(Editor’s Note: This interview with model Kay de Courval was conducted back in April 2012 by Tom Heckbert for the now-defunct website Eyestrane.com. It’s been republished at Idol Features courtesy of Tom.)
In Kay’s own words:
Born in Quebec, I grew up admiring models like Gisele Bundchen. I had been interested in modeling since an early age. I always dreamt of walking the world’s runways, but due to my height, I realized this was unlikely.
In 2010, I was approached by a novice photographer interested in building his portfolio to do a photo shoot. Very excited about this offer, I had accepted the opportunity. It was an enlightening experience, as it renewed my dreams to become a model.
In the Summer of 2011, international celebrity/glamour photographer Paul Venomous had taken an interest in me. When I reviewed his work, I was amazed by the beautiful images he had produced. Unfortunately due to living in Wasaga Beach at this time, it was very difficult to get out to Toronto, and it seemed like our paths would never cross.
Once the summer was over, I decided that if I was going to pursue modeling I would need to move to Toronto. As soon as I was settled in, I got in contact with Paul and we had set up our first shoot. Having only done one photo shoot in the past, I was really nervous about working with a professional photographer.
Shooting with Paul gave me a new insight into this industry and all the work and time that goes into creating these images. By the time the shoot was over, I was hooked. The images left me speechless and I had found my new passion.
Where those dreams will take me, we will have to wait and see, but wherever they lead me, I am happy to be doing something that I love.
EYESTRANE: Kay, it is a pleasure to meet you. You have been modeling for only a short time, but you have built up an amazing portfolio. How did you accomplish so much so quickly?
KAY: It all kinda happened at once! Last I remember was being at my first photo shoot not knowing what do to and here I am today getting the chance to shoot with the best photographers and being asked by magazines to be featured. Time goes by quick, that’s for sure.
EYESTRANE: How did Paul Venomous first find out about you?
KAY: I’m pretty sure I fell upon Paul’s work and I was such a fan. At that time, modeling wasn’t even an option for me. I didn’t think it was going to lead me anywhere due to my height and had no idea about just being a print model. I just remember Paul wanting to work with me and all I had in my mind was that I was going to get super hot pictures to potentially show my boyfriend!
EYESTRANE: What was it that you liked about his work?
KAY: I remember looking at Paul’s work and thinking; “Wow, those girls are hot!” Not even just the girls, but seeing his potential to make ANY girl look at her best ….and just the fact that his pictures were so hot!
EYESTRANE: It is obvious you two “clicked.” How important is the chemistry between the photographer and model while shooting?
KAY: Paul made me realize that the chemistry between a photographer and a model is very important. If you don’t have that chemistry between the two, the pictures will turn out much different. You won’t get that “feeling” that comes out of the picture and the emotion you’re trying to get across.
EYESTRANE: How was adapting to Toronto when you first arrived?
KAY: Coming from a small town, Toronto was a very big step, but definitely the step I needed. Living about two hours from the city in the middle of nowhere, it was very hard to build my portfolio. Living in the city gave me more opportunities. It wasn’t that hard to adapt since I’m definitely a city girl at heart.
EYESTRANE: When you were a child, was being a model something you had wanted to do?
KAY: I guess it was always in the back of my mind as a dream, but until I knew it was actually an option, it was never something I strived for, especially as a child.
EYESTRANE: You mentioned Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen as someone you admired. What is it about her you liked and who else inspires you?
KAY: I think it’s her foreign look and her amazing body and eyes! Other people that inspire me are Angeline Jolie for sure, typical Megan Fox, and Adriana Lima.
EYESTRANE: You had an interesting shoot recently with Paintball TV. Are you a paintball player?
KAY: Sure am! I use to be a lot more into paintball and use to compete and it kinda died down since I started modeling. Paintball has always been a passion though and definitely a stress reliever!
EYESTRANE: Tell us a little about your work with Femme Fatale.
KAY: Emily Lyons from Femme Fatale got in touch with me not too long ago to be apart of the lucky ladies which I am looking forward to work with! Unfortunately I haven’t had time to work an event yet.
EYESTRANE: What is it that you enjoy about modeling and can you choose one image of yourself that you think is a personal favorite?
KAY: I think my favorite thing about modeling would be getting to travel and getting to meet such amazing people in the industry and landing magazine features! Such a thrill. My favorite picture is a picture of me taken by photographer Ryan Thomas from Toronto Model Images.
EYESTRANE: I am sure all your shoots have been great but are there any that have stood out because they were difficult or fun?
KAY: My funnest shoot would have to be shooting with Ami James from Miami and NY Ink in Miami with Paul Venomous. Had such a blast!
EYESTRANE: If you were to grow or expand your portfolio what areas do you think you would like to move towards?
KAY: As far as magazines I’d have to say FHM and possibly Playboy!
EYESTRANE: I wanted to ask you about your tattoos. How many do you have and what are they?
KAY: I have 10. 1 & 2: Two verses from the bible on both my forearms: One is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and the other is Genesis 21:22. The first passage is about love, and the second one is about God being with you through everything.
3: The word “love” on the side of my ring finger. Big sucker for romance.
4: “La fleur de lys,” which is on the Quebec flag, on my arm
5: “Shoot, Hang, Win” on my inner bicep. Paintball.
6: Six doves on my chest. Doves are a symbol from the bible for freedom and the soul going into heaven, for my grandfather’s death.
7. Infinity symbol on my right side.
8. Quite decent sized anchor on my left side. Not sure why.
9. “HK” logo under my right boob. Drunk decision.
10. “NASA” logo on my left hip. I was young.
EYESTRANE: Tell us a little about your love for animals and Princess Peaches.
KAY: I’ve always had a soft spot for animals ever since I was really young. I got into doing campaigns for PETA at about the age of 13 and since then I’ve been doing as much as I can to help out with any ongoing cause. Princess Peaches is my cute little chubby guinea pig that I love to death!
EYESTRANE: You have built up quite a large fan base on your Facebook page. How important is it to use social media to promote yourself?
KAY: I definitely think social media these days is probably one of the only effective ways to promote yourself as an aspiring model since everyone uses their computer or phones to check their Facebook or Twitter.
EYESTRANE: Any interesting projects coming up?
KAY: As for projects coming up, I’m headed to Tennessee in June with Paul Venomous to interview Steel Bill (check him out on Youtube!) and for a couple shoots!
EYESTRANE: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
KAY: You can check out my website, like my Facebook fan page, and follow me on Twitter.