A couple of weeks ago I teamed up with Alysander De Djinn Photography and my gorgeous friend Jordan for a little creative play day - inspired by the delectable works of Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton. The shoot was a fun way for Alysander and I to work together, for me to finally get my amazing friend to model for me before she leaves the country indefinitely and to test out some ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while now.
I commenced work on a huge backdrop painting a week before the shoot - taking inspiration from elements of Del Kathryn Barton's amazing collection of work. Utilizing an old projector screen I happily scored in the local hard rubbish week I busied myself drawing, painting, styling and cutting a wig and making props up until 2am on Saturday morning when I realized I'd lost all sensitivity in the tip of my right thumb...which no, still hasn't returned!!!
To be frank it was an AWESOME day of shooting - one of those happy occasions where picking the final photos is almost impossible as there are just far too many you're in love with.... We're hoping to have the final photos ready, edited and printed to be exhibited at the RAW Melbourne: Revolution showcase on the 23rd April :) If you fancy popping along tickets are a mere $15 and available here: http://www.rawartists.org/elvisschmoulianoff
Ladies and Gentlemen and everyone in-between - I am proud to say that my first stop motion experiment is finally complete!! It has been a rather lengthier process than originally anticipated but well worth the journey as I have learned a considerable amount about makeup, photography, lighting, animating and editing along the way - lessons I very much intend on carrying forward into the next installment :)
Painted is in essence an experiment that I embarked on in how to best animate body art and an attempt at giving a creative medium that I adore it's own personality. Along the way the paint started to take on a life of it's own and proceeded to lead me on a little adventure that pays homage to the many amazing artists who have inspired me over the years. The first few sequences were roughly storyboarded and went through several major changes as I started to learn more about what I was doing - whereas the latter came from moments of inspiration and developed more organically in a spur-of-the-moment kind of way.
Though I originally had a very different idea for the audio I found that the tempo of Flow Motion by my lovely friend Square One helped to give the images momentum they needed to keep ticking over happily. In the end I got so used to using the track when I showed the unedited version to friends or family that it became entwined with what I was doing and it therefore seemed fitting to scrap my initial ideas and keep it with the final cut :)
The animation has been online for a week or so now and I'm happy to say that despite it being just a silly experiment I've had some lovely feedback - including some very kind words from two of the incredible artists whose work inspired it :D
Having spent the last few weeks in Sydney working with some amazing makeup artists on Unbroken - an amazing true story adapted for screen by the Coen Brothers and directed by Angelina Jolie - I am all set to return to the wonderful Metropolis of Melbourne for the Christmas season. I've made some wonderful new friends and caught up with some splendid people I knew already - without whom this last stretch would have been absolutely impossible!!! To say thank you to my amazing friend Charlotte I spent the last few days devising and painting props for a fun little shoot to turn her into the Statue of Liberty. This is the second in what may well become a little series of ideas aimed at transforming the hilly slopes of the human canvas into a flat surface through paint props and photography.... More to come soon!!!
Roll up roll up all ye who dare and meet Don Alacrán - the twisted skeleton ringmaster who
lured his crew to death & a pact with Santa Muerte that would keep them partying, performing and
guzzling tequila until the end of time....
Just before leaving England this summer I organized a video shoot with Happy Slap Boutique and Fresh Cut Media to showcase one of the characters from our Boomtown Fair venue: El Espectáculo Esqueleto!!!
Inspiration for the character was drawn from Day of the Dead iconography, entwined with circus and embellished with ideas that sprung from Joe Fur's amazing mural which appears in the background for sections of the video. The candles emenating from the skeletons' heads in Joe's art were of particular inspiration so I endeavored to incorporate this element into the character through the costume. I spent a couple of days embellishing and decorating a top hat and constructing a pair of epaullets from various materials that could be attached to the shoulders adding a stronger silhouette to Don Alacrans painted jacket. All were topped with an array of candles which were detailed with paint and lit for sections of the filiming.
Due to time restrains with the location there wasn't as long as I'd have liked to do the painting but Grace McComisky, Tash Hobbs and I did what we could in the time allowed before our amazing actor Jason Wilkinson and his insanely expressive face dove into the depths of the character. Our new friend Pieter Snyman of Fresh Cut Media filmed (and subsequently edited) the video while the amazing Scott Salt got handy with his camera and produced some beautiful on set photographs.
Massive thanks go out to everyone involved including Balkan Beat Box for allowing us the use of their track (which can be downloaded for free here), to Mike Freear for finding and editing the track for us, to Markus for letting us use the location in the Coronet Theater, and to Dan for all of his help and directive input :D You're all amazing and thank you for helping bring Alacrán to life!
So it's that time of year again !! All the ghouls and ghosts are coming out to play - accompanied of course by the obligatory van loads of slutty nurse zombies - and for this one glorious day the population goes fancy dress and makeup crazy!! I love Halloween - especially in London where alas, I am not... So this year I decided to mark the occasion by testing out some makeup ideas, inspired by the MAC Halloween Competition. This year Makeup FX legend Rick Baker (whose work has earned him a staggering 12 Acadamy Awards!!!) created three different looks using MAC products and challenged everyone to emulate their favorite in their own style. Amoung the three is a gorgeous 'Monster's Bride'' inspired of course by the Bride of Frankenstein :D Rick did a wonderful beauty makeup embellished with painted stitches which he gave dimension to through the clever use of shading and highlighting, all topped off with a fantastic deadlocked wig.
I spent a while pondering how best to emulate this without directly copying it and ended up deciding take the Bride and put her into a comic book world. I spent a day getting everything ready - making a huge painted headpiece to use as the iconic striped wig and painting up a canvas with Tesla coils and bolts of lightening so she had a fitting background. In doing the actual makeup I ended up deciding to move the stitches - though I absolutely love Rick's placement of them I thought they'd end up getting lost in my shadowed areas so instead I let run parallel to the black and then follow the contour lines on the nose. The whole thing was so much fun to do and has already given me a tidy little stack of ideas for future shoots :D
This year's Boomtown Fair was once again an undeniably epic weekend of magical mayhem which I again spent working with Happy Slap Boutique. This year we moved from the chill out field into the city's new Latin Quarter aptly named 'El Barrio Loco', an area with a "fearsome reputation as the most full on party in town." To merge in nicely with the Mexican theme we presented Él Espactaculo Esquelto'' - a Day of the Dead themed skeleton sideshow which culminated in our biggest ever bodypainting project on the Sunday where a multitude of Happy Slappers got involved to produced seven skeleton bodypaints! For this skeleton extravaganza I painted the wonderful Miss Lizzie West who also posed as my canvas at last year's Boomtown and did a wonderful job of modeling both the bodypainting and the Die de los Muertos wig I made earlier in the year. The day before I also collaborated with Grace McComisky on a skeleton mermaid bodypaint that was done as a live performance on the stage of our venue during the day, modelled by the wonderful Gemma Hayley Daubney. A HUGE thank you to Scott Salt for all of his amazing work behind the camera - you sir are a legend!
More photos of the wonderful weekend with Happy Slap Boutique at Kendall Calling, courtesy of the wonderful Mr Michael Marks :D
Summer in England means one thing above all else - madness, mayhem and serious creative indulgence with the one and only Happy Slap Boutique!! We started the season at Kendall Calling - a lovely little festival near the divinely lush lake district - where we spent an absolutely beautiful weekend fully embracing the horror genre to accommodate this years movie based fancy dress theme. My fairly obvious love of circus imagery was fully indulged over the course of the weekend and culminated in an evil clown bodypainting which my fantastic model Delia fully rocked on stage on the Sunday night. A huge huge thank you to the entire Happy Slap family - especially to one Mr Michael Marks who is without a doubt the most amazingly committed photographer I've ever worked with at a festival - absolute legend!!!!!
For more photos of the weekend, including some beauties of our performers in action check out Happy Slap Boutique, and I'll have more photos from Kendall and our skeleton extravaganza at Boomtown coming your way very very sooon....
What's exciting about today? Well yes there's Easter and bunnies and plenty of chocolate but also the long awaited season 3 of Game of Thrones!! I for one am a huge fan of this show, the story, the script and the character development are just brilliant - and then there's all amazing work by the makeup and art departments. The White Walker makeups are especially fantastic - when I first saw them I was convinced it was CGI so was absolutely overjoyed when I discovered that it's actually the amazing work of the prosthetics team. To celebrate the release of season 3 I decided to spend some time playing with my paints and emulating the King(?) Walker using brush and sponge. I had an old white wig lying around with a knotted lace front that I made waaaaay back in my first year of uni - so whacked that on and used some cotton wool for the beard. As I didn't have contact lenses I used my limited photoshop skills to borrow the real Walkers eyes and the background. Hope he doesn't come and get me....
After yesterday's little experiment I decided to have a play with another of the photos and add in some extra stars around the portrait to try and make it a "whole" image. My Photoshop expertise aren't exactly up to the standard I'd like them to be but think it works ok none the less :)