Madhulika Sharma. Indian model.
It is really great to have you as a guest on Ind.Side art space, can you please introduce yourself in case some of our readers don’t know you? If possible please tell us about your family or childhood or smth very interesting, funny.
Thank you so much for having me on board! I grew up in both the hills and plains of North East India. I therefore have a strong cross cultural influence. I moved to New Delhi to pursue my graduation and now travel across the country working with fantastic minds. My immediate family includes my mum, dad and my elder sister. My grandparents and I share a very special bond and each one of them view me very differently. While some people in my family think I’m more artistically inclined, some think I should’ve become a scientist. What I personally want to become is kinda downplayed. Guess that’s how Indian families just are!
How did you become a model? Can you tell us a bit about how you started your modeling career?
I happened to shoot a few images with my friend just for fun and my former agency seemed to love them. They booked me a one way ticket to Mumbai and immediately signed me up.
What was your first big break in the industry?
My FabIndia campaign in September of 2016. I saw myself in malls, hoardings, roadside posters, bus-stops, metro stations. I was psyched!
What’s one of the most interesting shoots that you’ve done?
I was in a pool of cold water with shiny straws on my hair and glitter on the water to shoot an editorial for OOB Paris.
Who’s your favorite photographer you’ve done a shoot with and why?
I was blessed to do my first test shoot in NY with Sam Crawford. We shot while it poured heavily on his terrace in Brooklyn overlooking the Manhattan skyline. It was magical. I was instructed to dance and quit posing. I loved it.
You are currently in India (city). How’s model life in India?
Working as a model in India has it’s own perks. Fewer castings happen in India for big jobs and it’s usually based on the strength of your book. For such reasons, I think it’s an easier market to work within. I also love it because the heritage clothes, textiles and jewellery have so much craftsmanship that goes into it. You can also crack desi jokes!
What do you love the most about being a model?
Getting to wear stunning clothes one season in advance and of course, all the travelling and wonderful people you chance upon.
Were you into fashion before you started modeling?
Yes, very much but never had good direction until I joined the industry.
How do your roots and cultural background influence your projects/work?
Being from the northeastern part of India brings an attached stigma of being from a remote and alienated part of the country. So, I try to advocate sensitivity towards inclusiveness whenever I’m on set. I’m always talking about our diverse culture, the places one must visit and the local cuisine and fabrics people can sample.
How do you balance creativity with commerce?
You listen to your heart. If you truly do appreciate art, you’d do it for free too, I say. However, don’t go broke being a champion of charity projects!
Tell us about your schedule. How you find time for family?
Call and text everyday but I make it a point to go back to my hometown bi-annually.
Could you describe your daily routine when you do castings?
Pack food from home, put light make-up on and run! On some days castings are back to back and you have to travel uptown-downtown and to a different burrow all in one working day’s hours.
What’s your favorite outfit to wear to castings?
Jeans or a cute skirt, a snug top, a jacket and boots. Also, a little jewellery to keep it chic.
What is your favorite place/city/country?
Yet to find a favourite but I love Malaysia.
5 things you can’t do without when traveling?
Travel pillow, snacks, water, a moisturising balm and a book!
How about your ambitious plans? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I can’t tell with modelling since it’s such a huge industry but I’d love to start a social entrepreneurship venture of my own.
What you can tell us about Indian fashion? What does the future hold for Indian Fashion?
I think Indian fashion is very influenced. I’ll explain why. It operates on two distinct levels. One that’s more heritage based and the other that’s a take on western silhouettes. Between these two poles exists a fusion which is finding it’s way into couture and street-style. I think Indian fashion still likes to play it on the safer side but that can be attributed to the preferences of the buyers.
Who inspires you the most in fashion? Anyone who stands out?
How about your inspiration? From where and from what do you grab a «new breath»?
My inspiration is always going to be a very strong woman-centred image. Be it the grace of an Amrita Sher-gil painting or the provocative appeal of Alexander McQueen.
What is your style in life, every girl has her own sign. What is yours? And what style do you prefer as a professional?
I call my style ‘grandma chic’ or ‘granny-gangster’. Self-explanatory, right?
Which five words would your friends use to describe you?
Meticulous, caring, outgoing, fiercely loyal and ambitious. I just asked three friends and they all had similar words.
What is your favorite healthy snack?
Corn-on-the-kob or chocolate chia seed pudding.
What is your all time favorite movie and why?
Sweet Home Alabama because it’s a country-side romance and REESE WITHERSPOON!
Which book inspires you most?
The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama
Which make-up brands are you using?
Clinique, Maybelline and Kiko Milano
If you weren’t a model, what would you want to do?
I have plans of running my own non-profit organisation.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling?
Yes! Be in shape, eat right, sleep well and be prepared to work very hard. As a model, you are not just your own nutritionist or aesthetician, you’re also your own manager and your own biggest motivational booster. You must never get critical of yourself and let worthless opinions define you.
Do you have any model friend?
Some of my closest friends are the ones I met through modelling.
What is your favorite thing to do when not working?
Play the piano. Or go on college debates and educational meets since it’s important to maximise my credentials while in college!
What the most important thing that you have learned as a model?
That being dedicated to your art, being kind and being on time is crucial. I’ve also learnt that you must begin to cherish your own company since a lot of time is spent being alone or travelling by yourself.
MAC Cosmetics USA campaign, Pat McGrath makeup, Cover of Grazia India, Conde Nast Traveller, Cosmopolitan India and numerous editorials for magazines within India and globally, and nationwide commercial campaigns including FabIndia, Good Earth, Raw Mango et al.
Current location: New Delhi, India
Agencies: Inega, India and Muse, New York