Featured Model: Matt Ross

"The term model is not as defined as it used to be. With the growth of social media, bloggers, media personalities & sports stars are now breaking into the modeling world like never before."

Model Citizen App is the platform where we recognised fashion models, photographers, designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, creative directors, bloggers, stylists, and labels around the world.Every day, we feature an individual on Model Citizen Interviews. People get to know each of them- their hopes, challenges, aspirations and inspirations in life.

Matt has already worked around the world, including India, and he seems to be loving every minute of it. Matt is a really warm and down-to-earth guy, and we're sure you'll love him! Please have a read and check out his photos.

Tell us about yourself.

It often appears that any form of success, whether it is growth in Social Media following, change in body, or working with well known brands that it happens over-night. It's brought down to 'luck' or 'destiny' which speaking candidly is nonsense. In 2012, when I was finishing high-school I was set on entering Medicine or Law. I had been signed to my mother modeling agency for a couple of years with little success. I decided, that while not in any commitment or financial hold that I would pursue my goal of becoming a model. It took 4 years of hustle, dieting, shooting pro bono (to develop a book), attending events and networking. Essentially making things happen, putting in the work. Investing time & effort into myself despite the criticism of some who thought I had fallen off the rails. I moved to TOPCO Model Managment's International Mainboard in 2016 & further landed a contract with TFM India an agency in Mumbai, India. Proceeded to work there for 5 months with some of the industries top brands.

How important is modeling education: Has he/she attended modeling courses?

In the conventional sense of the word, education isn't. I have attended no courses or studied, not that these aren't of any value. My preference is to learn by being in the end-game situation. To elaborate, what I mean is that if I want to learn how to photograph well I would prefer to set up shoots with aspiring photographers & learn through actually shooting. Not learning the theory behind photography. In essence, "Modeling Education," from my point of view is best acquired through doing it. Being hands on.

What do you think makes someone “fit” to be a model?

The term model is not as defined as it used to be. With the growth of social media, bloggers, media personalities & sports stars are now breaking into the modeling world like never before. This is an exciting time as it allows for previously hidden talent to have an opportunity to leverage what almost all of us have accessible (social media) to make a name for oneself. That being said, it’s important to remember that Height plays a big part, as a male one should be at least 6ft. It’s not only important from fitting sample sizes but a lot of female models are 5’9’’ or even taller. It's an exciting & unseen time right now & ahead of us. The industry is shifting to social media numbers, uniqueness & personal brand as opposed to the previous conception of what a model should be.

What are your goals?

I don't focus on the things that I cannot control. Castings, callbacks, contracts, what the market is saying are all out of my control & so I don't base my goals around those. Naturally, I have the desire to book jobs, sign with reputable agencies & have the market demanding my look but I don't plan around it. My goals are always set for a 3 month period & are always based around 3 things: 1. The public: Attending events. Growing my audience & nursing an engaged environment. 2. Personal: Maintaining & looking after my relationships. Taking care of my body. There is no end point, it's an active, daily process. Never forget that. 3. Skill acquirement: This can be anything you would like it to be. Learning to cook, speak french etc. Important to keep one's mind & body stimulated.

What do you know about advertising and psychology?

It's an interesting time that we are in. It is less about being sold to, more about telling a story. Transparency & truth as opposed to being pitched to. My knowledge of advertising, psychology, photography & my use of them are all based around that notion. People don't just want to see pretty pictures, they want to invest in your story, watch your growth & feel inspired to do the same. It is the reason Snapchat & Instagram have thrived. So while it's important to post high-quality content & keep your viewers in mind one needs to remember that the market is very saturated & everyone is looking for someone unique. That is what "sells" in this age.

How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to

clients’ requirements?

Number one rule in this industry is professionalism. It's often forgotten but absolutely vital. It's a tricky balance between being too kind & not pushing enough to get the ball rolling. Ambition, executed in the incorrect manner & come across as impatience/rudeness. Never feel bad for being ambitious you just have to learn how to think from the other person's point of view & then communicate with that in mind. P.S. Regarding social media: I maintain that if someone has taken the time to comment or share your content that engaging with that person, however small the post or comment in is vital. They are consuming your work/content & have taken time out of their finite life to engage. Don't take it for granted.

Do you eat nutritiously?

Nutritiously is difficult to define. Nutritious for a pregnant woman is different to what could be define as nutritious for a body builder. It all depends on your circumstance or goal. I follow the Slow-Carb Diet as developed & tested by Timothy Ferriss. Simply put (though it shouldn't be,) limiting carbohydrates, not calories (vital to remember it's where your calories) for 6 days per weak & then no restrictions for the final day. This maintains a low body-fat percentage & a high muscle mass, which is my goal. Currently I am training 7 days a week. Focusing on a targeting my full body. To not over-train, some days it's as simple as a 15 minute run & a 10 minute sauna session. I maintain a 1>0 policy. Do something rather than nothing. It will get the ball rolling in a positive direction.

What is your dream role as a model?

Being the face for an iconic brand, an Armani or Dolce and Gabbana, however that is becoming increasingly difficult as the industry shifts.

Does you have any limitations? How do you define her boundaries when choosing to accept a

modeling request?

Naturally. Everyone does. Ultimately it is situational & depends on the job. It all depends on professionalism & a sense of taste especially when it comes to nudes, couple shoots etc. If I feel comfortable & I know that the team is reputable then I will likely take on a more challenging role. It's difficult to define without a specific scenario but the bed-rock for anyone questioning themselves: Don't do want you are not comfortable with.

State your availability: Would you travel? Work full-time, part-time? Any hours?

100% available. Absolutely have & would travel. Modeling full time. Any hours.

Tell us your most memorable experience in modeling so far?

Working in India for 5 months of this year. Undoubtedly. So fast paced & really an under-rated land of opportunity. So modern & yet one can feel like they have stepped back in time.

Booking information:

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/MattRossOfficial

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MattRossOfficial

Website: http://www.officialmattross.com

E-mail: matt@mattross.co.za

Photo Credits:

1st & 2nd Image: Photographer: @lukekuisis Model: @mattrossofficial Styling: @styling_by_kyla_blackwood MUA: @jacqui_dnielle

3rd Image: Photographer: @willie_84 Stylist: @thectstylist

4th Image: Photographer: @terirobberts

5th Photo: Photographer: @sdrphoto Styling: @wayne_csquared Company: @csquaredsa

Share this post if you love it! The most viewed post will be given the People's Choice Award for the Online Magazine, which will have the same number of spreads of the magazine cover winner. This issue will be posted on November 2016 for Model Citizen Magazine. We check Google Analytics with the most viewed interview. To be considered for People's Choice Award, the analytics will be determined within one week from the published date of this interview.

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