Anastasia Durasova’s work is mindblowing. She works with some of the coolest photographers in the world to create images for publications including GARAGE magazine, VS, L’officiele, and Glamour. A New York City-based makeup artist and body painter born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Durasova dreamed of being a doctor as a child, but turned her obsessive, process-driven sensibility toward color and makeup, and is now is a frequent collaborator of famed designers Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh.
Durasova won “Best Film” for Kiss of a Siren by NuMe at the at the International Fashion Film Awards (2015), and is presently working with photographer Reka Nyari on a series titled “The Venus Project.” Durasova is represented by The Wall Group in North America. She was kind enough to tell us a bit about her work, her life, and her approach to creating a pristine image.
To connect with Anastasia Durasova check out her site at adurasova.com or follow her on Instagram @adurasova
You are a commercial makeup artist and body painter. Why do you do this?
I fell in love with bodypainting at the age of 15, but back then it was just a hobby. I never expected it to become my profession. Somehow it has happened. Jobs began to come, along with money, and I just kept doing what I love the most. I guess that’s the answer—I love doing makeup and bodypainting. And now I’m good enough to do it professionally.
If you could work with one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
Alexander McQueen. Period. He was genius, one of a kind.
Who are your favorite photographers working right now?
Too many. I work in fashion and beauty, but photography is not limited by these 2 fields. As per my industry, I admire Tim Walker, Miles Aldridge, Nick Knight and many others.
When is the first time you ever used makeup? Can you describe this moment?
I think I was 4 years old and I was playing with my mother’s lipstick. I loved putting her dresses on, too. When I was 7 I started to draw on my legs using a blue pen, flowers and abstract lines. I still remember the smell of the ink. My mother thought it might be harmful and tried to stop me. I suppose she failed.
What are some things you’d like to see more of?
I would love to see more good creative work, more creativity in styling, makeup, and hairstyling. We need it! I see a lot of boring fashion. Photographers and editors don’t want to take risks. Well, it’s not an easy task to create a good creative picture. On the contrary, it requires a lot of resources and effort, strong technical skills, and every participant of the shoot must have great taste. I suppose that is rare, which is why there is so much boring fashion work.
If you could do one thing differently when you were young, what would it be?
I would’ve spent more time studying History, Science, and Languages.
If you had to have any other occupation what would it be?
I wanted to be a doctor. To be more specific: a surgeon or a brain scientist. When I was a teenager I fell in love with astrophysics and was considering pursuing a career as an astrophysicist.
What misconceptions do people sometimes have about your work?
Many people associate body art and body painting with cheesy images from the internet or face painting for children’s parties. People don’t consider body painting as an art. But I’m working on changing this situation.
What are your current projects and where may we find them?
I am always in process of creation. It might be a single image project or series of pictures. Currently I’m working with talented photographer Reka Nyari on “The Venus Project,” a bodypainting series reflecting different qualities of a female. We’ve finished 4 images out of 13 and planning to do an exhibition. You can see my recent work on my Instagram @adurasova