"I know it sounds very cliché but I believe modelling is much more about networking/making connections than looks."
Model Citizen App is the platform where we recognised fashion models, photographers, designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, creative directors, bloggers, stylists, and labels around the world.Every day, we feature an individual on Model Citizen Interviews. People get to know each of them- their hopes, challenges, aspirations and inspirations in life.
Ivan Touko is an all-round fantastic guy! We found him on Instagram, and his photos speak a thousand words. We are so excited to feature him on Model Citizen App and share his journey with you all.
Tell us about yourself: Why do you want to work as a model? Why are you interested in modelling as a career?
To be honest, it really started as a hobby more than anything, next thing I knew I found myself working with great creative minds and creating “art”, beautiful images people can remember or even relate to. I am interested in pursuing a career as a model because of all the people I’ve come across, plus the ones I haven’t met yet and all the wonderful travelling opportunities such a career would involve.
How important is modelling education: Have you attended modelling courses? What related courses or studies have you taken?
I believe it’s a must. I haven’t really attended any modelling courses, except for a couple runway walking training sessions, but that’s because my budget is very limited and most of my expenses go towards my degree. Nonetheless, money is not a barrier to acquiring more knowledge, I’ve done my homework, I’ve researched nothing and everything about the industry, read blogs from well known models and network all as much as possible so I can learn from other models in the Industry.
What do you think makes someone “fit” to be a model?
Tough question huh?! I personally think it all comes down to a matter of mindset because at the end of the day you can do whatever you set your mind to do. I know it sounds very cliché but I believe modelling is much more about networking/making connections than looks. Not that looks do not matter, as photographers are always looking for that unique/wow effect or certain specific features, but your personality and social abilities play a lot with whom would like to shoot with you again or not. No one wants to shoot with a grumpy model or someone that’s not fun around or able to hold a conversation… at least that’s what I think.
What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progressing in this field?
Well, like every male model, I dream of shooting wit the biggest brands like Calvin Klein, Levi or Guess but honestly, there’s a local designer here in Calgary, Alberta that I would live to work with and the near future. He is name is Spencer Badu and I believe still have a lot to learn before I can work with him. I would honestly love for my modelling to allow me to travel around the world while making art and shooting under beautiful sightings.
What do you know about the advertisement industry, advertising psychology and photography?
I am no expert, but like I said earlier I did my homework, and the advertisement industry it’s all about reverse psychology, from what I can tell at least. You want people to personally relate to your work but also not be able to relate so they could wish they could relate to your work. It’s all about playing with the curiosity and weaknesses of the mind. I honestly can’t say I know a lot about photography, I can use basic edit on photoshop OT use a camera but I honestly wouldn’t be able to shoot on manual mode.
How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to clients’ requirements?
I believe I am a very open minded and socially comfortable person. I’ve worked with quite a few photographers and I honestly think I’ve left a good impress with whomever I worked with so far. I can’t say I’m 100% sure, because it does happen where I am not to be able to connect with people or have a few difference in opinions. I am very versatile and usually very open to clients’ and photographers’ requests in general.
Do you eat nutritiously? How often do you exercise or go to the gym?
Yeah I’d say I eat pretty well. At least I try to, I haven’t got on a very strict diet or anything like that yet but it’s definitely something I might have to consider. About 3 times a week. I usually go harder during school and go about 5 times a week.
What is your dream role as a model?
Cover magazine of GQ.
Do you have any limitations? How do you define your boundaries when choosing to accept a modelling request?
I’d say my only limitations right now would have to do with nudity. I would be able to do an implied nude shoot but I am not that fully comfortable with the idea of nudity to go full in.
State your availability: Would you travel? Work full-time, part time? Any hours?
I would travel if it’s worth it and would definitely be flexible with working full time time, part time of any hours depending of the contract and the opportunity I’m given.
Tell us what's your memorable experience so far.
Honestly, so far, shooting the tribal love series with Tosin has to be the most memorable one. The outfits that were provided by the designer Listah Mutsaro were gorgeous and we had 3 talented photographers on set. I am really glad with the pictures we came up with that morning.
Facebook: Ivan Ngandjui Touko
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