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Life and Work with Paula Urdaneta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paula Urdaneta.

Paula, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Ever since I can remember, I have always been a goal-driven person. Growing up as a kid, I was interested in fashion and modeling. My parents have been my biggest supporters since day one and saw my passion from a very young age so, by the age of three, I was put on modeling and etiquette classes for my after school activities. One day, my mom took me to a casting for one of the most important pageants in my hometown. Seeing all the girls there and how much talent they offered made me picture myself in the modeling industry. For the next seven years, dancing Ballet became my true passion and my favorite hobby. One day, my parents gave me the big news that we were moving to the United States, I was barely 12 years old and this was a big change in my life. I was upset that I was going to leave my dance career behind.

When I entered high school, I continued with my dance career and auditioned for the drill team and I thankfully made it. This new style of dance was completely different from Ballet and it was somewhat difficult at first but this experience taught me to be consistent and hardworking to be able to reach my goals. I felt like I had reconnected with my dancing passion so I decided to join a dance studio as well. Even though modeling had always been something I desired to do, I had left it to the side. It was not until one day back in 2017, that a friend of mine invited me to go to one of Houston’s photography meets in downtown where I realized I had to pursue this dream of mine I always had. At the meet, I was surrounded by a lot of experienced models and photographers and at first, I felt insecure because I was not used to modeling in front of many other experienced models but my inner self was trying her best to be confident. I started attending a couple of public and private meetings where I began to network with photographers and therefore, my name started to appear constantly in social media posts.

Later on, my outgoing personality helped me overcome that feeling and little by little, I started to loosen up. In 2018, I auditioned to be in Houston’s fashion show and I made it. All of a sudden, I was walking in a runway along with experienced models, it was an amazing experience and I felt so accomplished. I had a couple of pageants contact me to participate but I was not completely sure if It was going to be something I would like to do until I decided to give it a try at the beginning of 2019 when I had just turned 20 years old, I joined Miss Modelo Latina Houston. In my first-ever pageant, I gained a lot of valuable experience and trained really hard. All that work paid off and I became the first runner up. Ever since then, I have been invited to special events and have participated in many projects such as commercials, modeling for brands and even directing other models on posing during photoshoots. Overall, over the years, dance and modeling have taught me discipline and perseverance, proving myself that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Over the years, I have learned that it is impossible to go through a successful path without facing some struggles along the way. The journey to finding my passion has taught me that it is not about pleasing other people’s desires but it is about following your own dreams and becoming the best version of yourself. For all my fellow sisters starting on this journey of modeling, I encourage you to keep in mind that the greatest challenges often have the greatest rewards. Therefore, no matter how hard it may seem, there is always a way to get there. I am proud to say that I am a Latina who is ready to conquer everything along the rocky road that life is. I want every person who might think that their goals are impossible to accomplish to realize that we are in a country full of opportunities and that it is our job to take advantage of this and continue to grow every day.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I am currently a full-time college student pursuing a bachelor’s degree while taking my favorite hobby of modeling to another level. Having been born in Venezuela and mainly raised in the United States, I would say that what sets me apart is my humble attitude and that I will never forget where I come from. We are all on this planet with a purpose and I want to prove that It is possible to obtain a degree while following your dreams and goals. We never know what the universe will bring to our favor. I am known for trying new things and projects as I like to support other people’s work and collaborate with them. I believe that we are all in this together and that we are all creators. My personal goal is to become my own role model by putting my best effort and building a legacy.

Who have you been inspired by?
The woman who has inspired me the most is my mom. She has taught me to never give up and to be persistent towards my dreams. She has been my number one supporter along with my dad. What I value the most about her is her honesty towards me, from helping me decide on an outfit for a shoot to helping me improve my modeling skills. I value her so much because I know she will always want the best for me. She never was into modeling or anything related to dance but sometimes, I feel like she knows more about it than I do. One day, I was practicing my pageant routine and I was not sure if I was doing it correctly, so I turned to my mother since she is the best at walking with heels and she helped me to improve my confidence when having heels on. We always have the greatest time and I enjoy being her daughter. My mother is the most loving and kind person on earth. I believe the most important legacy a mother can leave to a child is the power of persistence and faith. Believe in yourself and nothing will seem impossible to accomplish.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@Johnmedinaphoto, @dhproducer, @joebryanphotographer, @oaaks, @1qban, @philardoinphotography

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1 Comment

  1. Zula Arroyo

    October 3, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    We love you, you are a beautiful representation of Venezuelan women. The best luck to you!

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