Hi people – click below to go over to the Fashion section to check out an amazing interview I had with local designer Sarah Louise Northey and her Naughty Knickers Collections. She Is a fantastic young lady and I wish her all the best for the future.
Archive for the ‘Down Right Awsome’ Category
Earlier this month the fantastic Boho Modelling Agency in Newcastle named Nikki Little their model of the month. I caught up with this fantastic young lady to find out more about her.
Questions by Dee
Answers by Nikki Little
Dee: How did you first start doing modelling?
Nikki: I had done a little bit of TF work locally then was asked to do a fashion shoot for a local magazine and that was it I was hooked.
Dee: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Nikki: I love the variety, there’s never two days the same. I’m lucky and have the opportunity to travel around and work with different people which I love. I would be bored in a 9 – 5 job, static in one place so this suits my personality.
Dee: If you could think back – were there any particular highlights?
Nikki: Being published in a magazine is always a boost but some of the best highlights are the great people whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with and have now become friends.
Dee: You get the call that your going to be part of a photo shoot – what kinds of preparation do you undergo to get yourself ready?
Nikki: I am well organized and have lists for everything! I get all my outfits ironed and packed the day before if possible along with hair and makeup bags. Then its nails done, google maps and tom tom set, packed lunch made. Finally an early night and a good nights sleep!
Dee: When you see the finished picture – how does it make you feel when you see the final result?
Nikki: I’m always excited to see the results of a shoot. If it’s to be published I’m also a little apprehensive that the images chosen will be ones I like, I think everyone is over critical of their own images but I am proud of my work.
Dee: I know aside from the modeling you’re a very busy young lady – tell us what you like to do for fun on your days off?
Nikki: As modeling is not always regular or consistent I keep myself busy with other part time jobs, I work as a support worker for adults with severe learning disabilities which I really enjoy, as well as promotional work and Events. I don’t have a lot of free time but love to spend it catching up with friends and family.
Dee: Have there been any particular barriers and obstacles you have had to overcome to get to where you want to be with your passion of modeling?
Nikki: I’m a bit vertically challenged, at 5’ 5” I’m technically above the national average for a female but in the modeling world I’m classed as petite, which does close a lot of doors. A lot of agencies have strict height requirements of 5’7”/5’ 8” and above so although the casting or job might be for a mascara shoot they just wont consider someone of my size. I have persevered though and have been accepted by a few now, hopefully this will continue.
Dee: Looking through your work I can see that you have done a variety of publicity campaigns such as Eldon Square, and also back in 2009 Miss British Isles (North West Winner). Being a Freelance Model therefore – how easy or difficult is it to get opportunities like this?
Nikki: It’s quite hard to get started! Like any job they want experience and you can’t get experience without being given the chance to do the job! You have to really push yourself forward, apply for everything going and grab any opportunity that comes your way.
I hear models turning down little jobs as they feel they are better than that! But any job is an opportunity and you never know where it could lead, networking with photographers, magazine editors, clothes shop, designers, make up artists etc can all lead to further work. So take all jobs offered, give each shoot 100%, always be reliable and professional and then you can reap the benefits.
Dee: Your home town is in Cumbria, so how does it feel to be representing your region?
Nikki: I’m proud to represent my region. Although I do keep my work quite low key, modeling is not a common career in Cumbria, people will say “I saw a girl in the Sports Direct catalogue looked the spitting image of you!” its quite amusing to say it was me! I think people only see models as high fashion catwalkers working in London, Paris and Milan. They don’t realize how much commercial work there is out there, even for a Cumbrian girl.
Dee: When people look at your pictures what is the one main thing you want them to take in when they look at your work?
Nikki: I would hope that they would see my professionalism and versatility. I always give 100% no matter what the shoot and I hope this shines through.
Dee: The thing I love about you is how you’re a down to earth person, who has plenty of confidence and self respect in yourself. What advice would you give to others considering pursuing their passion in modelling?
Nikki: It’s a tough industry so don’t take rejection personally it’s just someone’s opinion, bounce back and keep going! Work hard, always give your best and grab every opportunity, as you never know where it could lead. ‘The only difference between try and triumph is a little umph’
You can check out more of Nikki’s work at www.nikkilittle.me.uk
Answers by Constance Peach
With Newcastle Fashion Week occurring at the end of May, I wanted to speak to some of the models who took part in the incredible catwalks. A special thank you to Constance Peach for taking the time out of her busy schedule to speak to Darkus Magazine.
Dee: How did you first get into modeling?
Constance: I am primarily a burlesque artist and really only started modeling to support my performance. It soon became apparent that I had just as much passion for posing as i did for dancing. I absolutely love high concept shoots with over the top costuming and makeup. The crazier the better!
Dee: What has been your highlight of 2012 so far?
Constance: 2012 has been an amazing year so far. I have worked with so many fabulous designers and photographers. Biggest highlight though has been modelling for Tallulah Loves Lingerie. Some girls love bags, some shoes. I love lingerie! I have boxes of lingerie just waiting to be worn so when I got asked to model for such an exclusive brand I was like a kid in a sweet shop 🙂
Dee: I saw you at Newcastle’ Fashion Week’s – As You Like It Event – what was the most rewarding thing about that experience?
Constance: Newcastle Fashion week was incredible. it was a joy to model for so many talented designers and all from the region! I really enjoyed bring elements of burlesque to catwalk and some of my character
Dee: Obviously you were modelling a variety of amazing clothes – what was your favourite clothes range to wear during As You Like It catwalk?
Constance: I can’t have a favorite! Everything was incredible the hats by The Libertarian, Tallulah Loves Lingerie, Christopher Niari and Suzanne Porter. it was just an absolute pleasure to get to work with North East designers who are just so creative and talented
Dee: From a model point of view – what kinds of preparation goes on when taking part in a catwalk event?
Constance: I treat all my catwalks as a show. People want to see the clothes as they intend to wear them. It was wonderful injecting some burlesque into NFF I like to bring ‘Catwalk Character’ to shows. Other prep is all the behind scenes action like hair and makeup, trying on clothes etc. You would not believe how unglamorous it is getting into 7 outfit changes of lingerie!
Dee: When you got the call that you would be taking part in Newcastle Fashion week – what was your first reaction?
Constance: Excited and full of anticipation of what this years catwalk would be like. I was also really happy that I was modelling alongside other performers I work with in the industry and respect such as Elle O’buoys, Bettina Spankenhaus, Princess Pandora and Felicity Switch
Dee: What do you enjoy most about modelling?
Constance: The thrill and adrenaline of it all. i absolutely love creating art in any form possible
Dee: Have you got any more shows coming up where we can see you in your element?
Dee: Here at Darkus Magazine, many people know I am totally crazy about my music. If you were to choose a song that gets your adrenaline going while you were doing a catwalk what would it be?
Constance: Ooh a tough one! I absolutely love music suited to the clothes rather then myself but I love walking down to electro or swing music and i’m a sucker for 80’s music
Article By Dee
I woke up this morning, with the sun shining through my window, and realised that in a number of weeks, festival season will soon be here in full force. Other than the odd event here and there, I have not really been a fan of festivals ….. either due to the price of tickets or being too busy. However as Festivals are an ideal opportunity to not only see fantastic artists but also to have a good time, I thought before I get any older that its time I check out a few this summer, especially as they really make the UK music scene that extra bit special.
I could talk about the whole list of events that I want to go to – but I wont. Instead I will take you through some of the festivals I will be going to which I am really excited about.
26th May 2012 – Slam Dunk Festival
Every year that I know of, this event has run at the same time as the North East’s Evolution festival – so I always find myself in a predicament as to what to do, as I love both. I keep telling myself that I will try and get along to Slam Dunk the next year – but it usually does not work out this way. This year with the two events being on different weekends, I have no excuse!
Having bought my ticket for Slam Dunk – it was not until I saw the lineup that the excitement really kicked in. I think I must of screamed like a hyper person – but who cares! Some of the greatest artists who shaped my love of music will be performing, and it will be the first time I would of seen any of them live. Taking Back Sunday will definitely be a band that will make me relive my University days. When they were still part of Victory Records, I was introduced to this amazing band back in 2004. I remember when the music video to ‘Your So Last Summer’ was shown on satellite channels that I just stopped in the middle of my sitting room, and stood and watched in amazement because I was instantly hooked. Having finally got my hands on the fecking insane album ‘Tell All Your Friends’ I had many many many hours of joy as a danced with adrenaline to an album which always put me in a good mood after a stressful day.
MotionCitySoundtrack are another legendary artist who have always been a personal favourite of mine. Not many people are aware of their music which is a shame, but the good thing is that they are coming to theUKwhich can only be a good thing as it will definitely make people realise just how fantastic they are.
Based atLeedsUniversity, the organizers have done then absolute best to bring the crowds a mixture of well balanced music, featuring a mixture of new artists and those who have been around for a while, yet still have the ability to create an explosive performance. With this kind of variety on offer from an audience point of view can only be considered a good thing, because you have your favourite tunes, but also the opportunity to check out new music.
Evolution Festival – 3rd & 4th June
Probably one of the biggest and enjoyable events in our region, Evolution is due to take place during the Diamond Jubilee weekend. This is no ordinary festival – its one that I totally respect because it acts for a great platform to see not only British acts such as Dizzee Rascal,MaximoParkand Rizzle Kicks, but also new local talent as well. What I like even more about Evolution is that it combines a mixture of genres which means anyone can have a good time at this event.
I went two years ago for the first time when Enter Shikari were headlining and I totally loved the whole atmosphere. Starting at midday and going on into the night this was just an excuse to go wild and as cliché as it sounds, let the music consume your soul. This was back in 2010, so I cannot wait to see how even more insane Evolution Festival will be this year! One thing I can be certain of though it will definitely be one I will remember for an extremely long time!
I would encourage any of you reading to go along to this event – from a weekend ticket costing £35 it is the best ever investment you ever make. Plus for those who start there summer vacation from college or Uni till September it’s a great opportunity to celebrate in style.
I often speak about people having talent, skill and passion. Eventhough I may predominantly focus on music to illustrate the point, there are nevertheless still other avenues where determination and enthusiasm are just as important. For Darkus I always bump into new people, including Photographers. So when I heard about the work this amazing young lady called Marnie-Elizabeth Coulson does, I just had to find out more about her.
You can see some of her brilliant photography work on facebook by clicking here.
Questions By Dee
Answers By Marnie
Dee: When did you decide you wanted to pursue photography as a passion?
Marnie: Photography wasn’t my first passion, some say there passion started when they got there first camera. For me it was different, I had always been a creative and artistic but my first passion was for singing and acting, I joined local theatre groups and did a few shows at local theatres, this was where myself and my family believed my life was going. I recognised me passion for photography when I was about 15, I used to spend my weekends taking photographs of my friends, walking and climbing until i felt the images had a great location and composition. I was not fortunate enough to have a decent camera all I had was an old samsung camera phone but none the less the images i was taking were coming out well and thats when I realised I thoroughly enjoyed taking photographs.
My parents split up when I was a teenager, this caused me to have a bit of an attitude, I got in with the wrong crowd and fell pregnant when I was 17. My pregnancy was the making of me, I got my life back on track, I gave birth to my beautiful little boy and I went to college. Having my son definitely developed my interest in photography, he must be one of the most photographed children this is when I decided to go to college and develop my interest even further.
Dee: What is it about taking photos that makes your adrenaline rush?
Marnie: I love everything about photography, I enjoy the planning that goes into a shoot, the organising of models, makeup artists and styling etc. I obviously greatly enjoy taking the photos, and I enjoy the editing time i put into my photos afterwards. I think my favourite part of it is always the final piece, I get a lot of feedback and to see my images appreciated and admired is what makes it worth while for me. Its amazing how much a photograph can mean to somebody and to hear their positive thoughts afterwards is just amazing.
Dee: Think back to the very first pictures you took – what were they? and how did you feel afterwards?
Marnie: The very first images I took using a Digital SLR Camera were taken for my college course, I had been set a High Key Brief. This was the first time I had used a studio and any studio equipment, I was very nervous and didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t have any model contacts at this point so I had a friend come into the studio with a few outfits. I took loads of shots and at the time I thought they were excellent, I was so proud of them plus I got really good marks for them. Looking back over them they really weren’t all the great, the lighting wasn’t very even and there were loads of ways in which i could of improved the composition or posing of the model, Still not bad for a first attempt.
Dee: You cover a wide assortment of photoshoots – which catergory brings you the greatest pleasure?
Marnie: The photos that give me the most pleasure would have to be Weddings and portraits. Although this isn’t my favourite area of photography I believe these images are greatly appreciated and whats more exciting than handing over the photographic memories of a day as special as a wedding or the photos of a family or child. I think these are definitely the most treasured images and its a lovely feeling to be welcomed into somebody’s family to become a part in creating the images.
Dee: If someone was to take a photo of you – what would be your ideal setting?
Marnie: Like most photographers I hate getting my photo taken, However for me it would probably have to be somewhere along the coast. I have been brought up around the coast and couldn’t imagine not being near it. Its such a wonderfully beautiful place.
Dee: How has Facebook helped to boost your business?
Facebook has been a great help to me, Communication is a key thing in any business and it makes it so much easier as so many people use it on a daily basis. My work gets shared and more people get to view it that way. I am a member to a few groups on Facebook, networking groups for models, photographers and makeup artists which make it easy to find the perfect team.
Dee: Obviously there is more to photography than taking pictures…..when it comes to the task of editing what helps you to decide if a shot is worth keeping?
Marnie: For me the key things to a photograph are lighting, Composition and pose. Get this right on the camera then the photographers life is much easier. There are so many different styles so know what look you are trying to create before hand.
Dee: Where in the north east would you say is a stunning location for taking pictures?
Marnie: Stunning locations in the North East in my eyes would be places such as Jesmond Dene, Anywhere along the coast, (I adore Tynemouth as it has so much photographic potential) It really depends on what sort of look, theme you are going for but Castles, Hotels, Anywhere with Nice gardens make great photographs.
Dee: What kinds of strategies and goals did you set up to take your passion of photography forward?
Marnie: For me personally to get into fashion and beauty photography is my ultimate career goal. I have completed a National Diploma in Photography at triple Distinction Level and am Currently completing a Foundation Degree in Commercial photographic Practise. I then wish to set up my own studio and assist other photographers that are already doing the job I dream to do, Get experience from them then progress on to do it myself. Hopefully my love and passion for photography shows through my work and my personality.
Last Witness Interview
Questions by Dee
Answers by Anthony Sykes (Guitar)
On Friday the 30th March 2012, I decided to drop Anthony from Last Witness a call. With the band being busy when they came to Newcastle to tour with Devil Wears Prada in February, it felt right that we just had an informal interview and chat, without the worry of having to rush or anything.
Below you will see the questions Anthony quite kindly answered for me, and I must say before I start it was totally fantastic to speak to such an amazing guy who was so passionate and proud of the achievements Last Witness had made.
Dee: How did Last Witness Form?
Anthony explains that the band first formed in 2006, when the guys were 17 years old. They had a passion and interest in similar tastes of music which brought them closer together. From the way Anthony was retelling the early days, you could just tell that the chemistry between all the members was instant, which is what makes them such a tight unit.
Dee: What is it about your music that gives it the edge?
Answer: In his opinion he believed that this was down to the fact that he saw Last Witness as being unique, due to their different sound. There are very few artists in theUKwho focus on the genre that the LW guy’s focus on.
Dee: You recently toured with The Devil Wears Prada. How important was that tour for the band?
Answer: It was important to everyone in the band, because not only was it a chance to play along the likes of such a great band, but also allowed Last Witness to be exposed to a new crowd. The outcome of this was overwhelming, because not only did they get a good reaction from the crowd’s in places such as Newcastle, it was good for the band to see how instantly people were connecting to the music.
Dee: What has been the highlight of the year so far?
Answer: Having a careful think about this question, Anthony felt the release of their latest album, Mourning After was their biggest achievement and highlight of 2012. Although a lot of work had gone into the album, which was sometimes quite demanding, nevertheless it was a small price to pay for an end product that was totally worth while. I think if you consider Anthony’s question he highlights a very important point. The key to releasing a good strong record takes a lot of thought, passion and commitment.
Dee: I know Last Witness have so many amazing songs – but what is your personal favourite?
Answer: Without having to think about it too much, Anthony was quick to name ‘Green Eyes’ as one of his top songs to perform. I asked him why just out of curiosity. He told me the beauty of this song was that not only was it fast and full of energy but also fun.
Dee: How did life change for you once you became a part of Last Witness?
Answer: I was quite intrigued when I heard this answer, as it was not something I had heard many artists’ mention before. Although time consuming again, Anthony found that there was a lot of organisation which was required. Sometimes as listeners we forget about this, but Last Witness show us when a good structure is in place the end result is something to be proud of.
Dee: Who are your greatest influences?
Anthony: ‘On Broken Wings’
Dee: What is it about Last Witness you enjoy the most?
Answer: There were two reasons Anthony provided. Firstly he was happy to say it was good to team up with the other amazing members of the band, creating music that they all enjoyed. His second reason, was merchandise. A lot of Anthony’s time at show once off stage is dedicated to selling the band’s merch, so its always a pleasure when people are buying their material and taking the opportunity to find out more about Last Witness.
Dee: In terms of the band’s progress where do you see yourselves at the moment?
Answer: For Anthony and the rest of the Last Witness guys, it feels that the band have started again, and they have used the fresh chance as an opportunity to be a strong and well determined British band. From hearing their music myself – I would totally agree with that statement.
Dee: What is next for Last Witness?
Answer: Lots of tours and festivals
Its been a long time since I last did a phone interview, but I was glad I was able to speak to Anthony because just listening to his story made you realise how despite the challenges artists face, the right attitude is important to helping you to achieve your goal.
To show your support for Last Witness or to find out more about them you can find them on Facebook by clicking here!
Sound of Guns Leave Me Hooked
Photos taken by Ellen Dixon
The thing I love about the magazine is that I come across so many amazing artists, thanks to my good friend’s at Division Promotions. Their latest bunch of talented musicians to come to the north east was Sound of Guns. The only knowledge I had of their material was the odd song or so that I had seen on You Tube – which btw is totally amazing. I actually think its better going to a performance where you know where little about the act you have come to see, because it allows you to have an open mind, thus allowing your opinion to be objective rather than subjective.
Anyway back to the review. The O2 Academy – 6th March 2012 I could atlast put a face to Sound of Guns, and man I was absolutely amazed at what I was seeing. It may not have been that crowded like other shows at the academy, but that was irrelevant, because whether there were 10 people or 100 people in the room, Sound of Guns still gave a 200% performance.
You could just feel the energy in the room, which was radiating from the band. You could really tell in their voice that they were living and loving their music. One of my favourite songs by them, which is also the one of the few songs I checked out before going to the show was, ‘Sometimes’. Just like the You Tube video, the song is catchy, upbeat and gets the listener in the mood to just want to fall in love with the band. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that was certainly how I felt anyway.
Every song I heard Andy and the guys perform was unique, different and full of character. I think in a way this helped me make my mind up and see that there is something about Sound of Gun’s which makes them that extra bit special.
After this brilliant night, I did not want the dream to end, which is why it made me smile even more that the fun does not stop at the gigs, but also in their latest album Angels & Enemies.
If this band ever come back to the North East – I only hope they return extremely soon.
Sound of Guns – CHECK THEM OUT NOW!!!