Like the canvas is to a painter, the human face lends itself to the creative abilities of a makeup artist. As a blank slate, curvature, face structure and eyes allow for originality to bloom from the delicate strokes of the brush with a precise finger and eye.
Internationally renowned makeup artist, Debra Kelly, was born in Melbourne, Australia and has worked globally with a large portfolio of teams and celebrities, creating eye-catching and dynamic art on the clients she has worked with.
After moving to Calgary, Kelly’s skill for the art and precision for perfection catapulted her talent to a commodity needed in the community.
“Since moving to Calgary three years ago, I soon realized my skill to transform others was a valuable tool,” Kelly said. “There were no restrictions and I could express my art in any way, shape or form.”
“I learnt very quickly that I possessed two key ingredients; the love for makeup and a natural free flowing creative flare that had the power to communicate to others.”
Working with international models such as Mathew Stephen Smith from America’s Next Top Model, Kelly’s worldwide experience has proved a sought-after talent within the industry. Locally, Kelly has planned and orchestrated many unique photographic sessions with a professional team of photographers, models, videographers and stylists.
Being inspired by new innovative products, Kelly “purchased Kryolan UV Glow makeup whilst back in Melbourne, Australia” and begun her creative journey in developing a high-end editorial photo shoot with makeup that glowed in the dark. Her team and ideas quickly developed into a professional group of talent.
“I prepared my mood board with pictures that inspired me and asked Greg Gerla, a commercial and fine art photographer and instructor at the Alberta College of Art and Design, to help me out,” Kelly said.
“Working with Greg is like working with an extension of my own creative soul and he helps my visions and ideas comes to life.
“Greg is incredibly skilled at his art with years of experience and exceptional technical ability.”
Calgary based model, Mitch Wiebe of Edge Agency in Regina, Saskatchewan, was taken on board to be apart of the creatively inspiring photo shoot.
“My subject Mitch Wiebe, I met briefly two years ago and we never really spoke,” Kelly said. “But I always was intrigued by his bone structure and piercing blue eyes.”
“For me, it was a no-brainer to have him on board.
“My team was complete and the ‘Terrible-Three’ hooked up to create visually appealing images.”
The five-hour shoot allowed for the entire team to proactively photograph the theme in stages by adding small amounts of perfectly applied ultra-violet makeup on the subject. Each new application allowed for more compositional play by the model and photographer to attain the perfect image.
“I did have my own personal challenges with working with ultra-violet glow makeup,” Kelly said. “But once one understands it, the real magic starts and I think collectively, we achieved what we wanted.”
“It was a free flowing, easy shoot.”
With the efforts and open collaboration from the entire team, each individual worked hard with one and other to promote and succeed at the shoot.
“Mitch was a real trooper, putting up with me splashing him with layers of makeup and he went above and beyond to work with me to do whatever it took to create the best possible image,” Kelly said.
“In front of the camera, he exploded with countless poses and I would not hesitate working with him again.
“One word sums up Mitch; professional.”
By the shoots end, the entire team saw a once blank canvas and idea become a beautifully original work of art through experimental trial and error.
“The shoot was so much fun and somewhat messy, but exceeded my own expectations.
“What is Debra Kelly Makeup? [It’s] anything you want it to be!”