Interviews / Stories
Interview: Model Misha Czumaczenko (Poland)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am a modern day woman. I am a mixture of passion, creativity, sensibility and joy.
I was born in Ukraine within USSR, but I live in Cracow in Poland since 1997, so world is my home and my roots are inside me.
I like to be called Mishka which in Russian means 'adorable little bear', because I am attractive in a cute way but I am also in touch with my wild side.
I have willpower and determination. I am fully developed person. I recognize my mistakes. Sometimes I can go back and correct them, other times I can't, but I never regret anything. I am responsible, resilient and easy going adult human female.
I know that all great accomplishments require patience and persistence. I pay attention to the simple but beautiful in the world around me. Being born in a poor family and living in a simple way helped me to learn to value everything in this world and to be grateful for every moment of happiness in my life. I like to create positive energy by acting with positive intentions. Often, we are too busy or distracted to notice and appreciate small things, but they really do matter. I live in deeds, not years. I am cheerful and mature. Time after time I am sweet and shy. I can be playful or serious, but I am never nosy or rude with people. I breathe life every second and thrill with it.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
I actually wouldn't change anything. I think an important part of personal development is accepting who you are and loving all aspects of yourself. Of course there is always room for improvement, growth and search for new possibilities, but I am just really comfortable in my own skin. I don't need to prove the world I am good, pretty or valuable. I know I am. In the same time I don't try to hide the things about myself that might not seem flattering. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I forgive and accept myself and trust that other people are willing to accept me as well. Never feel bad about who you are or what you do. Just learn and grow.
How did you start modeling?
Becoming a professional model was more of an accident than planned action in my case (laugh). There is a time for everything and everything in time. When I was a child, from the earliest that I can remember, I never knew what to say when adults asked me who I want to be when I grow up. I don't think I ever had a serious childhood dream. That's why I became a model. I don't need to choose only one position in that kind of job. I can play multiple roles and be versatile. Modeling is kind of like acting. I can go through many metamorphoses and can be almost whoever I want, even if it is not for real or full time. I love adventure in my life. I consider myself a free spirit. I am a freelancer. It gives me the freedom to take risks, try, search as long as it interests me. I am enthusiastic about learning new things.
I got the attention of one of the Polish modeling agencies for the first time in 2010. From then on, I have learned who are scammers, what kind of problems aspiring model can face and I met plenty of wrong people, but that which does not kill me, makes me stronger. In 2012 I had a serious offer of modeling job from some Australian model scout but it just wasn't the right time for me then. I made step back but later I reached some successes anyway. I have been published in magazines ranging from small online publications to Croatian edition of Playboy. I made dozens of photoshoots of various types, I've worked for a fashion shows and I got experiences of supporting artist. If something is meant to be, it will happen. In the right time, with the right people and for the best reason. I always believed there's no need for feverish rush.
In 2014 I competed on Poland's Next Top Model, Cycle 4 although I am not a fan of reality television shows. I think it was the time when I faced the moment of truth. The truth is, you have a better chance of being hit by a satellite than by fame but anyway I hope to stay with this job until I retire or till I get tired of working as a model.
What do you think of the work as a model?
Many careers can sound exciting when you only know a little about them. When you think about modeling, probably initial things that spring in your mind are fashion, glamour and money. People use to idealise the modelling experience, but being a model isn't nearly as easy as thinking of the majority of the people about it. Models are products. Modeling requires much skill and effort. Your beautiful inside world is always on the second if not last place. My face and my body are members of my workforce. Industry is focused on judging and ranking the physical attributes of participants by applying their looks to the current needs of the market. For many dealing with rejection is probably one of the most difficult parts of this profession.
In professions like modeling it's also not uncommon that people expect you to do your work for free or for some scandalously small payment. They probably think there is no need to bother to pay you for a job, because you should be happy and grateful to do something such prestigious and joyful just for simply doing it. Models don't get regular salary. When it happens that you get some money, usually it does not come in for weeks or sometimes even months after the job is finished. Modeling can be a good career if you will be lucky enough but for most models it's more likely a hobby or part-time job. By the way not just the low honorariums, but the conditions of work are often far from cushy or luxurious.
Modelling is pretty fascinating, yet demanding and even predatory profession. There are plenty of hidden dangers like modeling scams, sexual abuse, systematic theft, intimidation, eating disorders, drugs or alcohol addictions or involuntary prostitution. Not only lack of financial transparency you should be concerned about when you decide to choose this path of career. I have faced a lot of dark sides of modeling industry and let alone all the horrible stories that I have heard but even after that I think modeling can be exciting and definitely is worth pursuing. You just need to have a good head on your shoulders and some realistic optimism.
What is your beauty regimen?
Honestly I am a bit laissez-faire attitude person in that topic. Of course I take regular showers and wash my hair, take care of my teeth and keep my nails clean but I don't use day cream for a day and then night cream before going to sleep or lip scrubs, face masks and cuticle cream. There are tons of products on the market that's nothing more than fluff. I also try my best to eat healthy the majority of the time so that I feel good and have more energy but I spend a lot of time away from the gym. I don't really have any special beauty routines that I adhere to each day, week and month.
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
There is probably nothing very unusual. I am the dream and I am a dreamer. I am believer, hardworker and achiever. I find it very hard to describe myself in an affirmative way without sounding narcissistic or arrogant. All of us like to feel that we are in some way unique individuals. I am different from everyone else because of my personality. Just simply because I am the only me in this world and I am not afraid to be. I think I may be an awesome person to know. I am friendly and I like to make people feel good about themselves. I see people’s spirit, not their wrapping. I understand and know who I am. I am adaptive, balanced, courageous, sincere, emotionally competent and wise. I am never too nice or too mean, or faultless and perfect. I let people make their own opinions about me. I realize that there always will be some people who aren't gonna like me. I can recommend you never try to please everybody, especially at the expense of your own happiness, values, beliefs and standards.
What are your plans for the future?
I don't worry too much about the future.
What are some of your favorite experiences so far?
One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I'm a woman and can pull the PMS card when I get a little bitchy at times. But seriously talking I don't have my most memorable modeling experiences because I did so many interesting, exciting and satisfying things it's difficult to pick only few favorite moments. Modeling in general is a memorable and a once in a lifetime type of experience.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling?
For working as a model, besides elegant physical appearance, you should have confidence, reliability, patience, verve, strength of character, esteem, punctuality, flexibility, good communication and interpersonal skills and also great financial security from the very beginning. Modeling can be an exceptional good job for those who can deal with its financial instability, psychological impact, who are ready and able to change or easily move from place to place and adapt for different circumstances. The first and great commandment is: Don't let them scare you. Don't let fear or insecurity stop you from trying it. Be careful. Stay alert. Don't get hurt. Just do it. Along with the sunshine there's gotta be a little rain sometime and accept that sometimes things just take longer than planned. Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.
What do you think of the magazine?
In fact, it's the variety of it that I find interesting. You can draw strength from the stories of other people, who are so different in their point of view, experiences and being. Thank you for inviting me to be the part of this dynamic, reflecting and creative publication.
I decided to choose 12 photos from 1 shoot.
MUA: TWIG Make Up
Model: Misha Czumaczenko
Photography: Lukasz Laska