Who's Tom Erickson?

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After meeting him the first time for BORN Magazine #3 cover, we met Tom Erickson again for an interview. He was very relaxed, chilling with his wife and his son. Tom answered our questions while having a cup of green tea in a bar called “California”, in Castelldefels, few kilometres from Barcelona.

BORN Magazine: Why did you choose to live in Barcelona?

Tom: I’m from California and the beach is very similar. I live in Europe and work here the whole time… I was in Paris, Milan and Germany for a long time. Then, I came here and it just felt like home.

BM: What are your favourite hang out spots in the city you currently live in?

T: In Barcelona, I like Bogatell beach and I love the Barceloneta area. It’s a cool area with kind of old school vibes in it. We lived in the Gracia area and we really liked the old and small streets that we don’t have in America. It’s another culture!

BM: What were you like when as a child?

T: I was crazy like Kai and had lots of energy. He does the same things. I played a lot of soccer and grew up on the beach, so I was surfing, skating, playing volley-ball and soccer which was quite popular for kids.

BM: At 19 you decided to work in fashion. How this idea came up to you?

T: A friend said that I should do it. I went to a first casting and made some pictures, got the job in Los Angeles and everything strated from there. I used to work in a surf shop and I was earning more for a one day photoshoot than a whole month in the surf shop… So you know what ? I quitted. (laugh)

BM: Tell us how you were discovered and how your modelling career all started?

T: I met the first photographer I worked with, Paul Palmero. He was a model and then became a photographer. He’s very well known and has done tons of covers. He did some photoshoots with me and then gave me the pictures to go get printed. That’s where it all started!

BM: What’s your most memorable shoot, campaign or work to date?

T: One of my favourites is when I shot an editorial for “Men” magazine for Spain. We shot in Madagascar for seven days, going through the whole island and seeing all the tribes, and seeing actually how everything is there. It was amazing! Sometimes we spent 12 or 14 hours in a car but It was nice to see monkeys and lots of animals everywhere.

BM: Is modelling an easy job or harder than people think?

T: It depends. It’s hard to get jobs. There are lots of people going for the same job and you are lucky if you get it, because the agencies or brands are looking for a certain type of people. That is the number one hardest part. The second one is travelling a lot, working long hours and early mornings. You shoot summer catalogues in winter and winter catalogues in summer so it’s a little bit of a mix of being cold and hot. I’ve been in Osaka (Japan) when it was 40 degrees, wearing leather jacket and gloves for a winter shoot and then you are in Ibiza, in January, and need to get into the pool!

BM: Is it difficult to play the role of the perfect handsome man?

T: I’m the complete opposite! If people seeing in the magazines or catalogues knew me back at home, they wouldn’t believe it. I have shot a lot for Woolrich, all the women working in the company have pictures of me on their computer screen and they say “we want to meet Tom”! The CEO, who I’ve been working with for many years, keeps telling me “If they actually knew you, they wouldn’t believe your are the same person than the one on the pictures”. I’m a joker, I’m always joking or playing. Like him! (showing us his son)

BM: What are the obligations imposed by being a model?

T: Most of us take care of ourselves, but you have to find out how to be happy and not try to make other people happy. It depends on your type. Some people prefer doing yoga. I mean, there are some girls who smoke cigarettes and eat salad. And it’s not good for your health. We, as a family, try to eat healthy and then, we play sports after eating. I play a lot of beach volley-ball. We go for bike rides and hikes. Just be yourself! Be yourself, stay yourself and don’t try to be somebody that you are not.

BM: What are your passions in life? What are you doing when you have time-off?

T: I love to spend time with my family and the kids! Trying to get out and surf, doing some trips, biking, hikes and to just enjoy the outdoor life.

BM: Do you remember the day you felt in love with your wife Nuria?

T: It was actually 13 years ago in Barcelona. We met in a cafe in the Barceloneta area, next to the beach. She was there, waiting for a friend.

BM: You have two kids… Your daughter is a model as well. What advise did you give her?

T: She wanted to try modelling and I was okay with it as long as she accepted who she was in terms of shape and size. Don’t try to change your body. We are all created differently and that’s what makes us unique. Small people want be tall. Tall people want to be shorter. It seems like we are never happy with what we are.

Nuria, Tom’s wife, was also here during the interview so we took the opportunity to ask her few questions!

BM: Is that difficult to live with a man that all girls want?

Nuria: It can be difficult if you think about it too much. But I don’t. I love him, I don’t pay attention to this kind of things. I do not want to go crazy. (laugh)

BM: What made you love Tom aside from its beauty?

N: I like his child side, his craziness and his sense of humour. He is spontaneous and doesn’t really have a serious side. It’s more the laughing and jokes. He is also very good in making things with his hands, like building things. He’s very creative!

BM: What are your best family moments?

N: Going to the beach and spending time together. We love to play in the water and to do stand up paddle boards!

We would like to thank Tom, Nuria and Kai Erickson for this great interview and the lovely day we spent with them! Special thanks to Uniko Models!

Credits: pictures by Marie Chipote

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