INTERVIEW – FASHION MODEL SANNY BARTLEMA
Name: Sanny Bartlema
Profession: Fashion Model
Agencies: Mother agency: Boss models Cape town, Spinmodels Hamburg, Dominique Brussels, Unique Denmark, Scout Zurich, Flash Istanbul
Milestones: Nivea commercial, Turkish airlines commercial, Strongbow Gold commercial, Edge shavel gel commercial USA, JBC Belgium, Phillips, editorial Idol magazine NY, Boxer magazine, New beauty magazine
Current location: Friesland, the northern countryside of Holland. When I’m in between travels I’m based in my Frisian hometown Heerenveen. This is the place where I was born and raised.
How did you start modeling?
“When I was 12 years old, a girl in our church who studied Art, approached me and asked me to pose for her photography assignment. It was an arty shoot using old black and white film. I was really shy and nervous and I even took a friend with me that day, so I had some support. I had to pose like a ballerina in the woods doing twirls in a pink tutu. The pictures turned out artistic and interesting. After that, several people told me I was photogenic and that I had to do something with it. A few years later when I was 16, I send in some pictures to the Elite model look contest, and got invited to the Elite office in Amsterdam. I didn’t win, but shortly after I got signed up with a small agency in the North of Holland. Soon after that, without any experience they send me off to Paris.”
What does your career do for you?
“It’s a chance to travel and see the world. Exploring different countries and understanding and learning about cultures are my absolute number one passion. When I’m at home too long I get restless, then I just know it’s time for a new adventure. Also I love the creative aspect of the job. I learned along the way that modeling is so much more than just taking a ‘pretty picture’. I get inspired by working with talented people who want to create art, and who are always looking for something new. Also I believe that by travelling the world, you learn things that you can’t learn in books.”
What’s your most memorable shoot?
“When I was booked for a commercial for Turkish Airlines I had no idea what kind of commercial it was going to be, nobody briefed me about it. So I flew to Manchester, England for a 3 days shoot. I thought it was going to be one of those safety instruction video’s you always see in airplanes. But when I arrived at the set there was a replica of a Turkish airlines Boeing 747 build in a giant studio. And the complete soccer team of Manchester United happened to be my fellow actors in the commercial. Dutch Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who then played for Manchester, was very nice to me. We chatted and joked around a bit. In the commercial I was the flight attendant in the plane, who opens an overhead bin where a ball rolls from, Van der Sar catches the ball and kicks it to other players in the plane, they start doing kicks and tricks in business class. It was pretty awesome to witness that! After arriving back home, all the men around me where jealous ‘cause I met so many famous soccer players. While I didn’t even know the name of most of the players.”
What do you think MODELLIST-ID can do for the model community?
“It’s a great way for models to share experiences and useful information about travels, health, beauty and more. I remember when I started modeling I didn’t get much guidance on how to eat right and how to stay in shape. Most things I had to find out by myself. It’s great to get tips and info from models all over the world.”
Who do you admire and would you like to meet?
“Since South Africa feels like my second home I have to say I really admire Nelson Mandela. I’ve been to the prison cell on Robben Island where he had been captured, which was really impressive. I just hope the peace in South Africa will remain after Mandela passes away. I heard theories that say otherwise. The Ethical and Racial issues in South Africa really interest me. “
Also I admire Dutch model Doutzen Kroes. She is from Friesland, the same part of Holland where I’m from. I admire her beauty but especially her kindness and her Frisian down to earth attitude. Being a top model, being a mother and still caring about the world, that takes a power woman.”
What’s your favorite book/film/music?
"Book: A walk to remember, Her name is Sarah
Film: Into the wild, Eat, Love, Pray, Elizabethtown, Intouchables, Under the Tuscan sun
“The series that I’ve been getting pretty addicted to lately is Game of Thrones. You just keep watching.”
Music: “Growing up, music always played an important role in our house. Cause of my dad being a professional classical guitarist, I learned to appreciate different kinds of music. I like music from classical, to jazz to Portuguese Fado.” Some artists I like:
Erykah Baduh, Angus and Julia Stone, John Mayer, Nina Simone, Jason Mraz, India Arie, Paolo Nutini, Coldplay, Oasis, Jack Johnson, Selah Sue, Tracey Chapman, Bob Marley, Damien Rice, Norah Jones, Bill withers, Mariza, Kings of Leon, Red hot chilli peppers, Maroon 5, Café del mar, Liquid deep, Sarah Mc Laughlin, Lauren Hill, Joni Mitchell, David Grey, Zero 7
Memorable concerts I’ve been too: Red hot chilli Peppers, Jason Mraz, Faithless, and my dad's."
What’s your beauty regime?
“It may be a bit cliché but I really do think it’s important to take good care of your skin. I always make sure I clean and moisturize my face twice a day and I scrub my face regularly. If my skin looks dry and it needs an extra fix, I put bio-oil on my face before I go to bed. In the morning my skin looks energized and healthy. “
What are your favourite hang out spots in the city you live in?
“When I’m home I love to spend a day on the boat with my family on the beautiful Frisian lakes. “
What is your favorite city and where do you like to hang out there?
“My favourite city is Cape town. This place really stole my heart. I love the easy going African lifestyle, and of course the breath-taking beaches and mountains. So it’s no surprise that I skip the Dutch winters and spend them in Cape town. Also my heart goes out to the many people and children who live on the street in South Africa. That’s why I do volunteering work in a local church in Cape town. Every week we hand out food to homeless people. It feels great to be able to help out, even if it just helps a little bit.
One of my favourite hang out’s in Cape town is a lunch and coffee place called ‘skinny legs and all’. The artistic little restaurant is across the road from the main casting studio, where most of the castings are held. So many models pop in before or after their casting to have a delicious coffee, or a yummy lunch. All the products are healthy and fresh, and my favorite is definitely the homemade carrot cake!
Mzoli’s is an amazing experience in Cape town. It’s a huge barbeque held in a township. All different kinds of people come together. There are big buckets of meat, and everybody eats, drinks and dances to African rhythms until the sun goes down. So much fun.
Loading bay is great for coffee and hot chocolate, for the world’s best milkshakes the fire and ice hotel is the right address, for good wine-tasting it’s great to go to the wine farms in Stellenbosch and to relax of course. The beautiful Cape town beaches are the perfect place. “
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling?
“Believe in yourself and don’t take rejection too personal, It’s about who you are not what you look like .“
What are your future plans?
“Continue developing myself in writing, drawing and music. Seeing as much of the world as I can, while meeting inspiring amazing people along the way. And hopefully I can set up my own projects to help homeless people in South Africa. But for now, taking life as it comes and enjoying every moment of it. “