Top Model winner, actress and artist Freja Edholm is the epitome of a creative soul; but embracing her artistic roots hasn’t always been easy. Adding new mother to her ever-expanding roster of titles, Freja shares with us her journey into motherhood, her upcoming projects and how she is definitely not just a pretty face.
Tell me a little bit about your story and what you are doing?
I started out as a model when I was about 14 years old, doing jobs once in a while. When I was 18, I was chosen to be in Scandinavia’s next Top Model. It was a modeling competition between Norway, Sweden and Denmark and I won the whole thing! So I kept on modeling and I loved it, but I always felt like I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life afterwards. I tried “normal” jobs but they didn’t feel right for me. So instead I pursued my childhood dream and started acting school. I’ve been acting ever since and I love it!
On September 16th I gave birth to my baby girl, Leona. It’s the best thing ever! I always hoped I could use my maternity leave to do something creative and fun, and I just had my first art exhibition and it went really well. I’m currently in Cape Town starting a project with my mom. My mom designed and made baby beanies for Leona and we got such a positive response that I wanted see how we can produce them and eventually, sell them in Sweden. I really hope everyone will love them as much as we do! I’ve also in the middle of completing two books: one is a children’s book that is being illustrated, and the other is my first novel, which I’m hoping to have published.
What are your goals in life? Have they evolved over time, and are different than when you were younger?
My goal has always been to be able to live off of what I love to do. To be able to do all my crazy projects without needing to have some job I don’t like on the side, just so I can pay the bills.
Are you a realist or do you get caught in your dreams a lot?
I would say I’m very much a realist. Both my parents are great artists and super creative, but when I was growing up, I saw them struggle, and having to work with things they didn’t love. When I was younger, I tried to avoid being identified as a ‘creative person’. I didn’t want to follow the path of my parents because I thought that meant you had to do shitty jobs and live month to month. But as I got older, I realised I could not stay away from my creativity. So my goals are to be able to live off of what I love. It never feels like you are working if you love what you do. And that’s very important to me, because at the end of the day we spend most of our days working or at work.
What motivates you?
People who follow their dreams motivate me. Since I had Leona, she’s motivated me a lot. My husband is also a huge inspiration.
What do you need to do in order to reach your goals?
I believe you need a little bit of luck, some talent, and a hell of a lot of sheer willpower. That’s the secret, never take no for an answer and never give up! And again I have my husband on my side, always pushing me and believing in me.
It feels like you have a lot going on in your life, balancing a lot of creative projects. You model, you are an artist and most recently, a burgeoning actress. Where do you feel you belong the most and why?
I love acting and I hope you will see me everywhere in the next couple of years. But I’m not a person who can just sit still and wait for someone to give me that call. So while “waiting,” I’m usually creating other fun projects.
In your line of work, do you feel like you are often judged solely on your physical attributes and that you have to constantly prove yourself to others?
Yes, sometimes I can feel that in the film industry I have to prove that “I’m not just another beautiful girl who wants to be an actress”. And of course there were times I felt sick of the modeling industry but I always knew that is the business. I am not able to change it, so I have to just try to take it for what it is. That is also the reason why I decided to transition to acting in the first place. I felt like I needed to express so much more than just my pretty face.
Do you have a role model, a source of inspiration?
Not one particular person; I take a little inspiration here and a little inspiration there from all different kinds of people.
I read an article about you in Mama magazine where you talk about breast-feeding your daughter openly and in public places. Why do you think in the year 2017 this is still an issue?
Isn’t it crazy? I mean it’s the most natural thing there is. I think we are so disconnected with nature nowadays and the natural cycle of life. People don’t want to look old, we rather take chemicals than use natural remedies, and powerful conglomerates perpetuate this illusion, and manipulate consumers into thoughtless consumption.
If you could give yourself an advice to a 20-year old Freja what would that be?
I remember I got this question like ten years ago and I said I wished I could have said, “Don’t worry, everything will be ok”.