Resides In: Atlanta, GA
Dress size: 14/16
This week’s #FreshOffTheRunway model is the stunning, creative and voluptuous Shanda Ferguson representing for the girls who serve much curv-atude on and off the runway. RowASeat1 ran across this darling while interviewing celebrity designer, Kenyatta Jones of Bella Rene’ (read full interview here), and we were beyond elated to introduce Shanda as our first plus model on RowASeat1.
Posing at 5’9″ Shanda’s feminine features mixed with that ‘Southern Belle’ charm are very easy on the eye. From frame to frame her looks are as versatile as her talents, when she’s not modeling Shanda captures fashion in another way by creating amazing Art. Her ShandART illustrations have been featured on VH1’s Single Ladies, Diddy’s Blog and Essence.com.
Talent begets talent is one of many ways to describe Shanda, the fine artist/illustrator/model, but when asked to describe herself this is what she had to say: “Shanda is on a pursuit of a life filled with happiness, service, compassion and love around the clock,” says Shanda.
There’s nothing more breathtaking than a curvy girl with confidence, class and raw creativity; and Shanda Ferguson chats it up with RowASeat1.com about all things style, fashion, model life and her love of being an artist… Have a seat, and enjoy the show!
RowASeat1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Shanda Ferguson: I’d have to say I’ve been in love with fashion since middle school. The mall days, caring about what I wore because of boys and wanting to dress like the music stars I loved. Watching Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell, to Blossom and Clarissa Explains It All, Clueless, to TLC even…those were pivotal fashion points for me.
RowASeat1: Who is Shanda Ferguson?
SF: One who loves to laugh, smile and feel happy positive feelings, Shanda is on a pursuit of a life filled with happiness, service, compassion and love around the clock. Making others smile, laugh and feel their best is always at the top of my list. Night and day I’m sketching, doodling, striking a pose, manifesting my dreams and planning my next adventure.
RowASeat1: Tell me about your first love – Fine Art.
SF: Art is me, it’s who I’ve been since I could hold a crayon, since I knew what colors where and could do. I always had encouragement to pursue Art. I had clients in the 5th grade, other kids wanting me to draw for their assignments. It’s something I get excited about, Art makes me feel good, it makes me smile. It will always be a part of Shanda.
RowASeat1: You have some very fun illustrations, what inspires you to create?
SF: I’ve always loved drawing people, more of realism, portraits, etc. Combine that with my love of modeling, fashion and drawing. You have fashion illustration. Some inspiration has merely come from my day dreams of being able to own a particular pair of heels or handbag.
RowASeat1: Shanda, I love your portfolio!!! Your confidence is refreshing as well as your wardrobe – Why modeling?
SF: (Going back in time again) Modeling has been a desire since my mom use to have the JC Penny and SEARS catalogs at home. Seeing the kids modeling always had me daydreaming of doing the same, like a place to escape to. I lived in Arizona at the time and my ex step father was in the military.My mom would entertain the possibility some times but it didn’t go further than that. So in high school I looked into it, but living in a small Florida town at that time, there weren’t any modeling agencies available, just a modeling school. Which I could not afford, life happened and I went off to college, and started focusing on my Broadcast Journalism career, but modeling was still on my heart. Once I relocated to Atlanta, that’s when I realized I could actually pursue modeling then. It was real.
The reason why I chose modeling is because it truly helped me with my confidence. In front of the camera, I feel like I’m in another world, like another person at times. Not many realize that there is acting involved with modeling. Plus modeling makes me feel good. I get to meet so many great people, I get dolled up and I great to wear beautiful clothing, that I may never get the chance to wear again.Also, I get the chance to make other women with fuller figures feel confident and proud of their bodies. The first message I got from a young lady, telling me how I was able to help her feel beautiful and more confident, made me tear up. You never know who you are touching on a daily bases. To know I had a positive effect on this young lady’s life was a “Wow moment” for me,
RowASeat1: Describe your personal style.
SF: I love classic, clean yet trendy looks. This summer my goal is to wear a color or two that I didn’t wear at all last year. I love color but I tend to wear a lot of black, blues, creams/beige or Earth tones.
RowASeat1: Which fashion blogs do you frequent?
SF: RowASeat1, God’s Favorite Shoes, Fashionista Next Door, Lipstick Manual, Consider Me Lovely, there’s so many more!!
RowASeat1: Name your favorite artwork. Why?
SF: My favorite piece is my very own, Soul LOVE. It was created with so much love. From the love I needed and wanted to give myself… the love for the technique I learned in high school. That I was using to create with over 10 years later. My Soul LOVE piece was created by a technique called Linocut. The image is drawn on a lino block, the negative spaces are carved out and then the block is inked and then transferred to paper, canvas, etc.
RowASeat1: Who are your top designers and plus models?
SF: Honestly, at this time I don’t have a favorite designer. I enjoy so many independent designers and high fashion designers. Clothes for me, I purchase what I feel good in and of course how I look in it, Lol! Top models, I enjoy everyone!! Being that I’ve been following the plus model industry since the beginning my top models have been in the game from the start, and continue to look more and more fabulous every year. Emme, Kate Dillon, Liris Crosse, Windy Brooks, Tonya Pittman, Jordan Tesfay, Fluvia, the late Mia Amber, Julie Henderson, Ashley Graham and Crystal Rhenn.
RowASeat1: Give some advice for future models or artists who’d like to walk in your shoes?
SF: Believe in yourself, go for your passion and you’ll always feel fulfilled. Work, test, practice and study! This applies to both, never stop learning. Both fields are constantly changing in different ways. You have to stay on top of your game, if you want to be/stay relevant. All of the greats in most fields (art, music, fashion, etc) have always reinvented themselves. Also, look into other areas of your field; you may discover a new love.
RowASeat1: What’s next for you that you can share with us?
SF: My big news that I haven’t shared to many is that I recently signed with an awesome agency in NYC.So a lot is yet to come! I’m so excited to work hard for/in this new chapter of my life. Each year I’m blessed beyond belief with lessons, grow and opportunities. It keeps getting bigger and better –which includes this awesome opportunity to have a featured on RowASeat1! Thank you so much BeBe, I so appreciate you dear!