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Where Calgary’s Comic Book Photo Shoot

By BREANNA MROCZEK

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Makeup artist Lianne Moseley poses with the characters she painted for Where Calgary’s March/April 2015 issue. Models (left to right): Felix Burton (Royals Management); Matthew Davis (Mode Models); Kaitlyn Phillips (Mode Models); Grace Okeny (Royals Management).

In November 2014, I saw Lianne Moseley’s post on Facebook that she had turned herself into animated character Sterling Archer. The 2D makeup effects were uncanny, and in the weeks that followed she painted herself up as She-Hulk and Green Arrow. Inspired by Lianne’s work, Where Calgary decided to partner with her to create a comic book-themed fashion photo shoot for Where Calgary‘s March/April 2015 issue in celebration of Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo’s 10th Anniversary, April 16-19, 2015.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click the thumbnails to see photos from the shoot and behind the scenes.

Lianne is a self-taught makeup artist, with no professional schooling or training. “I was always interested in regular beauty makeup,” Lianne says, “even if it was making mistakes with blue eyeshadow or goth eyeliner in junior high.” For the last seven years she’s worked various retail cosmetic jobs and has been doing freelance makeup for weddings for the past three years. “Doing bridal makeup is so rewarding. I love being able to add to someone’s special day, and I love working with customers,” Lianne says.

Moseley's early work, inspired by Ronnie Mena (@rmena). (Photo: Lianne Moseley, Oct 2013)

Moseley’s early work, inspired by Ronnie Mena (@rmena). (Photo: Lianne Moseley, Oct 2013)

Her interest in face painting started in 2013 when she saw the work of Ronnie Mena, a professional face painter in Los Angeles, on Instagram (@rmena). “A lot of his work is what inspired me to start face painting in the first place. A lot of my first creations were re-creations of his work as a means of practice,” Moseley says.

Then Lianne started following the work of Argenis (@argenapeede) on Instagram: “he turned himself into a 2D comic book-like character. It wasn’t a specific character, but I was inspired by it. One day I was with a friend—Scott—and I was feeling creative, so I decided to try it out and I turned him into a 2D character. It worked really well, and minutes after posting it Argenis commented on my photo and said ‘Awe great job! Cute model tooo [sic]’.  That was really motivating to have him like what I did.”

Makeup by Moseley, inspired by (Photo: Lianne Moseley)

Makeup by Moseley, inspired by Argenis (@argenapeede). (Photo: Lianne Moseley)

When Lianne shared Argenis’ feedback with Scott, “he got kind of cocky, saying no one could make a better looking character than he could” she recalls. “So I got competitive and told him ‘I bet I could be better looking than you!’ I knew I couldn’t make myself into a female character because that wouldn’t be an even comparison. I had just finished watching Archer and thought he was the perfect character to try painting—he’s so good looking. So I just played around with my makeup, trying different shading and blending techniques and it just sort of came together… I even painted on the suit and painted my hair black. I posted the photo to my Facebook page, and at that time most of my followers were just friends of mine. So my brother saw the photo and he posted it to Reddit. I kind of forgot about it, but a day later my brother messaged me to say it was getting a lot of positive attention on Reddit. This was exciting, but then I realized no one knew it was me! My name wasn’t on it, there was no link to my Facebook page—the post was called ‘Girl Turns Herself Into Archer,’ and I was just ‘Girl.'”

Lianne certainly doesn’t have that problem now, with publications around the world reporting on her work. Before she started posting her comic book-style makeup, Lianne had 256 fans on her Facebook page. Just two weeks after the first photo from our shoot went viral, her page had 3,930 fans—she gained 1,000 followers in one day after Ashton Kutcher shared her photo. “The experience has been amazing, overwhelming, and outrageous,” Lianne says. My favourite thing is all the love I’ve been getting from my city (Calgary)—locals have been showing me such enormous supportive and I’ve never been more proud to be from Calgary.”

Lianne attributes her skill and her ability to create the comic book looks without any practice to art classes she took in secondary school and as extra-curricular activities—”there’s a lot of overlap between what I learned in art classes and how I’m able to conceptualize the comic book styles now. Creating the 2D look is all about layering, shading, details, and highlights.” “The comic stuff has been pretty successful—so far I’ve done everything in one take with no practice before. I reference the actual comic book art, so I’ll go look at different pictures of the characters in old comics, new comics, and fan art, and I’ll mix all these different takes and create the character with makeup.” Lianne also says Kryolan Cosmetics are one of the reasons why her comic book makeup has turned out so well: “I’ve never used anything else. It’s an artist brand and it just blends and covers well. It doesn’t crack.” Lianne paints all of the details by hand without the use of an airbrush, and it takes her about one and a half hours to paint a half-face character, up to four hours to do a full face and half-body paint.

What’s next for Lianne? She’s going to continue with her comic book creations and eventually wants to hone her skills in special effects and in makeup teaching and training. “As long as I get to be a makeup artist and get to create and have fun and not be limited, that’s the dream.”

Keep an eye out for Lianne at the Calgary Expo—she’s painting herself as Jean Grey, and will also have a booth where she’ll be demonstrating her work.

Comic Book Photo Shoot Credits:
Photographer: Neil Zeller
Photography Assistant: Katie Novak
Makeup Artist: Lianne Moseley
Hair Stylist: April Jones of Diva SalonSpa
Stylist: Tianna Stevenson of Nordstrom and Kierra McIntyre
Models: Matthew Davis of Mode Models; Kaitlyn Phillips of Mode Models
Felix Burton of Royals Management; Grace Okeny of Royals Management
Clothing provided by Nordstrom Chinook Centre and Supreme Men’s Wear
Makeup provided by Kryolan Cosmetics
Location: Calgary Tower
Hair and makeup room provided by: Fairmont Palliser

 

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