Interview with Dorota Kosciukiewicz-Markowska in

Interview with Dorota Kosciukiewicz-Markowska in

We present a unique interview with the author of the album entitled Palace of Colours. Magic of Make-up, make-up artist Dorota Kosciukiewicz-Markowska: about her early career, tricks and inspiration. The interview was conducted by’s Editor in Chief, Agnieszka Zembrzycka.

A.Z.: When did the decision grow to make the art of make-up your way of life?

D. K-M.: The decision didn’t grow – it was an impulse, but also a conscious choice. make-up was with me ever since I can remember, but I had never thought about it in a professional context. I liked to put make-up on dolls in the first place, then on my girl-friends. I always treated it as a game, some kind of hobby. But one day in Mexico I came up with this crazy idea to become a make-up artist and I didn’t hesitate even for a moment about entering that path. I will not reveal here all the details that accompanied that decision, as they are described in the novel Effortlessly (“Bez Wysiłku”), inspired by my story, and telling amongst others about my beginnings in this profession. For those who have not read it yet I can just add that Effortlessly has nothing to do with make-up, but there is a lot about the idea of looking for oneself and one’s own place on earth. About what is hidden behind this enigmatic notion of “happiness” and how to find it in this crazy world. If the main character of the novel managed to find it, everyone can. It suffices to dream and to be determined and consistent in walking towards what is playing in our souls. And it was the idea of becoming a make-up artist that played in my soul at some point, and I simply “chose” this profession, plunging slowly but consistently in the world of colours, tones, textures, and magazine-cover beauty.

A.Z: What was your road to such perfection like?

D. K-M: I was just doing only what I liked. And I wouldn’t like it to sound arrogant, but I really had set very concrete goals for myself and I aimed at them. I cannot even say that it was hard work, because performing a job that I enjoyed so much, I felt that I was having fun, even though the work would last from early morning till late at night. I was probably very lucky to have started my make-up artist career in Mexico, where the mindset is different and people have a very relaxed and spontaneous attitude towards their work. Then it’s easy to implement your own ideas, as the entire team is flexible, from the photographer and the model to the make-up artist and the hair stylist. We formed a well-working team and jointly we learnt our professions, perfecting it each in his or her own field. As for combining the colours, I was lucky again to be in a place where the world explodes with colours. Although looking at our golden Polish autumn it is hard not to stop by to take a look at these magic colours. Nature is the greatest artist and its close observation is the biggest source of inspiration. And if you do something with such an inspiration, you get closer to perfection.

As for the technique itself, I am an eternal pursuer. If a product doesn’t satisfy me, I combine cosmetics that often should not be combined. I combine colours that some believe should not be combined. I’m a bit like a child and I do what’s in my soul, paying a lot of attention to every detail. Because in beauty or fashion photos every little mistake or slip of hand results in something being not right. In my make-ups the hand cannot slip. Often when make-up artists come to me for training, we start with drawing a straight line with an eyeliner on one’s own hand. You know how difficult a task it is? But if you cannot draw it on the hand, how can you draw a straight line on the eye, with such limited space? Very often we have eye shadows already applied, so there is no way to correct the line.

For training in shading I recommend simple crayons for kids – let’s use them to learn how to shade the rainbow. Let the colours flow ideally! If we succeed, shading the eye will be very simple. And in such a way every make-up artist can be a true artist if only they believe in themselves. You have to practice, practice and practice again – if possible, on many different face shapes and colours of women of different ages. And some say practice makes perfect.

A.Z: What was the most difficult thing on this road?

D. K-M: I didn’t have any difficulties. I have always made conscious choices, and even my coming back to Poland, which seemed rather difficult in the beginning, as I was coming back to Szczecin, where you don’t find big fashion sessions, resulted today in my album Palace of Colours. Magic of Make-up. I am sure that if I was living in a big city, I wouldn’t have the time to write it, to take so many photos and to prepare it to this fantastic form it is in right now. I think everything happens for a reason. What you need is an always optimistic attitude towards various twists of fate, and the road itself should be treated as a never-ending passion and magic of creation. You cannot fall for illusions that the goal is waiting in a distant future. The goal is the present, so if today, as make-up artists, we create the achievement of a lifetime, it will be a very happy day. Let’s not pursue the enigmatic and unpredictable future, but let’s stick to the present and we will be happy every day, creating our new work. And this way the road will never be difficult.

A.Z: Whose idea was it to publish an album with your work?

D. K-M: Mine. The idea was born in Mexico. Already back then I knew what it would be entitled. But it was a very long process lasting many years. Because the photos for the Fashion chapter were created over the last 7 years. For the last 2 years I had sessions non-stop, because in order to choose the best material you have to prepare much more of it. The very idea of the book appeared when I noticed there was nothing like that on the market. And I wanted so much to have something exclusive in my hand, something I would come back to and something that could inspire my hungry soul. It is not to say that there are no inspiring photos for me, because even among our Polish MUA’s we have real artists. But it was possible to find something in one and something in another magazine. And what I wanted was one, big compendium of not just knowledge, but also magical photo productions for make-up art inspirations. Some kind of push towards my own pursuit. Food for thought about combinations of colours and textures. As I didn’t know anything like that, I decided to make such a book myself. As for the publication itself, I wanted to supervise the entire production process, so there was no other option but to do it here in Szczecin. That way I could have complete influence on everything, on the choice of a great graphic designer, an equally great editor, translator into English and – first of all – Kadruk print house, who lived up to the task and produced a real gem on a great international level. If I had published it in a “regular” publishing company, I wouldn’t have had such an influence on the shape of the album, and the readers certainly wouldn’t get the album in the form it is in today. Because the whole thing is exactly as I wanted it to be and I am very happy with it.

A.Z: Where did you take ideas for make-ups in „Palace of Colours” from?

D. K-M: From life. From its every form and from every minute I was given to exist on this planet. The most important are not the ideas themselves, as the readers of this article certainly have a lot of them, but bringing them to life! Let’s not be afraid of judgement of the others. Let’s feel what we really want to show to the world and let’s do it with total passion. It’s enough to open up, listen to yourself, and inspiration will come, offering us a countless range of different combinations. Let’s get inspired by others’ work, that’s what it’s for. That’s also what trends are for. But let’s always look for our own way, because a copy will never win a confrontation with the original. It doesn’t stand the chance. The original has freshness and soul, and the copy, although it may be equally beautiful, is empty as a finished cup of coffee. And there are countless colour combinations, just like in music. So we can be creators, artists who will never copy even their own work. Even if we had twenty models for the same fashion show, with the same make-up scheme, each make-up can have a touch of uniqueness. Then we will never get bored, as we will be always and everywhere happy that we have such an interesting and creative profession.

A.Z: Where do you look for inspiration for your work?

D. K-M: As I have said earlier – everywhere. The ideas appear mostly in the morning, just after waking up. The colours whirl around and appear as if from nothingness. They create a base on which I can work. The rest is created spontaneously. I let myself get carried away  by the moment and spontaneity of creation. Of course a big influence comes from the whole styling and the model, or even emotions on the day. And when putting on the make-up I don’t follow any rules. I open up for the whole potential of possibilities and listen to my soul.

A.Z: What make-up, what technique is the most difficult for you? Or which of the make-ups presented in the book posed the most problems or required the most work? And why?

D. K-M: You arrive at everything in steps, slowly. We cannot expect a 6-month-old child to be able to walk. The same applies to art. It must develop over time, at its own pace. Right now there is probably nothing that would be difficult for me. Time-consuming – yes, but not difficult. But what is sometimes difficult is that I am a one-man band – after several make-ups and photos I take myself in my own studio I feel completely exhausted. Exhausted but happy. As for the photo that took me the most time and was “troublesome” in a way, it was the cover photo for Palace of Colours. Together with Karolina, the model, we had the whole day to take just one photo! I exactly knew what I wanted, and even though the make-up might not look complicated, please believe me – it was complicated. And it was difficult to take one perfect shot with all the gold in it. Please note that the model’s face is painted gold with a texture similar to acrylic paint. And this additional, spontaneous “brainwave” was the decision to cover the whole face with gold chips. That’s when the magic started, the magic that you can see on the cover. This photo hypnotizes. It was worth to devote the whole day of work to just one photo – it is like that sometimes.

A.Z: Do you have any advice, words of wisdom for potential future make-up artists? Please tell us how to achieve such artistry?

D. K-M: Don’t be afraid! Take the brush in your hand and try, try, try. In the beginning I worked almost for free, but the most important thing for me was practice, working with many photographers and different faces. A side effect was that I could take a close look at the art of photography and later on I was able to do photoshoots on my own. Let’s think in long term, but let’s also stick to reality and not forget that our next photo can be the one that will open the way to completely new possibilities, thank to which our prospects and possibilities of future work can change. So let’s always work with our entire soul!

A.Z: Dorota, many thanks for the interview. I have to admit that I haven’t seen such a beautifully published album for a long time and I hope you will achieve market success.

D. K-M: Thank you too for the conversation.