Christie Gabriel – Self Made Model With a Story to Tell
Christie thanks much for the opportunity to share your work and something about yourself and your career with our readers!
Let’s start with where you grew up and where you are living now. At least your home base. How does it suit your lifestyle?
I grew up in a small suburb of Chicago called Carpentersville. While not the worst place to be raised, I knew I was going to break out of there as soon as was possible. After I graduated high school I spent a couple of years jumping around the country before heading back to the Chicago area to set up a stationary home base. This time I settled on the much nicer suburb of Saint Charles.
Saint Charles is great because it has extremely low crime and good schools for my son and it’s also just a short train ride to downtown Chicago (while still far enough out that we aren’t suffocated by the chaos of the city either). With all the travel and attention that comes with my work, I like to come home to the quiet calm of my small town.
When did you start modeling? What was it like starting out?
I started getting all my ducks in a row during my senior year of high school. By the time graduation day arrived, I had agencies lined up in Miami and NY that were interested in signing me if I was willing to move to them. So, I took a few months to save up my money. Once I thought I had enough cash, I rented an unnecessarily large Uhaul for my one small box of junk and made my way to Miami Beach.
Being a bit of a self-conscious introvert back then, I half expected to fall on my face, but luckily that didn’t happen. I had plenty of competent people behind me and things sort of took off. I knew I had to get confident and comfortable with that fast pace and constant attention or else I would crash and burn. I wasn’t going to let that happen.
From your bio and portfolio it seems you have been able to travel quite a bit in your career. What are all the awesome place you’ve seen while modeling? If you had to pick your top three Gigs/locations what would you say they were?
I was pretty entranced by the fact that I once found myself in beautiful Barcelona posing for Cartier and Vogue Espagna. And although I can’t name drop any amazing brands that specifically took me to Paris, every time I get to go there I am reminded about how lucky I am to have a job that will take me to such a place. I’m both baffled and thankful that artists and photographers find my plain Jane face interesting enough that they will bring me all the way to France to capture it in their chosen medium. Recently, I had the great fortune to also see Rome (though my time there was short lived due to some local savages that scammed my photographer out of all of his equipment). After the incident in Rome we headed for the countryside and settled in the ancient walled-in-city of Viterbo Italy for the duration of our shooting schedule (the photographer was able to burrow a less than ideal camera that we used as we made our attempt to finish the assignment).
Looks like you are an author also. You have a book titled “The Self Made Model.” Tell us a little about that project. How’s the reception been?
The Self-Made Model_Success Without Agencies is a book I felt almost obligated to write. After witnessing the agency platform collapsing in on itself over the last decade, I felt that such changes needed to be known. While it is true that, once-upon-a-time, agency representation was the only way to find success as a model that is no longer the case. Modern technology mixed with a weakened economy has made it possible, if not even easier, for a model to be successful on her own.
After listening to model after model vent their frustrations about how the agencies
were handling them and coupling that with my first-hand experiences I could see there was a need for such a book. Appearantly, I was right because the book is selling very well and the feedback is fantastic! It’s a good feeling to know that something I worked so hard on is helping so many others within the industry.
Sounds like you are a pretty busy person, but in your free time, in your hometown or wherever, where would we find Christie hanging out and chilling?
I always have somewhat of a battle going on with myself when I have free-time. I’m a homebody at heart so I look forward to any time I can just switch-off and spend time with the kid. But on the other hand, I’ve made so many great friends through my work and I love to spend time with them too, be it collaborating artistically or just hanging-out.
Sometimes I feel bad for my industry friends in Milwaukee, because they are at least close enough where I can drive to them. Of course this means I bug them as much as is humanly possible given my travel schedule.
Any projects coming up or recently wrapped up you’d like to share some info about?
I’m still coming off the high associated with writing a well-received book and I’m even toying with the idea of writing a follow-up to the Self-Made Model. Stay tuned!!
You can find Christie online here:
The Self-made Model (Book site): http://www.selfmademodel.com
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Tags: Christie Gabriel, Model, Modeling, Chicago, Barcelona, Travel, Traveling, Self Made Model, Lingerie Model, Fashion Model
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