I had such a fun time getting to know this girl! I had the pleasure of meeting this wildflower in the hallway of the CROWN PLAZA in NY for Fashion week, while complaining about how long hair and make up was taking. Briefly we spoke about our modelng expierences and home life and immediatly I knew this girl was like the best friend I never had.
Here is her article! Now you can see why Marina is the girl you need to know! humbled spirits like this don't come around too often!
I'm 21 years old, I have the biggest heart you'll ever meet. I live in Pennsylvania with my mother and father and my twin brother. We look absolutely nothing alike, he's bleach blonde and bright blue eyes and I'm dark brunette and green eyed. We're both adopted from Russia at the age of 3 ½. We were taken by the Russian government at 1, spent 2 ½ years in an orphanage and then our parents brought us home. Ever since I can remember I've always wanted to model, even before I knew what modeling was. Always was posing or being silly in pictures and have always been a really dramatic little kid (and adult) my goals are to walk massive runways, see myself laughing on a tv show one day (I would call it leave it to Marina) because I drop, spill, break things on the daily. It's almost comical how clumsy i am? I'd love to have a show that makes people laugh. My favorite things is to make people laugh.. whether I mean to or not.
Any basic principles or belief you stand by?
Morals! Lol, I'm a very firm believer of being kind and being genuine. I follow my heart and what it tells me. I think what you put out in this world really counts...even if it only counts in the next life. Wherever it whatever that might be. As far as Religion goes I'm a laid back Christan.
When I was 16 I had a boyfriend (now ex) but I met his friend who was super into photography. I was no model back then, just a massive hearted dreamer and believer in myself and we linked up and started working together. I actually credit most of my success to Tom Donkin and all the help I got from him. We did photoshoot after photoshoot after photoshoot. And he never charged me a dollar. We always had a pact if either of us makes it and comes out on top were gonna bring one another with us. Most of my photos came from him honestly. My loyalty lies with him as far as photographers go. I think I helped get him alot of business, people would see my photos and ask “who shot that!” And I'd always say “tommy did” and now I feel like hes so so busy with shooting people.. and now he gets paid ;) so I would say I 'practiced’ sense I was 14 and started shooting at 16 and got signed when I was 19 to REACH model management, owned by Alycia Kaback. At 21, during fashion week in NYC of 2016 I got noticed by Luis Nunez and signed to CLAVON owned nd run by Lenard Clavon. So unofficially I've modeled for 6 years. Offically (paid) only about 2 years
What's your favorite part?
Oh my goodness… I don't even know how to answer that.. my favorite. I would say how much modeling has personally helped me. My confidence is outstanding, it's humbled me, and it's made me proud of myself. I grew up with alot of self hatred and internal conflict. Modeling has been my own personal therapy session in a way. I love how it's a constant push, you can't just be “good” at it.. you always have to work and work hard for it. A model is a title you have to earn, and work your ass off. You can't just be a pretty girl and do nothing with it and tell people your a model. Your not. You have to be dedicated to travel and not having money and giving up your friends and family and life at times. You have to be willing to not sleep for days on end and you have to be willing to basically hand yourself over to the industry. So I think my favorite part of modeling is how much its opened my eyes and helped me grow up. I think it's a commen misconception that modeling is “easy” .. it's not. It's hard work and it's grueling and times and very tiring. You hear no twice as much as yes, you come in contact with alot of criticism and even some nasty comments. You give up alot of yourself for others in a way, and it makes me kinda laugh because most people think models have it so easy. But most could not do our job. So im really in love with how strong modeling has made me, and all that it has taught me.
How was home life for you growing up?
My home life was a good one looking back. Though in my adolescence I rebelled so bad. I was no good at school and I was really weird so alot of kids didn't like me. I'm a very social human so that would really hurt my feelings and I think I took it out on my family alot, which caused problems. My family is a little different then all the others I've been around.. not that I would EVER change it. My parents are very old school and my dad was always really strict. So naturally we would butt heads ALOT. I went through a really rough phase and ripped my whole family apart for about 4 years which took a toll on all of us. I think I always felt like I didn't belong due to knowing about my adoption, at the time I had the mind set that they couldn't possibly love me the same as they would their own and I let it harm our relationship. Now, years later I know I've never met humans who could love me more. They saved my life and I owe them all my gratitude. I would have nothing without them, including modeling. Id never have had this chance without them extending their hearts to give me a life I didn't when they met me. So my home life has been a rollercoaster to say the least. And I've hated the ride at points but never would I change it. My loyalty to them was earned in time and my family became my world.
Mmmmm. I wanna say yes and no. I think alot of people laughed at my dreams or thought of me as silly. My mom has always been supportive and has always been my biggest fan, my father was more strict and serious about it. I think he wanted more for me and didn't want me to “throw my life away” on a silly dream. I've seen ALOT of money go down the drain chasing my dream (though end result is and always will be worth it) but he hated how much id do things for free or bend over backwards for nothing in return. So, I wanna say my family was supportive though at times it caused fights and issues. I never had alot of friends but I learned as I got older that alot of teachers and former classmates were impressed with me for really doing it, and achieving the title.
Ill never forget at my senior prom (I went by myself nobody ever asked me to go) this girl Jessica Helwig, one of the prettiest girls I know, total sweetheart looked at her friend and said “this girls gonna be a model someday” and my heart was so happy, one of the prettiest girls in school who was not my friend said that to another popular girl who also, go figure, was not my friend. I still think about it sometimes. So, some people believed in me, but I think most just thought of me as silly. My biggest support system is my mama and my boyfriend zachary. Hes super relaxed about me canceling plans and he stays patient with me when things pop-up and i have to run off for days to weeks, I know there's guys who wouldn't do what he does for me. How many times I've been dirt broke from putting my money into hotels and traveling and he's paid bills for me to help me get by.. it's amazing how supportive he is. Hes always pep talking me if I don't get a call back or a casting is a bust. And how many times hes put his game controller down because I need him to take digitals of me.. he even has done photoshoots with me. And he never complains about any of it.
What has been your favorite experience ?
TRAVELING. I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything I've gotten to see because of modeling. And I've met some of the COOLEST people who are now close friends through modeling. But if say so far my favorite experience was a photoshoot I did with zachary, hes handsome but he's not a model but he stepped up for it. He wore an outfit he didnt wanna wear and stayed patient through the whole thing, because anyone who knows anything about a photoshoot knows that sometimes they can be really long. But the bonding we got to do, and the fact I got the chance to do what I'm in love with with the human I'm in love with was so lovely. The pictures came out AMAZING. Even the photographer said it was her favorite shoot, you could feel the happiness radiate off of me and you could feel the emotions and loving vibe come off of us. We landed a book cover together and I'm super stoked about it.. he is too he just won't say it out loud. So my favorite experience was getting to experience what I love with who I love.
What’s a typical day for you?
I live in Pennsylvania, not in NYC. So for ME a typical day is going to work and being with my family and giving my puppy kisses, a normal everyday life really. While on call though? My “model life” if you wanna call it, a typical day in nyc for me is running around the city to be on time for various castings/go sees, anywhere from 1 to 7 within a day, subway rides, buying bandaids for the blisters I get lol, walking for designers, waiting for hours at times, eating and bookstores in my down time. I feel like I have two very different lives but I love it
What is the biggest challenge you faced in your career?
UGH. There's a few answers to that. I'd say the biggest was learning that it's okay to hear no.. cuz you do. Alot. I would get so down and out on myself for not being “perfect” enough for the industry. It took some time to learn that there's always gonna be someone who doesn't want or like your look. I remember I went to a casting and the casting director was so mean.. literally picked apart everything about me, I didn't cry there, but I definitely left trying to keep it together. I just couldn't understand why he was so mean. But at the end of the day it doesn't matter. Some directors are mean and rude and some are super sweet and totally awesome to work with. I had to learn that I'm not perfect and that's okay but I'm me, some will LOVE my look and some will HATE it. But that in the end it doesn't really matter. I think I learned that it's what you present from within that matters. Not my appearance. I've landed a few jobs solely on my personality and that's a pretty big win.
What has been your biggest achievement?
I've had a couple but I'm gonna say I don't have a greatest achievement yet, I've still got to much I wanna accomplish so thts an open-ended question for me.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In 5 years.. oh no.. I feel like I'll be so old by then. I would say in 5 years I'll have international representation, some campaigns under my belt and I'll have grown enough balls to audition for the victorias secret fashion show by then. I also hope in 5 years I'm married to the man I love, but anything can happen I guess. Also though I'm still the the thought process of how to execute my goal but I'd love to start a donation of sorts for children's homes and orphanages across the world, especially 3rd world or war stricken. Kids are my soft spot and there are so many children out there who need our help. They have nothing and nobody and they don't know what love is. My personal goal in my life is to give back to them and show them they matter and I care about them all. I wanna get an organization started to send drop boxes to the poorest of orphanages and children's homes. Fill them with stuffies animals and toys, books, clothes and diapers and especially food and formula. People have no idea how poor of nutrition these children have. Kids die everyday across the world in these homes they've been left in.. for various reasons but there's not enough food to go around for them all. You have no idea how hurt I get over the thought of their suffering. My biggest goal and ambition in my life is to save at least one life and one heart of a child with nothing. I wanna save them all, and I'm going to try, but if I can save one.. I'll die happy.
If you could shoot with your favorite celebrity who would it be. And what kind of concept?
Angelina Jolie. Not even a question. I'm not big on celebrities, I hate ego and to me they're heart beats the same as mine.. were the same.. but she to me, is royalty. Im in love with her. I'd leave my boyfriend for her.. not even joking. I think I'd want to do a shoot with her and children of every race and color, the idea would be that we are all human and we all matter and they are all loved. I'd want it almost candid, laughing and smiling and I'd want someone to feel love through the photograph, I'd want people to see it and feel unity and cared about. I'd want the photo so be so powerful that whoever is seeing it feels something in their heart.. who better to choose then Angelina Jolie. I'm not one for idols but I look up to her tremendously for so so so many reasons. That's one person I'd pay money to have the chance to talk to. Ugh. I wish so bad.
Who is your favorite designer?
.. whoever invented sweatpants honestly. Real MVP.
Any other additional hobbies?
I love to write to people. Not anything particular whatever is in my head really, but if you're in my life then you've probably received a lot of letters from me. I love to walk.. not run it jog, just walk with some headphones in on the back country roads near my house and take everything in. I talk to God alot on those walks and it's so pleasing to me. Also I pet any animals I can get my hands on. Cows are included. I've been shocked by a few electric fences just to pet some animals.
Oooo, that's so hard. Why is that even a question…
“All that wanders is not lost”
I think it's so sweet and simple but says so much. I find myself thinking about it alot..
Do you have any shows or events coming up?
Yes! December 10th I walk for ClavonsWear in time square
Anyone you want to collaborate with in the future
What would you tell anyone doubting themselves?
Do it. In the end you're only gonna regret not doing it. If it's a thought you think of then execute. If it's something you really want then get it. And do whatever it is you have to to achieve what makes you happy. Unless you're killing someone or something… then dont do it…..go get help.
Who inspires you?
My mother, grandmother and Angelina Jolie. All for their hearts…
Article and interview by Briana DeShields