Interview: Model Gaelle Baekelandt (Belgium)
Can you tell us a little about you?
My name is Gaëlle, meaning stranger from German origin, and defines my way of living. I am exploring in this life for 26 years and feel highly curious to know and experience more every day. This characteristic of me brought me to extraordinary places and made me connect with special souls. These unique experiences stimulated me to cultivate my creative self and drove me to manifest in several spectrums. I create and collab under ConCyCon (Conscious cycle connect) with sustainable intentions in three forms. The first is as a model, I tend to work with brands that connect with my values, so I can influence in an authentic way. Next to that I create upcycle clothing and jewellery, under the brand di’Elle, with forgotten objects and smart streams (post- industrial waste). Feeling grateful for my space and atelier in inspiring Bruges where I may wonder and create surrounded by history and nature. The third part considers sustainability consulting for businesses and consciousness coaching for individuals under ConSus (Conscious sustainability).
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
My patience, I am learning to have more patience, but it still tends to kick in from time to time when I am eager to achieve something. It’s a process to learn to just experience the steps without any expectation. I try to apply mindfulness within every moment by living by experience within full curiosity without expectations. Out of the believe that it brings me more joy then if I spend time worrying about a possible outcome. Living with a clear vision without expectation sometimes goes against my drive to generate my goals. Nevertheless it brought me more peace of mind and makes me feel more happy in general. Thanks to this way of navigating through life I depend less on high note events and see the beauty of the little steps to be celebrated.
How did you start modelling?
When I was a kid I did some model work for a kids clothing brand and I had been asked a few times when I was 15 to do a shoot for clothing or portrait. I always liked to tell a story but didn’t think modelling could be a means for that. I also didn’t wanted to be associated with the stereotype idea of “beauty”.
I restarted modelling via my marketing consulting jobs for fashion brands. During my freelance jobs I got asked to also come in as model for the brands I worked with.
But it really started when I got requests to make some pictures with more artistic photographers. This kind of work spoke to my creative side to tell a story with my body, my expression and through the interaction with my environment. So it wasn’t my intent to become a model, but I do like to transfer emotions stories to people, so I like to describe myself as a performance artist.
What do you think of the work as a model?
I prefer to work with brands with sustainable values or artistic people who want to tell a story. I don’t see myself as a commercial model, I prefer to stand for something. If I promote a brand I want to stand behind the product or service that they provide. So I think modelling can be a beautiful thing if you spread a true story. Sadly there are a lot of girls mostly at a very young age scouted to promote all kinds of products that are not supporting a more conscious way of living and I do believe this influences the way we live. Commercials are there to sell us short time happiness. They make you believe that this or that product will give you that happy feeling, but happiness comes from within you can’t really buy it.
What is your beauty regimen?
I work together with my body, mind and soul. I just listen to my needs, for example; I don’t just wake up, stand up and rush into whatever I need to do. If I wake up I stretch what needs to be stretched, I take time to order my mind and find my balance within my emotions to feel aligned with my soul. I eat plant based food and surround myself daily with nature. Thanks to dancing I can express my emotions and feel one with my body, what brings me a lot of joy.
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
As a creative butterfly I apply my diverse insights in my work as a model. Thanks to operating as marketeer, saleswomen, designer and consultant concerning the processes of companies I got a wide perspective of the needs of the client. I know that transmitting an emotion and forming the right lines within the frame can tell a story deeper then a 1000 words.
Next to that I believe by being a dancer, I have a good connection with my body I know how to move for a picture or motion video.
What are your plans for the future?
I just started my atelier di’Elle where I create with forgotten items, waste or as I call it smart streams and natural elements that came on my path to stimulate awareness of our exploitation. Via collaborations with artistic photographers and other artist I want to spread the upcycle way of consuming. By stimulating the people to look at the materials they have stored in the house and create new things with it that can add value to their life and fulfil current needs. This can bring more consciousness to the people and their way of consuming.
I want to continue to work with creative people to tell inspiring stories via events, pictures, video, my poems and other art forms. Keep on expanding my comfort zone and cultivating my passions.
What are some of your favourite experiences so far?
I love to shoot analogue, The work I did together with Kristof Dongleur in collaboration with designer Jana Roos and mua Shari Parmentier in an vintage house in Brussels will be one of my favorite analogue experience.
I adore when I can shoot with my dog so the trip that I took with Dieter Raes to create nomade travel connent through Germany, Italy and Croatia is certainly one of the recent experiences I really enjoyed. Exploring nature in great company and being able to capture it with a drone and other professional material is amazing. To be able to see the things out of the sky give a hole new field to play in. It learned me a lot about natural light and angels.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modelling?
If you want to start modelling do it for you, do it to spread a message, not the money or the “fame”. If you want to be a role model, show example that we are more then outside beauty, go for it. Show that we women are worth to be seen for what we are strong visionaries. I just would like to see more of that, less empty and fake selling more leather bags and snake boots. We can make this world so much more pleasurable if we would shine from within and not show of the external luxury and “beauty”.
What do you think of the magazine?
To be honest, I didn’t know this magazine for this contact. I do feel like it’s a nice platform where artistic people can read more about each other and find new connections. So I will keep closer look to this magazine, now I know it.
Facebook name: Gaelle Baekelandt
Instagram: @gaellebaki (modelling) @di_elle_upcycle ( upcycle jewelry)