Sarah.M- Make art & tell some stories

June 11, 2018

1. Tell us about yourself.

Hello! My name is Sarah McDonald and I am a model living in Chicago, IL. I’ve been in the industry for a few years now as a model and as a photographer before that. I am also an art student studying interaction design where UX and graphic design are concerned. When I’m not modeling or in class, I spend a lot of time reading, making art and watching thunderstorms from my window with my cat, ditto.

2. What is your childhood dream? Did you make it happen?

That’s a tough one. I think I really wanted to be an actress, but I also wanted to have magic powers. I’ve had a few little stabs at the acting thing and I really like it but I am definitely not an actress (yet). As for the magic powers, who knows? Maybe I am a little witchy, but I think photoshop might be the closest thing to magic that I have access to.

3. Describe how you first get into being a model? Is being a model your full time job?

I was in New Mexico and I was having a conversation with a family friend who worked in the NM Film Office at the time about wanting to be an actress and she said I should try modeling first and see if I liked it, so she gave me a list of agencies to try out and I ended up picking the one that was closest to where I lived at the time that I thought seemed like a good place to be, which was Factor (MP) Chicago. At the moment I am not a full time model, but rather a student at Columbia College Chicago. However, I hope to get more work soon and maybe make my way to full time in the future!

4. What do you do as passion? Do you have other passion to pursue?

In my freetime, I freelance as a photographer and an illustrator(comics/graphic design/logos etc.). I really love art in whatever form I can get my hands on, and I’m always trying new things but those are definitely the most consistent in my life. I have recently been experimenting with music and voice work, so we’ll see if I am able to do any fun things with that!

5. What type of model you would describe yourself as? Any tips for being a model?

Technically speaking, I am a curve model. I think I am likely better suited for more editorial style photos, but I have been doing more commercial work lately. Whatever I can get my hands on. As for being a model, and for those interested in becoming one: it is a job, not a luxury. There are many “successful” models out there who travel a lot and are beautiful and look like the’re just having a great time and photographers just happen to be there to capture it, but it’s an image. That’s the job. It is a lot of hard work and it can be tough for people who come in expecting to be handed a career based on a look. You have to work for it, just like you have to work for any other dream you want to become a reality.

6. What does the word success means to you?

This is one of those questions that is always asked and everyone always has these cliche answers, but I’m not convinced that anyone actually knows what it means. It’s a different idea for everyone, some people want money or fame or happiness or prosperity. All of those things would be great, obviously. I suppose I just want to live a good life that I can be proud of when I reach the end of it, and that I will have made my friends and family happy and that I will have learned and loved and lived my life to the fullest of my ability.

7. What is your mantra for living?

Back in 2016, when David Bowie died, I was totally devastated. He is one of my biggest heroes (no pun intended), and I spent days and weeks reading all the articles and memorials that came up when he passed. There was one story in particular that stuck with me and that I love:

“[I] had quite the attitude as a young pop star, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. It changes you. So I was on the set [of] ‘Ashes to Ashes’… I’m dressed from head to toe in a clown suit…I hear playback and the music starts. So off I go, I start singing and walking, but as soon as I do this old geezer with an old dog walks right between me and the camera…knowing this is gonna take a while I walked past the old guy and sat next to camera in my full costume waiting for him to pass. As he is walking by camera, the director said, ‘Excuse me, [sir] do you know who this is?’ The old guy looks at me from bottom to top and looks back to the director and said, ‘Of course I do! It’s some c*nt in a clown suit.’ That was a huge moment for me, it put me back in my place and made me realize, yes, I’m just a c*nt in a clown suit…” -from a story recounted by Michael Dignum

8. If you are given a million dollars, what would you do with that money?

Two words: Student Loans.

9. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought in your life? and why?

Following that last question, probably an education! If you mean something material though, I would have to say my DSLR, but it has been very good to me and I have had it for years–  I would buy it again 100 times over.

10. What is your proudest achievement or accomplishment you have achieved in life?

I’m not sure. Seeing as I’m pretty young as it is it’s hard to put in perspective what is the greatest thing I’ve done so far. I won a french quiz bowl in middle school which was pretty great, but I’m going to go with going out on my own and moving to a city like Chicago with a friend from high school and being able to sustain myself here.

11. Can you name some of your favourite bloggers/ influencers/model and why? Who would you love to collaborate with?

The people off the top of my head are mostly women around my age who I think I would get along with, mainly based on their character and self-deprecating humor, despite being in the public eye. I think it is so admirable to be as real as you can be even when it’s kind of your job to put up a front of being superhumanly perfect all the time. Some of these women include Barbie Ferreira, Lili Reinhart, Khrystyana Kazakova, and Ali Tate. What is really important to me about them is that they show their respective audiences that it is ok to not be perfect all the time, and that it is important to be yourself regardless of the molds people will try to force you into.

12. What would you say that is the biggest challenge about being a model?

Keeping your head. It is easy to fall into into a very destructive way of thinking, seeing as your physicality is your whole job and your looks are your currency in this line of work. It is easy to take a lot of things personally, but it is important to be able to separate you as a person from your body as a resource. It kind of sounds sinister when you put it like that, and to a lot of people it can be really toxic. You have to know your own value and know that when people tell you to change, they aren’t telling you to change to hurt you, it’s just business.

13. If you are given a chance to invent something, what would it be?

If I knew the answer to that, I would have already invented it! Unfortunately, I haven’t thought of any life changing inventions yet, but it would be great to have something that helps reduce back pain for people who work at their computers all the time as i am wont to do.

14. What makes you stay focus when there are so many other distraction in life?

My family and friends help me stay focused and I always have a certain anxious voice in my head telling me to keep moving all the time. I think it’s actually harder to get me to slow down than to stay on track.

15. What’s the impact do you want to have on the world?

I just want to make some art and tell good stories, and if I’m lucky, some of them will stick around.


Member since
Oct, 2018

Rank: Super Junior  |  Points: 10

Sarah McDonald is a model living in Chicago, IL. she is in the industry for a few years now as a model and as a photographer before that. Besides that, she is also an art student studying interaction design where UX and graphic design are concerned.


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