Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Joy Onyechi. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Joy, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Can you talk to us about how you’ve thought about whether to sign with an agent or manager?
When I signed to my first modeling agency, it was because of excitement and impatience. I read over the fine print. I was such in a rush to get signed, that I accepted any agency that responded back to me. While being signed for a full year, not once did I get booked for any jobs with them. They provided an app and posted castings that you were more than welcome to sign up for if you fit the category. Most castings were in different cities,states and only for locals. It was a mistake I learned from but I’m happy it didn’t rob me of any opportunities because it could have been worse. Since then, I’ve been working as a freelance model. As a freelance model, I decide my own rates. I love being able to freely work for different companies and/or brands without being limited. Constantly I try to grow as much as I can by either watching YouTube videos, reading E-books, purchasing coaching courses. When I gained more jobs, knowledge, and grew more as a model that’s when I gradually started to increase my rate because I knew what I was bringing to the table was worth it.
Joy, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Hi everyone, my name is Joy Onyechi. I’m a model, content creator, dancer, and a student. I started into the modeling Industry by master planning photo shoots. They say “Closed mouths don’t get fed.” In my case, it was I couldn’t grow as a model and reach the opportunities I wanted by sitting on my bed. I had to do the work and that was by researching, planning and organizing photo shoots. Getting an idea for the kind of model I wanted to be came later down the line and to be quite frank, it messed me up. After putting in so much work and posting my many photoshoots, not getting any feedback or jobs discouraged me. Additionally, because I wasn’t clear on the kind of model I wanted to grow as, it didn’t help me narrow down the audience I wanted to attract. December 2019 is when I became officially exhausted, disappointed of doing so much and not seeing any results. I thought maybe it’s time to take a break. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to quit or just figure out needed to changed.
April 5th, 2021, A clothing brand contacted me to do a test shoot for them which eventually became my first paid opportunity. That opportunity opened up new doors for me. I found myself as a model and that was by doing commercial work. It came so naturally to me as if I had been doing it for years. I told myself okay now that I know commercial modeling is what want, how do I book more commercial jobs? For the remainder of the year, I used those photos from my first job as my resume when reaching out to companies to model for them. To give you an idea, It went a bit like this,
I’m a commercial and beauty model based here in Houston,Texas and I would love to work with you. Here is my recent work, let me know what you think. Thank you.
After finding myself, I knew which direction I wanted to go in moving forward. I started creating content that represented me as the model I wanted to become. I used hashtags which is very important. Using a hashtag landed me first paid commercial job. I got the opportunity be a web model for CHI Hair because of a hashtag. You have to learn what will help you get exposure. Hashtags may not work for everyone but what are you going to do about it to make you stand out?
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
For me, the most rewarding aspect of being an artist is getting noticed for my work. Sometimes when I feel as if I haven’t come far with my modeling journey, I somehow always get reminded of when I first started putting out work to what I post now. There’s been a drastic change. Although I forget sometimes, I always have my viewers reminding me how far I’ve grown and to be proud of myself. When I became more confident in my model work, that’s when I received more recognition and shares. Every message I get, cheers me up and pushes me to keep working hard.
What can society do to ensure an environment that’s helpful to artists and creatives?
What society can do best, is to keep cheering us on. It’s one thing to post of the project you’ve been working so diligently on, but to be noticed for the amazing work you’re doing is another thing. It encourages us artists to stay strong and to keep striving.
- Website: https://linktr.ee/RoyalOnyechi
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/joy_onyechi
- Other: Model Portfolio https://www.joyonyechi.com/model TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@royalonyechi?_t=8V5KhhfW4HG&_r=1
PHOTOGRAPHERS: -Chris clark -Ashley Adams -Ayomide Sofunwa MAKEUP ARTISTS: -Kachelle Miles -Ashley Adams -Alexiyah Jackson