Interview with Dorota Kosciukiewicz-Markowska in Make-up Trendy

The interview below was published in the autumn edition of “Make-up trendy” magazine (October 2012). The interview was conducted by “Make-up trendy” Editor in Chief, Kasia Marek. 

K.M.: You started with photography; when did make-up come to the forefront? Or are they still your two equally important passions?

D. K-M.: No, in fact I started as an economist. But make-up has always been a passion. Putting make-up on dolls or girl-friends was a daily thing. Later on, make-up and myself had been just friends, until a certain moment when incredible coincidences reminded me of my passion that had always been close by – about make-up. So I did not have any doubts about making it my occupation and about combining what I loved – playing with colours – with a new and very creative profession. In fact, taking photos came a bit later as a natural consequence.

K.M.:Do you think that a strictly make-up artist background is necessary in this profession?

D. K-M.: Absolutely not. Everyone can be an artist, if they feel it and believe in themselves. And being a make-up artist is an art profession. Here it matters what’s inside one’s soul, a certain mindfulness and first of all the ability to watch and listen. This is something no school can teach. I sometimes think, a bit ironically, that schools often kill our talents by teaching old, repetitive schemes. They can obviously be helpful as basics for beginners, but let’s not forget that true knowledge is everywhere, and it’s best to start with your own inner self and do what’s inside your soul.

K.M.:What did working abroad give you, what skills that you acquired there do you use in your work most often?

D. K-M.: The diversity and absolute tolerance for different things, not just in beauty. It also gave me love for what I do and a certain lightness, because Mexicans pay a lot of attention to making their work pleasant. If work is not pleasant and if it doesn’t have a proper, harmonious atmosphere, it doesn’t make sense to me. Skills? I think the biggest skill acquired in Mexico was patience and the ability to have a different look at reality, where colours and tones can play like a thousand symphonies, without limits…

K.M.:Do you use any specific techniques to create your colourful work?

D. K-M.: I do not have any technique, I am self-taught, which I’m very proud of. For my work I use my imagination in the first place, and it often takes me to Paris of the early 20th century, straight to an atelier of the impressionists of that time, or to a court of a miraculous Indian princess or a steppe queen living in remote parts of the taiga. Inside I am a child and I live in my fairy tales, trying to tell these tales using colours in make-up and fashion-style photos.

K.M.:What is, in your opinion, a recipe for a successful styling? What is important, apart from the idea itself?

D. K-M.: Precision and a thought-out concept. Even the multitude and variety of styling can be beautiful, but on the other hand, enough is enough. If had one word to describe a successful picture, it would be BALANCE. Sometimes there is one thing too much and you can feel a certain disharmony. As artists we should know when to finish our work of art. It is like painting. You can work on one painting forever but you still have to know when the moment comes to put the brush aside after the last touch to the canvas. In our case the canvas is replaced by the face and the entire figure of the model, and often also by what is behind her, the background.

K.M.: Where does your inspiration come from? Each of your works is different in style, though they all have one thing in common, as an invisible signature of the artist on canvas.

D. K-M.: From life, from nature, from playing with colours. Often when I pass by a cosmetics store, something is pulling me in. I see colours whirling in my head, forming a certain image I later put on the model’s face. The rest – that is the very details of the make-up – is a thing of the moment, of the excitement accompanying the act of creation. Many elements are created spontaneously as a natural complement of the whole thing. It seems to me that the common factor in all of my works is courage and absolute freedom of expression. I am not afraid of others’ opinions and judgement, I don’t do anything along someone else’s lines. So my every photo or make-up has this subtle note of freedom, I think. I also think that my 7-year long stay in Mexico was very important for colours and mixing them. Mexico’s juicy colours virtually grew in me and now they explode somewhat unconsciously. And indeed, this explosion of colours, this “palatial” lavishness characterizes most of my work.

K.M.: I know that your “youngest child”, a beautiful, exclusive album “Palace of Colours – Magic of Make-up” will hit the stores very soon. Please tell us about the creative process and the content of the album. How do you think, what will make it stand out in the market?

D. K-M.: It is indeed my long expected baby. What makes it stand out? Palace of Colours. Magic of Make-up is not a typical book on make-up. It is not a step-by-step handbook. It is a very elegant, I would even say exclusive album made to inspire not only make-up artists. Hard cover, gold letters on the cover, gold-covered edges, thick, glossy paper, UV lacquer in main chapters, metallic backgrounds and all of it in a very modern design. Let me add that the album is bilingual (Polish and English) and has 204 pages.

The book is divided into two main parts: Metamorphoses and Fashion make-up. In Metamorphoses I present more than 40 examples of various different daytime and evening make-ups, divided by age groups from teenagers to 50-plus ladies, I also break some of the myths. This part wouldn’t be complete without bridal make-up.

Fashion make-up is a completely different fairytale, and I think that in this context the word „fairytale” is not a metaphor. For every make-up artist it is a feast of colours, tones and textures. Over 90 full-page photos show us that there are no limits for combinations, that everything is possible in our wonderful profession. And I would like to invite everyone who wants to enter the world of my imagination to share this trip with me.

It is a book to look at rather than to read. Although in the “Metamorphoses” chapter there are very detailed descriptions of all the make-ups, the Fashion part is tempting with colours and poetry. As I said earlier, it is a book for inspiration that I would like to have myself.

In this context I hope that Palace of Colours. Magic of Make-up will give wings to those make-up artists who are only starting to grow them and strengthen the wings of those make-up artists who already have big wings. And what can be better than gliding towards the fulfillment of our own dreams? So I wish you all great wings to make your dreams come true.

Thanks for the conversation. I have already seen the album in digital version and it left me with wonderfully impressed. You can look at it many times, discovering your work over and over again. The printed version is, as I know, almost 3 kilograms of inspiration. So we encourage the readers of make-up Trendy to enjoy Palace of Colours. Magic of Make-up by Dorota Kościukiewicz-Markowska. It is worth it!