1. What is something not too many people know about you?
I think people don’t know that I wanted to be in fashion when I was a little kid. In a way, it’s been a full-circle journey with that. I didn’t know one thing about the fashion industry when I was a kid, I just felt deep interest and a sense that I might make make sense in that world. Because I studied theatre very seriously, most people assume that’s my top priority and that it’s always what I’ve wanted to do. As makeup artistry has become a larger part of my life, it has felt like something of returning to something I’d forgotten.
2. What are your biggest passions?
My greatest passions are theatre and makeup. To me, they are both extensions of my interest in how people behave and how they display themselves. I didn’t always see makeup as a way of storytelling, but I have recently become so interested in how people choose to present themselves. Even the simplest makeup look tells the observer something about the wearer’s experience and identity, both through what they've chosen to highlight and what they've chosen to conceal. I am continually interested in honing my ability to tell stories through both of these mediums.
3. What are your goals for the future?
I’m not sure I have concrete goals, not just yet. Sure, I have fantasies about designers I want to work with one day, artists I want to assist and collaborate with, and cities to which I want my work to take me (and the clothes I’ll be able to afford to wear to all of these occasions, of course). But in ten, twenty years, I have no idea what I’ll become or who I’ll be. So instead of gripping to milestones I hope to see ahead of me, I just hope I find a way to connect, a way to be true to myself and to share the best that I have to give with other people.
4. What is your definition of success?
Success is finding a way to be at peace with the truth. I’m not sure too many people see it this way, but I’m quite certain there is no greater success than to live lucidly and contentedly at once. I think it’s noble to look for higher meaning through art, but I also think people waste a lot of time in fear of not creating enough meaning, or the right kind. It’s especially true now, when there are so many images tempting us to compare ourselves to those who we assume have a better experience of life than we do. Maybe a practical way to think about success is finding a goal to pursue that you really believe in, and being able to accept the idea that it only means something as long as you keep making the decision to value it.
5. Tell us something about the projects you're working on.
I’ve got an exciting series on the work of the impressionists coming up, with the first works being put out in a few weeks. I’ve been inspired for some time now by the impressionists. To me, their work feels like looking at life as I remember it, through the lens of observation and personal experience. It’s physical things translated into the language of our response to those things. I’m recreating portraits on my models’ faces, as well as fragments of still lifes, to see how these abstractions of life will lay on top of real people, how these images change on three-dimensional figures. So, keep up with me at @andrewryannyc to see some works inspired by Gauguin, Monet, Sisley, Renoir, and Van Gogh (he’s a post-impressionist, but we’ll let that slide in light of his genius).
Featured: Jessica Osber and Sokphalla Ban, Alex Morehouse and Kristen Misthopoulos, Gabriel Suazo and Kristen Misthopoulos, Gabriel Suazo and Kyra Stevens, Carolina Jarufe