Model Talk with Patrick Clayton!
“The idea behind our Model Talk series is a simple one. Give male models a voice. Often male models are seen as the accessory in a shoot. So often they wear the clothes or front the campaign but we never get to know them. So why not change that? So over the next few months we will be sitting down and taking the time to get to know some of the top models in the industry and who knows what we all might learn.”
“I’m just trying to get the world to invest in my product: that product is me”, says Patrick. The above picture alone would be enough to sell anyone on the Patrick Clayton brand. Daydreaming of modelling while working as a lifeguard, Patrick is working hard to bring that dream to fruition. Originally from Lawrenceville, Georgia, he now resides in Atlanta, as he tries to take his career aspirations to the next level. It wasn’t instantly obvious to Patrick that modelling would ultimately be his pursuit in life having first enrolled to study criminal justice at college. Not wasting his undeniable forte for modelling, thankfully he decided to embark on his climb to the top of the modelling world. Before he gets too high we decided to stop him momentarily to talk life, modelling and the hard work it takes to make it in the modelling world. Of course his boy next door good looks don’t hurt.
So for those of us who don’t know you, start by telling us a little about yourself and what you do…
I endured the better chunk of a college education as a criminal justice major before I really got an idea of what I wanted to do “when I grew up.” It was pretty frustrating to think that what I wanted had nothing to do with the education I had already worked so tirelessly on. Nevertheless, my future goals took precedence, so I began working toward my dream of becoming a model/actor. And, well, here I am today. I’m just trying to get the world to invest in my product: that product is me.
Was modelling something you always wanted to pursue and how did you get started?
As I said earlier, it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted. I am thankful for the journey, though, because I know it had a hand in creating the man I am today. The origin of my aspirations to be a model could ultimately be traced back to lifeguarding. I was a lifeguard for, oh, five or six years, and I loved it. I made a lot of lifelong friends thanks to that job, and I learned a lot about myself. But I digress. I would be on the stand during the summers of my high school and early college careers, and I would sometimes have mothers come up and ask if I would take pictures with their daughters. That at least got me thinking of modeling, as I daydreamed the hours away until my next break. I got serious about it after I was asked to be a shirtless greeter for Abercrombie and Fitch on Black Friday. I saw that it could help pay for my college education, and so I began the climb, if you will. It didn’t really take off until I made the ultimate decision that college wasn’t for me, and I put in the work required to be taken seriously as a model.
What was your first modelling job?
I had a few runway jobs in the beginning, but the first job that truly made me feel like a model was a Lands’ End catalog shoot.
when you have good looks, anything you do or say will be perceived as arrogance to the people who don’t know you
You’ve worked with some amazing photographers, are there any shoots that stand out for you, and what made them particularly special to you?
I feel incredibly fortunate to have been a part of the Lands’ End shoot which was shot by Bruce Weber. He’s a world class photographer and the crew and the other models were unbelievably friendly throughout the entire weekend we were shooting. It was so easy to get along with the other models on camera, because real friendships were being made as we got to know each other off camera. The scenery I got to witness and the friendships I made that weekend made that shoot unforgettably special.
As a model there are obviously times when you have to show off your body, is that something that feels natural to you?
You know, as a kid, I loved to flex for people. I probably have my eldest brother (who was/is pretty built) and our love for Arnold Schwarzenegger to thank for that. But as my childhood waned, my parents were quick to teach me of modesty. I’ve been an athlete my entire life, and my family had a pivotal role in teaching me the relationship between modesty and sportsmanship, and the role they play in everyday life. So I’ve spent my life letting my abilities speak for themselves, because when you have good looks, anything you do or say will be perceived as arrogance to the people who don’t know you. While I do love to make arrogance related jokes, I try to make sure it’s only around true friends who know that I take nothing for granted, and I revel in making others feel good about themselves first. But when it comes to making a living, I’ve had to put my modesty on the back burner and show the world what I’ve worked so hard to accomplish. For this, I am thankful for my stint as a diver in high school, which taught me the confidence to perform dangerous stunts for an audience in nothing but a speedo.
You clearly work hard on your body; fitness must be a big part of your life? Is there anything special you like to do to keep in shape?
First off, thank you. Secondly, hard work is key. Being active everyday is what it takes to reach your personal goals. Get outside and move people! What made the difference for me was the realization that I didn’t have to do it alone. I am fortunate to have a large group of friends that are so close to me, that I can consider each as a brother; a lot of those friendships started with me having the courage to invite someone to the gym, and them having the courage to join me. Once you’re working out with your best friends, it stops being work. So what’s special about my workouts? Friendship. Yeah, I said it! You got a problem with it? Because I also happen to love boxing to keep in shape (laughing).
What’s your favourite part of your body and what do you find gets the most compliments on shoots?
I’d say my core gets the most attention, and while it is one of my favorites to work, I don’t think I can say it’s my favorite overall. I’ve had a six pack for as long as I can remember, so I’d accredit those mostly to my parents. (Seriously, you can look at my childhood pictures.) I’ve always been known for my abs, but as my body started to grow to the proper proportions, I quickly began to be better known for my “chicken legs.” My lanky legs have been an obstacle that has taken years to overcome. I’m not claiming they’re done, but I take pride in the amount of work I’ve done to get my legs up to par with the rest of my body. Especially since legs were originally my least favorite thing to work out.
I have been accused by a few photographers that I pluck my eyebrows, so let me take this opportunity to put that rumor to rest. I have never, nor will ever pluck my eyebrows.
Quick Fire Questions
Favourite Place on Earth?
Home. But the hiking trails in Oregon are a close second.
Boxers or Briefs?
If I happen to be in the mood to wear underwear, I’ve found briefs tend to do the job for me.
What’s on your music playlist right now?
I’ve always been an oldies guy, but right now, I’ve been listening to 21 pilots quite a bit. I’m also a huge fan of Aer.
What’s your go to song in the shower?
So Fresh, So Clean By Outkast… Obviously.
If you had your own band what would they be called?
Probably something clever.
What’s your favourite piece of clothing you own?
I have a full line of Goodwill shirts that are just timeless.
What’s a top beauty or style tip you live by?
Be yourself. Let your personality outshine your outer appearance. (That being said, I may have my work cut out for me.) I’m only kidding! Take it easy!
When was the last time you got naked?
I’m naked at some point every day. Use your imagination.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Do what you want in life, not what others want for you.
Who’s your celebrity crush?
I think Daisy Ridley did a stand up job in her duty to fill the shoes of her predecessors in “The Force Awakens,” and I admire that quite a bit. She isn’t so hard on the eyes either.
What does it feel like to be you right now?
I feel strong and confident. But I know this world is not a fair one, so I’m prepared to fight my battles. I’m thankful for all the people I have supporting me and believing in me. Above all, I’m happy and proud of the man I’ve become.
Model: Patrick Clayton
Represented by: Heffner Management
Words By: Craig Andrew James
All selfies provided by Patrick and exclusive to the Model Talk Series by Craig Andrew James. Photoshoot photos provided by Patrick and Credit goes to the original photographer.