Bella White is a professional fashion model in both the United Kingdom and United States. She has modelled in Los Angeles and Hollywood. We Talk to Bella, to learn more about her modelling career. She was born in Staffordshire, England. After High School she graduated from College and then University, gaining many qualifications including degrees in Art and Art History. Further study included Photography, Drama and the history of Ancient and Medieval weaponry and armour. She did some work as a military artist and fine artist.
How were you discovered?
After performing in contemporary dance for a number of world-famous DJs I became increasingly noticed by people in the modelling business. I was mainly a solo performer or sometimes with a partner, and my distinctive look got me noticed.
When did you decide to become a model?
I have always been interested in photography and the performing arts; dancing, acting etc…, and modelling seemed a perfectly natural progression from that. So my modelling career blossomed while I was performing. I’ve always seen modelling as a creative process like all the arts.
What has been one of your favourite career experiences in the past year?
For the past year I’ve managed to find some time to put the finishing touches to a novel I’ve written and work hard on that. But I think my favourite recent shoot was with the wonderful UK photographer John Farrar, and MUA Gemma Richmond. It was an amazingly creative shoot where I modelled costumes from the Royal Shakespeare Company. And I think my favourite image from that shoot is “The Queen of the Night”, a dramatic shot in black, gold and silver.
I have also been very thrilled to have been the subject of a recent art exhibition called “Muses” at Century Guild in California by my friend and amazing artist Bill Sienkiewicz. That was a very special moment for me.
Did you have an interest in fashion or modelling before starting as a model?
As an artist I’ve always appreciated the design and history of clothes. I have a dramatic and fantasy-based sense of personal style and I’ve always been fascinated by theatrical clothing. I admire people who have their own sense of style, whether it is by drawing inspiration from the past or today’s cutting-edge trends.
At College one of the subjects I studied was Drama and I enjoyed designing costumes for various characters.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I’m not modelling I’m working on my other careers and projects. My novel currently takes up a great deal of my time. As a fine-artist as well, I am frequently working on various art and sculptural projects.
My hobbies include mountain-biking, horse-riding, enjoying classical music concerts and operas, the theatre, going to airshows, collecting minerals, and as a scholar of weaponry and armour I attend weaponry seminars as often as I can.
Do you have other ambitions outside of modelling?
As I mentioned, I am writing a novel which I hope to get published, and I have sequels planned. I am a fine-artist and will always be busy creating new artwork and sculpture – those are ongoing projects. And if I had the opportunity to act in television or film I would enjoy that. I hope that in some way I can help to keep hunting in the UK banned and the testing of cosmetics on animals.
What advice would you pass along to those starting out in the business?
Modelling is hard work; it’s fun, but it’s hard work. Be prepared for this. A 6 – 7 hour shoot is not unusual. I’ve had 8 hour shoots. Be punctual, be courteous and be careful. Don’t take people’s comments to heart – it’s just one person’s opinion. Some people in the modelling industry can say some harsh and critical things. Modelling is a hard world and there are many other people out there who want the same thing – you need to be tough.
It’s important to not solely rely on modelling. Find something else that’s important to you as well.
When starting out, do your research – find out if people are legit, ask other models if they have heard of people who contact you, and to begin with take someone you trust with you. If you tell a reputable person that you’re bringing a friend they’ll be perfectly fine about it.
You have become successful for many reasons – what do you think the top few are?
I have a distinctive look that makes me recognisable, which in certain areas is very sought after. And I think a lot of modelling involves acting which was part of my training, and this adds a special quality to my work.
I am punctual, professional and listen to what is required. On some occasions my particular areas of knowledge are called upon to make a contribution to the project.
What is the ultimate goal of your career?
For my modelling career I think a magazine cover of quality is a main goal. Being in a magazine is great of course, but a cover would be special. I’d like to model in certain countries too, such as Japan where I think my look would be popular.
What has been your favourite modelling experience thus far?
They have been generally enjoyable and rewarding in so many different ways that I really haven’t got a favourite. Most of my modelling experiences have been wonderful collaborations with talented people – photographers, make-up artists, stylists, fashion designers, hair stylists, and fellow models.
Personally speaking as an artist as well as a model, I really enjoy modelling for artists and seeing the final artwork.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
The list is extensive! But at the top of my list would be
Richard De Chazal (photographer), Annie Leibovitz (photographer), Rankin (photographer), Zhang Jingna (photographer), Vivienne Westwood (fashion designer), Philip Treacy (milliner), Ugo Serrano (armourer, artist and designer).
I would also like to inspire a character in a computer game.