Tag Archives: #model

New Year, Better Attitude

Welcome back! This is the first week of Spring semester- I don’t know about you but I’m pretty torn about going back to school. This is a super unusual feeling for me as I absolutely love going to school. For some reason, last semester felt eight months rolled into four. I also think I hyped up graduation a little too much, as I felt so close last semester and now I feel so far. With just three semesters to go, it feels like a lifetime. Luckily for myself, I have chosen classes this semester that not only compliment my degree but my everyday creative life. 

Taking a full time academic schedule leaves little time for play, but I proved to myself last semester that it was quite possible to create content whilst going to school. That is, anything is possible if you want it bad enough. For me, I’ve always wanted to inspire others through what I post online and the content I create, so that’s what I continue to do. Believe me, chasing this dream has been about twelve years in the making, but hey- better late than never I always say. 

I decided to take the first week off of this month to decompress from my wild New Years celebrations. So, I’m coming to you, the second week of the new year pumping out content. 

This week, I shot on four separate occasions with three different photographers. First, I shot with Jihoon Lee (@7th_instinct), who is a first year Communications student at SFU! He had an assignment to complete for a class that involves photography, so we wandered around the halls of the AQ until we found his desired location. Between Saywell Hall and the AQ Pond, we shot a bunch of different shots that were to accompany his storyline. I was supposed to play a hardworking business woman who was coming home from work. The rose I was holding representing success, and the different ways I gripped the rose were supposed to depict that. I love working with creative concepts because it allows us to tell these meaningful stories through rich photography. 

A few days later, I worked with Isaac Mocharski (@mocharski.films) whom I’ve spoken about on many occasions on this blog. Currently, the weather man has graced us with bucket loads of snow, so Isaac and I decided that we were going to try and make-do with what we were given. From there, a “snow angel” shoot was born and before you ask, yes I was cold. But we had an unbelievably time running around Burnaby Mountain Park for twenty minutes trying to make this concept come to life and I’d say we did a pretty good job!

Lastly, on Saturday I transited my way to Surrey- which believe me is quite a trek. I’m in a group on Facebook called, ‘604 Vancouver Models & Photographers’ where creatives from around metro Vancouver post listings for hired work, TFP (time for print or publications), and hair and makeup artists. I applied for a bridal demo with Sima Shoker (@simvirshoker), who is both a hair and makeup artist. When I arrived I was put into a lovely pink gown and then I sat for two hours getting all dolled up. Since this was only my second time in the chair, the experience is still quite magical to me. I remember when I was eight years old sitting in a similar chair at Walt Disney Worlds, ‘Bibbity Bobbity Boutique’ being transformed into Hannah Montana. Instead of being transformed into someone else, I watched myself get transformed into a lovely blushing bride. 

Right after this, I rushed back home and met Isaac once again for a spontaneous night shoot at Burnaby Mountain Park. Once again working with the elements, we were able to create photos that captured the beauty of what mother nature decided to grace us with.

It’s crazy to think where I was a year ago to where I am now. I always felt like I never had the time to create, but looking at it now, I didn’t want it bad enough. Now I do. I feel as if everything is falling in place, but to be honest that scares me a little bit. I’m a firm believer that life comes with both highs and lows but for right now, in this moment, everything seems to be in complete equilibrium.

Just the Beginning

It’s been a whirlwind of a semester! As I spend more time at SFU, they seem to get shorter and shorter. I remember in my very first class here- which happened to be CMNS 110, Daniel Ahadi said that “it would be Christmas in mere minutes,” and he was right. 

From start to finish, this blog has been a space for me to express how I feel inside and out as I continue to venture farther and farther into Vancouver’s creative industry. I’ve participated in fourteen shoots, created three major Youtube videos, and walked in a local fashion show. In these past thirteen weeks I haven’t thought much about what I’ve been doing as it’s been a regular routine since July. Although I’ve slowed down rapidly since the weather hasn’t been as permitting, I still feel fully engulfed in the creative industry. With that being said, I was able to open up about some of my personal struggles I’ve faced while trying to break into the industry. This platform gave me an open space to talk about how I feel well beyond a photo. When I first started this blog, I didn’t consider myself a model but now I feel like I’ve definitely earned that title. Even though it was never something I wanted to do, I’m out here every other week standing in front of a camera. I am so incredibly thankful for all the wonderful, creative people I’ve met along the way who have pushed me to create content beyond my wildest dreams. As I’ve gotten older, there definitely have been times where I’ve questioned if being a content creative is where I want to invest the rest of my life. There are times when I’ve asked myself if this dream is just a dream. And there are also times where I’ve pushed all those doubtful feelings aside and just done what I’ve always done best, which is to entertain. 

@778co
@lostportrait
@arjayneyra

For a solid couple of weeks, I struggled to pump out content. Especially during the peak season of papers and unpredictable weather, my creative gears have been getting quite locked up. As you may have noticed, I added another menu option to my site. As I started building up a digital portfolio, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was absolutely insane and completely gratifying to see how many different things I’ve been so lucky to be apart of. Not only have I had the pleasure of working with different brands and companies as a model, but I’ve been able to meet and make connections with those on the team who have inspired me to keep creating and do what I love. Sometimes it’s hard to see the impact you’ve made until you finally take a step back to enjoy all you’ve done. 

I understand that yes there are times I push too hard, and there are times when I prioritize my creative life before other important parts of my life, but I’m still learning. Since day one, if I wanted something in life- and I wanted it bad enough, I knew that no matter what it was, I would go to the ends of the Earth to go get it. No matter how much I’ve always wanted to create, I’ve had my doubts- mostly because I wonder if it’s a stable career path, if I’m getting too old, and if I’m relevant enough…The only thing standing in front of me and my creative life is and always will be myself. It’s a personal problem, but what can I say? The first step is admitting. I’ve seen an exponential amount of growth within myself and that has been mirrored in the content I’ve made.

I know I’ve always worried about graduating SFU with all but a piece of paper in my hand- but I know for a fact, that if I actually want this life for myself as much as I say I do- when I walk by the AQ pond and stare down at my reflection, I’ll have far more to my name than just that piece of paper. Most people would think that graduating university would be the end of a chapter, but for me, it’ll just be the beginning.

Vancouver International Fashion Gala

This week I had the pleasure to walk in the Vancouver International Fashion Gala (VIFG) on Saturday night. The theme of the night was Renaissance, which focused on the change in art in culture in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. 

About a month ago, I applied for the casting call for the fashion show but unfortunately, I got sick the night before and couldn’t make it. I’m not going to lie, although I was sick, I was also extremely nervous to walk in front of a panel of judges since the last time I went to a casting call I didn’t make the cut. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to receive an email a few days later from the head coordinator of the event asking for my measurements and just like that, I was in the show. At this point, I couldn’t turn down the offer and this wasn’t an opportunity I wanted to leave in my inbox.

The event was held at the Vancouver Club, near Coal Harbour. I showed up for call time at 1:00 pm and walked into a room of complete chaos. Since this event is run solely by volunteer work, there were people running around everywhere. But to be quite honest, I thought it was absolutely amazing. The amount of real emotion you saw from people made the entire experience feel like the real deal. 

My designer, Helene Hawthorn was unable to attend the show, so me and a group of three other girls got fitted last. Despite that, it was such a surreal experience to have someone personally fit me into my garment. After, I got my makeup professionally done for the first time. I’m so used to doing everything myself that I felt extremely special when I had others doing it for me. Halfway through makeup I was told that it was time for my section to head to the ballroom for the practice walk. 

This was the most daunting part of the entire night, I was told that we’d be walking toe to heel which is different than most runways as you are putting the majority of your weight in your toes. Due to the theme, we were supposed to pace ourselves as if we were walking down a wedding aisle as it gave the audience enough time to look at our entire ensemble. The runway was in the shape of a ‘U’ which makes your overall duration on stage much longer than an average catwalk. I only got one chance to practice down the runway, and in that moment wobbling all over the place I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. Although there was much self doubt, I knew that I had come much too far in the day to back out because of my raging nerves.

After I finished the practice walk, I went back upstairs to get my hair done. The team wove a large five pound crown into my hair and any finished the final fitting for my garment. The doors opened at 7:00 pm but we didn’t go on stage until half past. My section opened the show, and as we were lining up behind the stage, a wave of anxiety washed over me. It was as if everything I had been working up to in my career came up to this one point in time. 

Runway is extremely daunting being well below the average height. I was the shortest model to walk that night besides the child of the production manager. After I was all dressed up, I felt like I belonged right beside all the other models. The minute I walked on stage, I took a deep breath and let my vision focus on one single point. From there I began walking and I wasn’t anxious or scared, I felt like I was completely in my element. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have any high resolution photos taken from the event just yet, but I’ve included a couple of photos for you to get an idea of what I was wearing for the night. 

Lastly, I was lucky enough to have Gary Mo (@yuen.wm) as my special guest. I’ve written many blog posts about Gary, and I was very happy to have him there supporting me. 

After nearly a semester worth of blog posts, I’m beyond excited to be able to share this moment not only with those from VIFG, but with you. I’ve been apart of many different things in the creative industry, but never a full-scale fashion show and I really do feel as if it tested all my strengths and weaknesses. I still have one more post for next week, so to almost come full-circle, I am beyond thankful to Nina Pak for asking me to join the show. This was one of the most telling moments for myself as I was allowed to do something that I’d normally not be allowed to do because of my height. It was an incredible night and I hope to be walking in more runways in the near future.

Hopeful

As of late, creating has become seemingly harder and harder to do on a weekly basis. Both the Vancouver weather forecast and the final rush of the semester have both contributed to this creative roadblock. This week I was booked for a shoot with an aspiring young photographer, who currently goes to Langara College. We had plans to shoot a street/cityscape look, but unfortunately the weather wasn’t permitting for us to proceed. However, we rescheduled and I hope to be writing about that shoot in the next week or two. To fill this week’s post, I will be touching on some issues I’ve experienced that have also contributed to my partial creative hiatus.

In my last post, I mentioned that I left my personal life in the dust as I went on to pursue my creative one. This all ties into my inability to balance my own life. However, I specifically want to touch on how all aspects of my life differ from my personal one. 

I’m have a type A personality, almost to a T. I’m aggressive, competitive, achievement-oriented, constantly stressed and completely work obsessed. Since I started writing this blog post, I’ve been mentally urging myself to finish faster so I can start working on a presentation for another class. It’s completely sick. To be completely honest, it’s as if I’m constantly fighting with myself about time management when I’ve been ahead of my workload since this semester started. I’m stressed when there’s work to be done, and I’m even more stressed when there isn’t work to be done. I’ve mentioned before that I’m the kind of person who requires a weekly schedule or else my life spirals (and we don’t want that). I was so worried about losing my weekly schedule, that I debated about taking another year of university just to keep myself in line. When I write all of this, I sound so unbelievably anal, but I assure you I’m not that anal and I can be fun. 

I remember last April I asked my amazing friend, Gary Mo (@yuen.wm) if I should “full send” on my creative life. I was nearing the end of my six course semester, and I felt like I was finally ready to pursue a creative personality online- at this time I had only participated in a handful of shoots. He reminded me that I was unbelievably young and asked me, “what’s the worst that could happen?” With Gary’s blessing, I dipped my toes into the creative industry, but it wasn’t until July that I decided to completely “full send” and immerse myself with other creatives. Luckily, hard work and determination paid off which has allowed me to continue pursuing this goal well into the fall. Since then, I’ve been jumping head first ever since. 

Sometimes I wish I had more of a carefree personality, and told myself “yes” more often. For example: I recently had course selections and the morning of, the internet went out throughout the entire SFU residences. I ran out the door after a hasty shower and cried on the floor of West Mall Center. I’m not someone who cries regularly or ever, so when it happened over something as little as a failed wifi connection, I knew I had been pushing myself to my absolute limit. My course cart was filled with another six classes, and believe me, even in that moment, I had no problem saying yes to my decision. I’ve never once doubted my ability to succeed in school, and the only reason for that is because I put everything and anything behind my education. However, I know for a fact, that much like my meltdown in WMC, that I’m going to go into Spring semester head strong and then somewhere around week six it’ll take a toll on me and I’ll push myself beyond relief to finish. This is the kind of “yes” I wish I didn’t use which leads me to ask myself why can’t I say yes to anything in relation to my personal life?

I’ve spent far too much time asking myself this question and pondering the answer. I’ve come to many conclusions, but I believe that I’ve spent the majority of my life in a rush. I’m in a rush to live. In my mind, living is finishing school, but then what? I’ve been rushing through university so fast that I’m going to walk by the AQ pond, look down and stare at my reflection asking myself if I’m ready to enter the real world. In reality, living isn’t about always being in a rush, it’s about making mistakes, making memories and having stories to tell. By always being in a rush to start “living my life” I will have completely missed the mark before I graduate. 

Basically, I want to see myself pressing the “full send” button on my personal life more often. I’ve never allowed myself to because I’ve exerted all my time and energy on both my education and my creative works. So much so that it consumes me to the point where there are times when I’m not even enjoying what I’m doing anymore which is why I’ve experienced my recent creative hiatus. My “full send” example is one that has spoken to be since a very young age and it’s important because it ties into my final point. 

I remember watching Halloweentown as a kid, which is about two different worlds that collide. One world is the real world and the other is the universe that Halloweentown resides in which is full of monsters and magic. The main character, Marnie discovers that she’s a witch and runs off to Halloweentown to pursue her studies. There, she meets her grandmother, Aggie who is also a witch and teaches her the ropes. Specifically, there was a scene where Aggie buys Marnie her first broom and Marnie asks how to fly it. Aggie turns to her and says, “All you have to do is want something, and then let yourself have it!”

A friend mentioned to me the other day that if I didn’t properly balance out my life, it would take a toll on my creative presence (it already has). If I lose interest in what I’m doing, then so will others, and neither of which are my goals. My problem is that no matter what I choose to do in life, I will do it until it’s done but there is an entire life to be lived outside one’s goals, or at least I like to believe there is. I don’t pursue my personal life because I feel as if I don’t have any control over it, and that’s because I don’t make enough time to focus on it. No matter how successful I ever become, I’m always going to crave more from life than just that. Sure, my creative life can be absolutely popping off but if you have no one to share that with, then does that really matter? It’s important to work towards a goal, but to what extent? It’s not worth achieving that goal if you lose yourself within that. So within the next couple of weeks, I’m going to make it a point to take more time and focus on myself which will keep my creative gears oiled. All I have to do is jump.

A/N: I’ve included several pictures from last week’s trip to Hope, because I’m also very hopeful that everything is going to work itself out.