereotype to become a model, you will change your mind by watching her pictures: indie, sexy, stylish, underground yet classy and pure.
Born and raised in Texas, now traveling with your profession. It is very important for us to understand your relationship with your city and the place where you are now (NYC): can you tell us some secret about those places, some nice memory related to a particular part of the city, your favorite spots and so on? Have you ever been to Iceland?
Oh, good ole Texas. What’s there to say about it honestly. I don’t think I ever really enjoyed it until I moved to Austin for almost a year. Austin is kind of dying for me as well though. It’s become way overcrowded with money and it’s definitely not as “weird” as it used to be. I grew up in southeast texas next to the Louisiana border and on the gulf coast. I lived with refineries all around me. It wasn’t something I was ever particularly fond of. I always imagined myself living somewhere bigger and better and more beautiful. I left finally three years ago and started traveling never thinking I would end up back in Texas, but I did for a year.
Austin was great and I made some wonderful friends, partied a lot, and made art. Super chill city and lots of artists but also lots of kids with money there. Barton Springs was nice but always too cold for me to swim in even in the hot texas heat. I miss the food some times though. Good mexican, Vietnamese, BBQ (when I ate meat). That’s hard to find on the east coast. I don’t really need it any way.
My hometown was more of childhood memories and a life that I chose to leave behind. Austin was nothing but good memories and I want to keep it that way. I have some wonderful friends there. NYC is a whole new world for me. I technically live in Philly right now and travel back and forth. While I love NYC, I love getting out of there. I love coming home and being able to go run through Wissahickon park. NYC is hard to get lost in nature there. I like NYC for being able to walk everywhere and I can find an almond croissant anywhere. It’s definitely not a place i’ll be forever but it’s right now.
I have been to the airport in Iceland going to England. That’s about it. I would love to visit but I hear it’s quite expensive.
You were an assistant to a photographer, then you “jumped” on the other side of the camera. What’s the feeling when you are there, facing the lenses of a photographer? What is the difference between working with a professional or just a person with a strong passion for this kind of art?
What do I feel being in front of the camera? That’s kind of hard because you feel differently with whomever you are shooting with. I could be completely nervous (which you won’t see) or feel very powerful. I like being able to project myself in another way or just be myself completely. Being sexy comes easy, not to be arrogant, but it’s an easy emotion for me. So, I get bored with it naturally. I like being taken out of my comfort zone some times to project different emotions. That can be nerve racking at times.
I suppose usually working with professionals over hobbyist, more goes into the production…sometimes. Some “professionals” are super unprofessional. They become arrogant or don’t want to put in much effort sometimes. I have had hobbyist care more about a shoot. Then again some professionals are fantastic and great and want to make the best out of something and are not arrogant at all. It basically depends on the person honestly. I don’t think it’s really a matter of professional or not.
Being an “alternative” model with all your tattoos can have some pros and cons: can you tell us more? What do you think about the fashion field, maybe for the first time giving space to this kind of bodies nowadays? What would you like to do in the future?
First of all, I do not like the term “alternative”. I understand I am a different form of model but I prefer indie fashion model or something. I have worked really hard to keep myself out of the pinup/alt/suicidegirl culture. I want to keep it that way. People book to work with me for that. They know what they are getting, tattoos and all. If you do not want that, then you shouldn’t have contacted me. I am not extremely concerned with the fashion field. While it is fun to do and show people I can do what I set my mind to, it’s not something I keep up other than the shit I’m interested in. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, I think tattooed models are great to see in fashion but it is what it is. People like blank canvases some times. I keep seeing more tattooed guy models and wish there were more on the girls side and I would love to be apart of that but if i’m not, i’m not. I’m almost 27, i’m not extremely concerned with that. I just want to make iconic photos, travel the world, and live my life.
I’m not sure what the future holds. Maybe after my trip to Europe i’ll try to divulge myself into something else. Rather it be some sort of design work or trying to work with a team to create things.
We really like your good taste on music, can you tell to our readers what are your favorite bands and why?
Favorite bands is such a generic term. It changes all the time. Depending on mood or day. I’m very moody person so I go through phases. Lately, i’ve been listening to a lot of Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Nick Cave (as usual), Nancy Sinatra. Throwing in some OM, Magnolia Electric Co. This is as of the past month. Like I said, it’ll change. Always does. It’s basically always a representation of my feelings and moods. This is what I am feeling right now.
Hattie Watson’s typical day: what changes from that to a “casting-day” or a “working-day”?
Typical day, hahaha. Like i’m not a normal person. I don’t have a casting day. I don’t go to castings. Thought about it, but eh. I’m horrible at that shit. I wake up, make tea, check emails, check print orders, mail orders, do the shit I have to do that day, probably basic housework, run 5 miles/workout. This is when I am in Philly pretty much. NYC is usually about the same but with a shoot or two during the day and less running and more eating and drinking with friends. There is nothing fancy about what I do or the life I live. I love it though and it’s what makes me tick.
Who are your role-models? Is there anyone that your particularly admire? Who would you like to collaborate with?
Are there any good role models? I’m a grown up, do people have role models when they are 27? haha I guess I never think about that. I get inspired and admire so many young friends of mine. Amanda Jasnowski has a brillant mind. There are so many young people that have these free flowing minds and see things that others do not. I want to be that and have that and I will.
Collaborate with? So many people I suppose. I have folders on my computer of people in diff cities and countries. Ellen Von Unwerth would be amazing. Tim Walker. Benjamin Becker. Sycrodogs. Billy Kidd. Jonathan Waiter. Sam Hessamian. I mean the list could go on forever really.
“You have to die a few times before you can really live”
What do you like / look for in a man? What is your idea of friendship? Can you tell us some very special memory/dream you have?
“That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence”
You are very active in the social networks, especially on TumblR: what is the importance of being connected with your fans? Do you usually get in touch with some of them, by meeting or just you want to keep your real life far from the virtual side?
People are connected through the web now so being as active in social media as you can, is the best thing to help boost your career. I do not personally go out and meet people only because I am socially awkward and tend to actually have a negative opinion on people. In general, I am nice and do love meeting people but at the same time trust no one and find it strange when people want to meet me, but flattering at the same time. I try to stay as connected as I can but some times I just want to rid of everything tech wise and live in the woods in the mountains. By no means do I get extremely personal with anyone though. That takes years of knowing me. I don’t even have a handful of people that I genuinely trust and confine it. The ones I do have are good and i’m not always looking for more.