Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Interview: Alexys Fleming

Artist Interview of the Week

This week we conducted a very special interview with the one and only Alexys Fleming. This amazingly talented Special FX makeup artist is doing wonders and raising awareness for dozens of causes. She's one to keep an eye out for!

All photos belong to Alexys Fleming and may in NO way be replicated
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What made you start doing Special FX makeup?

I actually became interested in makeup around age 14. It actually wasn’t until I realized that makeup could be used for more than just the basic mascara application that I became interested in it. I learned quickly that it was used for movies and also to make monsters. I loved
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the creative aspect of it. As I grew older, I also began to love that makeup could be used to make people feel beautiful. Although many use it to fit in to societies perception of beauty, there are many people out there who also suffer from scarring, bruising, or discoloration that they hide using makeup. Makeup can be used to restore injuries, or tragic events that happened. It helps heal the mind, as well as make someone feel beautiful (or scary) inside and out.
I ended up becoming more and more interested in makeup through out high school. There really was no specific reason why I began, other than to relieve stress. Before this, I used to draw and paint. I figured, hey, if I can draw on paper, I can draw on faces. My Junior year of high school, I also started cosmetology school, which brought me into the world of hair. While I enjoyed it, it didn’t let out as much expression as makeup did. Through out high school, I also suffered from Grade 3 Acne. Because of my passion to help others, it lead me into esthetics, where I ended up falling in love. I obtained licenses in both careers before the age of 19. Creativity is who I am, and helping others helps the world, one step at a time.
How old were you when you did your first makeup?
I was around 14 years old.
Who are your biggest role models, inspirations or heroes? 
One of my biggest inspirations is Bret Michaels. A lot of people know him for shows like Rock of Love, but I have looked up to him since I was 13 years old. Diabetes can be an extremely scary thing. Both type 1 and type 2 can end up having complications down the road such as kidney failure, amputations, blindness, and even death. Through out my years of school, kids did not understand anything like this. They just looked at it and thought that I couldn’t eat sugar. My diabetes felt very disabling while I was younger. I could not do P.E. because my sugars would drop. Any kind of stress I was under, would spike it. Getting diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes absolutely changed my life, and that is where Bret comes in. He is so inspirational because despite him being a diabetic, he still goes on stage and rocks all the time, appears on tv shows, has his OWN tv shows, and etc. The amount of stress that this man endures while also battling Type 1 is so inspiring and encouraging that AS a diabetic, you will never be held back. He got me through a lot of tough times in my life and struggles with diabetes just by thinking, “Well, look at Bret! HE can do it, so can I.”

I think it's safe to say you are a huge role model, inspiration an
d hero to thousands of people. How does it feel to be all of those to so many people?
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It is AMAZING! Although my page DOES get a little hectic here and there, I am just sooo happy to have everyone. I am even more happy that we are all like a little (well, growing!) makeup familu. Everyone on my page supports each other, and encourages. That is my ultimate goal. When I first began my channel and page, I never thought that it would grow so much. I hope to be well-known some day so I have the ability to have a larger voice, and a bigger impact on society. I want so badly to be able to help represent the causes that are closer to my heart, so there wont be so many misconceptions about things like Diabetes, and maybe I could help bullying stop by people looking up to me. Its just a dream, and i’m hoping very badly to reach it through my skills and passion. It will take time, but i’m willing to be patient. I have always been this way, as far back as I can remember.. As my page continues to grow, so does my awareness, and I hope that one day, I will be able to inspire a lot of younger (and even older!) males and females. I am very thankful for every new follower/supporter I gain 
How did you meet Bret Michaels?
Ohhhh BRET!  I met Bret Michaels back about two or three years ago now. My mom had bought a meet n’ greet (That you can purchase online, or sometimes at the Merchandise booth at the concerts). I remember waiting in line outside of his bus, holding my insulin in my hand, and hoping that I wouldn’t cry. Oh yes, I did cry. As soon as I saw him, I started to bawl. I explained to him my story, and he took the time to listen. I had him sign my insulin pen, which I still have next to my bed:)
What was your initial reaction when your hat was auctioned for $1300?
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Initially, when Bret had announced on stage that he was going to auction off the hat, I was super excited just to hear the auction! When he announced that “it will be used to send diabetic children to camp,” my eyes started to tear up. I was just like “NO LEX, YOUR MAKEUP IS NOT WATERPROOF TONIGHT!” I listened to the numbers go higher and higher, and all I could think about is that this is going to change lives. Bret has such a huge heart, and I could never thank him enough for all of the money that he raises, not only for Diabetes, but for many causes through the Life Rocks Foundation.
When were you diagnosed with Diabetes?
I was diagnosed with Diabetes at the age of 13. I actually went to the doctor with a stomach ache, got some blood drawn, and it came back that I was diabetic. I did not have any symptoms of Diabetes AT ALL. I was one of the very lucky people to have caught it before it caused extreme damage.
How has it impacted your every day life?
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Diabetes truly has changed my life. At first, it felt like a curse. I do not like needles at all, and I am also not a huge fan of blood. When I was first diagnosed, I was in and out of doctors, getting blood draws monthly, and all kinds of insane medical things. I had 4 different doctors tell me 4 different things. At first I was type 1, then I was type 2, then I was type 1.5, and then I was a brittle Diabetic. Now, after years have passed, I really learned that Diabetes is a part of who I am, and I feel like I got diagnosed for a reason. I have always been a very mature person, but I feel like my Diabetes gave me responsibility at a very young age, which, most people do not get. As much as I would love a cure, and love to not have to test my sugar all the time and take shots, I am also very accepting of it, and I believe it has impacted my life growing up (ultimately) in a positive way.
Aside from Diabetes and Bullying, are there any other specific causes you support?
I do my best to support all causes. Along with bullying, I also support anti-suicide. Sadly, this cause became even closer to my heart in February of 2013, when one of my closest friends took his life. It is so important for me to spread awareness to suicide prevention. While, in my case, I was not presented with any signs, others are. Stay strong to those who feel that they need to leave this world. Not one person will simply disappear. EVERYONE will leave someone behind, and extremely, extremely heart broken. Everyone has someone, even if they feel like they are alone. I tried to understand why, and I still sometimes try to understand. I don't think I ever will. Another cause that became close to my heart very recently is Lung Cancer. I had never been presented personally with a case of cancer. My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago. Within that year, he lost his life, and passed away just a few months after my friend had also passed. It was one of the most difficult things to watch someone who has lived with me my entire life slowly break down. My grandpa was my baseball coach, the guy who taught me how to bake, the person to make me laugh, and one of my closest family members. Thankfully, he never entered the stages of pain. Before he passed, my family had to witness him not being able to walk or eat. I woke up one morning to my mom coming in my room, saying that my grandpa only had a couple days left, and an ambulance was on its way. A couple of days turned to a couple of hours, a couple of hours turned to a couple of minutes, and before the ambulance had arrived, my grandpa had passed. Cancer is extremely difficult to witness, and I can’t even imagine being diagnosed with it. We need a cure, and we need one fast.
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Do you ever work on other projects besides your youtube channel and contests?
I work on SO many projects that people don’t even KNOW about on my page  I also paint many other things, and enjoy baking and decorating cupcakes! Besides that, I am involved with diabetes causes and events, and things of that sort! I always have SOMETHING going on 
Have you ever been hired to do photo shoots, magazine articles, etc?
Of course!
The girls at ATLR are HUGE Face Off fans! How did you you meet Anthony Kosar of Face Off?
Oh, me too! I have been watching Face Off since season one! I actually found Anthony from someone who recommended his classes at Kosart Effects in Westmont, Illinois. I just signed up for his mask making class, and had a great time! From there, I continued to take some courses that I was interested in. He pretty much rocks!
What's it like taking his classes and learning from him?
I love taking classes from Anthony. If anyone ever has any questions, he is always happy to help. What I love about Anthony is even though he is the winner of this past season of Face Off, he never acts like he is “higher up” than anyone else. He responds to questions very well if you are struggling, and he also does not ever try to alter your idea. He is extremely encouraging,
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Photo by Bear McGivney
along with his Father who also helps out with classes. Not to mention, Anthony is also hilarious! If anyone signs up for his classes, they will not regret it. You get so much education within just a few days, and meet some awesome people. I have met quite a few new friends from attending classes!
You won the Fan Face Off challenge. Do you ever plan to try out for the show?
I am not sure if I am going to try out or not. Before I do, I will need more education on everything! Face Off is a huge huge huge challenge, and as of right now, I do not have enough knowledge in prosthetics.
How excited are you for the upcoming NYX Face Awards?
WORDS. CANNOT. EVEN. EXPLAIN. HOW EXCITED I AM. FOR THIS ROUND. TO. BEGIN. Voting begins again on July 10th! I cannot WAIT to reveal my futuristic look!! This competition has been incredible. We are now in the final voting round. I really would like to say thank you to every single one of you who have advanced us this far in the competition! I am up against other artists who not only produce beautiful work, but also have 30,000+ more followers than I do! Some even are in the 500,000+ followers! (EEK!) While this is incredibly scary trying to get through the voting rounds, we have pushed our way to the very last voting round. Mark your calendars people, it's going to be intense!! I am truly hoping that we will be able to make it to the FINALS!
What is the average amount of time you spend doing an entire look?
It really depends on what type of look it is. When filming, it also takes double the time. With filming, face and chest paints take about two hours, body painting will take about six to seven hours, and regular face application will take maybe 30 minutes.
What advice can you give to upcoming makeup artists?
A lot of makeup artists deal with a lot of the same struggles. The only true advice I can give is to never lose your passion, and to always remember why you are doing this. This industry is to enhance peoples already beautiful features. We are here to make people into their wildest dreams, or maybe just into an everyday beauty. The world of makeup has so many opportunities, try them out, and make sure you end up in the one that you feel most passionate about. My message to ALL of my followers that look up to me: Do not ever fall into the worlds category of beautiful. As we grow older, we are each molded into our own person. Many people in this world are molded into societies idea of a perfect person, but it is the people who are different that are the ones who will MAKE a difference. Change cannot happen without someone being “weird”. Weird is known as a bad word, when in reality, if everyone were “normal”, we would all be like robots, wandering around, saying the same catch phrases, looking the same, and nothing would progress. We would become stuck, we would blend in. No matter what anyone says, you are beautiful, inside and out, with or without makeup. Stay true to yourself, follow your dreams, and never give up. The only way you will reach defeat is if you give up on yourself. You decide your destiny, make your own decisions, and only you determine who you are and who you will be. Confidence is key in all endeavors, and always be kind to others, because you never know what may be happening in another persons life.

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Thanks so much, Alexys for interviewing with us! Don't forget to follow her on one of her many outlets! Remember, all photos are property of Made U Look by Lex and may in NO WAY be replicated or redistributed without her permission. Also, don't forget to vote for Lex in the upcoming NYX Face Awards. Links posted below!

Facebook -Check out all of her awesome pictures here!
YouTube Channel-Check out her awesome tutorials of how to accomplish these amazing looks!

Don't forget to head on over to her Facebook and vote for her for the NYX Face Awards!

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