BLISS: The first time I ever saw you was in a photo by Zedneram. You are naked except for a ball cap, long sport socks and red chucks standing in front of a huge mirror with your backside to the camera. I was already a huge fan of Desi’s work and this is such a fun image. What was that shoot like?
GIO DE MARCO: The shoot was extremely fun like all my shoots with Desi, I hadn’t done any work with Desi/Zedneram in a while and this was the first shoot after some time. We were extremely lucky to gain access to this gorgeous home in the Rose Garden in San Jose where the shoot took place. It was a beautiful sunny day, great energy and Desi/Zedneram was able to capture several gorgeous artistic shots of which we are both very proud of. We always try to feed off of each other’s energy to make art happen, I love collaborating with him and bringing new ideas to life.
B: You are also the model in one of my all time favorite male images, this one by Kurt R. Brown, with you hanging on the side of a train. What was it like to work with Kurt?
GDM: I admire and love Kurt Brown, he is just an amazing artist and a great person. He is extremely nice, easy and fun to work with. I remember that shoot, it was in LA at some random train tracks where we found these abandoned train wagons and we were hoping not to get caught or get in trouble HAHA. I remember it was sunny and the wagons were HOT so I had to suck it up and get used to it haha. These are the types of things that as artists you have to just ignore in order to capture what we want. Overall in my opinion it was a great shoot and I always have a great time when I work with Kurt.
B: How did you first get into modeling?
GDM: I actually did a fashion show back in 2005, where I also danced a Salsa piece with another fashion show model. It was here that I met Mr. Zedneram himself, and since then I began shooting with other photographers and developing myself, my artwork and expanding my book. Desi has been a great mentor who always helps me push myself to the next level and think outside of the box. He and I always try to bring something fresh to our shoots together. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have met him as well as other photographers who are just incredibly amazing and talented artists.
B: I know you are Hispanic, but what is your ethnic background in terms of Latin America?
GDM: I was born in Guatemala City, in Guatemala in Central America.
B: You are a Cali boy, living in San Jose. What do you like most about the West Coast?
GDM: For starters I would say the weather. The only state I’ve been to out on the East Coast is Florida, and lawd geezus that weather and humidity are intense lol, but I always have fun on my trips there. I love the diversity the West Coast has. You can find beautiful individuals in every shape, size and most importantly color.
B: What were you like as a teenager? Did you stay on track or stray off the path now and then?
GDM: As a teenager, I have to admit I always stayed on track. I was raised in a conservative home and my mother was quite strict. I do have to admit that like every teenager I did ditch class once in a while, but mostly my senior year. lol sorry mom!
B: There is a video of you on Facebook with Desi and another guy singing along to Katy Perry that shows your playful side. Have you ever considered being a performer?
GDM: Wow, ummm a bit embarrassed actually lol, we had had a few cocktails and it was Desi’s idea to post random videos of us lip singing on friend’s pages…I gotta say the next day when we were watching ourselves it was quite amusing we couldn’t stop laughing. I love positive fun energy, and referring back to your question I always wanted to be a dancer and performer, it was something that I started pursuing but was placed aside and eventually didn’t get myself back into it.
B: You’ve had the opportunity to work with a few photographers whom I admire a great deal. In addition to Kurt and Desi, I’m a big fan of Mark Grantham, Mike Tossy and Bill McClaren. What aspects draw you to each of them as artists?
GDM: One main thing that drew me to all these photographers was the fact that they all shoot models that are diverse and that don’t necessarily all fit the stereotypical “cookie cutter” mold. As you can see, neither do I.
B: You also run the gamut from pretty boy fashion model to a harder, more edgy look in your portfolio. Do you take on these characters yourself, or are they a product of what the photographer is looking for?
GDM: From day one Desi/Zedneram has been my great mentor in the modeling world. He has taught me so much and how to embrace different characters which precisely enables me to get myself out of the picture and bring these character’s reactions, expressions, and emotions to life through print. There are times when we take multiple shots of the same pose but with different facial expressions and it is amazing how much more of an impact one image has over others because of the change in emotion.
B: Your Model Mayhem profile states that you do not shoot nudes, but your adorable butt can be seen in a variety of images, including a well known one on the site by Desi of you straddling a television set. Is it only full frontal that you will not do?
GDM: I LOVE that shot actually and you’re absolutely correct, my model mayhem does state that, but that’s because I changed it. I did have it to where I did do nudes, however I was contacted by producers who wanted me to do a bit more of adult industry work, which is not an artistic field that I would like to pursue. As of now I won’t do full frontal work and the day I do decide to do it, it has to be tastefully done as I am a big fan of the arts and can appreciate a full frontal art piece. My best friend who is a previous Playboy Playmate always encourages me to do it…lol Stay tuned ;)
B: What photographers would you most like to work with in the future?
GDM: Wow that’s a lot to list but among the many I would love to work with are Mike Ruiz, Scott Marrs, Adam Bouska, Carlos Arias, Jerris Madison, Gregory Prescott, Rick Day…
B: What about other male models? Do you follow any other ports, and if so, are there any particular ones who stand out in your eyes?
GDM: I’m always open and ready to collaborate with other artistic individuals in the industry. I just love creating art. J
B: Times are slowly changing and we are seeing more and more ethnic models on the scene, but do you think it is still hard to get noticed in the industry if you are one of them?
GDM: Oh absolutely, as an ethnic model it is still hard to get noticed in the industry. It seems that although times are changing and certain states are becoming more diverse, the industry itself still seems like they look for the “all-American” cookie cutter type.
B: How do you prepare yourself for a photo shoot?
GDM: Before any shoot, I always try to communicate with the photographers and speak about concepts. What is it that we’re trying to bring to life? Mentally I have to prepare myself to figure out emotions that I can execute for the photographers in order for them to capture it
B: What about your body…you have a beautiful physique. Do you follow any nutritional or exercise regimes to maintain it?
GDM: I have to say that I have been lucky my whole life being a picky eater and having a fast metabolism. I’ve always had a pretty athletic life and it helped me stay slim and in shape. I try to be good about eating healthy, but at the same time I’m not a fan of fast food. I do have to admit that if there is a guilty pleasure and I MUST have a burger I always have one from In N Out protein style (no buns) but that’s my preference as I don’t like hamburger buns, my mouth is watering now lol. And yes, I try to exercise as much as possible not only to maintain myself but it’s also great to maintain a positive healthy attitude.
B: So many male model profiles on sites like Mayhem have a disclaimer stating that they are “not interested in doing porn of any kind so stop asking”. How often has this happened to you, if at all?
GDM: As I mentioned before, when I had my Mayhem as “will do nudes” I did get approached quite a bit. I’ve also been approached to do erotic dancing (stripper) lol but again not the type of industries I’d like to pursue a career in.
B: In that vein, have you ever set up a shoot with a photographer only to find out that they had a different idea in mind than what was discussed prior to the shoot, such as full frontal or erotic images?
GDM: I can’t say that I have…
B: Almost every model has some horror story about a work experience. You don’t have to name names, but what would you say was your worst experience?
GDM: My worst experience was when I initially moved to the Bay Area, the agent that I was dealing with misused my personal information and that became a nightmare for me, credit cards were opened and maxed out and taught me a good lesson to be more cautious with the people I trust.
B: On the flip side, which shoot stood out as the most memorable and rewarding?
GDM: Two shoots were quite memorable to me. One was the shoot I had with Kurt Brown on the train tracks in LA. Most recently a shoot I had with Desi, some of the shots he was able to capture were amazing, and the lighting that day gave us was phenomenal. I have to say these two shoots were quite memorable to me…Stay tuned for these images.
B: A certain percentage of the readers are aspiring models themselves, and they are always looking for advice on how to get started. What would you say to them?
GDM: I would tell them if it’s something they truly want to do then they should get themselves out there. It’s not as easy as it may seem, it’s a lot of work but if you admire the arts you will love it. Model Mayhem is a great place to start because there are all kinds of photographers that are willing to do TFP/CD shoots. Once they find a photographer they want to work with, contact other models that have worked with them and ask them how their experience with this photographer was. You have to make smart decisions about who you shoot with these days and who you can trust. Also, the more you’re in front of the camera the more comfortable you will get and the more you will know which poses your body looks best in. Where there’s a will there’s a way, don’t let anyone bring you down or tell you that you can’t accomplish it.
B: What do you think is the biggest mistake models make in regards to their careers in the world of male imagery?
GDM: I can’t really speak for other models and their mistakes but I’ve made my share and I’ve learned from them. We are all sole owners of our will power and we will do what seems correct at that time. If we realize later that we made a mistake, I hope there’s a valuable lesson learned.
B: What is the best lesson you’ve learned from your experiences within the industry?
GDM: Best lesson… Be careful who you trust most definitely because the wolf can be disguising himself as an innocent lamb but he’s out there to get you.
B: As well rounded as your port is, do you have a particular concept or type of shoot that you would someday like to realize?
GDM: I would like to shoot more dramatic concepts with more makeup, costumes etc…I do have a few in mind and I’m sure and hope they’ll be executed soon J
B: I’m hearing from many photographers that they have had issues with certain models who agreed upon a certain type of shoot and then later regretted that decision. Have you ever regretted any specific shoots or images that you’ve done?
GDM: Actually no, I’m very proud of all the captures that are out there, I’ve prepared myself mentally and know that if I’m not comfortable doing something no one is going to force me to do it…
B: No matter what others see when they look at your photos, some models have a great deal of insecurity. Are there any physical attributes that you wish you could change about yourself?
GDM: I have a birthmark that I’ve learned to embrace. It’s on my chest and it can somewhat look like a bruise and I always get asked if I got punched lol. I mean it’s very minor but if I could I would get rid of it.
B: What do you consider to be your best feature?
GDM: I receive compliments on my smile
B: What would you consider to be the best aspect of being a model, and what would you like to see change in the industry?
GDM: The best aspect of being a model in my opinion, it’s like acting, when you’re shooting you’re bringing a character to life/print. And being a Libra myself and appreciating beauty in every form, it’s very fulfilling to me when I can collaborate with a photographer and create beautiful images.
B: If you could do a location shoot anywhere, what would be your dream place?
GDM: I would have to say both Thailand and Paris, lol sorry I cheated you asked for one but Thailand has gorgeous beaches and Paris is just amazing! ;)
B: How supportive of your art are your friends and family?
GDM: My friends and family have always been very supportive of my work and I’m thankful for that.
B: Have you ever received any negative feedback regarding a particular image that you’ve done?
GDM: Thankfully no. Of course everyone has a different opinion of what is considered art. But that’s what I love, art is subjective and as long as the photographer and I love the product we created there will always be a person or two that don’t necessarily share the same opinion and that’s ok…
B: Are there any special projects are in the works that we can look forward to seeing from you?
GDM: Yes, super excited about Zedneram “PUNKZ” book being released in the near future. I’m also excited about launching my website pretty soon. Stay tuned for that.
B: Can you list 5 things about yourself that even people who are close to you might be surprised to know?
GDM: One I can think of is when I’m alone at home, I play music on my laptop and dance alone in my room lol, I guess everyone knows now haha
B: One more list… Can you list 5 things that you absolutely could not live without?
GDM: Yes, I couldn’t live without dancing, even though I don’t do it professionally I love it and I will always be passionate about it. Coconut water is another thing I love, I was raised in Guatemala and coconuts are everywhere ha! Every chance I get I’m buying it. J I can’t think of anymore lol
B: Any last words for your current fans, as well as the new ones you will gain from this feature?
GDM: Thank you so so much for all the support I’ve received throughout these years!!! It means so much to have so many people behind you supporting your art.
You are all AMAZING!!!
Follow your dreams and passions. Rid yourself of negative energy and negative people. Stay positive and motivated to pursue your goals. I have to share this quote that has been one of my favorites for a long time “Every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back”.
©2011 – Sean Dibble
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