Interview with Makeup Artist & Body-painter Krystyn Wargo
“If I had one superpower it would be the ability to shoot paint out of my fingers so that I could add a little color to the world when it becomes dull and boring.”
Krystyn, how would you introduce yourself to our readers? What sparked your interest in makeup/body-painting? My name is Krystyn Wargo and I am based out of Fort Bliss, Texas. I started to play with Mehron Cosmetics which is what I use for my body painting about seven months ago. I have always been interested in special effects makeup but did not start attempting to create until I stumbled upon the Mehron cosmetics Instagram account. The main reason I started was trying to find a way to keep myself busy while my husband plays army and getting ready for him to deploy.
How would you describe your style? I am not quite sure how to establish my style. I would consider it to fall into a category of horror all the way to pop art. I enjoy creating new looks and unique expressions of art to express my individuality.
What is the best thing about working in body painting? What do you love most about doing it? Body painting while being very enjoyable just for the pure creation of it also is a challenge because of the increase in skill that you add every time you create a new creature. Like most art it is true self-expression and a chance to grow and meet new people.
The art that you do is very creative. How do you experiment with your work? To be honest most of the time I turn on my favorite music channel and just go. I am very inspired by music and I tend to paint to the beat. Sometimes the painting doesn’t goes as plan but like most things I simply keep trying until I get it right. Whenever I lack inspiration I scroll through different portfolios and occasional painter’s websites in order to create a spark. I will say that I enjoy working with black and white rather than colors.
What’s going through your mind when you’re bodypainting? What motivates you? The motivation comes from pure necessity to create. I have a natural desire to create art whether that be bodypainting, writing, or simply drawing. I find true joy in creating something new and sharing it with the world. Even if something does not receive amazing feedback I still feel accomplished by create something and having the guts to share with the great world of critics.
What are some products that you can’t live without in your kit? I cannot survive without Mehron Cosmetics, paintbrushes, and of course my Canon Digital Rebel. My other important materials would be my studio lighting that I use during the photoshoot and my Adobe Lightroom in order slight tweaking of the final image.
Can you shortly describe a workflow? How long does it usually take to finish one look? The normal process overall takes about an hour. The whole process includes the setup, the body painting itself, the photoshoot, and then finish with the final editing. Some looks go quicker but of course there are certain pieces that require more detail so they takes a little bit longer.
What are some makeup/bodypainting tips you’d like to share with us? The best advice that I can give for makeup and bodypainting is that you should never rush yourself. Also remember the box that you have to step out of in order to create unique pieces, take that box and throw it away. Never live inside the box, your true individuality should never be contained.
What is in your personal make-up bag? For my everyday cosmetic materials I use Urban Decay and Smashbox cosmetic lines. I am firm believer that Smashbox makes one of the best foundations there is to offer. Urban decay offers bold and bright colors that help create vibrant looks. The brushes I use are mostly from the company Morphe Brushes which are my favorite product by far.
Your works are fantastic. Where do you find your inspiration for your makeup looks? Is it your own ideas or others that inspire you in this area? What’s the weirdest thing that inspires you? As far as inspiration goes its everywhere I look. There is no one key inspiring aspect. I will admit though, there are some painters out there that inspire me all day long such as Dustin Bailard, Alex Pardee and Salvador Dali.
Krystyn, what feedback do you usually get about your works? The normal feedback I receive ranges with responses saying my work is creepy all the way to it is beautiful. I am very new in this field of body painting and always enjoy helpful feedback in ways to improve but have not received that. I have recently started a real portfolio so that I can receive more helpful criticism.
What would be your dream makeup project? Well of course that answer is obvious, American Horror Story. The reason I say this is because of creativity that goes into all the unusual characters along with beauty that is mixed in between. Plus with in this show they are always creating something new every season which means challenge. Another great project would be The Walking Dead but I feel that the main focus is zombies without any variety to expand.
If you could work with one person, alive or dead, who would it be? Why? I would love to work with Alex Pardee and create a collaboration between canvas and body paint. His work blows my mind and I would like to see what goes on in that mastermind of his.
What’s something you haven’t achieved but hope to? What are your future aspirations? The next thing in life that I hope to achieve is finish my bachelor’s degree so I have more time to paint. Working 40 hours a week plus school takes away from my time to create, but that’s life. I hope to grow and expand my portfolio with new clients very soon.
Where can we see more of your work and get connected with you? I have a personal page with my works on Instagram but also have a Flickr account with just my works. My Instagram is @Kthanxx and my flickr is Kthanxxx. My portfolio is small and still growing but in order to contact me I would advise to use my Instagram.
What’s the most important thing you want potential clients to know about you? All I can say to my potential clients is that what I do is for pure creativity, passion, and fun. It is not simply a hobby to make money, I love body painting almost as much as food. If you feel the need to escape from reality for a moment and create something please join me.
Best advice you have ever received? The best advice I have ever received was from my grandmother Carol who simply told me that it is always darkest before the dawn and to keep my head up. Life can be hard sometimes and body painting keeps my head away from all the stress. My husband also encourages me to grow and be better which means a lot since he is my main motivator.
Besides painting people what else are you passionate about? I am a person that is passionate about many things but if I had to list of a few they would be weightlifting, school, gaming, and music. I enjoy a challenge so anything gives me resistance I am very passionate about conquering and completing it.
What is the last book you’ve read? Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates by Tom Robbins. I would love to give details but that would not be fair to the book all I can say is it is a must read.
What superpower do you wish you had? Why? If I had one superpower it would be the ability to shoot paint out of my fingers so that I could add a little color to the world when it becomes dull and boring. I would also enjoy that superpower so I would cut my costs down on paint.
Tell us one thing about yourself people might find surprising. It is always hard to choose a surprising fact to share with people you don’t know but I was raised on an ostrich farm in Georgia which sometimes shocks people. I transformed from a southern belle to a tattooed military wife that loves Ska music.