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Art & Life with Oceane Maher

Today we’d like to introduce you to Oceane Maher.

Oceane, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Contrary to what people may think, I didn’t have much interest in fashion growing up. I was a very active child and centered my life around sports. Nothing was more boring to me than going shopping for clothes- I couldn’t see why I had to wear anything other than workout clothes. Throughout middle school and high school, I attended a charter school which had uniforms as part of the dress code. I was delighted to not have to waste my time thinking about what to wear. But after several years of wearing the same outfit, I started to cherish the days where I had the liberty of choosing what to wear and even began to enjoy the occasional shopping trip.

My interest in fashion and modeling began to develop in high school but still took a backseat to my athletic endeavors. My passion for running led me to develop my own network providing coverage for high school track and cross country during my junior year. I covered meets ranging from Texas Relays to the Junior Olympics, and conducted on-camera interviews with the top high school runners in the nation along with the occasional Olympic medalist. This marked the beginning of my background in business, but things took a turn after graduation.

At nineteen, I was forced to medically withdrawal from college to seek treatment for anorexia. I was restricted from doing any form of exercise during this time, which allowed me to explore my interest in fashion some more. Using my experiences in business and modeling, I eventually set off to establish my own modeling agency. I am now twenty-two years old, a junior at the University of Texas and the owner of EVO Model Management.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I own EVO Model Management, a mother agency based in Austin. We scout new faces in the Austin and surrounding areas, connect them with local photographers, makeup artists, stylists, and other creatives to build up their portfolios, and when they are ready, we submit them for representation in major fashion cities (NYC, LA, Paris, London, etc.). Ultimately our goal is to get our models placed with major modeling agencies so that they can have a career in modeling.

I wouldn’t really consider myself an “artist,” but a lot of my job involves connecting artists with each other and with our models to build our models’ portfolios. I work closely with photographers, makeup artists, designers & stylists and I’m frequently involved in the creative direction; developing mood boards and concepts for photo shoots. Since starting EVO, I have also picked up photography, and I’ve had to learn how to do makeup and styling for photo shoots when I don’t have a makeup artist or stylist available.

Working in the modeling industry is a challenging career path. Most of the models I represent are teenage girls, and due to the nature of the fashion industry, they face added pressures to maintain a certain physique. My aim with EVO is to provide aspiring models with the opportunity to have a successful modeling career while maintaining their health and wellbeing.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
While some of the local artists I know are able to pursue their art career full time, the majority have to do it on the side while working a higher-paying job. I think art, in general, is just a particularly difficult career path. Unlike most careers paths which are pursued through the completion of concrete requirements such as degrees and training programs, careers in art tend to not have a clear-cut path. For artists, connections often act as “degrees.” Especially given how competitive the art industry is, having strong networking skills is vital to making the right contacts who can help you establish your career.

It’s difficult to say whether life is easier or harder for artists in recent years. I think it’s always been a difficult career path. I do often see parents discouraging their kids from pursuing an art career, maybe more-so than previous years as more and more kids are attending and graduating from college and the prospect of earning a living as an artist appears relatively risky. So in that sense life may be harder for artists today. On the flip side, there are increasing opportunities for artists through the expansion of the media and technology, along with more outlets for artists to market themselves through social media and the internet as a whole.

Organizing, promoting and attending local art events such as art galleries, fashion shows, performances, film festivals, etc. can really go a long way in supporting artists in the community.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can view my work through EVO’s website: evomodelmanagement.com and instagram page: @evomodelmanagement. Anyone who is interested in applying as a model or collaborating with us for photoshoots should visit the “Contact Us” page on EVO’s website.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Hemal Mamtora (Photographer for Personal Photo)

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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