I hope you have had enough time to digest the Gender Issue and enjoyed reading about each ComplexdWoman featured. I am so overcome by the response we’ve had so far, I’ve been grinning harder than my cheeks can handle. Mentioned briefly in my Editor’s Letter, I am extremely excited about my Editor’s Diary and thrilled to be writing my first post. So here goes…
The Making of a Good Cover
I remember the day we received our first piece of angry reader mail, which read, ‘That cover is awful I expected better from ComplexdWoman magazine!’. That email was the turning point for our cover stories because what that angry reader expected was a retouched hyper-colour fashion/beauty shot like every other magazine. ComplexdWoman isn’t every other magazine so we needed to make that clear. The discovery of the ComplexdWoman cover made its début in the form of an explosion of ginger hair and freckles featuring the breathtaking Tarren Johnson in the Love Thy Woman issue . Our cover ethos became ‘raw and real’, words uttered from our very own cover girl Tarren. And, that’s what inspires us the women we feature.
Our current cover girl Skype managed to inspire a whole issue. We created her cover story images in tribute to her African roots. We wanted to draw out a sense of nostalgia in her, which in turn unleashed an honest and open interview. Body Artists Stephanie and Krystal were responsible for the beautiful markings on Skye’s collar. Here is a snippet of the conversation I had with Stephanie about her art form.
Me: It was great working with you on the cover story images. Watching you apply art to Skye’s body with such concentration and passion was fascinating to watch. You pay so much attention to detail, what inspired you to become a body artist?
Stephanie: Well, it all started as a hobby, just something I enjoyed doing on myself. I used to paint tattoos, tribal dots and various designs on my face and body and I received such an overwhelming response that I decided to pursue it professionally. I looked into what the makeup/ body industry lacked and started brainstorming ways I could offer something different. I found my inspiration in the wonders of the world and recently launched iindigo world offering a range of creative services.
“iindigo world’s is a team of young women, from different artistic backgrounds and cultures that share the same ethos. We believe life is magnificent and beauty is individual. We promote self-expression and creativity and steer away from conventionalism”
Me: What parts of the world do you get inspiration from?
Stephanie: So many parts of the world inspire my work, which is why I decided to split it into four categories that represent the iindigo brand. The first is iindigo nature, which draws inspiration from trees, plants and animals. The second is iindigo roots where all the work I do is inspired by culture and heritage, ranging from African tribal work to Asian pattern work. Then, there is iindigo allure, where the individual I am applying the art on inspires me. Lastly, there is iindigo fantasy, which embodies all my imaginations, dreams and ideas. With this theme I can be more theatrical, mythical and colourful.
Me: Sounds interesting! You put a lot of thought into it. Now I can see why the process takes so long. How did you train your mind to have the patience to do this for hours?
Stephanie: Yes! Freehand work can take a minimum of two hours. If I’m doing photo-shoots or events I tend to use stencils that I design beforehand. This helps speed up the process and allows me to have an extra pair of hands while I do the freehand work.
Me: I always say it’s never a chore if you love what you do.
Stephanie: I love everything about what I do! From the planning and prepping to being in my creative zone and applying the art. My favourite part is watching my canvas come to life. When the body art is on people almost transform. It’s such a big confidence booster and it has a feel good factor that makes people smile. If you can make someone smile in a day, then you have achieved something. In my line of work I do that a lot and that’s what I love the most!
Photographs by Frederique Rapier