Antje Utgaard has seen her modeling career takeoff through Instagram – and now has her sights set on a Sports Illustrated cover and a sitcom.

Antje Utgaard Video Exclusive

While Utgaard was enrolled at the University of Minnesota, she got recruited to appear in a motocross calendar, which first gave her the modeling bug. A year or so later, Utgaard’s then-boyfriend sent a selfie of hers to Barstool Sports that earned her the “Smokeshow of The Day” honor.  Utgaard decided to take the internet fame and capitalize on it, posting more pictures of herself on Instagram. Before long, she had 80,000 followers, and made the move to California. Utgaard now has nearly 600,000 followers and counting.

Utgaard’s Instagram page is filled with snaps of herself in various poses and outfits. According to Utgaard, the key to gaining followers and likes is to see what’s trending, to vary your photos – not everything should be a selfie – and to stay on brand. Her most successful post, however, is a recent one in which she’s wearing nothing but her birthday cake.

“I did a birthday shoot – I just had my birthday a month – which in my birthday suit I covered myself completely with like cake and stuff like that,” Utgaard told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “I did it on my Snapchat too and people loved it. It did really well. It’s probably my best one, but I did a lot of fun stuff. I like doing themed stuff. I did a Kate Upton shoot, where I picked a few of my favorite pictures of hers and I reenacted them.”

As it happens, Utgaard has been hailed the “Next Kate Upton.” Utgaard, who points out that she’s not the first rising model to get that honor, is flattered by the comparison.

“It’s an honor for me to be called that. I know Charlotte McKinney got it before I did and then it was me, but I kinda got the title a year ago from right about now,” says Utgaard. “It’s nice, but I wanna do more; I wanna break more into the acting world actually. So, it’s great for modeling and I’m very honored since she’s like one of my idols.”

What’s next for Utgaard is more print modeling work, and an increased focus on getting that acting break.

“It would be great to do some print work for Sports Illustrated because that’s always been a dream of mine. They posted me as ‘Lovely Lady of The Day’ like twice but I want the cover — so if they’re listening. Then, maybe do something for like Guess, like a campaign,” Utgaard shared. “But, other than that, I really want to move into acting […] Hopefully in the future to get like a hit series, something like Friends. If someone can write something like that it would be great.”


Q: How does it feel to be called the “Next Kate Upton”? -

It’s an honor for me to be called that. I know Charlotte McKinney got it before I did and then it was me, but I kinda got the title a year ago from right about now. It’s nice, but I wanna do more; I wanna break more into the acting world actually. So, it’s great for modeling and I’m very honored since she’s like one of my idols.

Q: How did you get started modeling? -

I got into modeling, I think it was my freshman year of college, going into my sophomore year. I got asked on a whim to do just a calendar shoot for like bike men, it was called ‘Bike My Performance,’ it’s like a motocross calendar. So, I got asked to do that and then I thought it was fun and I kinda lost my passion for dance, so I was obviously looking for a new something to pick up. Then, I didn’t do modeling for about a year and then a year after that I got posted randomly one of my selfies that I sent to a boyfriend at the time. He screenshotted it, and I think going to a Big Ten school really helped the hype. But, he posted it on like Barstool; I think it was — Barstool Sports. Then, after that, a bunch of people started picking them up, the selfie, and then I started gaining like a thousand followers and stuff like that. I was like, ‘Wow! This is fun!’ And so I just started taking pictures of myself, like I would even set up my iPhone on video and like stand back and just start posing and then like screenshot the video, because I mean I was in college, like who was gonna take pictures you know? I was a newbie, and I don’t know, people liked them. I just kept on posting and my following grew all the way up until I decided to move out to California when I hit 80,000. That was a year ago. When I moved out to Cali then I started getting a lot — there’s obviously a lot of photographers and stuff like that out there, so I got a lot more attention and it’s been a journey the last year.

Q: What has been your most popular photo so far? -

Well the one that got the most likes… I did a birthday shoot – I just had my birthday a month – which in my birthday suit I covered myself completely with like cake and stuff like that. I did it on my Snapchat too and people loved it. It did really well. It’s probably my best one, but I did a lot of fun stuff. I like doing themed stuff. I did a Kate Upton shoot, where I picked a few of my favorite pictures of hers and I reenacted them.

Q: Do you think curvier models are getting more exposure? -

I think the majority of girls aren’t stick skinny anymore, and it’s not really trending. Curves are trending, especially if you have natural curves it’s even better. Curvy is definitely back. I was actually extremely skinny when I was younger, I was a size zero and I was an A cup, all the way up until my sophomore year of high school, when I hit puberty. I just blossomed and I went up a cup size every single year — all the way up until last year. I stopped at an E, kinda like sitting at a triple D/E. I mean, dieting a little bit came into play I guess. It’s always hard to stay toned because I was dancer for 18 years. So, when I trained a little bit with the Rockettes and when I danced at the University of Minnesota, I don’t know I was kind of...you have to diet, which I never really liked because I have a sweet tooth and I love pasta. So, it was kind of hard, especially when you’re naturally curvy anyways, to have someone tell you you’re too big.

Q: What are your tips for gaining a bigger social media following? -

I started after one person picked up my selfie, because all it took was for one person to send in my picture. They posted me as their ‘Smokeshow of The Day’ or something like that, so all it takes is one good selfie and then send it around to all of the sites that post hot girls and maybe you’ll get chosen and they’ll pick you up. I mean it’s the little things too, see what’s trending, always see what’s trending. I don’t like to post selfies back-to-back-to-back. I don’t like to post professional photos back-to-back, or when it comes to colors, or if it’s too close or too far away or just like the littlest things. Everything matters, it really does. It can make a huge difference. If you’re going for modeling, like brand your page. If you’re trying to go for specific — if you’re not going for something. Like let’s say for me I’m a model and an actress, so I wanted to lean more towards both of those, so pictures of my food wouldn’t work because I’m not a blogger, or pictures of just random stuff that doesn’t make sense. People follow me for a reason and I know why they follow me.

Q: What’s next for your career? -

I wanna do a little more modeling. It would be great to do some print work for Sports Illustrated because that’s always been a dream of mine. They posted me as ‘Lovely Lady of The Day’ like twice but I want the cover — so if they’re listening. Then, maybe do something for like Guess, like a campaign. But, other than that, I really want to move into acting. Do more comedy, like I said, hopefully in the future to get like a hit series. Something like Friends, if someone can write something like that it would be great. But, that’s the next step moving forward for me. I’m taking acting classes and improv classes and I moved to doing stuff with Viners for Facebook, so like short comedy films. And I started working a little bit with people that produced the content for those and just trying to move forwards in that [respect].