Neda Stevic – This First Generation Serbian-American is Going Somewhere
The amazing, lovely, kind and talented Neda Stevic is in The Network. If you’d like to submit your own photos find out more
Where did you grow up. I know you are from Milwaukee now correct?
As a first generation Serbian-American, I grew up in Milwaukee with my mother, and then my grandmother as a teenager. My mom and dad both emigrated from Serbia. While growing up, I taught my mom English when I came home from school. I come from very meager beginnings, which taught me to remain focused and become a very hard worker to eventually escape those circumstances. My grandmother knows more English than she lets on, but she definitely taught me all the naughty Serbian words when I moved in with her at age 12!
How does Milwaukee fit your lifestyle?
While I still live in Milwaukee, I travel all over the world for work. I’ve lived in Spain for several months while modeling in Barcelona, and I’ve worked all over the U.S. for a variety of clients. Milwaukee is a wonderful base to work from, and it suits my lifestyle perfectly because the drive to Chicago is short, and getting to the airport is even shorter!
I understand you are developing your own Jewelry line. Did modeling help prepare you in any way for this new endeavor?
Yes, I am developing my own wearable art and jewelry line, known as ‘Shady Lady.’ Modeling certainly helped prepare me for this endeavor by exposing me to various fashion genres, international art, as well as cutting-edge design concepts. Before I ever entered this industry, I was a Fine Artist. As a child, I’d create countless drawings and fashion sketches. As a college student, I sold paintings to help pay for my degrees in Spanish Literature and Psychology. And as an adult, I’ve parlayed these skills into a full-time career as both a Professional Model and Airbrush Makeup Artist. For me, the Shady Lady line is a fantastic creative outlet which has garnered some attention nationwide. This past March, I was flown to LA for Fashion Week New Orleans, where I Co-Emceed all the shows one night and also had 9 models on the runway wearing my Shady Lady feathery neck corsets, lava rock necklaces and rubber kilt for my Inaugural Shady Lady Show!
Do things ever get crazy on set when shooting?
Things can definitely quickly get crazy in this industry. The economy might tank, clients will love you one moment and then be sick of you the next moment, agents who were also your friends might book you for years only to completely forget about you if you don’t sign their “exclusive contract.” The bottom line is that you’ve got to look out for yourself first, and take control of your career, and never take the aforementioned things personally. Too many models strictly rely on an agency to book them (in an exclusive capacity which prohibits them from working with anyone else), rather than seeking out clients or multiple agencies nationwide for “direct bookings.” Remember that nobody should have a greater interest in your own career than you do. You can always wait and hope the agency that you hired (and pay via your commissions) gets you work. However, I’ve always believed that good things may come to those who wait, but great things come to those who hustle. Being resourceful and treating others well is my secret to working daily rather than waiting daily for work.
Do tell! Care to share any stories?
Speaking of crazy stories, I’ve got more than a few! Most recently, I was booked for a full day of hand modeling, and I ended up going in with a broken middle finger. Thank goodness I’m an airbrush makeup artist, because it was all black and blue, and I airbrushed the dark colors away in a few seconds! The new Art Director at Reader’s Digest had some ideas on how he wanted me to hold the props (all of which would expose the immobilized, Shrek-like finger). I disarmingly offered to do those poses, but suggested even better ones which would “show off the product more beautifully rather than obscuring it, and also be compliant with current hand modeling trends.” At the end of the 8-hour day, the Art Director thanked me and told me he was so lucky to have an experienced model with such compelling, fashion-forward suggestions. I smiled and said, “I’ve got your back. It’s what I do full-time, so I owe it to you so we get the best images.” *Whew*
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Tags: lingerie, milwaukee, model, model and MUA, MUA, neda stevic, serbian-american, swimwear
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