Photographer: Blerim Nosha
Model: Katica Rakiljic www.katicas.com
Hair Stylist: Rapunzel of Sweden
Retouch: Blerim Nosha
“If you feel energetic in front of the camera and you feel confident, you will look good. “
Katica, can you please briefly introduce yourself to our readers, and tell us how did you become a model? Definitely, well there is many things to say (haha). I am usually defined as a beauty queen, a model , and a collage graduate. I do identify myself with those titles but I am also just a girl who had and have very big dreams and decided to follow them. I am an international model and I have been placed all over the world living in cities and places like Dubai, the US, Germany, China, Mexico etc. My titles include 1st runner up for Miss Universe Croatia, Top model of the world Croatia, Supermodel Sweden and Miss Gothenburg. I am also an economist and graduated of the University of Gothenburg Sweden with a master in public administration/economy. Besides that l am a very adventurous person who loves to travel and trying out new things. My family is very important to me and I also love spending time with family as I have family both in Sweden and Croatia. I was born in beautiful Split in Croatia but I grew up in Gothenburg, Sweden. For me growth is very important and I always reach for the next level which l think is very important whatever you decide to do in life. I am on the other hand a person who loves to joke and spread just happiness around me.
What keeps you motivated to model and what is your favorite aspect of being a model? For me its all about the passion in the heart, I have a lot of love for what I do and I think it’s a key. It is the kick and energy that I get being in front of the camera. It is hard to describe it but you feel empowered and you can act out all what you are. Creating magic and just doing what I do best drives me ,as well as the motivation to always set the bar higher and once I reach that level I am always hungry for more and I set again even a higher goal. The finished result as well is a big drive for me, to see what you actually created.
Is there anyone in your development that has inspired, influenced or taught you as a person/a model in general? I think all the travels, you know, traveling alone as a young women to different parts of the world not knowing the place or the people, that made me grow a lot as a person. My dreams have always inspired me and pushed me to move forward. My agent Brian has been a big support for me because he sent me on my first model trip and he has always been very honest with me no matter if the truth would hurt or not. I am thankful for that and his advice has influenced me in a good way.
From your point of view, what is the toughest thing about being a model? What do you consider most challenging? Definitely when you first start out its all the critic and standards that the industry has, that you hear and get from casting agents, clients, your agency, booker and so on. The industry is very tough and you will be judged by your appearance all the time. People will have comments about the way you look. After all your appearance and looks is your business card. I struggled a bit with that at times since I was told my hips were too big and that l needed to loose a few centimeters. I did that with hard work and determination. But later on as you go along you learn that comments, good or bad are just someone’s opinion, it is not the truth. Now I am very confident and I am thankful for all my experiences since they made me this confident. Another challenge for young girls is to be brave enough to say no, if there is some job you don’t feel comfortable doing and I would just say no, stay true to who you are.
Is there anything you would change about the modeling industry if you could? Yes, in connection to my previous question I would say, just know what you want, know your standards and your morals and values and stay true to that no matter what. I would by that change girls and boys confidence to become strong because that is needed in the industry. Remember to always believe in yourself, that is the most important. Also as we recently hear with the whole ‘meetoo’- campaign going on, a lot has been brought to the light that is unfortunately correct. The industry is not all glam and glitter, there are in fact many people out there that will try to use you. If l could change something I would exchange those people and have stricter controls and take accusations more serious from models. I also believe we are all beautiful just the way we are. If your hips are 2 centimeters too big, if you are a little too tall, if you are a little too short, whatever it is. In all honesty it would not make a difference to the client or to the product you sell. We are people and we made these standards up, so don’t take it to be the truth. It is all about how much drive you have, it is about personality and nobody can say that because you are a centimeter too short you can not do that campaign. It is a pure bullshit. I would love for more agencies to realize that and not be afraid to strictly stay to standards that are set.
What goes through your mind when you are modeling in front of the camera? Ohh, I feel joy, I feel the energy just flowing and I feel empowered. The best way to describe it, it’s just me coming alive in front of the camera . It’s just pure happiness.
What modeling experiences have you had so far that have been your favorite or stand out? It is really hard to answer that question because I had so many amazing experiences. Shooting commercials in Mexico, dancing salsa on the Mexican streets for a beer commercial at 3 in the morning, getting to shoot with world famous photographer Fadil Berisha for Miss Universe and just in general working with amazing teams in different parts of the world. It is very hard to name a few moments really.
What was the craziest thing to happen to you at shoot? Oh, probably it was when I was shooting this commercial in Mexico for beer and the police had to cut off the whole street because people would come close to us trying to be in the shoot or try to touch us.
Please share some tips on how to look good in front of the camera. If you feel energetic in front of the camera and you feel confident, you will look good. My best advice is to be confident then it will show automatically on the outside and it will look amazing in picture. Other advice would be, try to move around naturally and don’t freeze in one pose, just let it flow and try to be as natural as you can. Personally I love dancing and I use to dance around my apartment before going to a big shoot, in that way I feel more relaxed and in a flowy mood. Also of course make sure to get a good nights rest the day before and drink a lot of water.
What advice you would give to a young model working toward building their social media profile? Stay consistent. Keep posting good pictures and keep your feed interesting. I would suggest you interact with other models and profiles in the same business as you and maybe say something nice under their photo, have them doing a shout-out for you as a example. In that way you will also reach a more relevant audience.
Where can our readers get connected with you? The easiest way to get connected with me is on my social media and most popular one is on Instagram. You can go follow me on @Lam.kr or you can drop a message on Facebook. My original website is under construction, but soon a blog will come up where you can follow me as well, get inside secrets on beauty, work out, fashion, get a glimpse into my daily life and so much more. It will all be up soon at www.katicas.com so stay tuned for that.
What do you look for in photographers that you would do trade with? I look first and foremost on their previous work and what they have done before. That gives me a good indicator of if the photographer is a bit advanced and professional or if he is just starting out. Also even if the photographer doesn’t have much experience does not mean the pictures will be bad. It is all about communicating and if both you and the photographer have the same expectation then I would say go for it. Also it is important to agree on what the pictures will be used for, if it is not for commercial purpose but only for your portfolio, its important to make a agreement on that before the shoot.
If you could have any model as your mentor for a day, who would it be and why? I always think that if you want to achieve something look at the person who had got or has done what you want to do. Look for the person who already succeeded in what you want to succeed in. So for me I would love to have a model like Adriana Lima or perhaps Kate Uptown as a mentor for a day. Just to hear their story and how they made it into Victoria’s Secret or Sports Illustrated. How they overcame their challenges and went all the way. Also, I think both models both seem to be very sweet and down to earth girls.
Katica, do you have any beauty secrets or products you swear by? What is your beauty regime like? I will tell you that the best medicine and secret to healthy and glowing skin is sweat, water and sleep. That means work out, drink a lot of water and get a good nights sleep, it makes miracles and nothing can really beat that. A healthy lifestyle basically. In addition to that and or skin care, I love doing facials, and I always use sun protection screen no matter the weather. The skin treatments I tried, was micro needling that I really love and will talk more about these on my blog.
How do you stay in shape, what do you do to maintain your beautiful figure? I am one of those people who naturally can eat a lot and not gain much weight, so I wont lie about that! But with that said I have been running almost every morning as long as l can remember. That is really my thing. Running early in the morning to start my day, then l work out in the gym, and I finish off with a short meditation. So, basically I work out hard and I eat normal food trying to cut out sugar as much as I can. Water is also important and I drink a lot of water. I actually drink water to all my meals thinking about it.
What advice would you give to a girl who is very body conscious? I would say , just own it! Know that you are beautiful just the way you are and don’t let anybody tell you anything differently. Because those who criticize you for being comfortable in your own skin, usually wishes they were like you. And in the end of the day what somebody thinks of you has nothing to do with you, it is just an opinion, nothing else. I do encourage girls to strive to live a healthy lifestyle for the sake of themselves and for themselves.
Is there anything you would like to do in the future, someone you would like to work with or something you would like to accomplish? Well, I don’t ever think you should stop setting new goals, I always reach for the next level. Recently l accomplished a long life goal of being a cover girl and also getting into Maxim magazine, both of which recently came true. One of the people I got to work with nine years ago and love to work with, is world famous photographer Fadil Berisha. I had a goal to work with him again some day after Miss Universe, and just last February I had the great opportunity to work with him again in his New York studio. That was truly a dream come true! After ending up as 1st runner up for Miss Universe in Croatia, l was inspired and it was an eye opener for me giving me even more confidence to set higher goals.
At the very moment one of my goals is to get into World Swimsuit/Sports illustrated. I hope to be one of their rookies this year, it would truly be a dream come true. There are much more dreams and goals that I am working on at this very moment. I guess you will just have to wait and see!
What is one thing that you are obsessed with that people might be surprised to learn? Oh wow, hmm that is a hard question. I don’t know lf there is anything I am obsessed with really, except of course working out! My running, for sure. If I am traveling or something happens so I don’t get the time to do my running, I start feeling really bad and tired, it could even make me get into a bad mood. It is definitely my obsession, a good one though! Other than that it might be a surprise but l really love scary movies and everything scary. I like vampire things and if I go to Luna park, the favorite thing to do for me is walking into the haunted house there, even tough I get super scared (haha)!
When you are not busy modeling, what are some of your favorite things to do? When I am not modeling or working, of course I love working out. I also love to read and I read at least one book every month. I also love spending time with my family a lot and my friends. I really enjoy going to spa that I do quite often, just relaxing and having me -time.
What is something you want less of in your life? What about more of…? Oh, something I want less of is the addiction I have to sugar (haha)! Because I love everything sweet and I would love to get rid of that craving! What I want more of would just be even more love and happiness. I think you can never get enough of that.
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? I would probably be a bird, so that I could fly all over the world and visit all my family and friends whenever I want to. What an amazing ability it would be just to be able to fly, a bit of a super power l would say.
If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? I would tell everyone believe in yourself because the only person that needs to believe in you, is YOU. If you feel like something is right for you, trust that. Don’t let nobody tell you that you can’t be or do something because that is their own reality not yours. I would also say try to understanding other people, be happy and if you see someone without a smile give them yours. Most importantly be kind and spread happiness wherever you go.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Life itself I would say. There are so many reasons that it is hard to think of one reason to not get up, except if I didn’t get at least 8 hours of sleep (haha)! Being more serious, my motivation and my goals get me up in the morning. They make me exited and eager to get up early, to be able to create and to have this feeling of that you are unstoppable, that you know exactly where you are going. I am a person that has a lot of drive and energy in me, I almost cry at times because I get overwhelmed with feelings. But not because I am sad but because I am happy. Feelings of happiness and excitement come from nowhere. And my favorite time of the day is early in the morning. It is also when I get most stuff done and my brain works the best at the early hours.
Tell us one surprising fact about yourself please. Well, something that people are always surprised by is when I tell them I never had a headache in my entire life. I don’t know how if feels like and I tend to ask my friends when they are complaining about having one. I am like, well, is it very painful (haha)? I don’t know why I have never had one but I am very happy about it and would never want to change that fact! Something else that is a bit more odd about me is that I don’t only like to joke but I also like to speak with a British accent with some of my friends. Not sure how that started but it is more of a fun thing, a habit I got into (laughing loud). Thank you very much for having me !
Thank you, Katica.
Published in 2018 April Vol I: BUY NOW