How Epic Can One Girl Be?

by on March 7th, 2015
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Devan is a 22 year old makeup artist who currently resides in Boston. She has been modeling for 4 years, both in front of the camera and on the runway. She’s obsessed with all things “nerdy” and is a self proclaimed glitter enthusiast. She can usually be found at various goth clubs in the area, shouting profanity and dancing up a storm.

Easily recognizable by her brightly colored hair, she is a somewhat familiar face in the alt modeling world. She can often be found dressed as a red dinosaur and threatening to eat people’s faces. Her only known weaknesses are gluten, heavy beats, and boys with blue eyes. She has also recently realized that she has written this like she is some sort of rare species of animal, which, she supposes, she is.

I had the pleasure of asking Devan some questions on what it’s like being a model in general and in the alternative world.

1. Why did you get into modeling? I got into modeling for a lot of reasons. First off, because I was really into photography. Back when I was 14 or so I started doing dark room photography at summer camp and I completely loved it. I think what really captured me was the idea of creating and evoking emotion. I was also really into acting at the time, so that may have had something to do with it. Secondly, I had always been really into hair and makeup, especially makeup. I loved to do wild looks and take pictures of my friends. I suppose all of those things combined with the fact that I am apparently naturally photogenic led people to start asking me “Hey Devan, why don’t you get in front of the camera? You’re such a ham!” As anyone who knows me will tell you, that is true. One of my close friends is a model, she goes by the name Rubella, and she gave me some pointers when I first started out. She was super encouraging and helpful in the beginning!

2. Why alternative modeling? I didn’t really decide alternative or mainstream modeling on purpose, it’s just sort of what I fell into. I’m really into the whole dark-alt club scene, the music, the fashion, the energy, etc so I guess I just naturally gravitate towards that. That plus the fact that I’m not skinny or slender by any stretch of the imagination so there isn’t really a place for my body type in mainstream modeling. Also I feel like alt modeling isn’t taken quite as seriously, we have more fun. Not that it isn’t a serious career for some people, just that there’s more room for goofing off, which is my style.

3. Describe yourself in five words. Talkative, sensitive, outgoing, impulsive, compassionate.

4. How did you come up with the name “Devan the Impaler”? The funny thing about the name Devan the Impaler is that I honestly can’t remember how I came up with that. It started out as my vampirefreaks.com username, and I guess I sort of stuck with it. I think when I created my VF account my thought process was sort of “Vampires… Dracula… Vlad the Impaler… DEVAN!!! The Impaler!!” And now it’s kind of taken on a life of its own. I’m not really sure what people expect me to be like when they hear it, or how it comes off, but it is what it is!

5. How did you get into hair and makeup? It must have been when I discovered MAC that I really started my obsession. My Mom took me to NYC when I was 11 or 12, and we went into Saks Fifth Avenue, where they had a MAC counter. All the bright colors?! I was in heaven! The idea of being able to change yourself into someone different has always appealed to me. I loved mermaids and fairies and unicorns when I was younger (well, I still love them) and I think there can never be too much glitter in the world. So I suppose I naturally gravitated towards hair and makeup. When all my friends and family saw how into makeup I was, they started asking me to cut their hair, so I started doing that, even though I had no idea what I was even doing. But all the haircuts generally came out pretty good! So then a few years ago I went to cosmetology school and I’ve been cutting hair for the last couple years even though my true passion is makeup. I actually got hired by MAC, which is the most exciting thing ever. I’m also looking into attending a Special Effects makeup school, so I can work on movies and TV and stuff. It feels so good to be doing what I love!

6. Talk to me about some of your favorite shoots. Man, there have been so many great shoots over the years, a ton of fun times and memorable experiences! The reason why the following shoots are my favorites is because they started lasting relationships with these people. Not just as photographers, but as friends. The first favorite shoot I’d have to say was my second shoot with Hailey Sunderlage. She was a student at Hallmark at the time and she was just my style; dark, alt, creative, etc. One of her assignments was to do a high-key shoot (where the model is wearing white on a white backdrop). Most people go for fashion. We went for creepy. The images we created are still some of my favorites ever; even though I know technically we could have done them better. I really got a chance to let loose and scream and be scary. For someone who’s always labeled cute, that’s a real treat.

Another of my favorite and most memorable shoots was my first one with Lancelot the Vampire. This was when I first started out modeling, within the first year. I remember I had been trying to work with him for ages, but he only took paid jobs. Then, one day, he had a sudden cancellation and he messaged me to see if I was around. Within 5 minutes of getting that email, I had called out of work sick and thrown half the contents of my closet into two gigantic suitcases. That day we shot for hours. He was so awesome about helping me figure out my strengths, and so encouraging to boot. On top of that, I got a chance to shoot with his girlfriend at the time, Spooky Digital Girl. She’s an exceptional model and a talented budding photographer, so I was a little intimidated. However, we got some great shots and all three of us really clicked. To this day I still use most of the advice he’s given me (take your hair-ties off your wrist before the shoot!!!) and I’ve maintained a great friendship with both Lance and Spooky. Since then I’ve worked with both of them countless times. There are many other favorite shoots and people that are important to me that I’d like to mention, so I’ll try to keep the rest sort of short.

I’ll never forget my first shoot with Chris Addams. I was super duper intimidated about working with him. His photography blew me away, and still does to this day. So I drive up to this house in Pittsfield with a suitcase full of stuff and 30 minutes later we had picked out my outfits, I had my weave in, and we were barreling down the street at what was possibly a bajillion miles per hour in his mustang. This was the only shoot I had ever forgotten my makeup for, and I am so glad that I did. He captured me in a way that I had never seen before. He had shots of me sexy, innocent, evil, cute, desolate, all within the span of a few hours. He was also the first (and last!!) person that I scaled a rock mountain in a corset and 8 inch boots for. And boy I am I glad I did.

Some other favorites include; My second shoot with Cannibalized, the helmet shoot with Greg Easton, My first shoot with Lauren Farrington (she responded to my casting call looking for someone to shoot my Edward Scissorhands costume.), Lucid Grafx, in the murder attic and any shoot with Shredboy studios! The most encouraging photographer you’ll ever meet. I know this kind of turned into a shout out, but I can’t separate the shoots from the people who made them happen. These people, they have helped me along the way more than I can ever say. I come to life in front of the camera and they capture it. Im leaving so many shoots out, with so many important people, but honestly, who will read 4 pages of testimonials?

7. Any tips for when posing for the camera Being someone who does photography myself, I generally know what looks good in a picture. I think I’m pretty good at posing, but I really LOVE posing other people. Here’s my advice: Know your body, know your face. Look in the mirror and notice what the most flattering angle is for you. Don’t forget your face when you’re concentrating on your body. Don’t lock out your elbows, unless you’re going for that super straight thing with your arms down by your side. DO Stand up straight, it can’t be said enough! Know where your light is. And keep your face in it to avoid weird shadows around your eyes and nose. Try to change your expression to give the photographer variety, no one wants to see a lax jaw and doe eyes for 50 frames in a row. And most importantly, know what emotion or look you’re going for and work with the photographer to achieve it. Some people give direction and some don’t, but if YOU know your angles and your body, then you will always be able to deliver.

8. You wear a lot of wigs. What would you say is your favorite hair style/color on you? Red is my favorite color on my, besides my natural color. I have 3 bright red ones, and those are the ones I wear most often. My very favorite is my red layered one that you can see in many of my pictures. I just like wigs because it’s so easy to change from look to look. And I get bored easily!

9. As a plus size model what would you say to girls who are curious about modeling, but are self conscience about their size? Anyone of any size can be a model. It’s that age old “Beauty is everywhere” thing. It’s all about knowing your body and your face, and just working what you’ve got. It’s definitely harder being a plus size girl. Finding stuff for me at fashion shows can be a bit tricky, or if a photographer doesn’t really know how to shoot someone that isn’t really slender. It hasn’t caused me too many problems in the past, I’m just straight up with people about my size and what looks good on me and what doesn’t. If I don’t treat it as a negative, it’s way less likely to be perceived as one, you know? I don’t often apologize for my size, because it’s who I am and it’s what I’m working with!

10. What is your style as far as collaboration? Do you figure out the details of a concept before hand or are you more a “Shoot as you go, spontaneous” type of person? All shoots are different for me. Sometimes I go to a photographer I’ve worked with many times with a concept and ask them if they want to be involved. Other times it’s that a photographer and I feel like it’d be fun or mutually beneficial to work together. We’ll either have a concept or a specific garment in mind to feature, or a wig, etc. Those shoots just kind of work them selves out as they go along. Other times I’ve just brought a suitcase full of clothes and just figure it out when I get to the shoot. It all depends on the collaboration and how we decide to play it!

11. You have a very extensive resume. Have you ever thought of doing this full time? It’d be cool to do this full time, but I wouldn’t for a few reasons. I don’t shoot nude, and it’s a lot harder to make it in the industry if you won’t shoot nude. It’s not cause I’m a prude or anything, it’s just for my own reasons. Another reason is that it’s way more tricky to become a successful plus size model, in any type of modeling. I’m really content with doing makeup for my career and the occasional shoot for fun. If I was to do anything professional, I’d be an actress. But like I said, I’m happy with the makeup!

12. Tell us about your favorite “oops” moment during a shoot? Man, I can’t really think of a good “oops!” moment. There have been tons of bloopers on shoots, where I’ll get stuck in somewhere cause of my shoes, or because its hard to get down from, etc. I’m pretty outrageous to be around in general, I make so many jokes and have burst out laughing the middle of a photo before. It’s always an experience with me.

13. You’ve worked with a lot of models, who are some of your “dream” models you would love to work with (money or travel not being an issue) Well, I have a bunch of friends around here that I’ve been trying to coordinate shoots with, but as far as people I don’t have an existing relationship with, I’d have to say first and foremost is Rachel Dashae. I think her work is absolutely phenomenal and her look is so unique and beautiful. She’s just super awesome to me. Another model that I’m a big fan of is Perish.. I haven’t done a ton of work with male models, and he does stunning work. I feel like it’d be really interesting to see what he and I could collaborate on. Finally, there’s Ulorin Vex. She’s so gorgeous and brings a ton of emotions of her shoots. That’s something that’s really impressive to me in a model. She’s also worked with, like, everyone which is awesome.

14. How do you feel about alternative modeling sites such as Suicide Girls? I have a few friends that are Burning Angels, and I’ve met some Suicide Girls and you know, it’s not for me, but I totally respect it. I don’t think it’s a cheap thing to do or anything, they have some awesome photographers they work with and they have some clever shoots. But like I said, it’s not something I’m going to do myself.

15. Any photographers you’re dying to work with? Oh man, where to begin the list. My top three always change but right now I’m dying to work with CandyLust, Chad Michael Ward, and Winterwolf. A few more that are on my list are Studio-X, Lithium Picnic, Stuntkid and Mojokiss. All of those people are complete geniuses and I would totally kill to work with any of them!!

As one can tell, Devan has worked with quite a few photographers. Some of them were kind enough to give their testimonials on what it’s like working with this stunning lady.

“Hanging out with Devan is like watching a solar eclipse during a lunar eclipse while riding a unicorn made of FIRE.”-Chris Addams

“I have a lot of models that I enjoy working with. A few I absolutely LOVE working with. But then there’s Devan. She’s a punk rocker. She’s a time-traveler. She’s a lover of shoes. And she is like a drug to me. I can’t ever get enough.”-Greg Easton

“Devan is so easy to work with! The atmosphere on set is brighter with her in it. Though she’s actually really skilled at doing her own makeup, I was invited to be a part of a shoot of hers, and having been a fan of her work for months, I was happy to help out. She’s a great model, very aware of her face and body, and how to make the most of both. I’d DEFINITELY work with her over and over!” – Lauren O’Jea

“Aside from Devan the Impaler being a stunning model with great style and makeup and hair skills (and wigs!), she is fun, energetic, and will probably make you laugh your ass off before and after the shoot, or during light testing. She’s a rad chick, and after meeting and photographing her, I already consider her a friend” – Cannibalized

“Photographing Devan the Impaler is akin to discovering artwork without a frame. If you frame her properly, the results cannot help but impress. Out of every four photos, three were jaw-droppingly beautiful. It baffled me how anyone could be so photogenic. Directing Devan into an unsightly patch of light revealed her secret. I’ve worked with many models who pose with finesse and poise-some even adjusting for the angle and range of my lens, but I have never met a model who actually adjusted to the light itself. Devan did just that. My every direction began with my mouth opening, then promptly ended as I swallowed my words and muttered, “Exactly.” Impressed is not the half of it. Devan is a phenomenon.”-Shadow Darkwell

I myself have had the pleasure of working with Devan. I was lucky enough to have her do my makeup as well as help out with my poses during a joint shoot with Greg Easton. Devan is a good friend of mine as well as an inspiration as a model. She brings laughter and good times anywhere she goes and she’s also that friend you know you can count on.

The world of alternative modeling, as Devan mentioned, is fun. The variety, emotion and sexiness of what can be captured in this genre of modeling is truly a site to be hold and Devan the Impaler does this perfectly. Whether she’s walking down a runway in a latex kimono, posing as a Goth Red Riding hood or dressed as a sexy nurse, Devan is a driving force in the world of alternative modeling.


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