“Being male or female doesn’t make you a better model and neither does your skin tone or size. “
Jeffery, how would you introduce yourself to our readers? How did you get into modeling? I would introduce myself by saying – Hi, my name is Jeffery Odyssey Johnson, Atlanta based model, photographer, and costume designer. My interest in modeling grew over time but I didn’t really get into it until my very first year of college when I joined an on campus modeling troupe.
What’s your favorite aspect of modeling? What keeps you excited about modeling? My favorite aspect of modeling is the freedom of expression through clothing and posing. What keeps me excited about modeling is knowing that there is always room to be creative and always something new to try.
How has modeling experience changed/influenced your personal or professional life? When I became more involved in modeling I noticed my confidence was growing and I was becoming more comfortable with myself which also allowed more of my personality to show. In the professional world I honestly believe that sometimes we only get one chance to make a great so we should always try to let the best part of our personality show instantly.
In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about the male modeling industry? Is there anything you would like to change? In my opinion, the biggest misconception about the male modeling industry is that all male models lack intelligence and rely on their physical appearance to take care of everything.
Yes, I would like to change the idea of the fashion industry being divided by gender, race, and body type. Being male or female doesn’t make you a better model and neither does your skin tone or size.
Do people treat you any differently because of what you do? They don’t necessarily treat me differently but their expectations of me are a little different once they realize that I am a model. They don’t actually expect me to be a hard worker or a nice person.
From your point of view, what is the toughest thing about being a model? The toughest thing about being a model is always having to be conscious of your physical appearance. It’s easier to just get up and go without worrying about what you look like.
What do you look for in photographers that you would do trade with? What I look for are those who give good direction and like to experiment with new and different ideas.
What is going through your mind when you’re modeling in front of the camera? Do you always encompass a character when you go on set? What goes through my mind when modeling in front of the camera is the overall concept of the shoot. I think about theme, the emotion, and the target audience. I only encompass a character on set when there are costumes and weapons involved. That character is normally my alter ego, Odyssey.
Are there any models in the industry you look up to? Why? Most of the models in the industry that I look up to are those who have been around since the 90’s, Tyra Banks, Tyson Beckford, and Naomi Campbell. I’ve been watching their careers grow and evolve since before I was even interested in becoming a model. I still look up to them to this day and it is because they are role models for African Americans in the fashion industry. They’ve shown that it is possible to have long successful modeling careers and it doesn’t have to end with modeling, your career can grow beyond that.
Do you have other ambitions outside of modeling? Yes, I do have other ambitions outside of modeling. I love doing photography and one day hope to start my own photography and video production business. I also have a newfound love for cinematography which inspired me to work on building Scelto: The Webseries. The web series gives me the opportunity to do more with visual effects as well as being more creative with designing character costumes for the heroes and villains. It all kind of hit me during the same time frame. When I really got into modeling that was the same time I started to play around with costume design ideas. That was the beginning of me cutting up t-shirts along with spray painting and bleaching jeans for runway shows. I got into photography during summer vacations. If I couldn’t do anything else I always wanted to take pictures of everything just to remember the best moments.
How did you come up with an idea for “Elements of a Fashion Hybrid”? Is there a particular message (idea) you would like to get across to the viewers? The idea for “ Elements of a Fashion Hybrid” came during the time that I was brainstorming on what I wanted to do for my January birthday photoshoot.
“Elements of a fashion hybrid” is a group of creative self portraits allowing me the opportunity to demonstrate my work as a model, a photographer, and designer/stylist. I was able to take the theme of the natural elements of earth, air, fire, and water/ice and use them as a symbolic representation for each element that I feel makes a fashion hybrid what it is. The elements of a fashion hybrid is having the ability to be the model, the photographer, the designer/stylist, and makeup artist all at one time. We always hear people telling us to find one category or interest and focus on one thing. The overall message that I wanted to send out through these images is that people are born with more than one talent. We shouldn’t limit our creativity, we should embrace every creative talent that we have and put it to work, and that is exactly what I did for this series.
Where do your ideas come from? Who or what inspires you? My ideas come from every direction that you can think of, the dreams I have when I go to sleep at night, my favorite movies and television shows, and even my favorite video games. What inspires me the most is nature. There is something about being surrounded by trees or water that allows me to just be free and have a clear mind to create something new.
Who or what in your life has most influenced how you think about beauty and about style? Who is your style icon? Nature has influenced me the most when it comes to how I think about beauty. Some people and some things are just naturally beautiful without having to adjust anything. When it comes to style, I can definitely say that I was greatly influenced by the top men’s fashion magazines. My greatest style icon would have to be Courtney A. Hammonds of Atlanta, Georgia.
How would you define your personal style? Slim, form fitting, and flexible is the best way to define my personal style. Whether I am at home or out somewhere dressed professionally, I need to be able to move around freely.
What do you do to stay in shape? Do you have any health and beauty secrets to share? What is the one beauty product you cannot live without? When it comes to staying in shape I like to keep it simple. I’m not on any special diet but I do walk a lot and do the basic push ups, sit ups , lunges, and crunches. When it comes to health and beauty secrets, I do try to drink as much water as possible and I use a Neutrogena daily face scrub to keep my face clean.
The one beauty product I cannot live without would be Blistex lip balm, it is the only brand that works for me. I can do without everything else for a while but I can’t take that chance when it comes to my lips.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling? Yes, for those who want to start modeling, I highly recommend that you always do your research, always ask questions if you are unsure of something, and most of all be true to yourself no matter what.
Jeffery, what role does social media play in your modeling, photography and designing career? Social media plays a very big role in my career. I see it as a very effective and quick way for my work and anyone’s work to be seen. It is a great benefit when it comes to castings that you might not be able to get to in person.
Where can we see more of your works and get connected? My work can definitely be found on Facebook: modeling as J. Oddysey, photography as Jeffery Odyssey Photography and webseries as SceltoHOA and Instagram @_jodyssey, and @sceltowebseries.
Is there anything you’d like to do in the future? Someone you’d like to work with or something you’d like to accomplish? In the future I would like to see how far the Scelto Web series will go, and I would love to have my own photography and video production business. Whenever the opportunity presents itself I would like to work with all of the people that inspired me to do what I do.
One thing that bugs you about humans is that…? Each person is so concerned about what the person next to them may think or say, that most people are too afraid to just be who they really want to be.
What superpower do you wish you had? Why? I would love to be able to control the weather like Storm from X-men. I could just make it winter for the entire year and as long as it is snow and ice outside then I am good to go. I wouldn’t have to worry about breaking out into a hard sweat whenever I step outside during the summer.
Tell us one thing about yourself people might find surprising. People seem to be most surprised when they find out that I’m actually a goofy person. I love to laugh more than anything.
Thank you, Jeffery.
Published March 2016 Volume II: BUY NOW