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We Interview Lan Nguyen-Grealis Ahead of Her Book Launch for 'Art & Makeup'

16th September 2015

Lan Nguyen-Grealis has become over the years a bit of a celebrity within the creative industry and has an army of newly qualified make-up artists who would probably chew their right arm off for a chance to assist Lan on one of her shows or shoots. If you don’t already know who Lan is, then read on. 

Artistry Network have the pleasure of interviewing Lan ahead of the launch of her new book ‘Art & Makeup’, and we can honestly say it is one of the most beautiful and inspiring make-up books that has ever graced our make-up shelf. Filled with inspiring shoots and close up photographs, Lan is one of the most talented artists of this generation. 

‘Art & Makeup’ also explores Lan’s personal journey as an artist, and how she made it in the highly competitive world of make-up artistry. The book also features inspiring quotes from some of the most creative minds, past & present. Her work takes inspiration from art, cinema, sculpture and performance to create looks that are astounding, breath-taking and highly skilled. You do not need to be an artist to enjoy this visually stunning book.

 

In your new book ‘Art & Makeup’ you write a lot about painters and artists that have inspired you from a young age. Who is your current favourite artist or painter that inspires you the most & why?
I'm currently really into Bambi and her work of the contemporary message she has in each and every piece of her artwork. I love the fact that it is present and really colourful, but mostly because its believable. I like to think I somewhat have that in my work. 

How did your new book ‘Art & Makeup’ come about? And how long did it take you to produce?
From start to finish it has taken me 3 years. I'm lucky that I have had experience in the publishing world already, so I knew what to expect and how hard it was going to be. It actually came from a 'eureka' moment when I stumbled across a new skill that I hadn't seen before, while working with special effects and Kryolan Makeup. So that was my moment to do something that was different and it ended up being a limited edition cover! The collaboration of the art form and working in 3D started me off.  

A lot of different people from all areas of the industry gave you advice in the early years of your career, what would you say is the most valuable bit of advice that you received?
The most valuable advice was if I wanted to carry on the way I was, I could make a good living. However if I took risks and got PR or an agent behind me there would be no looking back! You can be the best artist in the world but if no one knows who you are you are just a needle in a haystack.

You have worked as a key designer for many shows and events; which show has been your favourite to design and realise?
I love all of the shows and events I work on. Every job is satisfying really as I have a great team behind me. I think my new show for the actual book launch at fashion week has to be the best as its my own show with my own ideas and total freedom to do what I please. But also the most stressful! 

You have worked with countless celebrities, which celebrity is the most creative and experimental with their make-up looks?
My current artist I work with is Paloma Faith and I love working with her as she's always open to new ideas and to create certain characters in her videos. 

Which product have you found that is the most unexpected, but produces the most interesting and beautiful finish? How did you come across this product?
I absolutely swear by the Kryolan Silver Shimmering Vision foundation which is a multi purpose highlighter. It just seems to bring skin to life. Never fails me in my looks. 

This will be an extremely hard question, but which is your favourite make-up creation from your new book ‘Art & Makeup’ and why?
I would say as it has to be my collection of lip works which started out as working in the Pollock style. I love the fact that you can never recreate the look again as its always moving with the gloss. So it's the closest thing as a piece of art that you can only achieve once! 

When creating a look for a creative shoot, where do you start to source your inspiration? Or do you always have a strong vision in mind?
I usually have a strong vision or idea in mind when I have a brief, however once I break it down into products, people, artists, colour and textures then I build up a picture in my head. Nothing specific but lots of variations like a library of looks till the day of the shoot. 

You are well known for the master classes that you hold, and for taking some of these artists on as assistants at your shows and shoots. What do you look for in an assistant?
I look for attitude and skill at he same time but the one thing I notice the most is how helpful and pro active they are. Anyone who can predict and be ahead of me is definitely a keeper!! I think that's the reason you would need an assistant really. 

What would be your one bit of advice to artists that want to be as successful & as creative as you?
Be strong willed and don't give up. Usually if your on the right track the closest people you work with will stick by you and support you. Always strive to be better and work with those who have similar personalities and taste in work, as this will help you build your portfolio the right way.

Lan’s new book ‘Art & Makeup’ is available to buy on Amazon by clicking here.

To find out more about Lan, visit her website lan-makeup.com or, follow her social media streams - FacebookTwitter & instagram.

Author: Hayley Jones

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Nullam nec turpis a leo vulputate sollicitudin. Vestibulum cursus consectetur tortor, quis cond imentum magna scelerisque sit amet. Maecenas vel neque lectus. Praesent quis mi lectus. Etiam et arcu ipsum. Vivamus ornare lobortis odio nec bibendum. Cras mi augue, dignissim ac imperdiet nec, sodales ac nisl. Phasellus consectetur lobortis dolor, id lagreet mauris bibendu.

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