Devoni Ferreira: They Smeared Peanut Butter on My Face
Modeling came into my life at the age of seven, when I first heard my mom’s friend saying I would do great as a model. I was still a shy kid, however I decided “why not?!” and gave it a try. Thanks to my Hispanic and Asian spicy mix in the origin, I was adored by agents and had a chance to become a diverse model.
By the age of thirteen I barely had time to attend school because I was booked almost every week for a period of days, starting early in the morning and finishing only by eight at night. Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Target, Walmart, JCPenney… my portfolio grew quite rapidly, but it was not easy of course. I remember myself during the hot summer days having a photoshoot for a winter campaign, and vice versa, having to smile literally all day long standing in front of the camera. Despite all the tough part of it, I still enjoyed the atmosphere I was in, and I felt like I was meant for this lifestyle.
Gradually, I learned how to socialize with people, though there were many rejections as well. Luckily, it didn’t turn me down because I had so much faith in who I was and knew that whichever job I was hired for, was like it was tailor-made for me. Getting through the hard times with the other models being either jealous or envious of me just made me stronger and helped to gain even more confidence. I used to struggle with it as a child, however modeling helped me to overcome that.
I believe that becoming a different character every time I’m on a new set, and the sense of getting ready for a day of work that fulfills my dreams — those are the two most amazing and thrilling aspects of modeling! Still being at my 13, I had to take an early break from modeling. My dilemma was in being too tall for kids and too short for women category. So, I continued my education and focused on building myself and picking up things I would enjoy doing. Shortly enough, I joined my school’s theater program where I fell in love with the musicals, being on stage and acting. Eventually, I started attending acting school and learning from coaches one on one. There were some tasks in the acting class where I had to memorize a monologue in just 10 minutes, so all those new challenges definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to discover a whole new side of myself.
Later on, the pandemics spoiled my plans by bringing me some severe acne all over my face. Due to the skin problems I got some more rejections at the agencies, one of those was “Front Management” in Miami, which shattered me into pieces, leaving me to think I wasn’t ever going to model again. I went through so many facials and dermatologists to help get rid of that issue, however it was only a matter of time to let it heal itself. I went through binge eating and not being in the best state of myself. But after some time I knew that if I wanted to be successful, I had to commit and push myself, to get my body and mind back. So, I created a routine of going to the gym, eating clean, and healing my mind. Through the consistency and discipline, my face finally got back to normal. This journey has taught me the value of putting my physical and mental health first from everything else.
When I turned 18, it was a high time to get back in the game and pursue my career in modeling and acting. I slowly worked my way up by submitting myself for castings and doing commercials. I knew after that it would be best if I was signed with an agency, and “Genetic Models Management” became the one. I started renewing my portfolio taking the time for the photoshoots, eventually getting my first cover with “Moevir Magazine” in Paris, as well as getting an opportunity to walk at Miami Swim Week. My modeling work pace increased, and there were even times when I had about five photoshoots a day, with as little free time that I had to wash my face off the makeup at Starbucks in between the photoshoots, and having a granola bar on the go.
One of my funniest memories was while filming a commercial for “VisionWorks”, with the animals involved on set. We were taking a driving shot in the car and they needed a dog to lick my face, so they smeared peanut butter on it 🙂 It was really like fun to work with such a joyful and friendly crew there!
During another campaign for “New Balance” I had to be running on the track. The footwear got dusty a bit, so they allowed me to keep them! That’s a cool thing – some brands do let you keep the items once you’ve finished the job. Memories like this always made me look back and smile!
But what I value most about a modeling job is that despite all its glitz and glamour, the most important thing is always in those people you meet and those exciting relationships and partnerships that you are able to form with incredible people around you!