A few things unique about myself are my sense of style, my height, and my views of the world. I have a variety of inspirations that I use to create my own unique look” I have my Latin American Heritage to draw inspiration from, I also draw from African American culture since I grew up in South Central Los Angeles where mostly Latinos and African Americans coexist, and I draw so much inspiration from the 1950's fashion in the United States. I love the pinup looks, short bobs, winged eyeliner, and red lipstick. I am also four feet and eleven inches tall, so my height instantly makes me very different from many people since I am below average height, but it never stopped me from believing I could model. It used to make me feel bad about myself, but now I take it as something special about myself, and something many people overlook when it comes to modelling (literally). Lastly is my view of the world, I am a vegan (I donâ€™t eat or wear anything that comes from animals or insects) and part of the Green Party here in the United States. The amount of people who are vegan or involved in the Green Party are slim to none, probably 1% of the population. However, I believe in change for the better, and I believe it begins by making lifestyle choices.
Janelee, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
My passions and aspirations in life are to become an actress/model who can set an example for many demographics. The activists who speak out for animals who don't have voices to speak for themselves. To become an example for the Latin Americans or any minorities who feel like coming from the inner city in Los Angeles, or in any corner of the world, can become successful. Lastly, to the artists who are always told that they will never have a job, art is always underestimated, and it is sad not to have support to become an artist when art is what makes the world more enjoyable and what many people consume on a daily basis. I started as a model at my University. I networked with the photographers on campus who needed models for their work in school, and it has become something I have always loved and enjoyed since I was a preteen.
Who is your inspiration in life Janelee? How do you keep inspired?
My inspirations in life are many artists young Latin American musicians, Misty Copeland a Prima Ballerina from San Pedro, California, actresses and models who are minorities of all varieties and still made it in the business, among many others. I keep inspired by all the stories I encounter of hope, as well as the stories of horror from all regions of the world. I internalise those stories to see how fortunate I am to be able to peruse my passions and live a life full of freedom and happiness.
We all make mistakes Janelee; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Model; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I will not lie that as a novice model my experiences are slim. However, I wish I would have been more prepared on some shoots. Prepared in the sense of asking questions, learning more about the theme and look of the shoot, as well as practising poses & looks in the mirror to feel more confident when I'm on set.
Janelee, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
When I am prioritising needs, I look for the overarching or common note people give me. So far I've been working one on one with just myself and the photographer, which makes the job much easier.
Please tell us Janelee, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
I once got a massive cold before a shoot, I lost my voice, and even got an eye infection. So I had to take care of myself & make sure I didnâ€™t do anything to worsen my symptoms. It was a rough patch to overcome because I had to look and feel good during the shoot, even though I was not feeling 100%.
Janelee, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I recently had a shot taken at a tennis court, and I voiced my opinion about the wardrobe and what would look best for the theme. It was taken into consideration quite nicely, and I was not trying to please anyone I was sincerely giving my opinion.
Janelee, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest professional moment as a model was when one of the photo shoots I took part of was specifically to be entered into a competition to be displayed in the University Museum at Cal State Long Beach. It was also a brave photoshoot because it was my first time posing nude, which I have no problem with, but many people gave me feedback about being brave. It made me realise how many people feel uncomfortable being nude in general, and it made me feel proud to be an example for women to be proud of their bodies, especially as a short woman.
Janelee, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
There was a shoot where I was supposed to portray a woman trying to get out of societyâ€™s rules and guidelines. It was exciting to do such a shoot where all my frustrations fuel the emotions in the shoot, but it was difficult to keep all the energy & anger present throughout the entire shoot.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
My advice would be to have grit, there will be many obstacles in your way, but if you want it & you're passionate about it & work hard for it, you will make it.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I would like to collaborate in the future, as of now I wouldn't know where to start. Maybe if one day I could model Hood by Air, I would be so happy and honored because the play I'm in now has costumes inspired by Hood by Air.
Photographer: Luis Maya @uoy.yatsPhotographer: Luis Maya @uoy.yatsPhotographer: Luis Maya @uoy.yatsPhotographer: Erica Bwww.ericamb.com@ericamb40Photographer: Ping Kunanonâ€™ @pingthedudePhotographer: Ping Kunanonâ€™ @pingthedudePhotographer: Luis Maya @uoy.yatsPhotographer: Luis Maya @uoy.yatsPhotographer: Luis Maya @uoy.yats10. Photographer: Luis Maya @uoy.yats11. Photographer: Ping Kunanonâ€™ @ping_thedude12. Photographer: Erica Bwww.ericamb.com@ericamb40