“I am a simple soul that sees beauty in darkness, mystery and nature.”
Society is governed by stereotypes both when it comes to how we look and what we do and especially when those two are combined “People who look in a certain way do certain things”. Personally, I hate that kind of mentality – I believe you can have pink hair and listen to metal, you can be pretty and smart and let’s not even start on the stereotypes that are in place when it comes to having an alternative look. So you can only imagine my amusement when I stumbled on Obsidian Kerttu, a Goth who is both afraid of blood and collects napkins, which basically knocks all stereotypes down into the ground.
My real name is Jovana, but everyone knows me by the name Obsidian Kerttu. I am a Gothic model and influencer, as well as a graphic designer and applied artist. I am a simple soul that sees beauty in darkness, mystery and nature.
What’s it like to be a goth model? (is it like “classic” modelling, are there any conditions you have to abide to regarding your look, weight, etc?
Being a goth model is great, because goth modelling is a smaller part of alternative modelling, where you don’t need to have a specific height, weight, race, skin color or body type to be able to do this job. Alternative modelling embraces your style and appearance – the crazier, more creative and out there, the better! You are able to express yourself and your point of view through clothing, makeup, body modifications and tattoos and many other things. The only time when you need to compromise is when you’re approached to do ‘normal’ fashion and ‘classic’ modelling. Some models refuse these kind of jobs because it simply doesn’t go with the style, but some of them, including me, have no problems with transforming and doing the modelling part as a professional. There is a big difference in living your life as a goth person, when you don’t want to change your appearance and look because goth is who you are, and being a model when you’re paid to do job for other people and their vision. There is also a lot of different goth fashion styles, so sometimes models only stick to one style they prefer.
For how long have you been modelling?
Officially more than 3 years now.
4. What are some preconceptions people have of you?
Preconceptions about not only me, but goth models and models in general are that we are extremely wealthy, vain, narcissistic, egocentric…. That we enjoy our luxurious lives and expensive clothes, shoes and makeup and only think about fashion. That is so far from the truth, it’s ridiculous! Also, people think that gothic and fetish models are the same thing. Common prejudice is also that models only have one purpose – to be living clothes hangers. Many of the goth/alternative models are artists, activists, influencers, role models. They fight for equality, animal rights, human rights, love poetry and philosophy, knowledge and manners. And are also very modest, self-critical, thoughtful and sweetest people ever.
5. You’ve got some absolutely stunning shoots. Which one is your favourite? Which one was the hardest/most complicated/time consuming to shoot?
Thank you! Well one of the hardest for sure was when we were shooting the set called ‘Ophelia’. Modeling in water is extremely hard, because you use all your muscles and the whole body, trying to be on the surface but in a specific pose and with relaxed face. Basically you need to focus on so many things at once, and you have only one chance to get the photo.
Is there any “drama” going on between people who lead a goth lifestyle and the ones who just love to model the style? I mean, have you ever been judged or accused of being fake for also doing classic modelling?
I guess Goths love genuine Goths. But that doesn’t mean we disrespect or hate others who are not from the scene. I never liked elitists among Goths. Being a Goth is a way of life and a point of view, not something anyone brags about and live only to show off the newest ‘gear’. My colleagues are supportive, they like my diversity. Some of them lead the goth style, but then I can’t call them models, they are more like influencers. Models need to be able to transform on the set, and to separate their life style from the job. As long as you have a clear vision of who you are, and being a Goth for the sake of yourself, no one will call you a fake.
Do you have any role models?
For sure. Wednesday Addams. Robert Smith. Amelia Arsenic. Prince Lestat. Karl Lagerfeld. Razorcandi. Carl McCoy.
What else are you passionate about, besides goth modelling?
I love graphic design – especially illustration, typography and packaging. I love art, fashion, craft. Basically anything I could do with my hands. I am passionate about makeup, painting, crafting, decorating.
Who’s your favourite artist?
I have lots of them, depending on the genre. Dali, Pollock, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Gaudi, Schiele in Modern Art. Herb Lubalin, Gary Talpas, David Carson in Graphic Design. Tara McPherson, Tarantino, Wayne Hussey, Poe, Dostoyevsky in illustration, movie, music and literature. Alexandar McQueen in fashion.
What’s one super surprising thing about you?
I have enormous phobia of blood, if I see it I pass out. I collect napkins – I have a huge collection over years. I can’t stand bare feet. I don’t drink water. XD
What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?
As a person I stand for freedom and rights, whether animal or human. For equality, uniqueness, choice. As Goth, I stand against discrimination. I stand for life where we celebrate Goths from all walks of life, all nationalities, as they are, for who they are. It’s important to stay true to yourself and to share the message that it’s OK to be Goth at any age, any nationality any gender and of course to express your style and uniqueness without prejudice.
12. Is goth modelling your only income source, or do you work separately also?
Modelling is my second job. I do, however, have my day job – working as a graphic designer. Modelling opportunities are bigger and better, but in this country you can’t live even with these two jobs.
13. If you wouldn’t be a goth model, what else you’d like to be?
Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a shoe designer. I love shoes, it’s my fetish! Maybe one day I’d try myself in fashion. My biggest love throughout education was chemistry. I always wanted to study chemistry and to be a crazy chemist doing experiments, but my love for art prevailed. I also wanted to be an IT by day / hacker by night through majority of my life. Haha!
14. Any projects you’re excited to be working on right now?
I am planning on one amazing shoot that has baroque vibes mixed with modern fashion for a magazine cover. All my big projects will be planned for covers and magazines, so I expect this year to be quite productive and successful.
What’s the message you’d like to transmit with your work?
It’s important to find yourself and not be afraid to express it. Be creative, imaginative, do magic with emotions and self expression. Be brave to be different and unique, be odd to be number one!