A Heraldnet aerospace blog exclusive

Cosima Burton thinks her mom’s pretty cool.

“She was telling her friends at school about it,” said Regina Burton. “My daughter is very proud. She thought that was cool — being in the Guinness book.”

Burton, of course, is talking about her picture, which has been blown up 59 feet high by 300 feet wide (that’s roughly 20 meters by 100 for you metric types) as part of the new mural on the front of Boeing’s Everett factory. The mural is recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest digital graphic, and it graces the front of the building that’s the largest in the world by volume.

Just a few hours after I finished Wednesday’s post, Burton’s boyfriend Mathias e-mailed me with her cell phone number and a suggestion that I give her a call. (Which means that obviously I was wrong about him. Mathias — you da man, or Sie der Mann, as it were.)

Now I don’t know about you, but as a journalist, if someone gives me a model’s phone number — I call her. (I do this all for you, dear readers. All for you.) We chatted Friday morning, which was early Friday evening for Burton in her hometown of Hamburg, Germany.

Burton’s been a professional model for “really long, like 20 years or something.” Twenty years? Yes, the youthful-looking Burton says she’s 45.

She’s worked all over Europe and in Japan, done print and television advertising with occasional TV and film roles, and once in South Africa she posed for photos for an ad for Crest toothpaste, which appeared here in the United States.

“I was a single mom for 10 years,” Burton said. “I was supporting myself really well doing this.”

In her spare time she paints, reads and she’s enthusiastic about feng shui.

The image in the Boeing mural was shot three years ago. She posed for photos that were used with for a campaign for a new line of German cookies. Afterwards, Burton said, she changed into some of her own clothes and posed for photographer Johanna Pagels as she shot a new series of pictures, which ended up going into a book that was published in Japan.

Burton was standing in a field of tall grass, and “it looked really romantic in the pictures, but it was really quite close to a highway,” she said. Pagels remembers there was rain before and after the photo shoot, but Burton recalls it being “a nice day” with a breeze blowing.

Burton has seen photos of the mural online, and likes it. “I like the way they cropped it,” she said. “I thought it was beautiful, very nice and graphic.”

“I’m not this kind of young beauty-beauty,” she said. “My job is to transport feelings. It’s transporting the energy.” And the photo captured that, Burton said.

“It should be about freedom,” she said. “It’s something I believe very much in, freedom, the easy and feeling the breeze.”

The Guinness record gives her a measure of fame (particularly in her daughter’s eyes), but Burton said she’s not getting rich from it.

“I haven’t been paid yet for it,” she said. And the invoice from Getty Images, which owns the rights to the photo, says her share of the royalties will amount to $27.60.

“I thought this was kind of not very much,” she said.

Still, Burton said she’s proud to be part of the new Boeing mural.

“Boeing’s a cool client,” she said. “Tell them I’d love to come and see all of Boeing, and the door.”

Alright … I’ve got to be in here a couple hours on Saturday, and just for you, Scott and Marrianne, I’ll find some serious aerospace news to write about. And for everyone celebrating Easter this weekend — all the best to you and yours.

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