To most of us, a makeup artist’s job seems pretty self-explanatory; but we tend to focus our attention on the “makeup” aspect, and less on the “artist.” Patty Rooney challenges preconceptions –a legitimate artist in traditional terms (she paints brilliant portraits), she lends her artistry to everything she does. This certainly includes planning and applying makeup. In this Q&A, Patty shares her fascinating process, going from ideas to ethereal images in a beautiful, thoughful ballet.
RR&Co.: How do you approach a job in the most preliminary stages? Is there anything you really look for in the beginning?
PR: First, there needs to be a story or a theme. So when Photographer, Michael Johnson, asked me to do this with Murphy I started thinking of themes. Looking at my notes from that time, this is what I began with:
◊ Looking the pictures over and thinking about [the model’s] resemblance to the British model Lily Cole, the theme of the English Rose came to my mind…. The English Rose which has inspired poets, playwrights, singers and artists. The English rose that is not without thorns, in fact she can be urban and edgy, she can be a postmodern English Rose….
◊ The lonely English Rose (from The Pretenders’ song) or the Thomas Moore poem….
◊ The Victorian Pre-Raphaelite English Rose from a Rosetti painting….
◊ A Vintage 70’s “black magic woman” kinda rose….
Now, I’m not sure how loud and clear any kind of English Rose thing comes across in the final pics but that doesn’t really matter to me as much as having the FOCUS for the shoot.
RR&Co.: A good theme surely helps “focus” a shoot.
PR: Absolutely. When I paint I may have a literary character or a poem or a line of text, a quote in mind –all kinds of background motivation, right? In the end the viewer is just moved by the image –it doesn’t necessarily occur to them what I was going for. They have their OWN associations.
RR&Co.: How do you think this idea applies to fashion and editorial work?
PR: A good fashion copywriter can make connections to the focus of the shoot, can tie in a great shot that might not readily fit to the theme of an editorial shoot and make the reader go “OK I see it…”
RR&Co.: So where does all of your note-taking come into play in this?
PR: As for my notes… the notes are a rather calculated move on my part –at least for a fashion shoot –because I am a serious researcher/note-taker for my art projects! But it makes sense to approach a shoot like this, for me. I can explore the themes and connect them back to the subject or model. And I thought it would make a cool shot!!! But I did scribble pertinent things down about our 4 shots — the possibilities for H& M-UP, as well as tried to make the notes look interesting in and of themselves for the shot. Here is a pic of them you can see what they say more clearly….
PR: Having said ALL THAT I just wanted to share some particulars on how I prepared for this shoot. It may seem overkill but I am so INTO IT!!!! That is the most important thing. The process…
See full post here: reneerhyner.com/node-feed2012-09-28.