Meet Cheyenne Lela Jannise ! Local model and aspiring writer.
My name’s Cheyenne Lela Jannise (soon to be Dugan). I’m a Creative Writing student and art collaborator here in Austin. Inspired by the city’s photography scene, I moved from my tiny hometown in Southeast, Texas a little over eight years ago. A few years after my studies I shifted my focus from photography to writing. Upon my transition I began freelance modeling for talented photographers I had met in order to continue creating photos. Having knowledge in photography and understanding the importance of the subject as well as how to tweak it proved being in front of the camera was easier for me than being behind it.
How did you get started in doing your projects?:
When I was still going to school for photography I lived with an amazing photographer, Dagny Piasecki (co-founder of @shdwstudios). She converted our spare bedroom into a photo studio and began shooting/collaborating in house with many amazing Austin talents, putting me in front of the camera often. She is a model as well as a photographer so she gave me incredible direction and taught me so much about the art in general.
Who are you currently working with, and what do you have coming up?:
I am currently (and always) working with Sara Strick (@saramarjorie). It’s funny, we were also roommates at one point; she had just begun working for Precision Camera and was constantly bringing home studio equipment and setting up in house. We had such wonderful and fun chemistry while creating together we never really stopped. Nearly every month we get together with a rough idea in mind, wander around the city and release creativity together. She’s grown into such a badass photographer, I’m honored to be her muse. She has some magical ideas for our next shoot which is a pretty special one. I’m also shooting with fashion and portrait photographer/videographer Todd White this month in Pink and Silver Fashion. Aside from photos, I’m hair modeling for Spruce Salon in Aveda’s Catwalk for Water, an annual event hosted by Aveda Institutes that promotes clean water awareness through featuring looks that blend style and sustainability. We will be styled in Beehive Boutique clothing and it takes place Sunday April 10 at Mohawk.
What has been your favorite project thus far?:
Definitely being Cuatro Collaborative’s (cuatrocollaborative.com) first subject- although they didn’t become Cuatro Collaborative until the end of our shoot over a beer at Shangri-La. That was really cool to be apart of. Basically Sara and I had an idea for a shoot and went to our girls for hair, Toni Jennings at Propagranda Hair Group and make up, Brooke Hampton (beautybybrookehampton.com); stylist Lauren Neal then hopped on board to pull clothing and by the end of the shoot it was inevitable these 4 girls would join forces on account of how incredible they all worked together.
What are you most proud of thus far (does not have to be modeling!):
I’m most proud of making the decision to continue my education. It was hard going back a little later in the game, especially for art, but I’ve since gained such an appreciation for artists who take the risk of engulfing their lives in studies in order to hopefully one day build a career in the field of their dreams, even if it means struggling for a bit. Going to college is easier right out of high school, but going back as an adult on your own dime makes you look at education in a completely different light.
What role do you think social media plays these days in fashion and modeling? (the good, the bad):
I’ve dealt with both the good and bad when it comes to social media and modeling. All around, if you’re able to ignore the haters, I think it serves wonderfully in the industry. I’ve met a handful of beneficial photographers and clothing owners through Instagram and I’m very grateful for that instant connection. As far as the bad, people can be cruel, especially if the art you’re sharing is unusual to them. I think it’s brave to share work with the world because not everyone is going to love it or understand it so I really appreciate people who do so.
Do you ever get to keep any of the clothes? :D:
I wish! I almost always end up purchasing a piece I’m styled in. Over the fall, before my fiancé and I were engaged, we did a bridal shoot together where I got to wear my dream wedding dress. Would’ve been AMAZING if I could’ve gone home with that! Alas, it was so expensive I wasn’t even allowed to touch it while wearing it, haha.
Do you have a favorite beauty regimen you care to share?:
Pilates. Pilates will change your life. I say Pilates is a beauty regimen because within a few months of initially practicing Pilates, my entire body had entirely transformed. It corrects your posture which makes you appear taller and leaner, enhances your nutrition intake and all around promotes happiness. Aside from Pilates: LOTS of water, 8 hours of sleep and face masks 3x a week. My favorite is Mario Badescu’s super collagen mask.
What are some of your wardrobe staples?:
Boots. Summer or Winter, I basically only wear boots. It’s a Southern thing, growing up my family only wore cowboy boots. I think I kind of naturally adopted it from them.
We saw that you are currently studying writing. Tell us about your educational endeavors:
I’ve been keeping journals ever since I learned how to read and write. Personal writing has always been a form of therapy for me- being so personal, it wasn’t until my mid-twenties I decided to pursue an education in Creative Writing. I hope to obtain my Bachelors in writing from the University of Texas while publishing personal essays. Eventually I’d love to pursue my Masters simply for the sake of continuing my education.
What kind of writing are you working on/ hope to do in the future?:
I’m currently working on submitting personal work in hopes of not only providing a good read but sharing the ‘hard to talk about things’ in order to inspire readers and assure them they are not alone. Many of times reading other’s personal works on topics I have felt completely alone in not only comforted but motivated me entirely. I would love to help people with personal struggles through the art of writing. In the future I dream of publishing a family memoir focusing on the southern culture in which I and my family grew up in. Aside from that, I hope to write more poetry. Over the past couple of years I began studying/reading more poetry and have become so obsessed with the many forms of the art. Everything I work on or aspire to work proves to be pretty blunt; poetry is absolutely fascinating being it’s so deeply personal but leaves the mind wandering.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
In my dirty 30’s baby! Haha I always joke that my 30’s will be my prime on account of how shitty growing into an adult in your 20’s can be, so I’m actually really looking forward to that period in my life! I hope to move (or at least travel extensively after graduating and before attending grad school) but I certainly see myself back permanently residing in Austin within 5 years. Texas forever.