exclusive interview with hilde marie johansen


  • international interview

this week we grab a short interview with the well-heeled hilde marie johansen, makeup artist from bangkok, thailand, extraordinaire and all around miss perfectionist. she is a very popular creative makeup artist, is an co-founder of scandinavian makeup academy together with eva bartels thomsen, indeed having worked with the industry’s big guys. hilde is not only associated with creative makeovers, she has stepped up into a position of training and building professionals of her own field.

Hilde Marie Johansen






Hi Hilde please tell us a little bit about yourself, your history and how you came to be where you are today!
Hilde : Well, I come from a little town called Larvik in Norway were I started off with studying sewing and design.
It all happened when a great Instructor Mr.Nils-Christian Ihlen Hansen came to held a short course for myclass. He was the owner of one of the biggest Fashion schools here in Norway,named Esmod.
He gave us an personal project to make a inspiration board with any kind of inspiration as colors/ hobbies/ materials/ persons who inspired us. While he walked around our class room he saw somebody liked nature, other liker military prints, some liked  animals and so on. Then he stopped at my desk where he almost got blinded, it was a explosions of glitter,colors,crystals,golds and extremeness. He got quiet for a few seconds that felt like minutes) and said "You are in the wrong part of the world my dear; you have to go to Asia! This is where you will find the source of your inspiration and grow! " Well, he was definitely right: I am so glad I followed what he said and came to Bangkok.After doing a Makeup Course in Oslo,Norway in 2007 I booked a ticket to Bangkok,Thailand and started at Kalawin International Fashion School. From there I was making my own costumes and had the benefit to also do the makeup.But it all started off with that some models asked to rent my dresses for their private shoots and one day some was looking for a makeup artist and I said I could help out. That`s when the ball really unexpected started rolling. I never thought I would fall into the makeup industry here in Asia, I was so focused on design at that time.Also another big impact on my life would be thanks to the great and famous photographer Manuel Libres Librodo who came over some of my work online, he message me. Manuel and I have teamed up for years now. Leading to some creative explosions in photography portraits and to a great friendship so I have to thank him for a lot. Another big step for me was back in the end of 2013 I met this amazing makeup artist, Eva B.Thomsen who shared the same dream as me, to open a Makeup Academy here in Asia. Three months after we open Scandinavian Makeup Studio in Bangkok as our first Academy and we are now expanding it to Denmark and other places. It`s been a huge success and we had more than 23 different nationalities so far.
 

Hilde Marie Johansen
 
Where are you currently living? And where are you working from?
Hilde: At the moment I'm in Norway for a holiday visiting friends and family and I am also holding some lectures about my life and how the road has been so far to other students. Im hoping that my stories and thoughts can also inspire othera young creative souls out there. Beside that I have also done some short courses about creativity and fantasy techniques in makeup.
 
What/ who got you interested in Fashion Makeover, Styling and Media Industry?
Well I was also that typical child who also loved to play with barbie dolls. BUT I thought it looked some stupid and humiliating when I was sitting down with my friends in a ring playing and pretending that they could talk. I would rather instead sit on the side and change their clothes, decorate them with my color marker and fix their hair. I used to love that. After that I got a passion for colors and anything that sparkled. I was so fascinated over colors from cartoons on tv like Little mermaid, Rainbow Brite and Carebears etc. So when I started to study design I got my eyes open for that makeup and styling/design goes hand in hand. For me they have to match and tell the same story.
 
How did you rather individually style or materialize your ideas? Any inspiration?
Hilde: Well this is what I try to learned my students. To seek out for inspiration. It is all around us If you just learn to “see” and be open to this world. The texture and lines from an old tree or the colors in a beautiful sunset can be created to something original that comes only from inside of your mind. This is the door that needs to be unlocked. If you can come beyond that door the sky has no limits. Personally I get inspired from nature, materials, cultures,animals etc.
 
Do you work up a lot of your ideas on dummy models first or go straight to the show?
Hilde: Well, sometimes I paint my poor husband to test out color combinations or textures or other techniques. Must say I got the most patient husband in the world. But I mostly improvise. When I start off with a concept it can develops to other things during the process before the shoot normally. I like to surprise people!
 




Do you work up a lot of your ideas on dummy models first or go straight to the show?
Hilde: Well, sometimes I paint my poor husband to test out color combinations or textures or other techniques. Must say I got the most patient husband in the world. But I mostly improvise. When I start off with a concept it can develops to other things during the process before the shoot normally. I like to surprise people!
 
We imagine your work would look great! Do you have any plans to take your work beyond any direction?
Hilde: Well I have been doing tons of different concepts with various styles of makeup`s/styling/props and costumes in the photography world for a while now. So I'm dreaming about to step into another platform; music videos! Would be amazing to create extreme costumes/props and makeup designs for music video or other creative projects.
So this showreel I did together with this talented videographer Simon Kolton was just the first step to try out. 
So this showreel I did together with this talented videographer Simon Kolton was just the first step to try out.
 
Would you describe yourself as being a perfectionist?
Well personally I am a mess, haha! But when it comes to makeup & styling I am obsessed about details. If the accessories are hanging wrong or there is wrong symmetry in the makeup for example it can irritate the worst out of me. So when it comes to that field I would say yes I am a bit of perfectionist.
 
How do you find working with recent clients…do they give you creative freedom?
Well I am so lucky that 90% of the clients who contact me wants me for their projects because of my style and gives me absolutely 120%freedom. The trust bound is amazing!
 
Please tell us what motivates you?
For sure the finish result. I don't how many times of sleepless nights and running around crazy and dehydrated to get the right materials the thought has slipped my mind that I most honestly have to say to myself that I maybe should slow it down a bit.
But there on the shoot, when dressing up and the makeup is done and the model see`s herself in the mirror and I hear those three little words coming out of her mouth,  “w.o.w”.
That`s what lift me up, the photographer and teams reaction and excitement that also gives such a great energy to the shoot.
 
How do you relax when you are not working?
Relax? What`s that? Haven't you heard that creative minds never sleeps! hehe. Well hmmmm gosh yes what do I do. Well I love to go to the movies. That's the place I can totally zone out and enter another world. Laying on the beach? Forget it! Then my brain starts running totally as a machine.
 
What would be the best tip you could give other people seeking to work in the creative fashion make over?
To be original and to be nice. It`s so important to be nice. Nobody would ever like to work with you if you have a terrible attitude no matter how talented you are.
Almost every brand requires a female model as ambassadors, what do you do to keep each project differently?
To search for different inspiration and to be open for challenges.
At what point in your life did you start to concentrate on the creative fashion make over and production? Was it a natural evolution (something you were compelled to do) or were there specific influences and situations involved?
I think I have always been stuck`ed in this world of mine between reality and fantasy. As I mentioned the barbie dolls was maybe the start.
 
Can you name a few BIG projects in line? Or you rely on day to day activities?
Well the main project beside my creative shoots now is the The Scandinavian Makeup Studio, our school. So many plans and exiting things are happening.
 
Any plans for coming into Pakistan Fashion Industry?
Oh, yes this is definitely on my list too!
 
Thanks Hilde, it was lovely talking to you, any tip for your fans and followers?
Just wanna say Thank you so much for your support and appreciating what I do. It really warm my heart. Thanks for letting me be me by doing what I do.