make up

Interview with Edmonton’s Aurora Artistry

by Monika Blichar

I have loved make up like most girls since being introduced to it in my teenage years. When we were in high school, we experimented with lots of different kinds of make up and I remember that when Halloween rolled around, it was the time of year where everyone got into make up! Since my teenage years, I have had the pleasure of witnessing some of the most talented make up artists in the country via Art World’s body painting competition. Today, I caught up with Aurora Artistry to learn more about her company! Looking so forward to seeing her entry into the first annual Art World Expo Edmonton Body Painting Competition!

1-What is Aurora Make Up Artistry?
Aurora Artistry is a Hair, Makeup and Body Art business ran by myself, Deonna Fetzko. The name stems from the Aurora Borealis, I grew up in a very small Northern Alberta town underneath the inspiring glow and that’s how I want to make people feel. Aurora aims to let your true colors dance. I provide mobile services as well as services out of my home. My goal is to make anyone who receives our services feel like a complex piece of art.  No matter if it’s a glamorous editorial, a wild costume or a natural day look I hope to make every person really “feel” their look. Everyone has unique qualities and I love to accent and play those up!
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2-When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in the make up industry?
 I always have wanted to be a mother. When asked as a kid what I wanted to be it was always “A mom and -” So when I finally found myself ready to search for a career I knew I wanted something I could do from home, on my schedule. I was always involved in theatre and performing, would paint large dragons and vines on my face and shoulder in high school just for fun and wear it to school. One day my mom sent me a link to a makeup school and it just flew from there. I moved to Calgary 9 hours from home and got an International Certification in Makeup Artistry and my love for the beauty industry and the art scene has just developed from there.
3-What kinds of jobs or projects are your favourite?
Avante Garde, Body Paint and Runway work has to be my favourite. Though I’m very new to Body Paint. Being able to really stretch my creative muscles and put together a large project gives me a wonderful sense of satisfaction. I love to test if i can bring my hands to do what my brain is creating and playing with textiles and texture.
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4-What could you tell make up artists who are emerging in the field about business and art?
Get the schooling. Youtube and instagram are great but there are so many things as far as the science behind makeup goes that you are missing that could potentially put your clients at risk if you don’t get proper training. Also don’t sell yourself short! In my experience undercharging and giving away your work does nothing for your career besides empty your wallet. Trade for portfolio work is good, while you need to build your portfolio, don’t overdue it.
5-Can you give us any hints about your “Lady Luck” body painting entry for Art World Expo Edmonton at the Muttart on March 16?
You wont be able to keep your “eye” off of her.
6-If you could paint any historical or current person, who would it be and why?
Bob Ross. It would just be so much fun and I would love to pick his brain for paint techniques!
To learn more about Aurora Artistry visit their Facebook Page  and be sure to cheer her on in the body painting competition happening on March 16 at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Alberta! We are running low on tickets, so be sure to grab yours today before we are sold out!


Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

Finding Passion Through Peril – An Interview with Makeup Artist Neetu Sahota

About: Vancouver is home to the makeup industry’s modern-day Renaissance woman, Neetu Sahota. Not only does Neetu work as a makeup artist, teacher, and journalist (along with her position as an image specialist) but she also has an inspirational story to share about how she got there. After recovering from a stroke and graduating Blanche Macdonald, Neetu set out to pursue her passion in makeup artistry and never looked back. She’ll be taking part in the body painting competition this year, and will be working with the Expo’s “fairytale” theme.

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How would you describe your style as a makeup artist?

My style is really about enhancing beauty; everyone is beautiful and it’s my job to show them just how beautiful they can be. I know that I have done my job right when I have a client who is in awe of how amazing they look. I can truly see how such a small act transforms them, not just from the outside, but the inside too!

What made you want to pursue a career in makeup artistry?

I originally intended to be a lawyer and was studying criminology at SFU up until 2006, which is when my life changed. At the age of nineteen, I suffered a full stroke to my left side. It was caused by an arteriovenous malformation in my brain, a rare condition which occurs in only 1% of the population. Due to its rarity, the only treatment option is brain surgery. If left untreated, symptoms can worsen and lead to paralysis and/or death. After the surgery, I was told that I would never go back to work or school, but I wanted to be normal again more than anything. With age and determination on my side, I was able to fully recover from the physical defects of the stroke after one year. I slowly returned to work and tried to return to school but my cognitive abilities were no longer as strong as they had been. I emerged myself into work, taking on a position of store manager and assistant manager, but despite these successes I found myself lost and unsure of what I was trying to achieve. I eventually started to see a therapist who always admired my makeup, and one day, she asked me why I never considered being a makeup artist. I had never thought of it, and with that glimmer of hope, I went to apply at Blanche MacDonald for the makeup program. Two days later, one of the admission directors called me to tell me that I had been approved and could start class next week, and I agreed! I was always meant to have a career in makeup, I just had to take the long and hard road to get there.

What do you focus on most in your makeup?

 Skin! I will spend 80% of my time with any client on their skin. I’ve always believed that beautiful skin creates beautiful makeup, and that when skin is immaculate, everything else will look beautiful and radiant. It’s one of the hardest things to master, and understanding how to make very dry skin look as smooth as a baby’s bum isn’t something that can be taught in a book. It has to be learned from experience. Because it is difficult to make skin look flawless, many people will turn to Photoshop, but my job as a makeup artist is to create a flawless canvas on its own. Essentially, a makeup artist’s job will become insignificant if photographers need to retouch entire images to correct skin.

What are your favourite techniques, colours, products, and trends?

Some of my must-have kit products at the moment are: Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Face Atelier Pro Foundation, NARS Orgasm Blush (the most amazing blush colour for all lighter skin tones and NARS Super Orgasm for darker skin tones), and MAC Blacktrax Gel liner.

What’s your motto as a makeup artist?

Nothing is a mistake, everything is always intentional.

 What’s your number one beauty tip?

 Use SPF every day, regardless of if the sun is out or not. This is the best way to prevent dark spots, aging, wrinkles, and skin cancer. The number one request I have from clients is to give them advice for their dark spots and wrinkles once they have occurred, but prevention is always easier than protection.

You’re more than just an artist; you’re also a teacher! How has teaching make-up at Surrey College changed you as an artist?

 While working at NARS, I would conduct monthly seminars and masterclasses, sharing backstage makeup techniques and tips with clients. I realized then that I had a passion for sharing my makeup knowledge with others. Teaching is such a fulfilling experience, and I didn’t want to hold back any information from my students, because they became a representation of me. I always tried to give my students a wide variety of knowledge which I had uncovered throughout my experiences in the industry, instead of limiting their learning solely to the curriculum.

How has your job with NARS impacted you, and what are your favourite NARS products?

Oh, there are so many NARS products I love! My makeup kit is full of lots of NARS but my absolute favourites have to be Nico, Sex Appeal, and Zen blush. I always make sure I have one of each on-hand at all times.

Francois Nars once said, “Why so serious? It is only makeup,” which I think is a perfect quote to explain makeup. It isn’t like cutting hair or performing a surgery; you can always correct it by wiping it off and starting again. I tell this to all of my students and myself: you cannot make mistakes in makeup. Think of it as a learning process, an opportunity to make a correction. If you realize that you aren’t pleased with something, you can wipe it away and make the necessary changes. Working at NARS gave me this perspective and developed my passion for skin and layering products.

As if you didn’t already have enough jobs, you write beauty articles for Jugni Style. What can readers expect from your articles, and what has that job done for you artistically?

I just got married a month ago, so I did have to take a break from my beauty articles, but readers can typically expect product reviews, makeup & hair trends, and how-to’s for celebrity makeup looks. We are hoping to have some how-to videos eventually which would aid readers in creating specific looks.

Finally, how has your work as an image specialist (with Studio Cloud 30) changed your artistry?

Working with Studio Cloud 30 has enabled me to take my artistry to the next level by working with some talented artists in the music industry. Warren Dean Flandez, owner and previous competitor in Cover Me Canada, saw the talent in me and brought me onto his team, which has allowed me to make further connections in the music and fashion industry.

Some of your inspirations include Alexander McQueen, Guy Bourdin, Francois Nars and Alex Box. What about these people inspires you? Are there any particular looks of theirs that you adore?

What I love about these artists is that all of them are creative savants or rule-breakers in their industry. They did not care what others may have thought of them or their work. They just did what inspired them. Each of them changed the industry in their own way regardless of being recognized for their talents. For example, Alexander McQueen introduced the world to theatrical fashion shows, and Guy Bourdin started provocative fashion photography. I have the books for each of these artists but my favourite by far is Francois Nars’ 15X15. It fills me with inspiration every time I go through it.

How does your preference in hair styles differ from your taste in makeup looks?

While taking my Global Artistry Diploma at Blanche MacDonald, I was able to learn hair styling, which is a great asset for my clients since they often prefer to book a makeup and hair artist in one. My hair style preferences are quite in line with my makeup style: polished and classic.

How did graduating from Blanche MacDonald improve you as an artist?

Attending Blanche MacDonald was amazing! I was able to let out tons of creative energy and really refine my artistry skills in a variety of areas. Prior to attending Blanche MacDonald, airbrushing, fashion, and special effect makeups were unknown to me. I was lucky to have some amazing teachers (Jon Hennessey, Ashley Forshaw, and Corey Roberts) who would pass on their knowledge and provide me with honest feedback on how to improve my skills.

What will you be showing the Art World Expo audience this year? How are you planning on testing/demonstrating your skills at this year’s event?

I’ll be creating a classic fairy in the style of the Grimm’s Brothers. I want to demonstrate a more realistic character rather than creating an abstract interpretation of a fairy tale, and will demonstrate my skill set by applying make-up that looks intricate and detailed both up close and from a distance.


To see more or get in touch with Neetu, visit:

Different Types of Beauty-an Interview with Katerina Taylor

By Alyssa Laube


About: In 2014, Katerina Taylor moved from Alberta to British Columbia to study Makeup Artistry and Professional Hair Styling at Blanche Macdonald. When she is not at school, Katerina is doing freelance work that includes weddings, proms, other specials events and one-on-one lessons. Although Katerina enjoys all specialties that makeup has to offer, she mainly specializes in beauty/glamour makeup.

To reach Katerina, you can email her at


What are you planning on showcasing at this year’s expo?

I have entered into the body painting competition this year and am really look forward to pushing my artistic capabilities for it’s theme: Fairy Tale. I’m still working on a foundation for the piece that I will be competing with this year.


How did you discover that you wanted to be a makeup artist?

I have always been interested in art and the ability to express oneself through different mediums! I was in my second year of university when I began my retail job at MAC Cosmetics. It was then that I really discovered what I wanted to do with myself. I was encouraged by my colleagues to apply to Blanche Macdonald for their Global Makeup Diploma program. They were previous graduates and told me that I would do well at Blanche. Sure enough, a little over a year later, I am exactly where I want to be! Going to school for Makeup Artistry only pushed me closer to becoming who I want to be. I am now a returning student to Blanche Macdonald for their Professional Hairstyling program and I’m set to graduate this program in March 2016!



How is your education at Blanche Macdonald improving you as an artist? 

Going to Blanche, I had a really good support system from the career directors. They were continuously encouraging me to push myself as an artist by volunteering and recommending me to potential employers. This would include working on film sets and fashion shows, various retail opportunities, and a handful of freelance work for me to do on the side. They also featured my work on the main Blanche Macdonald websites! I would keep up with them regularly about what I was up to, and in return, they continued to support me. For that, I am truly grateful.

When you say that you specialize in “special events makeup”, what sort of special events do you mean? 

A majority of the freelance work that I do is beauty/glamour makeup. I do a lot of weddings and proms, especially during the warmer seasons.

What was your job with MAC Cosmetics like, and how did it change you?

I was hired with MAC Cosmetics when I had very little makeup artistry experience, so it was very intimidating at first. It was hard for me to feel confident about what I was expected to do, but over time, it became easier for me to really enjoy all aspects of my work. I had a great MAC family; We all got along well and always had fun on counter. Also, because a good portion of our job was to be in trend with the newest makeup fads, we were always asked to be creative. It was a really good start for me – pushing myself artistically like that and thinking outside of my comfort bubble. Eventually, my colleagues saw my passion and encouraged me to pursue school, which led me to attend Blanche! So, in hindsight, I owe my success to MAC Cosmetics for welcoming me into their family and showing me a side of myself that wanted to be noticed.

What do you feel is most important to succeed in the makeup industry?

I believe that the key to succeeding in the makeup industry is networking. Whether you specialize in beauty, fashion, television/film, special effects, or even prosthetics, you need to know how to market yourself. This is absolutely the most important way to succeed, but it requires a lot of work on your part. You must commit to spending hours updating and keeping your information and portfolio up-to-date.


Why do you love being a makeup artist?

If we’re talking about my freelance-beauty work, what I enjoy most is the ability to make people feel beautiful. People of all types come to me for help and advice or just to feel fabulous, and I give them what they are looking for! Despite what a lot of people assume about makeup artists, I am 100% comfortable in my own skin and love when others are too! I am not here to say that makeup is absolutely the way to go or recommend that for you; I’m here to make you feel beautiful. Doing that is very difficult because I’m working against a person’s insecurities, but I wouldn’t trade it for any other profession. Their joy and happiness when I am finished with my work makes it completely worth it.

What are your goals for the future?

My plans include being an educator for what I do and continuing to strive for excellence. I don’t want to limit myself to one specialty, but rather to be as versatile as I can be. I want to be paid to travel the world and showcase my art and eventually, I would like to have my own makeup/hair studio.