MUA/Stylist Article & Interview – Lesli Patrock
By Rick Trottier – RJT Images
A book I love and once read to my former elementary students was titled THE BEST BAD THING by Yoshiku Uchida. In that story, a terrible series of events occurs, but as is often the case, good things come out of those misfortunes. I have long preached that all of life is a series of trades and that if we are patient and accepting, we will see the good come out of difficulties. This past Summer, I watched with a mix of joy and dismay as my top two makeup artists/stylists learned they were pregnant. Naomi Herron was expecting her third child in the mid-Autumn, while Claudia Canales was expecting her first child in the earlier Fall. While I was thrilled for both young ladies, the impact on my studio was immediate and anxiety-inducing. While I knew that Naomi would likely be back after New Year’s and I could accept the likelihood of Claudia being out for a lengthier term due to the impact of The First Born, I needed to find a talented replacement as soon as possible. And that is where Lesli comes in. She was referred to me by Naomi and her friend Shell, and she has been a tonic and a joy far beyond my expectations. Her mix of creativity and classic skill makes her precisely what a photographer needs; an MUA who can create any look that is needed, from the most eclectic artistic looks to tried and true Glamor appeal. In addition, Lesli’s affable and good-natured charm is of the same wonderful nature of that of Naomi and Claudia. It is so important to me that models get superb skill AND outstanding sweetness when they have access to an MUA/Stylist. Lesli joins a long line of talented and delightful professionals I have had the pleasure to work with that embody all of what my studio stands for and we at GlamModelz are so very excited to have the chance to look inside her thoughts and see what makes her tick.
GlamModelz Magazine: Tell me a little about yourself like your background and a little of your history. Lesli: I grew up in the small town of Dudley, Massachusetts on a pond, so needless to say I had an amazing childhood! I have always been very family-orientated and always spent a lot of time with my family by the water. I am and have always been extremely close to my mother. She is very supportive of all of my life paths. I guess you could say I’ve always been artistic since I have been a dancer my whole life! After high school, I went to Worcester State University where I graduated with a double major in early childhood education and sociology and was the vice president of the dance company. Although I’m not ready to become a full-time teacher yet, I occasionally substitute teach at a middle school, and I bartend on the weekends. I do hope to be able to make it as a full-time makeup artist someday. I am recently engaged to my wonderful fiancé Tim, who is also very supportive of me becoming a makeup artist. I guess you could say I’m just a very lucky girl!
GlamModelz Magazine:What first got you interested in the artistry of makeup and hair design? Lesli: I was always the girl in school who had the crazy make up and everyone would say “You always have the best makeup, can you do mine?” So I started to think maybe I can do other people’s make up! I started to do my friends make up for prom and other dances! I completely fell in love with it! From this point on there was no turning back and I wanted to become a professional makeup artist. I began the journey by teaching myself how to do make up. I would spend all night on YouTube watching different tutorials of some of my favorite makeup artists, trying to learn as much as possible. I just loved watching those YouTube videos because I learned so much from all the artists. I just began to do these new techniques on myself and any friends that would let me experiment on their face!
GlamModelz Magazine: You do both hair and makeup styling. Which would you say is your forte, or which do you prefer? Lesli: I do occasionally do both hair and makeup but make up is definitely my forte. I only just recently started styling hair because some photographers asked me to. Hair is definitely not my favorite thing and nor do I say that I’m hairstylist but it makes me worth more in the industry if I can do both. So ultimately I would say I’m a makeup artist who occasionally does hair.
GlamModelz Magazine: How did you get started working with models and photographers? Lesli: I have been working with models and photographers for about three years now. It all began when I was working behind the bar one night. One of my customers was John Preves, who happens to be a photographer. He told me all about a group shoot that was happening at the Worcester Photo Studios. He went on to tell me that they were looking for makeup artist to work at the group shoots and that I should go down and check it out. So as curious as I was, I went down to the group shoot and did make up for the day. From this shoot, I met so many amazing photographers, models, and other artists that I still keep touch with to this day. From all the connections I gained at the studio I’ve been published in several magazines and I even got to work at New York fashion week 2012 with Rockeresque Beauty Company! I have just been very blessed.
GlamModelz Magazine: What do you want models and photographers to know about working with you? Lesli: I want them to know a lot! I try to be as efficient in my use of time as possible but also give the quality of somebody who is taking their time. I know how fast-paced shoots can be so I want to make sure that everybody is done in a timely manner. That’s why I like to have a hair dresser working with me because I like to focus on the makeup. I always love working with new people because everybody comes with their own unique creativity. I have done countless photo shoots and have worked with hundreds of models so I feel like that I have a lot of knowledge to bring to the table. I love coming up with new makeup concepts and my brain is always ticking! Working with models and photographers is my favorite part of the industry.
GlamModelz Magazine: What would be your dream job if you got the chance to do it and why? Lesli: My dream job would be a traveling freelance makeup artist. Although this is pretty much what I do now I would like to do on a larger scale. Right now I just travel all over New England but I would love to get the chance to travel all over the United States, if not The World. I would also love to teach workshops and seminars. I have always thought that would be very cool to do. Just because I have a teaching background I feel like I would be very good at it!
GlamModelz Magazine: If you had your way, what are the craziest materials you would use for a hair design or a makeup look? Lesli: I have used a lot of crazy materials for my makeup already but I would love to do a shoot that incorporated different outdoor elements such as sea shells or sand. I feel I am always using glitter and gems that that would be something different for me!
GlamModelz Magazine: You’ve done a lot of special effects style shoots and work. What was the most bizarre request for hair styling you’ve received so far? Lesli: I am very fortunate to get the chance to do some special effects makeup! I love gore, blood and everything horror! However, I’m a big chicken when it comes to going inside haunted houses! But anyways I’m usually the one who’s requesting to do crazy makeup because I don’t think people think as twisted as I do! I pretty much have done it all! Zombies, vampires, dead pinup girls and demented clowns, you name it! I would love to learn more about special-effects makeup like making my own prosthetic’s.
GlamModelz Magazine: When you’re not making people look their very best, what can we find you doing? Lesli: When I’m not doing makeup, I’m spending time with my friends and family! I love to go out dancing with my girlfriends or spending the night at the casino! If I’m having more of a low-key night, I spend it inside watching movies with my fiancé!
GlamModelz Magazine: What does the future have in store for you? Lesli: When I’m not doing Make I’m spending time with my friends and family! I love to go out dancing with my girlfriends or spending the night at the casino! If I’m having more of a low-key night I spend it inside watching movies with my fiancé!