Billie Adams is a sparkle joy human from Thirroul, Australia. She’s lived in the sleepy, sunshine-drenched slice of paradise since she was a baby and wouldn’t have it any other way: “It’s such a lovely place that part of me never wants to move out,” she says. “My parents might have something to say about that, though!”
Growing up, Billie was always surrounded by a lot of animals, and she thinks this contributed to her kind nature. “You quickly learn how to figure out [animals] wants and needs without being able to talk to them,” she explains. “They totally rely on you to bring them food and to care for them, and even though you can't really communicate, once you've built up that trust it becomes easier to understand them. I think it's similar with people. We may not be able to understand each other all the time, but we should still treat others with respect and help them where we can.”
If you were to visit her hometown for the first time, you’d be advised to pack a big bottle of SPF and a dog-eared book, because the first thing she’d do is plonk you down onto a patch of sand at the peaceful Bulli Beach. Far less crowded than the “crazy” Sydney beaches, it’s not uncommon for Billie to find herself walking along a completely deserted beach, which does “wonders to clear [her] head”!
Her work is full of pinch-me moments, and she finds working alongside fellow creatives to be a particularly interesting and satisfying experience. “I'm constantly amazed at how people can have this vision of what they want to create and then bring that to life,” she says. “Being a part of these wonderful and often outright mad artworks of fashion and photography is really something special.”
On the flipside, the rejection that’s part and parcel with modelling can be a real challenge. “Going to different castings hoping that you'll be chosen is a big part of the job, and the reality is that most of the time you won't be,” she says. “And it might not be that there's anything wrong with you, it's just that they were looking for something else, but, and especially at the start of my career as a slightly insecure teenager, it was disheartening to be passed over. As I've spent more time in the industry I've learnt to be more resilient and not take rejection personally. Focusing on the amazing jobs I do get to be a part of ultimately makes me far happier than dwelling on what I cannot change.”
While she doesn't subscribe to labels or adhere to a specific religion, Billie does believe there’s something beyond what we experience here on Earth. “The world is too beautifully complex to not have had an intelligent creator behind it,” she says. “[But] If there is a God out there, it would be arrogant of us to assume to understand their motivations or judgements. I try to live a good life and be kind to people, but because I feel it is the right thing to do, not because I fear some eternal punishment.”
The best piece of advice she’s received was: “Your Uni years will be the best of your life. Enjoy yourself now before you get bogged down with a full-time job and adult-y things like bills and mortgages.” Did she heed that advice? “You can be sure I did—I’m having a great time!”
A certified night owl, Billie’s mornings start with “coffee first, always” and as she takes her first sip, she wanders out to feed her “eternally hungry” chickens. Dreamy! If she could only eat one meal for the rest of her life it’d be garlic bread and she unwinds by curling up in blankets with a good book or spending time at her piano. (“A hot bath never fails either!").
The coolest thing she’s learned recently is the Japanese word ‘Tsundoku’, meaning 'to let books pile up while still buying more books', something she is "definitely guilty of doing".
On that, she’s just started reading ‘The Emancipist’ by Veronica Sweeney and is reading Raymond Carver’s collection of short stories called ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’ on the side. Her favourite song is always changing based on her mood, but it’s currently ‘All Torn Down’ by the Living End. Lord of the Rings takes the cake as her favourite trilogy, and if she had to choose one, it’d be The Return of the King but Fellowship wouldn’t be far behind.
Despite being an introvert at heart, lockdown taught Billie that she relies on her friends for optimum mental health and she has found it difficult not seeing them IRL. “We are inherently social creatures,” she says, when asked why friendships are so important to her. “Without friendships I think we would all slowly go mad, as I'm sure lots of people started feeling during isolation! I know I can't stand myself after long periods of time. I need other interesting people in my life to make it worthwhile.”
And, what a worthwhile and interesting life she leads!
Feature: Madeleine Woon Photos: Sarah Adamson Fashion: Lucy Wood Hair: Madison Voloshin
Billie is represented by Priscillas
Shot on location in Glebe, Sydney