Can you tell us a little about you?
I’m Maja, 21 years old and I come from a small city near Munich, Germany. Having spent part of my childhood in Sri Lanka, I have developed a desire for getting to know the beauty of different cultures and traveling.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
I am naturally a shy person, so I have to overcome myself every time, in order to socialize in a large group. Especially in the modeling world it’s important to have this skill, since a lot of jobs come through networking. Plus you are confronted with new clients everyday. I am therefore forced to „leap into the deep end“. So this industry is the best therapy for coming out of my shell and I am grateful for it. It gets easier and easier the more routine I have :)
How did you start modeling?
While walking through a beauty department in Munich a make up artist approached me, eager to try a mascara on me. As I am more of the natural type I was about to leave. She stopped me and asked me if I wanted to become a model.
At the time, I was very young and unsure as I was only 166cm tall and afraid of failing.
The woman called an agency and after the casting they signed me.
However I hardly had any jobs and mainly did free test shootings with local photographers.
I first started to model properly, when I finished my A-Levels and moved back to Sri Lanka. There I found an amazing agency (The Agency Sri Lanka) who didn’t make a big issue out of my height and let me be part of Colombo Fashion Week. That was my little breakthrough. By shooting the designers’ lookbooks, I had the chance to build up my book and travel. Since then I have been in Vietnam, China, Switzerland, London and Milan.
What do you think of the work as a model?
I feel very lucky to have my hobby as my job. Fashion has always been my biggest passion and being able to play dress up with the most talented people is a dream come true.
Like I have already mentioned, I spent every free minute organizing and doing test shootings next to school. The whole process of planning, putting the concept into practice and in the end having the pictures as little presents amazes me until today.
On top of the work itself comes the traveling part, which is the best education. I love walking around in foreign cities without a plan, drawing inspiration from café interiors and little boutiques- An absolute spa for my mind.
What is your beauty regimen?
I like to keep it simple: I clean and moisturize my face in the mornings and evenings. Makeup-wise I always fill my eyebrows with a pencil and add some gel to create (aka. fake) some texture. Then I curl my lashes and apply some salt spray to my hair.
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
This might sound more of a superficiality than a quality. I love being surrounded by beautiful things. It may be clothes, fresh flowers, Vogue and tea in bed or a nicely set table.
No matter how little my budget is, I try to create the most out of nothing and create a nice environment.
What are your plans for the future?
In the future I definitely want to stay in this industry. I have not figured out in which branch yet but journalism or fashion buying are currently on the top of my list.
What are some of your favorite experiences so far?
I have already mentioned my love for modeling as it includes traveling through cities I would have never been able to see and wearing the most beautiful garments.
The not so obvious perk of the job is living in tiny apartments with complete strangers. During my first placement in Vietnam, I met the loveliest roommate I could only imagine. Although we only see each other about once per year, we are in steady contact. She is the best proof that you can become very close with your alleged competition and develop friendships for life.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling? When you are starting out, try to get as much practice, doing test shootings, as possible. It is so helpful to work with different photographers who all see something else in your look. This is a great way of experimenting with your facial expressions and getting posing routine.
Another important thing is to know that it’s normal to get many rejections at castings but at the same time know that success will come and aaaaalways keep going!
What do you think of the magazine? I like getting inspired by the many diverse artists featured in MODELLENLAND.