An Interview with model Obsidian Kerttu & photographer Martina Spoljaric

Obsidian Kerttu

Our Issue 48 cover star is raven-haired Obsidian Kerttu. Based in Eastern Europe she has modeled for countless designers and, with the help of a vast collection of wigs and extreme makeup skills, can pull off just about any gothic look. Martina Spoljaric is the lady behind the camera and a huge fan of macabre style. They have worked together on numerous shoots, many involving bats, castles and mythical creatures. Sounds like a gothic dream come true!

The cover image for Gothic Beauty is quite minimalistic. Obsidian, was there a particular inspiration for the cover image?
There is no big story behind the cover photo, it was done pretty much randomly. I have a really good relationship with Martina Spoljaric, so we complement each other with ideas on the spot. It was somewhat a rainy late afternoon and we tried to capture the atmosphere. We both prefer to shoot outdoors, so we can use resources from nature. We went with the wind ruffling my hair, trying to capture mysterious tinted sky with feeble light. Opposite of that, we wanted to portray a modern and strong gothic lady.

Martina, all of your photos (including our cover) seem to be on location, in a natural setting. Why do you prefer to shoot outside rather than studio?
I prefer natural light and outdoors because it’s more interesting than studio, there are so many options.

Martina, you shoot a variety of styles, including natural and more traditional fashion, but what draws you to the gothic style again and again?
I used to wear this style, so there is something that I find attractive in it – mysterious and dark!

Obsidian, what is your favorite personal style?
Essentially it is Victorian/trad goth, but I like to mix it with other styles. Lately I am more oriented towards mixing trad goth with street/urban goth and occult/witchy fashion. That is something I enjoy the most, when I look casual, edgy, effortless and feel comfortable but still chic and mysterious.

Obsidian, do you use a stylist or do you come up with the looks yourself?
Most of the time I style my looks and take care of all the details. I don’t like to just throw everything on myself, I prefer minimal and classy looks. When I am working with a team on a big project, I have other stylists.

Obsidian, you have a background in graphic design. Does this help with shoots?
My graphic design background helps me with no doubt! On my studies I have learned how to value art, compose and use graphic elements with certain rules. We concentrated more on the artistic aspect and applied art than commercial design. Graphic design is all about visual communication and problem-solving through the correct use of typography, space, image and color. That helps me to polish my outfits, makeup, and also to recognize good composition and make great photography. No cliché photos, no trashy art.

Martina, there are special effects in many or your gothic photos. How long does it take to finish a photo once you’ve taken the shot?
It depends on the photo and look. For some photos it is only like 20 minutes. For some of them I need almost an hour.

Martina, if you had unlimited resources, who or what would you shoot?
I would travel around the world in search for beautiful places outside big cities.

Who or what are your inspirations?
Obsidian: Ever since I was a child I was in love with TV shows such as The Addams Family and Beetlejuice, Tim Burton movies and vampire movies. Music had a big influence while growing into a goth – bands like The Cure, London After Midnight, Dead Can Dance, Tiamat etc. Gothic literature and books gave me kind of inspiration and imagination for my style. Also Gothic architecture, medieval and other historical periods I was learning about in my studies – all these beautiful periods of royal families and aristocracy, ball gowns, kings and queens and castles. In the world of fashion my biggest role models are certainly Razorcandi, Wednesday Mourning, Lady Amaranth.
Martina: Dance and nature.

Obsidian, what do you do besides modeling?
I work as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. Other hobbies are blogging, makeup, drawing, crafting, anything I can make with my hands. I travel a lot, and most of all I like to enjoy simple things with my fiancé.

Obsidian, do you have any advice for aspiring models or stylists?
Always remember to be yourself and go your own way. Find your style, find out what makes you unique. Attitude is everything. Have a good personality, be friendly and professional. Attitude and personality can get you far. Set up goals – and go for it! Get inspired by others, but never try to copy, make it your own. Stay fierce, dark, and most of all persistent. This job is not glamorous and effortless as it seems, it is hard work and often full of rejection. Hold your head high, work with professional photographers, always have reliable people around you and a well-known, respected agency behind you.

Obsidian Kerttu on Facebook
Martina Spoljaric on Facebook