Sunday, 5 February 2012

Interview with Ryan Barrett

Hello Ryan! Would you like to introduce yourself to my readers? We are very excited to have you drop by for a chat.

Thank you for having me. :-) Born and raised in Ipswich Town, Suffolk England. I moved to London to study Fine Art, where I also began my modelling career.

You might want to also give us your measurements and describe what YOU think is your best feature? This interview is really all about us objectifying you for a moment or two if that’s okay? You should be used to it by now.

I’m 6ft2, which comes in perfect for when I’m playing basketball, but being tall comes with big feet which sometimes is a pain having to fit into small shoes. :-)

So talk us through an average day in the life of an international male model?

You never really know what your day may entail, you could be shooting anywhere in the world meeting a photographer and crew on set or you could be going for a casting and doing Polaroid's in a studio.

How does it also feel to be described as an international male model?

It sounds kind of strange, being from a small town but able to fly around the world seems surreal sometimes. But being 2012 I think it’s far easier to travel than it used to be.

Ha Ha. That is true.

So how did you get into modelling? Were you plucked off the floor of your local Topman as a young lad or were you always told growing up that you should be fronting Versace Campaigns so thought you’d chase the dream?!

I was quite anti-modelling. I didn't really know anything about the business and what it entailed but I kind of knew it wasn't for me. It wasn't until I was persuaded to model that I started to understand it a bit more and begin to enjoy what it had to offer.

I imagine the career of a male model starting out can be a bit up and down, you book one job, lose ten others. So what was your first big break and how would you describe your first few years working in the industry?

Yes modelling can be very up and down, I was quite lucky in terms of starting out, I booked a few good hair jobs and walked in some good fashion shows, but it’s keeping the workflow steady that is the key! The solo campaign for Versace has definitely been a highlight in my career.

Ryan Barrett by Mert & Marcus for Versace Man Spring 2012-2
Ryan Barrett by Mert & Marcus for Versace Man Spring 2012

Yes, the Versace Man Campaign – that must have been a sweet call to get! The result is fantastic and certainly one of my favourite Campaigns to come out this year. How was the experience shooting with the wonderful Mert & Marcus?

Mert and Marcus were a great laugh and have an amazing eye. They are the photographers of the moment and shooting everything. The production team on the shoot were so professional and would help me with anything I needed. I actually got my luggage lost at the airport and they managed to find it and get it back to me in one piece. :-)

Ryan Barrett by Mert & Marcus for Versace Man Spring 2012-5
Ryan Barrett by Mert & Marcus for Versace Man Spring 2012-6
Ryan Barrett by Mert & Marcus for Versace Man Spring 2012-3

As well as starring in flashy Campaigns you also spend quite a bit of time walking… which we all do… but you get to walk for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana in Milan! Which most of us don’t get to do – not complaining (much). Are the shows fun to walk in?

I actually really dislike doing fashion week, it’s ALOT of running around and seeing a lot of clients in one week but I do find actually being on the catwalk itself quite fun and a bit of an adrenaline rush. Being a creative person myself I enjoy seeing the workmanship and creativity that goes into the collections.

Backstage at these shows is their fierce competition between you and your fellow male models (like in Showgirls!!!) or is it more like a Fraternity and you all love each other to death and are well behaved and don’t arm wrestle shirtless or throw Champagne in each other’s faces or think about pushing each other down a flight of stairs?… I’ve heard rumours ya know.

No I have a large group of friends on the circuit, a lot of us English boys know each other outside of work, it tends to turn into a lads on tour week when we are all in town. LOTS OF FUN!

I won't lie. I'm somewhat disappointed.

Let’s cast aside the Zoolander face for a second and talk about your Photography. That’s right you are also a talented Photographer – like, how annoying of you. There is quite a worrying trend building that the great looking men of this World are not content to only master one thing in life and you Mr Ryan Barrett are part of that club. Explain yourself please?

Hahaha thank you. I went to Goldsmiths University in London and studied Fine Art - Textiles, which I loved and have always loved being creative. I started off as a painter and as my paintings became more 3D I started making contemporary sculptures and installations. But once I started modelling, along came all the traveling and lots of inspiration from all these locations. But not having any time to express these feeling through painting or sculpture I turned to a more mobile medium. Being surrounded by great photographers it rubbed off and I began shooting tests for agencies, which have so far been loving my work.

How would you describe your photographic style?

I tend to love a crisp strong edged image, quite graphic. I sometimes use a process called HDR, but you have to be careful not to overuse the process but when you know an image looks right you just know!

Do you find it advantageous to have worked in front of the camera with so many great Photographers when you now approach a shoot that you will be directing?

I found being in front of the camera and being directed was like a training course for me to direct when I'm taking the pictures. I also get to see what lighting does on set, and how I can then apply certain techniques to my own shoots.

So where would you like to go with your Photography? Would you like a career similar to some of the Photographers you have worked with in the industry as a model or do you plan to continue working in both fields?

At the moment modelling is dominating most of my time, which is great! But photography I am hoping will become a progression from my career. :-) Who are some of your favourite Photographers working today? I loved working with Mert and Marcus, in terms of fashion, but Jeff Wall is one of my favourite "art" photographers. Your most treasured possession? This has to be my Wireless headphones for when I travel, or my Macbook pro and camera. I never leave the country without either of them.

Where do you find inspiration on a daily basis?

Inspiration for me comes from everywhere. I love construction, rugged run-down buildings - all of these have so many amazing Textures! I also attend a lot of art galleries which just drives my mind crazy with ideas too.

Would you like to ask Portis Wasp a question?

Who came up with your concept for Portis Wasp, because I LOVE IT!

Why thank you mate! Well I would love to say that it was the same team who created Lana Del Rey’s brand and that I’ll have a number one album in the shops next year, fuller lips and multiple magazine covers under my belt. But sadly no – it was me. Once I started my blog I decided I wanted a new name to go with it so I married The Wasp Factory with Portishead and got Portis Wasp.

What can we expect from you next?

You will have to wait and see! But I’m not sitting still. ;-)
And if you do sit still Ryan it will only be with Gisele for the Versace Jeans Spring 2012 Campaign, photographed by Mert & Marcus. Well played mister. Well played.

Ryan Barrett by Mert & Marcus for Versace Man Spring 2012-4


1 comment

  1. Nice interview Porty! Ryan seems like a great guy and equally talented on either side of the camera. Also loved his question to you as I'd always wanted to know that as well. :)


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