art-trained op-makeup artist Nika Kislyak shared with BeautyHack her thoughts on inspiration, creativity and what makes real pros different.
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When you start doing something professionally, and especially in a creative environment, it is important to understand that you literally need to live your business. What makes one professional different from another? Own vision, unique sense of taste, style and beauty. They are formed in a person with a broad outlook. Everything that we see settles in the visual memory, forms a "baggage" of remembered images in our head.
I am sincerely convinced that it is not enough to be just a makeup artist. If you do makeup, you should not only be versed in cosmetics and be good at shading. Our profession grows out of so many areas - you need to know the history of fashion, the iconic figures of world makeup artists, photographers, supermodels. You need to study your business deeper, broader, more detailed. Travel, go to exhibitions, read literature, watch movies, study art. Be aware of the events, be able to support any conversation, "catch on the fly" the stylist's thought on the set, understand what the team was inspired by before the photo session. Professionalism develops only in the constant process of learning, when you constantly “dig” different sources.
Look for what inspires you. It will not necessarily be something that everyone likes: in creativity and art, everything is individual. You are either "hooked" or not, and there is no third choice. Here are some of the things that inspire me.
I travel a lot, and in every city where I come - Petersburg, London, Milan or Paris - I am sure to look for interesting exhibitions and museums. I look at both the permanent exhibitions - classics, and temporary - new ones. Ideas are born from such a "mix" in my head.
My favorite museum is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This is where I come back again and again.
In Moscow, I go to the Art Gallery of the Countries of Europe and America of the XIX-XX centuries (a new department of the Pushkin Museum), I look at the paintings of the French impressionists. I love the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
If I come to the museum with my husband or friends, I try to watch the exhibition separately - in my own rhythm, with the speed at which I feel comfortable. We usually agree: "I'll meet you in 2 hours on the stairs." And everyone goes where he is interested. When you are at a meeting with art, the main thing is to relax as much as possible. If some picture, even if it is great, does not "touch" me at the moment, I will not be ashamed of this and be dishonest with myself, I will go further. I prefer to spend more time where I feel it is really mine, where I am energized. I notice that tastes can change over time: if before I could stand at some paintings for a long time, now these are other canvases.
I have an art education and it helps me a lot. I advise you to paint for yourself and work for all makeup artists. For this profession, it is very important to at least minimally understand how light and shadow, line, volume work, how complex shades of color are obtained.
Very often, when I watch a movie (especially on the big screen), I find myself looking at how the heroine is wearing makeup in the frame. It seems to me that every makeup artist does this! But, of course, in the cinema I'm not only interested in the picture.
Now, for example, I finished watching the TV series "Genius" about Einstein, which, it would seem, is far from the world of my profession. I saw the TV series "Black Mirror" and "American Gods", "Vinyl" with its 70s aesthetics. The good thing about TV shows is that even with a tight schedule, you can afford to watch at least a series before bed.
I like fashion films and watch them often on the plane. There is a wonderful documentary "Dior and Me" directed by Frederic Cheng, about how Raf Simons creates the first collection for the house of Dior. This film incredibly conveys the atmosphere of creativity, how any masterpiece is created.
I enjoyed watching "Revenge from Couture" with Kate Winslet - the plot is simple, but visually interesting. Actors, outfits, make-up - you watch all this, you get pleasure and involuntarily analyze. You will learn the history of fashion, something that was relevant in different periods of time. And given that fashion is back, you need to know all this. Without realizing what the real 80s looked like, it is impossible to create the modern 80s.
In addition to fiction, you can read something about psychology. A good makeup artist is also a good psychologist. Every time you work, you interact with people, and you need to understand how to behave. Somewhere you need to be able to be invisible, somewhere - on the contrary, to be more active and bright. This is always a kind of dance in which it is important to feel a partner.
I have a lot of followers on Instagram - these are not only makeup artists, but also fashion editors, interesting stylists and just people associated with art. Sometimes they are completely unknown, but with their own interesting taste. Any new picture can lead me to new thoughts and images in my work.
From Russian make-up artists I like Alena Moiseeva - her aesthetics, technique, taste. From foreign masters I love and greatly respect the work of Pat McGrath, especially her old works. Many of them were created for Italian Vogue - admire them like pictures.
I really like Peter Phillips - the main make-up artist of Dior, Karim Rahman - the international make-up artist of L'Oréal Paris, many works by Val Garland, Lucia Pieroni. From young makeup artists, I am close to the art works of Isamaya French - bold, daring and bright.
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Interview and text: Olga Kulygina